Here in Hawaii, school starts in less than a week! Hard to believe, huh? Between all of the commotion of buying school supplies and arranging rides to and from school, busy families want something fast and convenient for their kid’s breakfast, lunches, and snacks.
After working with families and children for the better half of the past decade, I can share a few quick and simple recipe ideas. There are a ton of websites out there with great ideas, so I just want to share a couple of my mine. All of these ideas are kid-tested and mother (or father) approved. The best part is, each recipe can be used for pretty much any meal OR snack making them all versatile and convenient. Many of them don’t even need a recipe… You can just look at the picture and recreate it with your own spin. None of them take more than 10 minutes of preparation and most of them less.
Don’t forget to leave your comments below! I’d love to hear what recipe ideas you use that are healthy and convenient for your family.
1. Apple Sammies
The picture pretty much sums up the recipe. Just slice two thin pieces of apple and load the center with your favorite nitrate-free lunch meat and cheese. Super fast and kids love the crunch and sweet factor.
2. Zucchini Roll-Ups
Another pretty simple recipe! Cut long strips of zucchini, brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. When the zucchini is soft, remove from the oven and let cool. Take your favorite lunch meat or smoked salmon and cut it to the size of the zucchini (I just folded mine). Roll it up and take it to go!
3. Cinnamon Pear Popcorn
I popped my popcorn in a brown paper bag (Make Popcorn) which is super easy and free of all the artificial ingredients added to traditional microwave popcorn. I then lightly sprayed the popcorn with avocado oil so it would be sticky. From there I tossed it with sea salt and cinnamon to taste. Add some dried pears (or any other dried fruit) and voila! Perfect snack for after school. Full of fiber too!
4. No-Bake Protein Bars
This recipe is a little more involved but only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. They do need to stay refrigerated but are much healthier than anything you can find at the store.
5. Ham & Asparagus Spears
Another recipe that is as simple as the picture! If you have leftover asparagus, you can just wrap a piece of nitrate-free lunch meat around it and offer it to your kids as part of a nice meal or snack. I tossed my asparagus with a little olive oil and baked it at 350 for about 10 minutes until it was lightly cooked, but still crunchy. To make it fancy, you can wrap it with other things like prosciutto or salami too. Your little one will thank you!
6. Lemon Spritzer
And of course, we need a good fizzy drink to go with our meals and snacks! Instead of soda, fill up your kids’ glass 3/4 of the way with club soda (no calories, just sparkling water!) and top it off with a small pour of 100% lemonade or limeade. It’s refreshing and much lower in sugar so you don’t have to worry if your child wants a second pour! If your child won’t be running around with the cup in his or her hand, I love to reuse small glass jars at the table as a festive alternative to plastic.