Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's In Your Child's Lunchbox?

I just received the back to school issue of Parents Magazine, September 2010. On page 224 it had an interesting article about struggles of packing school lunches. My son has to pack everyday due to food allergies, plus I feel better knowing what he's eating rather then relying on the supposed "healthy" school based lunches. The articled contained some great recipes to help me keep his lunches from being "boring" since this is a constant battle. I feel like I'm feeding him the same old thing day after day.

Trail Mix Popcorn makes approx. 4 cups
1 2.9oz bag of microwave popcorn, cooked according to package directions
1 cup of raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries and/or cherries
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, walnuts, and/or peanuts
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Oil hands to keep popcorn from sticking
2. In a large bowl combine popcorn with dried fruits and set aside
3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir honey with butter, nuts, sunflower seeds and cinnamon and mix until well combined
4. Carefully drizzle mixture over popcorn and fruit, stirring constantly until everything is well coated. Let sit overnight.

Now due to his allergies I'm going to substitute some things. I stay away from nuts so in place of the nuts I may add another dried fruit or just leave it out. I don't know if it makes a difference but I'll probably cook my own popcorn rather than use microwave. This seems like a perfect snack in place of chips.

Here's a recipe for a different sandwich:

Ham and Cucumber Sarnie

2 slices 100% whole wheat bread
2 thin slices low-sodium ham
6 slices cucumber
1 whole carrot (served on side)

Salt and peper to taste

My question is what "dressing" or condiment would go good with this sandwich? These are the only 2 recipes that caught my eye, there are several other yummy recipes but I know he wouldn't eat them. I'm constantly searching for ways to improve and excite his lunchbox. If you have any ideas or recipes feel free to share!

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