Tag: Back to School

No Fridge Necessary: 5 Ways to a Fresher Lunchbox

by in Recipes, August 19th, 2015

With another summer heading toward its end, it’s time to start thinking about lunchbox-friendly foods — namely, foods that can withstand a morning without refrigeration. Insulated lunchboxes do their part to keep meals fresh, as do ice packs. But ice packs are heavy, and they tend to go missing. A few judiciously frozen items can do double duty, keeping your lunchbox cold while slowly thawing in time to eat. Frozen water bottles, or frozen packs of applesauce or yogurt, should do the trick. But as a general rule, it’s best to steer clear of meat and dairy if you can’t guarantee refrigeration. Just in time for another school year, here are some no-fridge foods that kids — and adults — can look forward to opening.

Nuts, Berries and Seeds
Lunchtime feels eons away without a midmorning snack to hold you over, and trail mixes, granola bars and cereal treats are all tasty fuel sources. Food Network Kitchen’s Honey-Nut Cereal Treats (pictured at top) are loaded with protein and fiber in the form of peanuts and almonds. If your kids appreciate sweet and chewy dried fruits, try Claire Robinson’s easy Pumpkin Seed-Dried Cherry Trail Mix. Alton Brown’s classic rendition of crunchy Granola Bars is another snack you can feel good about packing. This lower-calorie option studded with sliced almonds, dried apricots and berries. Before you pack any of these in your child’s lunchbox, err on the side of caution and make sure no one in the class has a nut allergy.

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12 Sandwiches Your Kids Won’t Swap in the Lunch Room

by in Recipes, August 14th, 2015

When you ship your little ones off to school with well-stocked lunchboxes, the last thing you want to worry about is whether they’re trading in those painstakingly crafted meals for someone else’s puddings. Start the new school year right by making better-than-basic sandwiches that kids will be proud to tote and eager to chow down on come lunchtime. They can even help make some of the recipes — lessening your burden, and ensuring they aren’t subsisting on a boxed meal from some other mom’s pantry.

Pastrami Football Finger Sandwiches (shown above)
Your little athlete will love these bite-size, football-shaped sandwiches filled with pastrami and a cheesy-pepper mixture. You might want to toss some extra finger sandwiches into the lunchbox — his fellow linebackers might intercept a few.

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9 Fresh Ideas for Winter School Lunches

by in Family, January 16th, 2015

Sandwiches on a StickOK, I admit it: I was a little relieved when school started again after the winter break. The house will be quiet again, I thought to myself. The house will be clean again. (In both cases, the “at least for a little while” part is implied, but you parents knew that.) In the midst of all this reflection, though, I forgot about something: packing lunches.

Without the allure of new lunchboxes, packing lunch this time of year can get tedious, so we’re stepping it up. Here are a few of our favorite ideas, including new things to try ourselves.

1. Embrace the Skewer: Chop up your kids’ favorite sub-style sandwich ingredients into big bites, then thread them onto a bamboo skewer, like what’s pictured above.

2. Amp Up Your Cheese and Crackers: Instead of a sandwich, serve cheese and crackers, but do it antipasto style by tucking in a couple of cheeses, one favorite and one new variety. Then add turkey lunchmeat and a couple of slices of salami.

3. Serve Soup: What’s more comforting than a thermos of hot homemade soup? We’re trying this 10-Minute Tomato Soup recipe ourselves. (P.S. Send a few crackers to add on the spot.)

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9 After-School Snacks: From Super Simple to Deliciously Decadent

by in Family, September 22nd, 2014

9 After-School SnacksKids may be ravenous when they come home from school, but not all kids’ snacks are created equal. From easy-to-make treats to more-of-a-commitment (and totally worth it) eats, these are our favorite after-school snacks — not too filling but satisfying enough to hold even the hungriest kids over until dinnertime.

Super Simple:

Oatmeal-Chocolate Snack Cakes: Just sweet enough to satisfy, these cakey bars are full of hearty whole oats. Bonus: The recipe is so simple that kids can make a big batch themselves to enjoy all week long.

