5 fun lunch ideas for first graders

First grade kids are just getting used to lunch away from home. Still, they might appreciate a break from the mundane. Skip the boring PBJ sandwiches. Why not pack one of these fun lunch surprises? Not only will kids gobble them up, they'll make their friends jealous. No trades on these fun lunches.

Shaped sandwiches are always a hit. Why settle for plain old square bread? Pack your first grader sandwiches shaped however they like. Simply cut the bread into awesome shapes with a cookie cutter. Take kids with you to pick out their favorites. Can't find the right shapes? Try the cake decorating aisle at your local craft store. They have all kinds. Some even have a huge collection of 100 in a container.

Roll ups are easy to make. You can roll just about any sandwich ingredient up in a tortilla. Let your first grader choose the ingredients. That way, you know they'll eat them. Simply spread the tortilla with egg salad, tuna salad, peanut butter and jelly or whatever they like. Roll them up and they're ready to eat. For something extra special, cut the roll into circle shapes.

Pack a pizza kit. You've seen these in the deli case. Make your own for higher nutritional value. Simply bake flattened rolls as the crust. If you're not a baker, use pre-made dough. Pop two rolls into a sandwich baggie. Pack sauce, cheese and veggies in separate container. Now your first grader can make their own pizza (pepperoni optional).

Hummus is a healthy lunch dip. It's made from garbanzo beans (some people call them chick peas). Fill a small container with this protein rich treat. Include a few chips but mostly veggies for dipping. For dessert, slice up some apples and toss them with berries. No matter what part of this lunch your first grader eats, it'll be a healthy choice. Kids hate hummus? Substitute for applesauce or peanut butter.

How about a healthy burrito? Your first grader won't know it's good for them. Spread a tortilla with a thin layer of cream cheese. Add Spanish rice, whole black beans, lettuce, tomato and mild salsa for a southwestern lunch. Include a small bag of tortilla chips. Worried about the chips? Make them yourself. Spray oil lightly on corn tortillas and bake.

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