Quick-Reference Lunch Ideas
jam (spreadable fruit)
pizza or tomato sauce
hard boiled egg
nitrite-free hot dogs
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Hard Boiled Egg
Mini Pizza (English Muffin)
baked chips (salsa and/or dip)
vanilla yogurt with fruit
cottage cheese with fruit
String Cheese/ Cheese Sticks
Yogurt or yogurt drink
Hard boiled egg
Hummus and veggies
Get input from your children about what they want. They’ll be more likely to eat what they choose (except, of course, nutritional zeros like chips and soda).
Prep lunches with leftovers from dinner the night before. You’ll be more creative and less frazzled in the evening. Save some chicken breast for salad with red grapes and celery, a slice of meatloaf for a sandwich, or cooked vegetables for pasta salad with Italian dressing.
Strive for balance. Healthy lunches should have a complex carbohydrate such as whole-grain bread or pita, a source of protein (peanut butter is fine), at least one serving of fruit or vegetables and one source of dairy (string cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese or milk).
Step 4: Get creative
-Use cookie cutters to carve sandwiches into fun shapes or include the fixings for “ants on a log”–aka peanut butter and raisins on celery.
– Make faces on open sandwiches. Skewer fruit on a straw (kiwi, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, banana, apple, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango)
-Mismatch breads to get them to eat some whole grain.
-Make “sandwiches” with crackers instead of bread…cracker stackers.
-Lunch on a stick- use a straw or pretzel rod- cheese cubes, roll ham or salami on pretzel.
-Skip the sandwich and put in cold meatballs instead, or beef sticks.
Sneak in fresh vegetables and fruits. While your child may leave a whole apple untouched, she may love diced apples in her chicken salad sandwich.
Cultivate adventurous eating. Introduce new foods gradually, pairing them with your child’s favorite snacks. For example, if he loves carrots with ranch dressing, slip in some cucumber and zucchini slices as well.
Indulge in desserts, but don’t go overboard. Rice crispy treats are low fat, oatmeal raisin cookies pack a nutritious punch, anything homemade is better than store bought! You don’t want to deprive your children, but you also don’t want them to be high-wired on sugar or falling asleep in class from a heavy rich treat.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKES
Makes 24 cakes
½ c milk
¼ t white vinegar
½ c room temperature butter (1stick)
½ c vegetable oil
1 ¾ c sugar
2 large eggs
2 t pure vanilla extract
2 ½ c all-purpose flour
4T natural cocoa powder
1t baking soda
¼- ½ t cinnamon
½ t salt
2 c grated zucchini (about 3 small)
1 c high quality semi-sweet choc chips
¼ c chopped pecans, walnuts or hickory nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin pans with cupcake papers.
Mix together milk and vinegar and set aside. Note: if a recipe calls for sour milk, this is how it is accomplished.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and sour milk.
In a separate bowl, blend the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter mixture, and stir by hand to combine. Add the grated zucchini and half the choc chips and stir well.
Spoon the batter evenly into the pans filling each cup 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops with remaining choc chips and nuts, if using.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top is springy to touch. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE HOT CHOC CHIPS ON TOP. OUCH!!!!