Cookbook

FYI: Recipe Note Tips - Fast, Fun Foods for School Days

Fast, Fun Food for School Days
On the one hand, the start of school means no more long afternoons of listening to the 'Mom, I'm bored!' chorus. On the other hand, it means life's about to get a little more hectic as, once again, everyone has a more rigid schedule to keep to. It means having to make quick breakfasts and pack well-balanced bag lunches that will actually get eaten. We've got some ideas to help you and the kids ease into the school year deliciously!
Quick breakfasts. It can be hard to make time for a nutritious breakfast on weekday mornings, but it's vitally important that children start the school day with a little something under their belts. Once every couple of weeks, let the kids help you bake a big batch of muffins or quick bread loaves. When they've cooled, wrap them in individual portions and freeze them. Each morning, you can toss as many servings as you need into the microwave, and voila! -- fresh, warm bread! Other ideas: a sandwich of toast spread with peanut butter, honey and banana slices; hard-cooked eggs (made in advance) chopped and rolled up in a tortilla with a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of salsa; or, give your blender a workout by zipping up colorful smoothies of yogurt and frozen fruit.

Fun lunches. It's a struggle as old as time itself: you want your children to eat nutritious lunches, they want lunches full of little store-bought packages of sweet and salty things. Aiming for a compromise? Remember that small is fun. A sandwich cut into pieces (especially if you take a cookie cutter to them) is more likely to get eaten than a whole sandwich. Chunks of melon, orange wedges or grapes go over better than a whole apple. Two or three teeny-tiny cookies or brownies are more satisfying than one big one. For a refreshing break from sandwiches, whip up a pasta salad with fun pasta shapes and a few cubes of meat, cheese and veggies. Take a trip to the party supply store before school starts and surprise your kids by slipping fun napkins into their lunches, and every once in awhile, some small party favor toys.

Satisfying after-school snacks. Besides expending a great deal of energy during the day, kids have smaller tummies and therefore need to eat more often than adults do. Make sure to have some healthy and tasty snacks readily available when they come home. Keep a batch of hummus in the refrigerator with pita wedges, crackers or veggies to dip in it. Also keep on hand a snack mixture of your kids' favorite nuts, dried fruits and mini pretzels or crackers and let them dip into it as they like.

FYI: HOW-TO'S, WHAT-TO-DO'S & ANY-HOO'S # 28

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