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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School Lunch Blues

I hate making school lunch. It is the bane of my existence. I hate everything about it, so naturally I was asked to teach a class on it to my church group. Blasted Karma!

Here's the run down on how school lunches are going to rock this year! Or at least an attempt at such a goal.

Fun Lunch Ideas
Crazy Eights (or sixes, or fours, etc.)
For this creative lunch recipe idea all you need to do is supply eight of everything. Then pack a lunch note in your child’s lunch bag promising a game of Crazy Eights before bed. Here are some menu ideas to get you started. Be inventive by coming up with your own based on your child’s favorite foods:
8 individual pieces of cheese
8 pieces of pepperoni or sausage
8 crackers
8 celery sticks
8 carrots sticks
8 pickles
8 orange or apple slices

Tic Tac Toe Snacks
Another creative lunch recipe and snack idea is to pack your child a small piece of paper with tic tac toe grid on it and a snack bag of raisins and sandwich sized bag of Cheerios or round shaped cereal. 

Mystery Lunch
Consider wrapping up her lunch items in foil and making her guess what each individual package holds. Add to the fun of this creative lunch recipe by attaching a note or riddle to each mystery package e.g. for broccoli you might want to write, “I am a green vegetable that grows in bunches above ground. I am a good source of iron and fiber.” Make sure any hints are age appropriate. 

Hidden Shapes/ Puzzle Lunches
Sometimes how something looks offers greater appeal than ordinary menu servings. When thinking of  a creative lunch recipe for young children consider some shape variations e.g. melon balls instead of melon slices, slicing grapes in half, cutting cucumbers into squares and offering up carrot circles instead of ordinary carrot sticks. 
Then take this creative lunch recipe idea one step further and include a note that asks your child to count up the number of different shapes that were hidden in her lunch. Puzzle lunches. Use cookie cutter to make a favorite design. You can also cut into strips or squares. Have your kids assemble the puzzle before eating.

Mini Lunch
Mini kabobs on toothpicks; mini pretzels; mini bagel sandwich; mini fruits or diced fruits or raisins. Mini "I Love You" note

Favorite Character Lunch
Sponge Bob- Star Sandwich; SB fruit snacks, pineapple, SB gummies (at the dollar store).
Princess/Fairy-Flower sandwich, princess fruit snacks, frilly toothpicks with cheese and fruit and long pretzel dipped in chocolate and coated with sprinkles (wand).

Red- red apple, red raspberry yogurt; red strawberry jam sandwich.
Purple- grapes, jelly, food coloring in vanilla pudding.
Yellow- Eggie sandwich, banana, cheese stick and vanilla wafers.

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