7 Out-of-the-Lunchbox Ideas for Back to School

Guest blogger Catherine McCord of Weelicious.com shares some of her unique lunch recipes for the back-to-school. Here are Catherine's suggestions… enjoy!

1. Eye Appeal

Eye appeal is just important as the way something tastes. Try cutting things into different shapes and sizes! If you put in a boring sandwich, take the extra step to cut it out with a cookie cutter.

2. Make Kale Chips

Try taking an otherwise "boring" vegetable and serve it in a different form. Catherine likes to use steamed kale to make kale chips. It tastes like a potato chip - the flavor is intense, it has a nice crunch and you can add salt!

Try baking these delicious and healthy homemade kales chips for your kids (from Weelicious.com) rather than potato chips…even sweet potato and carrot chips would work!

1 Bunch Kale
1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Canola Oil Spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Wash and remove stems off the kale and cut leaves into 2 inch pieces.

3. Divide the kale between 2 cookie sheets lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, drizzle with oil (or spray with oil) and toss to coat (make sure there is a bit of space between the pieces of kale so they don't steam).

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes (keep an eye on them during the last few minutes of cooking so they don't burn).

5. Serve

3. Avoid Putting Too Much in Your Kids' Lunch

Try not to pack too much… it can be overwhelming, especially for little kids. For instance, if you're going to include broccoli, just put in 3 florets.

4. Interactive Lunch

Kids love an interactive lunch, so look for opportunities to include dressing, dips and sauces. If you have apple wedges, you can include almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower butter.

5. Get Your Kids to Help

Think ownership, independence, and empowerment - the more involved kids are in the process, the more excited they will be about their lunch. Try getting them in the kitchen even once a week so they can say, "Hey, I made that!" about something in their lunch box.

6. Prepare Them

Try to tell your kids about their lunch before they leave for school to make them more excited about it. If they went to the store or farmer's market with you, you could say something like, "Remember that watermelon we got? I cut it up for you and put it in your lunch!"

7. Include an Exciting Treat

Deprivation is never a good thing - you have to include some sort of an exciting sweet treat, but you want to avoid processed foods and refined sugar. Fresh fruit is a great idea, fruit leather and freeze-dried fruits.

About Catherine:
catherineLaunched in 2007, Catherine created Weelicious.com as a platform to show parents around the world how easy and beneficial it is to expose children to wholesome and delicious homemade food. Debuting a new recipe or tip on a daily basis, and how-to cooking videos posted every Tuesday, Weelicious is a wealth of information and has quickly developed an international audience on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Visit Weelicious.com to find out how you can purchase your copy of "Weelicious: One Family. One Meal."

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