When making a punch for lunch, parents often face challenges such as limited time in the morning and tighter budgets. Many may fall into the sandwich-crackers-fruit rut regarding lunch preparation. While these “classics” are nutritious, they may become a little boring for your children.
Change things up by taking the time every now and then to prepare more appealing meals. Foods that will not only make your children curious about what’s in their lunchboxes but will also provide them with extra energy to get through the school day! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
To taste, mix a few shakes of salt, pepper, and garlic powder into 1/4 cup plain yogurt. Spread the yogurt mixture down the center of a pita. Serve with grilled chicken slices. Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil after adding some finely chopped lettuce. (Mini-pita pockets can also be used.)
Fill mini-bagels halfway with flavored cream cheese. Depending on your child’s appetite, pack two or three in his lunch. Combine flavors like strawberry (create your own by adding fruit preserves to softened, plain cream cheese) or peanut butter cream cheese (follow the same procedure).
Buy soft dinner rolls. Create your own sliders by combining different meat, vegetable, and cheese combinations, such as turkey and a slice of pickle in one and roast beef and sharp cheddar in another. Even better, let your child choose!
Season sour cream or cream cheese with salt, onion powder, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Spread about a quarter cup of this mixture on one half of a tortilla. Serve with a few thin slices of deli meat. If desired, top with cheese or shredded carrots. Wrap in aluminum foil and roll into a cylinder. There are several new tortilla varieties available, including different colors and vitamin-enriched options.
Don’t forget to pack a cold pack in your child’s lunch box to keep your creations fresh, cool, and safe to eat!
According to Susanne Gunsorek, a registered dietitian and the director of food and nutrition at Providence Park Hospital in Novi, if you want foods that will help your children maintain their concentration, think B for brain foods, that is, vitamin B. Granola, tuna, yogurt, cheese, meats, milk, and dark, leafy greens are some examples.