School’s been back in session for a couple of weeks now. If you’re running out of ideas for lunchbox treats that are both healthy and tasty, you should check out these cookbooks.
Everyone knows that Rachel Ray is the queen of the thirty minute meals; so any of the recipes in her child friendly cookbook, Yum-o: the Family Cookbook, are bound to be quick and easy. The chapter titled “Lunch Boxes that Rock and Snack Attackers” has healthy meal solutions for both the finicky eater and the budding gourmet. The recipe for Lunch Box Fondue on page 54 includes savory and sweet ingredients. Ray suggests letting the kids help choose and cut up their favorite fruits, cheeses, and veggies for this recipe. Kids with more sophisticated palates will enjoy the Meatball and Orzo soup found on page 58. This soup can be packed in a thermos and paired with a slice of your child’s favorite whole-grain bread for a hearty lunch.
Sometimes you want to pack a sweet treat for your child, but you worry about all the sugar and empty calories. In Snack Attack! Over 150 Guilt-free Treats for Healthy Munching you’ll find numerous snack ideas. Author Ruth Glick includes recipes for Popcorn Crunch (pg. 145) and Bread Puzzles (pg. 149) that can easily be packed into a lunchbox. Other snacks such as Banana Pops (pg. 155) and Aladdin’s Pizza (pg. 152) will make great afterschool snacks. There are also guilt-free snacks for mom or dad to enjoy once the kids get on the school bus.
It’s often hard to prepare snacks for kids with special dietary requirements. Jennifer McCann created the recipes in the Vegan Lunch Box because she didn’t want her son James to be ridiculed for his vegan diet. Instead James’ lunches made him the envy of his school. I was surprised at the number of sandwich options listed in the chapter “Okay, I’ve Got Two Pieces of Bread, Now What?” McCann explains that the Back-to-School Chocolate Chip Cookies (pg. 232) freeze well. She suggests freezing the cookies and then pulling a couple of the cookies out of the freezer in the morning to toss into your child’s lunchbox.
These are just a few of the many cookbooks we have available to help you prepare school lunches and snacks that are a little healthier and a lot more fun. Who knows, maybe your children will become the envy of their school because of the lunches you packed for them.