Peaches and Creamsicles: Even though school’s back in session, most afternoons are still warm enough to welcome a homemade Popsicle. Our favorite hot-weather treat is made with fresh peaches (or strawberries), pure vanilla and just a bit of rich and creamy half-and-half.

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12 Peanut Butter for Dessert Recipes

by in Recipes, September 16th, 2014

Peanut Butter for DessertIt’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family, and now it’s time for the final (and best) part of the day: dessert. And don’t forget to check out our breakfast, lunch and dinner posts.

1. These bite-size Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pops (pictured above) are the perfect sweet snacks for that mid-afternoon slump.

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Food-Inspired Notebooks for Back-to-School

by in Product Reviews, September 15th, 2014

Food-Inspired Notebooks for Back-to-SchoolI don’t believe food should be contained in the cafeteria. I think it should be brought to class — in the form of notebooks! So I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite fruit-, sugar- and treat-inspired notebooks (like the ones above from Palas Pandiras) that’ll make you (or your kids) hungry for knowledge.

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7 Lunchbox Accessories to Pack the Best Lunches Ever

by in Family, September 15th, 2014

7 Lunchbox Accessories to Pack the Best Lunches EverPacking a school lunch has a bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to be so hard — and the results can be very sweet. Here are a few of my favorite gadgets that easily make all the difference between a so-so lunch that comes home half-eaten and a special little treat kids can’t resist.

1. Bento Boxes: It’s simple to pack a balanced lunch when you have several compartments to fill with something different. Planet Box is the most-expensive line, but with a stainless-steel box that comes in a cushy (and customizable) case, it’s hard to beat. Our favorite plastic (and more affordable) version is EasyLunchboxes, which are BPA-free and also come with cooler bags in every shade of the rainbow.

2. Our Favorite Water Bottles: Oh, the leaky water bottles. If I could have a refund for all the sippy cups, water bottles and novelty glasses we’ve bought for our brood, college would be paid for already. Along the way I’ve figured it out. This is the only kind of water bottle we’ll buy going forward: The Bubba bottle is made of stainless steel, isn’t overpriced, is dishwasher-safe and hasn’t leaked a drop yet.

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7 Peanut Butter for Dinner Recipes

by in Recipes, September 10th, 2014

Peanut Butter for DinnerIt’s time to pack the kids up for school again, and that means making mounds of school lunches. But PB&J sandwiches can take you only so far. For a new twist on a classic ingredient that kids and adults love, look no further than the Peanut Butter series on FN Dish. For the next two weeks, we’ll be giving you inventive recipes that let you incorporate peanut butter into all your meals — from breakfast to dessert — for the entire family.

Here are some comforting dinner ideas for those cold fall nights. And don’t forget to look back at our breakfast and lunch recipes here.

1. Peanut butter serves as the perfect marinade in this Pork Chops with Pineapple Relish recipe (pictured above).

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New-School Cookie Jar

by in Family, Recipes, September 9th, 2014

New-School Cookie JarNow that school is back in session, we’re bringing back an old-school concept — the cookie jar — and giving it a fresh new look and taste. Have fun baking a few batches of homemade cookies over the weekend and store them in airtight containers or jars for the kids to select an after-school sweet. These bright, candy-adorned treats from Food Network chefs appeal to the child in us all. The kids won’t be the only ones trying to sneak them from the cookie jar (a high shelf helps!).

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4 Back-to-School Breakfast Shortcuts

by in Family, September 8th, 2014

4 Back-to-School Breakfast ShortcutsFrom Our Sponsor Toaster Strudel™

Ready or not, whether you welcome or dread it, it’s here. It’s time to get back into the school routine. Most of us need all the help we can get with that, and no one needs the guilt that comes with worrying if your kids are eating well before starting their busy days. Here are four ideas to get them out the door with full stomachs:

Shortcut No. 1: Make the most of your limited time in the morning by thinking about breakfast when you’re cooking dinner the night before. Cook extra chicken, ham, bacon or steak for additional, filling protein to add to scrambled eggs or an omelet the next morning.

Shortcut No. 2: If you’re having a breakfast-for-dinner night, double the pancake or waffle recipe and freeze the leftovers (be sure to let them cool first). Another breakfast is down with just a quick toaster or skillet reheating.

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