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5 Tips for Packing Kids Lunches

http://www.nadinehughes.com/
 
Pack in Advance:
  • Save time in the morning which can often be rushed by packing lunches or at least as much as you can the night before.
  • Smarter food choices can be made when you are not so rushed – avoiding reaching for fast pre-packaged and often unhealthy food choices


Get the Kids Involved:
  • Whether it’s involving them in choices or the actual packing, getting kids involved in the process will make them feel like they have more control over their lunch and more likely to eat more
  • Even the smallest of children can pick for an array of food groups.  You can even go so far as creating a lunch choice pictorial and placing on fridge.  Small children can then be guided in knowing what to choose from each food group.
Prep Once – Eat Often:
  • Like packing in advance if you take a little extra time and plan your night time meals you will be able to cook enough for extra servings at lunch time.  Example – cook 2 chickens instead of one and turn the second one into chicken salad wraps the next day.  Or as simple as making extra pasta for dinner and serving the leftovers in thermos or Tiffin Box.
  • Or on Sunday set aside a section of the fridge for ready to go lunch ideas like pre-made sandwiches, cut up fruit, healthy snacks so you can easily grab them and or your kids can choose from the “lunch corner”
Temperature Control:
  • No one like a soggy sandwich or cold soup for lunch so ensure you use the proper storage and serving vessels to keep cold foods cold and hot food hot.  If packing the night before, store lunch box in refrigerator and add those items in the morning that shouldn’t be refrigerated.
  • Instead of regular freezer packs, freeze juice containers to act as a cooler pack.  Wrap the juice container/box in a cloth napkin to absorb any water when they start to thaw.  Your kids can then use the moist napkins to wipe their fingers after lunch
Have Fun:
  • Let your personality shine through your lunch bag!  - letting each child pick out a new bag/box will help them feel they have ‘control’ over their lunch and it adds a personal touch to their mealtime.


  • Pack a smile in your child’s lunch bag – get in the habit of packing a note, a joke, a clue, a puzzle, a photo or a riddle in their bag and they will be looking forward to opening their lunch each day to see what awaits them
  • If your kids are still only sandwich type lunch eaters swap out the bread for variety – use pita pockets, rolled up tortillas, lettuce wraps, naan bread etc or get creative with how you make a sandwich. 
BLT Lettuce Wraps




Crispy reduced fat bacon, shredded lettuce and ripe diced tomatoes mixed with light mayonnaise wrapped in a crispy green iceberg lettuce cup. A low carb guiltless BLT! 

This is easy to make ahead for lunch on the go and perfect for Low Carbor Gluten Freediets. You can use turkey bacon or lean center cut pork bacon, low sodium or nitrate-free bacon or even meatless bacon, whatever your preference. 
  • Servings:1
  • Serving Size:2 lettuce wraps
  • Calories:160.7
  • Fat:10 g
  • Protein: 10.8 g
  • Carb:8.1 g
  • Fiber:1.9 g
  • Sugar:0.8 g
  • 
Sodium: 505.8 mg
     

Ingredients:
  • 4 slices lean bacon (pork or turkey) cooked and chopped 
  • 1 medium tomato, diced 
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise  
  • 3 large iceberg lettuce leaves 
  • fresh cracked pepper 

Directions: 
  1. Carefully remove 2 large outer leaves of a head of lettuce. If you rip or tear one, just save it for the 3rd leaf you need to shred. Shred the 3rd leaf and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine diced tomato with mayonnaise and fresh black pepper. 
  3. Place lettuce cups on a plate, top with shredded lettuce, tomato and bacon.  Roll up into wrap.  Wrap in cloth napkin or paper towel.
Pizza Tortilla Rolls
    

 
  • Makes: 12 appetizer portions or 6 roll ups

  • Prep: 20 min.

  • Bake: 8 min.

 
Ingredients:
  • 3/4  cup chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1  tablespoon butter
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6   7-inch flour tortillas
  • 1  8-ounce can pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella or combo)
  • 2  tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
 
Directions:
  1. Cook onion and sweet pepper in butter in a skillet until vegetables are tender. Stir in Italian seasoning and crushed pepper. 
  2. Spread each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon of the pizza sauce, spreading sauce to about 1/2 inch from edges (reserve remaining sauce). Divide onion-pepper mixture among the tortillas, spooning it evenly atop the sauce. Sprinkle the pizza cheese evenly over the onion-pepper mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. 
  3. Roll up tortillas from one side and place on a foil-lined baking sheet with seam sides down. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. 
  4. Bake in a 400 degree F oven about 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, heat remaining pizza sauce in a small saucepan. To serve, use a sharp knife to cut each tortilla roll in half. Serve warm in a thermos with the heated pizza sauce for dipping. 

To purchase:

Bento boxes, Bento Buddies and sandwich cutouts
http://www.laptoplunches.com/

Tiffin Container
http://www.grassrootsstore.com/

Glass Cubes
https://weangreen.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cooking

Winter BBQ 101