There’s only one word I really dread when it comes to back to school and that’s ‘Lunch.’ Every night I stand in front of 4 lunch kits and I struggle to figure out what to put in them. One kid likes to eat only organic, the others wish they could have PB&J every day (which is a challenge unto itself in a peanut-free school), so each and every night I need to come up with something that will make them all happy.

This year I’m getting a jump on the lunch dilemma by making a list of creative lunches long before I have to start packing them. That way I can get the ingredients ready and pick up the right lunch kits to keep everything ready to eat when they are.

Pizza Scrolls

Who doesn’t love pizza? But a piece of cold pizza isn’t exactly appetizing come lunch time, so these cute pizza scrolls are a great substitute. They’re good hot or cold, and you can tell the kids they’re pizza treasure maps.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small red pepper, chopped finely
  • 100 g ham or 100 g salami, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup mozza cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 200.

Combine the chopped capsicum, ham and cheese in bowl

Spread the sauce onto each sheet of pastry, leaving a 2cm border along one side, and sprinkle the capsicum mixture over the top.

Roll up the pastry to enclose the filling (like a swiss roll), leaving the plain edge until last.

Brush the edge lightly with water and fold to seal.

Cut each roll into 1cm rounds (use serrated bread knife) and place on lined oven trays.

Bake for 20 min or until golden.

Ants on a log

 A classic way to get a bit of veggie into your kids, the cream cheese really livens up the taste of the celery.

Ingredients:

  • celery stalks, each cut into 3 pieces 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese 
  • 1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup yogurt covered raisins

 

Directions

Fill celery with cream cheese spread and smooth with knife

Add a row of raisins for the “ants.”

Lunch Box Quesadillas

Lunch time, dinner time, or anytime, kids love quesadillas. If your kids aren’t pepperoni fans, you can sub chopped up chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 -8 inches tortillas 
  • 3 tablespoons spaghetti sauce or 3 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozza cheese
  • 8 slices pepperoni

 

Directions

These are made just like any other quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich.

Spray the bottom of a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and preheat

When the pan is fairly hot place 1 Flour Tortilla in the pan fairly quickly

Add a layer of Pepperoni (and anything else you like).

Top with shredded cheese.

Top it off with the 2nd Flour Tortilla.

Once cooled slice in 1/4 like a pizza and wrap snugly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Angry Birds Bento Box

My kids love to go out for bento boxes, and I’m positive this do-it-yourself Angry Birds Bento will be a popular choice for lunchtime this year.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons cooked japanese-style rice
  • 2 crabsticks
  • 1/2 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 1 sheet seaweed
  • 1 teaspoon salt water
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon mayo 
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 sheet plastic wrap

 

Directions

Mash hard-boiled egg & set aside. Blanch crabmeat in boiling water & drain. Dice it & mix with egg, mayo & pepper.

Mix Ketchup into 2 tbsp of rice. Using fingers, spread some salt water onto cling wrap. Put 2 tbsp of rice onto palm & top with crabmeat mixture.

 Make into a ball. Add 1 tbsp of white rice to make the bottom of the Red Bird. Press well to combine the two.

Once you’re done, start cutting out the eyes by using Cheese & seaweed, then make the crown/beak using Carrots.

 
Best Buy has a lunch kit for every type of kid
 
Pick up a backpack or a backpack/lunckit combo

 

Need some great back to school snack ideas? All you need are blueberries