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If your kids are anything like mine, they have their picky eating periods + I think they get bored with the same old lunches.
Most of us are returning to school tomorrow after the holidays so here are some ideas from Do You Bake? + Crave It to inspire some yummier + more exciting lunches in 2019.
1. Berries + Cream Sandwich
Create a delicious medley of sweet and savory for a perfect lunch time meal. When your kiddos don’t feel like a meat sandwich, substitute it with a delicious berry + cream filling. Pair a creamy berry sandwich with sliced vegetables such as celery, cucumbers or peppers. Add slices of meat for easy snacking. For a small sweet, bake up mini chocolate cupcakes topped with a delicious dark chocolate frosting.
Prep 101: The Make Ahead Prep!
#2 : Make your Cream Cheese Filling! Make up a batch of Do You Bake? Love that Lemon Cheese Ball Mix (One 8-oz brick of cream cheese + 1 package of mix) or Blueberry Blast Cheese Ball Mix (One 8-oz brick of cream cheese + 1 package of mix) + refrigerate until you are ready to build your sandwich!
#3 : Make your Do You Bake? Gluten Free Cheeky Chocolate Cupcakes ahead of time! Make mini cupcakes for little one + two bite dessert treats for your lunch.
FREEZER NOTES :
Both Pumpernickel & EZ Country White Bread freeze great! Simply slice your loaf into perfect lunch portions + freeze your sliced loaf in a freezer ready zip top bag. Remove slices of bread as needed.
Gluten free cheeky chocolate cupcakes freeze well! Simply frost your mini cupcakes, place them on a sheet pan + pop them into the freezer until frozen. Remove from sheet pan + pop your mini cupcakes in freezer ready zip top bags. Remove individual frosted cupcakes when ready to use!
Build Your Berries + Cream Sandwich
#1 : Cut 2 slices of bread + smear on a little of your softened cream cheese dip (about 1 – 2 tablespoons per slice of bread). Top one slice of bread with your favorite sliced berries (Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries) + place the second slice of bread on top. Cut into triangles or squares. Add to one compartment of your bento box.
#2 : Ready to make your meal! Take your bento box, lunch box, compartment sections + add:
- Your YUMMY Berries + Cream Sandwich to one compartment
- Slices of your favorite lunch meat with mini tomatoes in a separate compartment (optional), add pickle spears + olives (optional)
- A few of your mini chocolate cupcakes in another compartment
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of strips of vegetables such as carrots, celery + peppers
2. Dunkin’ Nuggets
This lunch is a fun, healthy + delicious option when your kiddos don’t feel like eating another sandwich. Much of this lunchbox can be made ahead of time, frozen + pulled out at future dates for perfectly portioned lunchbox options. Serve with fresh fruit, vegetables + a delicious dipping sauce for a great balance of flavors + textures.
Prep 101 – Make Ahead Options
#1 : Make the chicken nuggets: Follow the package directions on the box of nuggets. Simply cool your cooked nuggets completely + freeze in zip top bags into individual portion sizes.
#3 : Make your Dunk the Chunks Cookies: Follow the package directions on the box of Do You Bake? Dunk the Chunks Cookies mix. These make great snacks + desserts as well. There will be plenty leftover. You can freeze them in packages of twos, threes or fours + pull them out as you plan to build your lunchboxes.
Time To Make Your Lunchbox!
#1 : Take your bento box or lunchbox + add the following to your different compartments:
- Chicken nuggets in one compartment
- In your next compartment, place fresh vegetables such as carrot sticks or celery sticks accompanied by your favorite nuggets ‘n’ veggie dipping sauce (honey mustard, ranch + others make perfect pairings)
- In a third compartment grab a perfect portion of your favorite fruit such as grapes, orange segments or berries
- Finally in your last compartment add a few Dunk the Chunks Cookies for YUMMY sweet satisfying snacking
3. Lunchbox Fiesta Taco Bowls
Create mini taco bowls for a perfect lunch time meal. These are great make ahead lunches on the weekend.
#1 : Use Chicken or ground beef (1 pound boneless/skinless chicken sliced thin or beef) + saute in 1 – 2 Tablespoons of Do You Bake? Fiesta Seasoning + a teaspoon of vegetable oil or a box of Enchilada dip with a sprinkle of salt (to taste).
Let cool, add to a container + refrigerate until ready for your lunch packing. You can freeze your cooked meat in 1/2 cup portions for future taco bowl lunches.
#2 : Make Your taco bowls: Take 8 – 10″ flour tortillas + cut them in quarters. Place your quarter size pieces into a muffin tin + mould them around the tin. Prick the bottom with a fork so they don’t bubble up. Bake in your preheated oven (350F) for about 10 – 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool + pop out of your muffin tins.
You can store your cups in a sealed plastic bag in a dry location for up to 2 weeks. They also store perfectly in the freezer for up to a month
#3 : Ready to make your meal! Take your bento box, lunch box, compartment sections + add:
- 3 – 4 tortilla bowls in one compartment
- 1/2 cup of your meat in another section
- 1 ounce of shredded cheese in another section
- 1/4 cup of shredded lettuce, strips of peppers + other fun fresh vegetables
- Add 1/2 cup of chopped fruit for dessert (strawberries as shown)
To get extra fancy, pick up a few dip cups with lids + add in a couple tablespoons of sour cream, guacamole or salsa.
These are healthy, make ahead lunches that can also be made, frozen + enjoyed over the course of a month when you are short on time.
4. Protein-Packed Tuna Lunch
Looking to pack some protein and nutrition into your kiddos’ lunch? A tuna salad lunchbox does it for you! From a perfect medley of nuts to a healthy side of fruit + a perfect protein packed sandwich, your child will stay satisfied throughout the day.
#1 : Use 4oz of tuna per sandwich for a perfect amount of protein. Add 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt, pinch of salt + 1/2 of a tablespoon each of Do You Bake? For The Love of Garlic + Do You Bake? Chive ‘n’ Onion Seasoning per every 4oz of tuna. Chop additional onion, celery or scallions into your salad, as desired. Cover + refrigerate until you are ready to build your lunchbox.
#2 : Ready to make your meal! Take your bento box or lunch box, compartment sections + add:
- 1 Tuna Sandwich using your favorite Sandwich Bread (Try EZ Country White Yeast Bread). Scoop 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your tuna salad onto one side of the bread + spread right to the edges. Top with lettuce + tomato (optional). Add your second slice + cut along the diagonal or through the middle. Place your sandwich in one of the compartments
- Sliced Fruit in another compartment (add a little lemon juice or brush on a little honey + water mixture to preserve the pretty look of your fruit until you are ready to enjoy!)
- 1 package of Do You Bake? Powerhouse Nut Mix, a perfect medley of fruit + nuts!
These are sure to be crowd pleasers + up your lunch game! Your kiddos will thank you for it.