I’ve written about school lunches before, including ideas for what to pack. One of the messages that I offer time and time again is that I don’t think school lunches are the place to be adventurous with food for the kids. Many parents I speak with feel guilty for sending the same foods (no matter how healthy) many days of the week, but honestly, I think there’s nothing wrong with that. Kids need to eat while at school, and trying to change up what they like could lead to hungry students.
However, I do also think that adding a mix of food you know they will eat (and that is filling) along with something new is a good way to test the waters. When I started sending tortilla wraps, I wasn’t sure they’d be eaten, but they were. Or when I sent pineapple, I discovered they were well loved. Sometimes the food I send comes back, but I still make sure they have plenty of their favourites in the lunch box.
My Kraft Canada post this month is all about recommending some new, somewhat adventurous back to school recipes for you to try but that have the potential to be loved enough to be added to the regular rotation. But don’t take my word for it! I’ve asked my kids to browse the Kraft Canada website with me to point out school recipes THEY want to try. Planning with the kids will help avoid disappointment, and hopefully encourage them not only to think outside of the traditional requests, but also to get involved in the making of their lunches.
Here are the recipe picks from the kids:
The boy. Aged 8.
His notes: “I wouldn’t eat the tomatoes or the cucumbers. Maybe add some turkey?”
My notes: His suggestions are easy to change up, and I could add carrots on the side since he effectively wants me to remove all other veggies! I do love this idea. The ‘stick’ is actually a juice box straw. I could use my stainless steel reusable straws too!
His notes: “Nothing on it but meat and bread, but these look great.”
My notes: Notice how he likes everything plain? I like that this uses a hot dog bun and it’s easy to slice my Cracker Barrel cheddar into thin sandwich slices. I would eat this! He does like roast beef.
The girl. Aged 6.
Her notes: “Ohh yum!”
My notes: The recipe is all the stuff she likes – bread, cream cheese and jam. I’ve sent jam sandwiches plenty of times before, and they are always a hit when I use cookie cutters. This idea is even better because by keeping it like a puzzle, the entire sandwich gets eaten. Cream cheese on a bagel is common for her so this combines a little bit of all of that.
Her notes: “I would eat all of that.”
My notes: She loves bagels and cream cheese, and apple slices separately, and usually ham (or other meat) separately. Would she eat it together? I’m not sure, but it’s worth a try! She was pretty excited about it. I love the originality of adding a thin apple slice for a little sweetness in this sandwich.
Disclosure: This post is part of my partnership with Kraft Canada as a What’s Cooking contributor and I’ve been compensated. All opinions are my own. And yes, school lunches stress me out too!