With school in full swing, fixing meals that will keep kids healthy and happy is a top parental priority. But packing the same old lunch box items can quickly get old, for parents and kids.
Want to keep things interesting, while still making lunch a kid-friendly and nutritious meal? Mix it up by including items with unique textures, colors, and flavors! Snacks like pizza muffins, healthy hummus, and chicken wraps will hold up well in your child's lunch box, while adding flavor and hidden nutrition. Here's how to make these three school snacks:
Pizza Muffins Makes 2 quarts of pizza mix
- 1 lb. salami, ground
- 10 oz. mild Colby cheese, grated
- 10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 4-oz. cans mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained
- 4.5-oz. can chopped black olives, drained
- 2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp. dried oregano
- English muffins
- Combine all ingredients except English muffins in a large bowl.
- When ready to serve, split English muffins and spread about 3 tbs. on each half. Broil until bubbly and cheese is melted.
Healthy Hummus Makes 1 ½ cups, or 8 servings
- 1 ½ cups drained canned Great Northern beans
- ¼ red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, puree beans until they are halfway between chunky and smooth.
- Add onion, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Puree while drizzling in olive oil.
- Add more or less olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Serve with crackers or pita chips. Or spread in tortilla wraps with roasted vegetables, or with cheese and salsa.
Chicken Wraps Makes 3 cups
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb. large leaves of fresh spinach
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 4 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- To make the wraps, combine chicken, broth, ¼ cup soy sauce, and 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce in a skillet or saucepan. Simmer until chicken is just cooked. Cool and cut meat into chunks.
- Wash spinach. Pour boiling water over the leaves. Immediately drain and cool.
- Place a chunk of chicken on stem end of spinach leaf. Roll leaf over. Fold ends in and continue to roll. Secure with toothpick and chill.
- To make dip, mix together all dip ingredients and chill. Serve stuffed leaves with dip.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Fix It and Enjoy It by Phyllis Pellman Good (Good Books, 2006).