Lunch Time!

Go Beyond the Sandwich
The good news is we’re now more than halfway through the school year. The bad news is that you’re still going to have to keep packing that lunch box for a few more months. If you’re in a slump and you need new ideas for kids that don’t like or are tired of sandwiches then this post is for you!

1. Quesadillas – 
You can make quesadillas in the morning pretty quickly or you can do it the night before. Lightly spread butter or margarine on one side of a tortilla, fill it with cheese, and top it with a second tortilla with the butter side facing out. Place it in a hot, non-stick skillet and cook it over medium heat until it’s lightly brown on one side then flip it and brown it on the other side. Let it cool then cut it into wedges and store it in a plastic bag or sealed container. Serve sour cream, salsa, or guacamole on the side.

2. Soup – 
Tomato, chicken noodle, lemon rice, chili, or stew. Pick a favorite. The trick to keeping the soup hot until lunchtime is to fill a thermos with boiling water and let it sit there while you’re heating the soup. When the soup is ready then empty the water from the thermos and pour in the soup. Serve it up with a side of cheese and crackers.

3. Deviled Eggs – 
Eggs are a great source of protein and kids love them. Easy to prepare you can stick with a traditional blend of mayo and paprika or add salsa, bacon, cheese, or Dijon mustard for an added twist.

4. Mini Quiche Muffins – 
These are a great option for the whole family. Spray mini muffin tins with a small amount of olive oil then fill them 2/3 of the way with veggies such as shredded zucchini and carrots or try turkey sausage and cheese. Whisk up half a dozen eggs with a little basil or oregano and pour it into each muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The mini quiche muffins will last for approximately a week refrigerated.

5. Chicken Bites – 
Create your own crispy baked nuggets the night before. Cut chicken breast to small bite size pieces, dip it in an egg, and then roll it in crushed corn flakes or potato chips. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve with their favorite dip.

Lunches don’t have to be difficult. Get creative! Replace bread with tortillas to create nutritious wraps. Try finger foods like pita bread and humus, cut up fruit and serve with yogurt dip, or maybe mini meatballs with dipping sauce.

Whatever you choose, be sure to keep everything nice and fresh by choosing an insulated lunch bag so you can pack foods that need to stay hot or cold. Keep cold foods cold by using an ice pack, and hot foods hot by using a thermos. Perishables such as cold cuts or sliced fruit are only safe to eat for about two hours after they rise above fridge temperature.

Pack up these healthy ideas and your kids will be looking forward to lunch all morning long! 

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