The relationship between kids and school can be somewhat tenuous. After all, school does really cut into the day. If the youngsters have a delicious lunch which they helped make, it will give them something to look forward to as they face the school day.
Hope Community Church – Long Beach
1429 Clark Ave
Long Beach, CA 90815
Orange County native Jacqlyn Kodis is a pastoral assistant at Hope Community Church in Long Beach. Day to day she faces not only the challenges of work, but also raising a 10-year-old son. She is well aware of the need to keep up with his changing needs and often suddenly changing tastes. When it comes to packing lunches, variety, creativity and flexibility are paramount. As the new school year approaches, here are some great lunch options which stemmed from her conversation with CBS Local.
Making the Proper PBJ
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an old standby, but there are some nuances. First, because of peanut allergy concerns, there are some school districts which do not allow peanut butter to be packed in school lunches. Some great tasty alternatives are sunflower butter and almond butter. Then there is the proper construction. In order to avoid having the bread becomes soggy due to jelly having been in direct contact with the bread for hours before consumption, put a thin layer of peanut butter on each piece of bread and then put jelly in between. This will create a barrier between bread and jelly and thus make the dining experience much better.
Veggies And Hummus
This will require some parental supervision, but is well worth it. The night before, have your child assist you in slicing up some good healthy vegetables of their choice. Slice lengthwise — since they needn’t be perfect, this is some good training for a youngster who is just learning to use a knife. You may discover you have a budding chef in the house. Put sliced veggies in ziploc bags and send to school in chilled lunch bag along with a small container of hummus or ranch dressing, for dipping. Good, easy and healthy. If your child is too young to use a knife, you can always pre-slice a variety of veggies and put in a gallon size bag, early in the week. It will then be up to your child to just select what he/she wants from the big bag.
French Toast Dippers
This traditional breakfast favorite is also great for lunch. Again, this will take some supervision, but is worth it because in the process, your child will be learning another cooking skill. Standard French toast dip is a simple mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract. After mixing all ingredients, dip whole slices of Texas Toast in the egg mixture. Put coated toast in a non-stick pan, cook over low/medium heat and brown on each side. Slice finished toast into 4-5 slices, lengthwise. Place cooled slices in ziploc bag and send to school with a side of syrup. Yum.
Meat And Cheese Delight
This lunch does have some assembly required, but is rather easy. Parents can choose the ingredients, but kids can put it together. Purchase several types of pre-sliced cheeses and pre-sliced meats. Keep in refrigerator where they are easily accessible. Next, be sure to have a good healthy variety of snack cracker available as well. Your child’s creativity comes in, as he/she chooses which meats and cheeses they would like. Then there is the crunch factor – They also get to choose which snack cracker they would like to complement their eclectic blend of meats and cheeses.
Homemade Pizza Rolls
This one will require a little supervision, but is well worth it. Purchase pre-made pizza dough from a store such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. The world is your oyster, as you and your child choose the toppings. Assemble and follow baking directions. Once pizza is cooked and slightly cooled, roll it up into a tube shape. From there, slice into sections approximately 1&1/2 inches long. The melty cheese will hold them together as they cool. Place slices in ziploc bags. One pizza will provide the nucleus of several lunches — no need to worry about heating, most kids are fine with cold pizza rolls.
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