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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Editor's Choice: My Lunch Box

Some of my fondest memories from school are, sadly, not of the classroom, but rather in the lunchroom. Trading Little Debbie snack cakes, sipping from my Capri Sun juice bag and feasting on my favorite school foods (Mexican Pizza), left an indelible mark on me. As kids get older it becomes more important to teach them to create healthy meals for themselves and school lunch is no different.

Chronicle Books just introduced the My Lunch Box recipe box filled with 50 recipes easy enough and healthy enough for a child to make for themselves (or with an adult's help as indicated) and eat at school. Some of the main dish recipes (there are 25 total) are new to the lunch box, like the Chicken Chopstick Salad. I liked this recipe because is called for leftover chicken and is a not-so-common meal I think kids would really like. Then there are lunchtime classics reinvented to be something special. For example, the Swirlin’ Twirlin’ Pinwheels are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches rolled up to be more fun to eat. There are also 13 recipes for sides (Hearty Arty artichoke dip) and 12 treats recipes (Zucchini Cupcakes, anyone?).

The recipes aren’t rocket science and there’s some stuff a creative parent would be able to create, but that’s exactly why My Lunch Box is for kids. It gets the creative juices going and helps kids learn to plan meals and take an active role in meal preparation. The kit also comes with blank recipes cards and stickers that say “Mmmmmm …,” “Cheesy,” and "I made this on _______ ,” which I think will make testing the food that much more fun.