School Lunch Box!
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School Lunch Box!

School Lunch Box!

Innovative, healthy lunches your kids will love.

by

Lunch recipes, school lunch

This very word conjures up thoughts of many headaches. Did they all take it? Who forgot it? Will they eat it? Trade it? Enjoy it? Dump it? Packing a healthy lunch box for children is a daily challenge for parents.

Our days are so condensed that morning rush hardly allows time for elaborating on lunches. Great lunches can be prepared the night before to avoid last minute rush.

Encourage your teenage children to make their own by putting out the ingredients and allowing them to choose their own favourites. They will surely enjoy their own selections.

Today, I am still making daily lunches for some members of the family, and I try to invent some innovative lunches that they will like.

Standard lunches should consist of a wholesome sandwich, or precooked dish, 1-2 cookies, fruit snack such as grapes, cut up fruit such as apples, pears oranges, and a vegetable snack such as olives, carrots, kirbys and pickles. To avoid the boredom of same lunch everyday make sure to have a vast variety of fruits and vegetables to tantalize their appetites!

An individual tub of yogurt, pudding or unsweetened apple puree is a nice complement to any lunchbox.

Considering that lunches are an important part of growing up, try these healthy makeovers, because healthy children will build healthy adults.

Instead of:   Consider:
Higher-fat lunch meats   Lower-fat deli meats, such as turkey
High fat sliced cheese   Lean slice cheese or cottage cheese
White bread   Whole-grain breads (wheat, oat, multi-grain)
Mayonnaise   Light mayonnaise, mustard or hummus
Fried chips and super snacks   Baked chips, air-popped popcorn, trail mix, veggies and dip
Fruit in syrup   Fruit in natural juices or fresh fruit
Cookies and snack cakes   Trail mix, yogurt, or homemade baked goods such as oatmeal cookies or fruit muffins
Fruit drinks and soda   Low-fat milk, water, or 100% fruit juice

Here are a few suggestions:

Potato, corn & tuna patties

These tuna patties are nutritious and delicious for supper as well as for next day’s lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes, cooked
  • 2 x 185g can tuna in oil, drained, flaked
  • 1 celery stick, ends trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 100g (1/2 cup) drained canned corn kernels
  • 2 Tbs breadcrumbs or enough to keep patty together
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Salad leaves, to serve

Directions

Combine mashed potatoes with tuna and vegetables. Form even patties and bake in the oven @ 400 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Preparation Time 15 minutes

Cooking Time 20-30 minutes

Makes 12 nutritious patties


Easy Individual Vegetable Quiche

This easy quiche recipe can be prepared in minutes and they are good to go. They are great as a supper side dish and the next day’s lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach or other favourite vegetable
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

Cook the spinach for 15 minutes until wilted. Drain the excess liquid. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups. Spray the cups with cooking spray.

Combine the eggs, cheeses, peppers, onion, and spinach in a bowl. Mix well. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Quiche cups can be frozen and reheated in the microwave.

Feel free to use any combination of appropriate vegetables and reduced-fat cheeses.

Preparation time 30 Minutes

Number of Servings: 6


Mediterranean Pita Sandwich

In a bowl combine 1 large tomato cubed, 1 Kirby cubed, 1 cup cooked chickpeas, 1 Tbs sliced olives, 2 scallions chopped (optional)

In a small bowl, combine ½ cup (125ml) plain yogurt, l Tbs lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, dash of garlic powder and black pepper to taste. Stuff two halves of pita and place into a container for easy transporting.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Makes 4 half pita pockets.


Appealing Wraps

Wraps are the latest fad. Wraps come in many flavours and textures, such as in white flour, spinach wrap, tomato wrap as well as whole wheat. They can be nutritious and with a little imagination can be filled with a variety of items.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole wheat wraps (7 inch)
  • 2 Tbs Light Cream Cheese Spread
  • 3 Tbs cottage cheese
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red peppers
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions

Spread cream cheese and cottage cheese evenly on each tortilla. Top with vegetables.

ROLL up tortillas tightly; wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 min.

CUT each roll-up into two slices or more to serve.

Variety adds zest to lunches

Let the kids make their own pinwheels! Set out the wraps along with the cream cheese/mayonnaise/hummus/techina and bowls of chopped vegetables. Give the choice of tuna or salmon mixed with a generous amount of mayonnaise and sliced olives. The wrap can also have sliced cheese or alternatively turkey slices. The choices of food items that can make a good wrap are endless. Then, let them go at it!


Tuna Dippers

Children love to dip because it allows them the freedom of choosing how much to eat. This recipe is meant for one. Feel free to double or triple recipe as needed.

