Try these ideas for creative, thrifty and nutritious lunch box, snack time and home school lunches.
1) Save your yogurt containers!
After eating the yogurt, wash them
thoroughly and fill with liquid Jell-O or pudding mixture (before
it sets), cap, and refrigerate.
This gives you individual snack-sized
Jell-O or pudding at a fraction of the cost.
2) Take leftover cooked chicken and make chicken strips.
such as salsa, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard,
or pizza sauce.
3) Use a variety of breads your children enjoy eating. Whole grain breads are best. Try Italian varieties, sourdough,
different grains, Hawaiian bread, and different rolls.
4) Pack string cheese or cheese cubes.
Send along bread sticks
or crackers to eat with them. Or pack a prepared cheese spread with
breadsticks for dipping.
5) Cut fresh fruit into bite-sized pieces and use fruit-flavored
yogurt or pudding as a dip. Or mix the fruit with your prepared
Jell-O (see Jell-O tip).
6) Each day include a short note to your child.
Anything that shows
them you love them and you are thinking of them will show your child
7) Layer creamy peanut butter on a flour tortilla with jelly or
fruit spread and roll up "wrap" or "jellyroll" style.
into pieces. Select the size tortilla depending on your child's
8) Heat frozen waffles and make a sandwich with them, using peanut
butter and jelly. Or cut them into bite-sized pieces or sticks and
send syrup for dipping.
9) Add fun to your child's lunch by using colored plastic wraps.
Or during the holiday's, use special prints that are usually for
plastic wrap, zipper-type bags, and napkins.
10) Cut open a bagel and spread each side with cream cheese. Lay
several slices of lunchean meat on top of cream cheese and make
into a sandwich.
11) Kids love to dip!
Send baby carrots, celery sticks, or broccoli
trees with their favorite dip or dressing. Or send peanut butter
as a dip, and include some sliced apples.
12) Create your own "Lunchables"...cut meat slices and cheese into
pieces that will fit on crackers. Pack the meat, cheese, and crackers
together. Have extra mustard or mayo packets from your take-out?
Pack those along for condiments.
13) If your child loves sandwiches and won't let you try anything
new, have fun with the sandwiches - cut the sandwich into interesting
shapes or cut with cookie cutters.
14) It doesn't have to be jelly everyday!
Some other ideas for
sandwiches using with traditional peanut butter are: sliced bananas,
honey, butter/margerine, raisins, and thinly sliced apples.
15) Did you know you can create "wraps" with bread?
a slice of your favorite bread (softer breads work better), and
lay a slice or two of your favorite lunch meat and cheese on it.
Roll up the bread tightly, making sure to press the edges of the
bread together to seal.
©2001 - Brandie Valenzuela
About the Author - Brandie
Valenzuela is the freelance writing mother of three children.
She is also the editor of the Family First Newsletter at: http://members.aol.com/BMValen/index.html
and The Creative Scrappers Newsletter at: http://www.geocities.com/creativescrappers