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Lunch box survival & recipes

Lisa is a mother of two and is currently working as a consultant and instructor at several Los Angeles Unified School District schools teaching "Kidding Around in the Kitchen" hands-on cooking classes such as "Cooks and Books," and "Food...

Lunches your kids will love

It can be a big challenge for parents to create lunches that are reasonably healthy and tasty. The more you involve your children in planning and preparing their school lunches, the more likely they will be to eat them. The place to begin is at the grocery store where you can involve your kids in the food selection, a process that may require a little compromise at first.

Lunches your kids will love

School Lunch Ideas

Add some veggies or fruit to their sandwiches. Kids generally like the taste of sweet fruit or veggies, but they don't always like the thought or look of them.

Try slicing thin cucumbers, carrots, or sweet red or yellow peppers and adding them to sandwiches. They provides great crunch and nutrients. These items may be packed in a separate bag and added by the kids just before eating so it doesn't make the sandwich soggy, a big pet peeve in our house!

Cut a few mini bagels in half, use your child's favorite flavor, spread with plain cream cheese, and add thin slices of red or green apples with a dash of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.

Sushi Rolls

Most kids LOVE California sushi rolls. The imitation crab meat is sweet, the cucumber crunchy, and the avocado makes it creamy.

If you prefer, you may roll the crab meat, cucumber, and avocado in a flour tortilla instead of the rice. You may substitute tuna or salmon for the crab, too. Cut it into pieces as you would a regular sushi roll and wrap it tightly

Perfect Pita Pocket Salad

One of the tastiest ways to give your children their favorite vegetables is in pocket bread. When you return from the market with an assortment of lettuce and their favorite vegetables, have the kids wash all the veggies and prepare them before putting them away. After you have enjoyed your dinner salad, pack away leftover salad, without dressing, in a pita pocket. Add your favorite cheese, tuna, or chicken salad to really make this pita perfect.

Serve with the Fontanesi favorite vinaigrette (pack dressing separately). Pour over salad just before eating.

Chili Pie

Take your favorite chili recipe, with or without meat, heat it through, and send it to school in a thermos with a cup top. In separate plastic bags, send along some baked tortilla chips and shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese.

Have your children arrange some crumpled crisps along the bottom of the thermos cup, then add shredded cheese and top with warm chili. The chili melts the cheese and kids adore it!

Here are some easy snack recipes that go to school well.

Up next: Creative school lunch recipes >>

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