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.
|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.
- 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
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.
- 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)
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.
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.
- 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
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/
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.
- ½ can (170 g) tuna, drained, flaked
- 1 Tbs Mayonnaise
- 1small pickle chopped
- 6 square crackers
- 4 carrot sticks
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.
Send along ½ cup cucumber slices, with a cheese stick and an apple.
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.
- 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
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
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.
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.
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.