With a few little tricks, a bit of organizing and tasty yet healthy foods, it's easy to come up with appetizing lunches and snacks. Say farewell to monotony and hello to variety!
Homemade meals have lots of advantages
When you eat the same thing day after day, you get tired of it, and so do your kids. Not to mention that there is no such thing as the perfect food: no single food meets all the daily nutritional requirements. Varied lunches offer you the best from each food group and everything the body needs.
For those hungry mouths
The handy sandwich doesn't have to be boring at all if you change the fillings and types of bread (pita, tortillas, kaiser rolls, sliced bread, etc.). Here are some great ideas for fillings: Canadian Cream Cheese, diced green pepper and tomato with chopped chives or plain yogurt, Cheddar and grated apple or roast beef, diced sweet pickles and Cream Cheese or chopped ham, sweet relish and Cream Cheese or Brie and butter or Emmental, sliced apple, alfalfa sprouts, Dijon mustard and butter (butter the outside of both slices of bread and grill the sandwich in a frying pan for 2 minutes over medium heat; serve cold).
Salads are quick to prepare and make a great change in routine. They should, however, include a source of protein - cheese, for example. Try these combinations: lettuce, diced pear and red onion, shredded Gouda, oil and balsamic vinegar or brown rice, canned black beans, corn, shredded Cheddar, diced tomato and spicy tomato sauce or small cooked pasta, diced ham, sliced broccoli and mushrooms, shredded Mozzarella and mayonnaise.
Time-savers that let you catch your breath
For fast snacks and to round out a lunch box, make sure you always have a supply of nutritious, practical foods: juice boxes, dried fruit, cereal, washed and cut raw vegetables, yogurt, individual portions of fruit salad or applesauce, string cheese, prepackaged cheese slices, etc.
To avoid last minute rushes, draw up a lunch list for the coming week or the next several weeks. Before you go food shopping, jot down all the food you need for the following week's lunches so you'll always have the things you need on hand.
To keep lunch boxes interesting
Plan a hot meal once or twice a week. Just double your supper recipes then put individual servings in plastic microwave-safe containers. If you or your child don't have access to a microwave at the office or at school, a good old Thermos® will do the trick.
Out of ideas?
Start a folder for lunch and snack ideas. Then clip and add interesting recipes you find in magazines, newspapers or grocery store recipe cards, etc.
Pizza sub 1 serving
6 inch (15 cm) submarine or hot dog bun
3 or 4 1-oz (30 g) thin salami slices
1 1-oz (30 g) thin slice of Canadian Mozzarella, halved
1 1-oz (30 g) thin slice of Canadian Provolone or Brick, halved
4 1-oz (30 g) thin pepperoni slices
Thinly sliced green pepper
Pizza sauce, your choice
Cut bun in half lengthwise and butter both sides.
Layer salami, cheese, pepperoni and green pepper on one half of bun. Add pizza sauce, to taste, and lettuce.
Place the other bun half on top and cut sandwich in half.