As far as most kids are concerned, there really should be only two food groups.
Pizza. And dessert.
So why not put them both to use for getting your kids to eat a healthy lunch?
It goes something like this:
Kids love DIY lunches. It’s why those lunch kits sold at the grocery store are so popular. But that’s something you can work with.
Last post, I showed you how to turn extra pizza dough into a do-it-yourself lunch kit your kids would love.
Basically, you enjoy family pizza night, but also bake an extra round of plain dough or so, using cookie cutters to cut rounds out of it. Or bake it large and slice it into wedges. Whatever makes your life easier.
The next morning, you just pack the extra cooked dough along with your kid’s favorite pizza toppings on the side. At lunch, the little one gets to assemble mini pizzas.
This approach also works with dessert pizzas – the same, extra cooked dough (try whole-wheat for a healthier take!), but this time, piled high with sweet and fruity toppings, rather than the more traditional cheesy and savory ones.
Where to start? The “sauce” of course. Pack one or more of the following in small, water-tight containers with a spoon for scooping and spreading them on the dough.
- Vanilla Greek yogurt spiked with cinnamon
- Peanut butter (or nut butter alternatives)
- Jams and jellies
- Low-fat sour cream spiked with honey
- Chocolate Greek yogurt
- Whipped cream cheese
Now assemble your toppings. The easiest way to pack these is to get yourself a lunch container with multiple, small compartments. Or get some inexpensive small plastic containers (sold near the disposable food storage containers at the market).
When selecting your toppings, don’t put too much thought into which ingredients go together. Your kids mostly don’t care. And it’s easy to slip in healthier items to ensure this “dessert” is still a nutritious lunch.
- Mini chocolate chips (just a few)
- Fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and sliced strawberries
- Sliced kiwis and pineapple
- Dried banana chips
- Shredded coconut
- Sunflower seeds
- Dried cranberries
- Sliced fresh apples (sprinkled with lemon juice before packing to keep them from turning brown)
Enjoy! Or rather, they will!