If you are a parent you may be struggling with a way to come up with something new and nutritious for your child’s lunch. While you may be tempted to give in and let them eat the overly processed food at the cafeteria or simply throw in the first thing you can find at home in their brown bag lunch, rest assured there is hope! If you are looking for some new and fresh ideas for a nutritious brown bag lunch for your child here are some of the best ideas to give a new spin on lunch that your little one will love while still providing them with lots of nutrition.
Cannelloni Bean Wrap Sandwiches
Kids love the mild taste of this dip. You can also pack this sandwich spread as a dip and pack it into your child’s lunch box along with vegetables and breadsticks for dippers.
1 (16 ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if desired
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
4 (10 inch) jalapeno flavored or plain flour tortillas
Using a blender container or food processor, combine drained beans with remaining ingredients except tortillas. Blend or process until mixture is almost smooth. Spread the mixture on tortillas and roll up enclosing the filling.
Tomato Tortellini Soup
Any type of pasta would work well in this excellent and easy soup recipe so add your child’s favorite. For the gourmet or do-it-yourself luncher package the cheese separately so he or she can sprinkle it over themselves.
2 (10 oz.) cans condensed tomato soup
9 oz. pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dilute soups as directed on the can. Combine the soup in saucepan with tortellini and heat over medium heat until the soup boils, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add peas and simmer 2 more minutes until the tortellini is tender.
Creamy Fruit Pasta Salad
Many kids would love just a salad to nosh on during lunch. This delicious salad has just three ingredients that easily combine for a delicious and quick fruit salad.
1 cup uncooked macaroni rings
2 cups creamy deli fruit salad (make sure you choose a healthy option)
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Cook macaroni rings as directed on package. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water, and drain again. Combine with the fruit salad and whipped topping in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator. Make sure this salad is taken in an appropriate cold container if sending for lunch.
Apricot Banana Bars
This bar cookie has a wonderful combination of flavors and textures and best of all there is no need to tell the kids that there are healthy things inside of it.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup apricot preserves
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 2)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 15×10″ jelly roll pan. In large bowl, combine the brown sugar and butter. Cream together until well blended. Add preserves, vanilla and eggs and blend well. Add remaining ingredients except sugar and cinnamon and mix until blended. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Spread the batter into a prepared pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar; bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool and cut into bars. Makes about 30 bars