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COOK SMARTS Meal Planning by Jess School Lunches for school-age children Prepared August 1, 2012 1.

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Presentation on theme: "COOK SMARTS Meal Planning by Jess School Lunches for school-age children Prepared August 1, 2012 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 COOK SMARTS Meal Planning by Jess School Lunches for school-age children Prepared August 1,

2 Lunchbox Ideas MainAdditional Supplements Choose 2 each week and prepare them ahead of time. Then just assemble the morning of Choose 2 or 3 of these to pack alongside the main in your child’s lunch Meatball “Gyro” Meatballs in pita with lettuce No prep Yogurt cups Bag of nuts or trail mix Bag of pretzels, pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers Cheese Minimal prep Bag of fruit Edamame Hard boiled eggs Sliced veggies (carrots, red peppers) with hummus cup Most prep Tofu fries Sweet potato fries Quick breads / muffins (e.g., zucchini bread, carrot / banana muffins) The Ultimate Quesadilla Spinach, beans, cheese, and salsa Chicken and Rice Burrito A great use for rotisserie chicken Tortellini and Tomato Kebabs Dress up lunch with bamboo skewers Tuna Fish Sandwich Hide some flaxseed for extra fiber 2

3 Meatball Gyros For parents concerned about their picky eaters, this recipe helps hide some healthy ingredients Ingredients for meatballs: Ground meat – 1 lb. Kidney beans – 1 can Sundried tomatoes – 5 to 8 Kale – ½ bunch Egg – 1 Panko – ½ cup Olive oil Kosher salt Optional herbs / spices: parsley, basil, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, Italian seasonings Optional flavorings: mustard, ketchup, salsa, parmesan cheese Ingredients for pita pockets: Pitas – 2 to 3 (white or whole wheat) Lettuce, romaine or iceberg Tools: Cast iron skillet Food processor Steps: ① Preheat oven to 400 degrees ② Place all meatball ingredients in a large food processor. Blend until all ingredients are broken down and mixed together ③ Form into 1 to 1.25 inch balls. I learned from a client to keep a bowl of water handy. Dip your fingers into them before forming each ball. It helps prevent the meat from sticking to your fingers ④ Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Once oil gets hot enough (begins to shimmer and disperse), add meatballs using a pair of tongs. Sear for about 2 minutes and then turn over. Place pan in oven and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes ⑤ When meatballs have cooled, cut them in half and store in an airtight container ⑥ To pack for lunch, toast the pita in the morning, slice in ½ and stuff with the meatballs and lettuce Serve / Substitutes / Supplements: We use kidney beans because they have great iron content but any type of beans will be great Kale can be swapped for other greens Bake the meatballs in a jar of tomato sauce to keep them extra juicy 3

4 The Ultimate Quesadilla Spinach is chopped up and mixed with cheese, making a fun-colored and healthy quesadilla Ingredients: Spinach – 2 cups Mozzarella, grated – 1 cup Black beans – ½ can Pitas – 2 to 3 Salsa or guacamole – 1 cup Tools: Baking sheet Steps: ① Preheat oven to 350 degrees ② Open, rinse, and drain can of black beans ③ Chop up spinach ④ Mix chopped up spinach with with mozzarella, salsa, and black beans ⑤ Open each pita and stuff with the filling ⑥ Place on baking sheet ⑦ Heat for about 10 to 12 minutes ⑧ Let cool and slice into strips (so they can easily be dipped into the salsa / guacamole) and refrigerate ⑨ To pack for lunch, include a small container of salsa or guacamole that they can dip their quesadilla strips into Serve / Substitutes / Supplements: If you don’t think your kids will be happy with the spinach, sub some chopped up tomatoes If you don’t think your kids will care for the beans, include some pieces of chopped up chicken or turkey (cold-cuts are fine too!) 4

