Look What I Made! Recipes for healthy back to school lunches
Editor’s Note: We asked Christine Fullucco, owner of Mud Pie Cooking School in Atlanta, to give us some tips for preparing healthy lunches that kids could take to school.
At Mud Pie Cooking School, we recommend setting aside time on Sunday to cook with your child food items that can be packaged in school lunches they take with them the coming week.
Not only will this be a fun activity for parents and children, but it will reduce the mid-week stress of fixing lunches. Older children will love helping teach the younger children. Ask an older sibling to show a younger sibling how to bag the granola, for example.
Children will proudly exclaim, “Look what I made!” and be more likely to eat food they prepared.
Put dip in a small plastic container. For school lunches, include a banana since it is easy to peel and dip or washed whole strawberries. It’s easiest to dip strawberries holding the stems.
- You will need: ½ C. berry-flavored apple sauce, ½ C. apple sauce, ½ C. vanilla yogurt, fruit
- Directions: In a small bowl, blend apple sauces with yogurt. Stir. Serve with fruit.
Put in plastic bags to use throughout the week. Bonus, for breakfast put granola on oatmeal or yogurt.
- You will need: 1 ½ C. oatmeal, 1 C. walnut pieces, ½ C. sunflower seeds, 1 1/3 C. flaked coconut, ¼ C. firmly packed light brown sugar, ¼ C. maple syrup, 2 T. wheat germ, 2 T. vegetable oil, 1 t. cinnamon, large mixing bowl, spoon, and large rimmed baking sheet (lightly greased)
- Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread granola mix on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes stirring every 5 – 10 minutes until granola is golden brown and crunchy.
Bake in smaller-sized muffin tins; the size is child-friendly. Children are more likely to eat all of a smaller muffin versus a larger one minimizing waste.
- You will need: 1 large banana, very ripe, 1 C. baking mix, ¼ C. wheat germ, 1 egg, ¼ C. honey, 2 T. water, ¼ C. raisins, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or Nestle mini chocolate morsels, nonstick cooking spray or paper liner cups, large mixing bowl, spoon.
- Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray or paper liner cups. In a bowl, mash banana. Add baking mix, wheat germ, egg, honey, and water. Stir to mix well but not for a long period of time. Stir in either some raisins, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or Nestle mini chocolate morsels. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan or cups to two-thirds full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until fork inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.
Make with any sandwich meat or veggies a child chooses. Use plastic knives to spread condiments and cut wraps. They are safest for children to use and plenty sharp to cut veggies and rolled wraps.
- What You Will Need: flour tortillas, sliced turkey, lettuce, chopped tomato, grated carrots, mayonnaise, mustard or crème cheese, a knife and grater.
- Directions: Peel a carrot and grate it into small pieces; cut tomato in half, scrape out the seeds and chop into small pieces; lay your tortilla out and spread with mayonnaise, mustard or cream cheese and add your turkey, tomato and carrots.
Ants On A Log
Wrap each prepared celery stick in wax paper, wrap each prepared “log” in wax paper to keep peanut butter from becoming messy and place wrapped “logs” in a plastic bag. See comment above regarding the use of plastic knives. Substitute peanut butter for cream cheese, if needed.
- What You Will Need: celery, raisins, peanut butter and a knife.
- Directions: Cut one celery stalk into three pieces; dip your knife into the peanut butter and scoop onto your knife; spread the peanut butter down the middle of the celery; place four to five raisins on the peanut butter.
Starting in the fall, look for Mud Pie Cooking School to offer monthly mailing subscription packages. Ordered packages will be sent directly to your child. A portion of the proceeds will benefit No Kind Hungry (nokidhungry.com). To learn more and sign-up for a Mud Pie Cooking School monthly subscription, email firstname.lastname@example.org.