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Healthy lunches for kids require organization

As the school year nears, plan now so kids don't get tired of the same old options.

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Here are some ideas for lunch.

Shake-up salads are easy. Simply layer salad ingredients in a plastic container that your child can shake up when he or she is ready to eat.


1/2 cup drained mandarin oranges

1/3 cup shredded cooked chicken breast

1/3 cup steamed broccoli

1/4 cup chow mein noodles


Layer ingredients in plastic container and shake when ready to eat.



1/4 cup pizza sauce

1 cup cooked elbow macaroni

1/3 cup defrosted frozen peas and carrots

1/4 cup diced mozzarella cheese


Layer ingredients in plastic container and shake when ready to eat.



1/4 cup salsa

1/3 cup rinsed black beans

3/4 cup chopped lettuce

1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 cup baked tortilla chips, broken


Layer ingredients in plastic container and shake when ready to eat.

—From Parents Magazine



1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon dried cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt


Combine ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with pita bread or pita chips.

—From Parents Magazine


This recipe, found on Pinterest, may be made in advance, and the muffins can be stored in the freezer.


1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

4 turkey hot dogs, cut into 5 pieces


Prepare muffin mix according to package instructions. Grease 20 slots in a mini-muffin tin and spoon a small amount into the bottom of each.

Place a piece of hot dog on top of muffin batter. Cover with a spoonful of muffin batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Makes 20 muffins.


Here’s a recipe we found on several blogs. Some posts suggest using melted frosting in place of the melted chocolate. Heat the frosting in the microwave in 15- to 20-second intervals until desired consistency and mix with cereal in place of melted white chocolate.


1 cup white chocolate chips or 10 ounces vanilla-flavored almond bark

2 tablespoons cream cheese

2 tablespoons milk

5 cups Chex cereal (rice or corn)

1 cup boxed red velvet cake mix (or any flavor)

1/2 cup powdered sugar


Make a double boiler with a pot filled with an inch or so of water, and a glass bowl that fits inside the pot; the bottom should not touch the water. Turn heat to medium.

Place white chocolate chips or almond bark in bowl; stir until melted.

Turn off heat and add cream cheese and milk. Stir until cream cheese is melted and everything is combined. Stir in cereal until fully coated.

In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together cake mix and powdered sugar. Transfer cereal to a plastic container, top with cake mix and place lid on container. Shake until mixture is combined.


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