5 Chicken and Rice Burrito Kids love chicken and rice, especially when it’s packaged in a convenient hand-held burrito Ingredients: Rice – 1 cup Rotisserie chicken meat - ~ 1 cup Avocado - 1 Tortillas – 3 to 4 Tools: n/a Steps: ① Rinse rice in water 2 to 3 times. This will achieve light and fluffy rice by rinsing away a lot of the residual starch ② Place rice in a >2 quart pot and fill with 2 cups of water. Add a generous pinch of salt, and if you want to more flavor and color, try spooning a few tablespoons of tomato sauce into the water ③ Bring to a boil, and then lower heat, cover, and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 10 to 15 minutes ④ While rice is cooking, cut up desired amount of rotisserie chicken ⑤ Store both rice and chicken in airtight containers ⑥ To make lunch, warm tortilla. Place tortilla up on a piece of aluminum foil. Scoop desired amount of rice and chicken into the bottom of the tortilla. Add some avocado slices ⑦ Wrap burrito by folding the bottom over and then the sides. Roll tight and wrap in tortilla Serve / Substitutes / Supplements: Let your kid pick out the tortilla at the grocery store. There are so many flavors and colors these days, and it’ll help them feel like part of the decision making process 5

6 Tortellini and Tomato Kebabs Use kebabs to make anything a finger food for kids! Ingredients: Store bought tortellini – 8 oz. Cherry tomatoes – ½ pint Tools: Short bamboo skewers – 6 to 12 Steps: ① Cook tortellini according to package instructions ② Rinse cherry tomatoes ③ Store in airtight containers ④ To pack lunch, take 3 to 4 skewers and alternate tortellini and cherry tomatoes Serve / Substitutes / Supplements: Cherry tomatoes are of course simple and easy, but consider using other vegetables. Cubing and roasting eggplant, zucchini, or butternut squash with some olive oil and kosher salt would be great alternatives Instead of tortellini, cubes of tofu can also be used if your child likes tofu. Roast them in an oven at 400 degrees with some soy sauce and olive oil for 15 to 20 minutes. They’ll come out golden brown and crispy on the outside 6

7 Tuna Fish Sandwich There’s a reason why this is an old standby. It’s packed full of nutrients, and it’s a great way to hide some other nutritious ingredients, like flaxseed Ingredients: Chunk light tuna fish – 10 to 12 oz. Mayo or Veganaise – 2 to 4 tbs. Celery – 1 rib Red pepper – 1/2 Milled flaxseed – 1 tbs. Lettuce or cabbage – enough for 2 to 3 sandwiches Bread (e.g., sandwich, flatbread, pita) – enough for 2 to 3 sandwiches Tools: n/a Steps: ① Open and drain tuna ② Dice celery and red pepper ③ Mix tuna, mayo / veganaise, celery, red pepper, and flaxseed together. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper ④ Wash and dry enough lettuce for 2 to 3 sandwiches ⑤ Refrigerate in an airtight container ⑥ To pack lunch, toast up bread. Place a dry piece of lettuce / cabbage onto bread and then scoop tuna salad onto greens. Place another layer of dry lettuce / cabbage on top of tuna salad and then close with second piece of bread. The dry lettuce / cabbage will prevent the tuna salad from getting the bread soggy before lunchtime Serve / Substitutes / Supplements: You can make this an open-face melt. Just place in toaster oven the morning of, and melt cheese over the tuna salad This can also be spooned over pasta and covered in cheese for a tuna pasta casserole. This can be a lunch or a dinner 7

8 Additional Resources What’s in Your Lunchbox? By COOK + SMARTS in the Palo Alto Menlo Park Parent’s Club newsletter What’s in Your Lunchbox? How to keep school lunches safe from The Food Safety Department How to keep school lunches safe LunchBots: Safe lunchtime containers LunchBots Laptop Lunches: Bento box lunch containers Laptop Lunches MOMables: School lunch meal plan subscription service MOMables NatureBox: Healthy snacks delivered to your door every month NatureBox 8


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