Compiled by Jean Crozier
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
Any sandwich cut with a large cookie cutter; star, heart, dinosaur, animals, etc. will become an irresistible treat!
Pin Wheel Sandwiches
Spread your child’s favorite sandwich filling onto a tortilla. Roll it up and slice it into smaller pieces. Our favorite fillings are peanut butter or other nut butters and jelly, lunch meat with cream cheese, hummus or bean dips, pimento cheese, and egg salad.
Cut slices of your favorite cheese with a small star cookie cutter. In a separate bag provide crackers or apple slices. You can also use the same cookie cutter to cut luncheon meat.
Bugs on a Log
This is a classic kid snack. Fill celery with cream cheese or your favorite nut butter and top with raisins or other small dried fruit pieces.
Smiley Face Fun
Spread a nut butter or cream cheese on a rice cake. Make a face using raisins or any dried fruit and a full head of hair with coconut flakes.
Send natural or organic cookies along with yogurt. Kids love to dip and this way they are getting less sugar than most packaged treats.
Use large cookie cutters to cut a flour tortilla or wrap. Arrange on cookie sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for six to eight minutes. Send to school plain or with bean dip for dipping. To season try brushing on a very small amount of olive oil or cooking spray. Then sprinkle parmesan cheese or cinnamon sugar. Send the cinnamon chips along with a container of applesauce for dipping.
Kid’s Love to Dip
Pack string cheese and rolled meat slices with a honey mustard dressing for dipping.
I Made It Myself!
Many children are more apt to eat a brown bag lunch they’ve helped to make. Whether it’s the cookies they helped to bake or the sandwich they made in the morning. Include your kids as much as possible. Cookie cutters are perfect for little hands.
The retail world knows that enticing packaging sells, especially when it comes to kids. Unfortunately, what’s inside is not always nutritious. Solve this dilemma by generating your own fun packaging. Stock up on cheerfully-colored re-usable containers, fun party napkins and stickers for plastic bags.
Best Ever Veggie Sandwich
4 English muffins, split and toasted
1 avocado, mashed
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
4 T Ranch-style salad dressing
4 T toasted sesame seeds
1 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to broil. Place each muffin open-faced on a cookie sheet. Spread each half with mashed avocado; place halves close together. Distributing ingredients evenly, cover each half with sprouts, tomatoes, onion, dressing, sesame seeds and cheese.
Place under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Banana Dog in A Bun
1 whole grain hot dog bun
1 T peanut butter or cream cheese
1 T strawberry or other jam (honey or agave syrup, if preferred)
1 whole banana
Raisins, shredded coconut or chopped peanuts
Spread one inner surface of a split hot dog bun with peanut butter or cream cheese. Spread the other side with jam or honey. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and put in lunch box. Also pack a whole banana (in the peel) and a small container of toppings such as raisins, shredded coconut and chopped peanuts.
At lunch time, peel the banana and place in bun, sprinkle on toppings and eat.
Herbed Chicken Nuggets
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
1 T water
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 T vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or use a non-stick baking sheet.
Trim any fat from chicken and cut into one-inch cubes.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the water and add the chicken.
Combine the parsley, thyme, red pepper, bread crumbs, wheat germ, basil and ground pepper. Stir in the oil with a fork and mix well. Pour seasoning mixture into a reseal able plastic bag along with the chicken pieces. Toss to coat.
Place coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, turn the pieces and cook for an additional five minutes.
These kebabs work well with any type of fruit, including more exotic types such as star fruit, kumquats or prickly pears. To prevent fruit from browning, dip in pineapple or orange juice.
4oz low-fat lemon yogurt
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
4 to 6 pineapple chunks
4 to 6 strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
1/2 banana, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 to 6 red grapes
4 wooden skewers
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Thread one of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon-lime dip.