Ingredients

  • ½ can (170 g) tuna, drained, flaked
  • 1 Tbs Mayonnaise
  • 1small pickle chopped
  • 6 square crackers
  • 4 carrot sticks

Directions

MIX tuna with dressing; spoon evenly into airtight sandwich container.

WRAP crackers in plastic wrap; place in container next to tuna. Cover container with lid. Add a plastic spoon and small resealable plastic bag filled with 4 carrot sticks.

Serving Suggestion

Send along ½ cup cucumber slices, with a cheese stick and an apple.

Make Ahead

If preparing the night before, refrigerate until ready to pack in the lunch bag.


Cheese Noodle Kugel

Cheese noodle kugel is a great and easy side dish for a dairy supper and leftovers will make a delicious and satisfying lunch the next day.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (400 gm) broad egg noodles
  • 4 Tbs (50 gm) butter, melted
  • ½ lb (250gr) cottage cheese
  • 1 lb (250 gr) plain yogurt or Israeli white cheese
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C). Cook noodles in boiling water according to package direction. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles with the melted butter, cheeses, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan.

In a separate bowl, mix the cornflakes, cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cornflake blend on top of the noodle mixture.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the top is brown.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Serves: 8-10


LUSCIOUS SANDWICH SUGGESTIONS

Especially Suited for Teenage Boys and Younger Children

 Smoked Salmon Sandwich- dress salmon with a spoonful of low fat mayonnaise and a scattering of dill, add your favourite lettuce and tomato slices.

Club Challah Sandwich

Schmear toasted challah roll with mustard. Top with lettuce leaves, tomato slices and roasted turkey, or other deli meat. Cut sandwich in half and wrap in silver foil or Saran Wrap


Albacore Tuna Sandwich

Mix Albacore tuna with mayonnaise, add some sliced olives. Line one slice of favorite bread with lettuce, tomato and red onion and top with a generous layer of tuna, cover with second slice of bread.

 
Egg Sandwich

Cook eggs and sliced them rather than mashing them. Add sliced stuffed olives, and mix with 1 Tbs mayonnaise. Put this filling between two slices whole wheat or your favorite bread


Cucumber Cottage/Feta Cheese Sesame Bagel

Cut a bagel in half and toast each side. Crumble 1x1 inch square of feta cheese and mix with 2 Tbs cottage cheese. Spread on the bagel. Cover with sliced cucumbers and cubed tomatoes. Add some alfalfa sprouts. Cut bagel in half and wrap with silver foil.


Avocado Filled Rolls

Avocado is delicious in white rolls or any bread. These rolls are crispy on the outside and soft inside. Slice avocadoes, spread over the bread top with tomatoes slices, cucumbers rounds, grated carrots, olives, lettuce leaves, and a dash of lemon dressing.


Drink Water

Water should be the drink of choice. Fruit juices, cordials, flavored waters and full strength soft drinks are very high in sugar and should be avoided on a daily basis. Freeze water bottles the night before for hot summer days.

Lunches can be a time consuming task but with some planning, one can transform it into a memorable opportunity for sharing and showing care and concern for your most prized assets, your family.

Published: December 25, 2010


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Visitor Comments: 8

(8) Anonymous, January 30, 2011 7:52 PM

Good choices

Sent the recipes for my grandchildren. Thankyou

(7) Anonymous, January 19, 2011 7:54 AM

cheese noodle kugel- typo answer

i just made the cheese noodle kugel and put 250 g each of the cottage cheese and white cheese (i didnt look at the pounds part) and it looks just about right. i think this one is a winner!! so i would suggest 1/2 pound of each of them...

(6) Beri, January 2, 2011 8:56 PM

So much mayo.

I'm amazed at all the mayo you put into your sandwiches. Mayo doesn't stay fresh outside of the refrigerator. How is it going to sit in a kid's backpack all morning? Also, as someone else commented, these are very adult foods. Show me a kid who eats avocado and sprouts. 1 in a million, maybe.

(5) Maria, December 29, 2010 7:00 PM

lunch box

These recipes look quite adult friendly to me. Actually, I've been brown bagging some of them (my own version) for a while. Ready to try yours!

(4) Anonymous, December 28, 2010 1:42 PM

Now I'm really starving! I am a bit suprised though that you think a standard lunch should include 1-2 cookies. I never pack junk in my kids lunches, nothing with sugar at all. And they love what I give them. I like the rest though. I always pack a main=healthy sandwich, rice and beans, taco salad,veggie sushi... a fruit, a veggie, and 1-2 snacks= tortilla chips, popcorn, trail mix, whole wheat pretzels.

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