Back to School Lunch Tips

My guest Denay Davis provided these bag lunch ideas:

It should be noted that most children do not like unusual textures and/or flavors. Children like the foods they are accustomed to PB&J (for those who like it, American Cheese, simple cold cuts, bologna, ham, & turkey.

The real key is to keep it simple, fresh and familiar. Parents who feel the need to experiment should save it for the weekend when children are home and they can experience first hand the child’s reaction to a new food. There is nothing worse that going to school and finding out at lunchtime that your parent has stuffed your lunch pail with a food you have never eaten.

Advice for creating good lunches:
No child likes to eat a lunch that is “smashed.”
No child likes to eat messy food, e.g. boiled eggs (they also smell bad) oranges, bananas etc.

No child likes soggy bread.

Lunches should not be an after-thought; parents must put time and effort into what they are feeding or not feeding their children.

Bag-lunch ideas that require no refrigeration:

1. Mozzarella string-cheese sticks (other hard cheeses are great too) and whole-wheat/multi-grain crackers, Fruit cups. Whole-wheat carrot and/or apple muffins.

2. Bagel spread with cream cheese (you may want to try mini-bagels for small children) Sugar snap peas. Box of raisins.

3. Tortilla rolled up with a slice of mild cheese. Fresh green beans.
Small tangerines (Clementines, if in season).

4. Banana bread spread with peanut butter and a little honey. Cucumber slices.
Melon cubes.

5. Cream cheese and apple and/or pumpkin butter on whole-grain bread. Veggie mix (baby carrots, snap peas). Dried apricots or mixed dried fruits.

6. Half of a pita stuffed with shredded carrot and mild cheese (or peanut butter).
Individual cup of applesauce.

Bread:

Pita (either small individual size or half of a regular-size)
Quick bread (banana, pumpkin, apple, etc.)
Whole-wheat bun (hamburger or hot dog)
Bagel
Tortilla
Raisin bread

Fillings:

Peanut butter, plain or with (pick one) honey, banana, jelly, shredded carrot, raisin
Cream cheese, plain or with (pick one) jelly, apple butter, shredded veggies
Mild cheese
Hummus

Veggies:

Baby carrots or carrot sticks
Fresh green beans
Sugar snap peas
Cucumber slices
Crisp, tender broccoli florets (small ranch dressing cups)
Zucchini sticks

Fruits:

Half a banana
Small apple
Orange wedge
Raisins or other dried fruits
Drained pineapple chunks (or fresh)
Individual applesauce container
Melon cubes

Food Safety
Use a thermos to keep soups, stews and casseroles warm. Wash the thermos with soap and hot water after every use.
Place a frozen juice box or bottled water next to cold food items.
Use an ice pack to keep foods cold. (use puncture proof ice packs.
Use an insulated lunch container to help keep temperatures stable.

Listen to the entire interview at The Recipe Box with Barbara Howard.

Go to the The Recipe Box Show website (www.BlogTalkRecipes.com) to download recipes, contests and more!

You can view Denay’s How-To videos @ MPowerTalkRadio.com

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