Do you plan your kids’ lunches ahead? Do you wing it every morning? Here a few ideas for delicious and fun options that aren’t too labor intensive. Also scroll down for recipes….
Fruit and Cheese Cubes
Fill a divided plastic container with assorted cubes or slices of cheese, easy-to-eat fruit such as apple and pear slices, grapes, berries or melon and whole-wheat crackers. OR…make colorful skewers of fruit and cheese.
Nut Butter Dipper
Pack some organic peanut, almond, or cashew butter in a small reusable plastic container, along with whole wheat crackers or whole wheat pita pocket wedges and raw vegetables sticks or fruit wedges.
Quesadillas are quick to make and taste fine at room temperature. If you have some wraps, cheese, leftover meat, or any other fillings your child likes, they are quick to whip up in the morning and cut into wedges. Also pack small containers of sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for dipping. Click for creative quesadilla ideas.
Cream Cheese Wraps
Cream cheese not only tastes great, it’s perfect for holding together a tortilla filled with other healthy goodies. Mix and match fillings such as chopped ham, grated carrots, chopped red pepper, sprouts, diced cucumber, diced roma tomato, tuna, sliced bananas, etc. Cut up and place in a shallow container with a tight lid or leave whole. Both are easy to eat.
Make your own and freeze them. Thaw one out the night before and pair with peanut butter or cheese and fruit. Here’s a recipe for Carrot Orange Cranberry Muffins.
Sometimes, the tried and true foods just need a little cosmetic makeover. Dig out your Christmas cookie cutters and cut up cheese, sliced meat, and bread into cool shapes and assemble sandwiches or just layer over lettuce.
Snack ideas from the grocery department
- Nature’s Treats Apple chips
- Dehydrated veggie snacks
- Field Day organic fruit cups
- Cassava chips
Snack ideas from the bulk department
- Hickory pistachios
- Macadamia nuts
- Cheddar Sesame sticks
- Papaya spears
- Trail mix
- Chocolate covered raisins
- Banana chips
Honey Caramel Corn
1 cup organic unpopped popcorn
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup butter
sea salt to taste
- Put popcorn and coconut oil in a large stockpot.
- Turn heat to high and cover.
- Shake pan occasionally and listen as the popping slows down. Remove from heat when most of the popping has stopped. Pour popcorn into a large bowl.
- Return pot to burner on low heat. and add the honey and butter. Stir until blended and melted.
- Pour the butter/honey mixture on the popcorn. Add a few pinches of sea salt and stir to combine and coat the popcorn.
Cheesy Mini Macs
From PCC Market
8 oz elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce coats the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, egg yolks, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth; fold in macaroni.
- Spoon macaroni into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before serving.
Baked Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
4 chicken breasts, each cut into 4 or 5 lengthwise strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Preheat oven to 450° F and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Whisk egg and oil in a bowl. Add chicken pieces and stir to coat.
- Add bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper to a large ziplock bag. Add the chicken strips and toss to coat evenly.
- Arrange on the cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, turn pieces over with tongs, and continue to bake 10 more minutes.
- While chicken is baking, stir together honey, mustard, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Serve with chicken strips.