Beyond the Sandwich: Lunches Your Kids Can Make Themselves

school-lunchThe kids are settling into the school year — while they now have somewhere to go every day while you’re at work, there’s still quite a bit of planning you have to do, lunch in particular. But that’s something you can recruit your kids to help out with. Here are a few ideas for lunches your kids can make themselves.

Wraps Even though wraps are, for all intents and purposes, sandwiches, there’s something about the packaging that makes them more fun and exotic to kids. They take very little effort to prepare, you just have to remember all of the elements to include: protein, fruit/vegetable, something to hold it all together, and a good tortilla. Spread a little peanut butter or soy nut butter on a tortilla, top it with sliced bananas and raisins, roll it up and it’s off to school. If your child wants meat, smear the tortilla with mustard, sprinkle it with lettuce and tomato and lay down a slice of cured ham. If your kids want to make it even more interesting, slice them into pinwheels to make it look like sushi. It’s not too tough for kids to wrap together, they just need

Pasta A big bowl of spaghetti for lunch isn’t very practical if your kids have no way to heat it up at lunch time. However, pasta doesn’t have to be hot to be delicious — and kids love noodles. Putting together a good pasta salad allows you to sneak in vegetables your kids might not eat on their own, mix it with meat and cheese to create a one-dish meal. If your kids are old enough, they can boil the water for the pasta, cut the vegetables and cheese and stir it all together with Italian salad dressing. It travels well and holds up until lunch time.

Snack Platter Sandwiches don’t always have to come assembled, in fact, your kids might like them better if they’re not assembled! Have them put together crackers, meat and cheese they like alongside fruit salad or veggies and dip. It’s a way to make lunch easy for kids to make and interesting to eat.

Leftover Bento If you plan it right, you can have your kids make bento boxes out of dinner leftover from the night before. Bento boxes are all about the presentation — eating lunch from little compartments makes the food somehow more delightful. You don’t have to have a real bento box to create your own — you just need regular plastic containers with ways to create compartments to keep the food separate. You can use smaller plastic containers that fit inside or use silicone cupcake linerschool-lunchs. It doesn’t change the food, but how it’s presented makes it more fun to eat.

Just remember that if you pack lunch meats, mayonnaise or dairy, lunch should be packed with an ice pack to prevent it from spoiling. You can make easy ice packs out of sponges at home. Just get them wet, stick them in a closable bag and freeze them overnight.

The Lakeside Collection can help you make every meal can be an exciting meal! Whether you’re planning Thanksgiving dinner or you’re planning a picnic, Lakeside has products and ideas to make it spectacular.

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