The Great School Lunch Debate

And it's back to school
Funny meatball sandwich with vegetables, cheese and lettuce

In some areas the debate rages on, and in other areas kids have no choice: Homemade lunches aren’t allowed, and students must eat what’s plopped down on their trays.

In those schools where home-packed lunches are still permitted – and where it could well stack up really favorably in terms of taste appeal and nutritional value against something that comes from a vending machine – parents can opt for convenience or opt for known quality. A good read on the subject is at

Lots of kids these days have allergies – you can throw a dart and hit an answer as to why this is happening, but the fact remains there are nut/gluten/lactose/food dye/etc./etc./etc. sensitivities running rampant. So in addition to known quality in the home-packed lunch, there’s also that level or assurance the kiddo won’t be ingesting something potentially dangerous.

You can also, as a parent, have some control over sugars and calories. Granted, kids will trade – but if you’re proactive in the matter, you have a lot more leverage than with a cafeteria lunch. Plus, nine times out of 10 you’ll be saving money – AND you have the opportunity to sneak in some hugs and smooches via notes or favorite cookies or a baby gouda. Really.

Here are a couple of homemade lunch recipes that we just had to share. If you don’t know who Elvis was and why the first one is called an Elvis Burrito, you owe it to yourself and your offspring to research and share the story. It’s funny, and the King was onto something with the flavor combo. 

The Elvis Burrito

Ingredients and directions in one fell swoop:

Spread peanut butter on a toasted whole-wheat wrap, then sprinkle with crumbled bacon and drizzle with honey. Place a whole banana at the edge of the wrap, then roll, pressing gently to break the banana and form a cylinder shape. Or, slice the banana, scatter, and roll. Enjoy!

This next one combines love with convenience.

Meatball Sandwich

Ingredients and directions: Warm frozen meatballs in jarred tomato sauce and transfer to a wide-mouth thermos. Place a slice of provolone cheese in a whole wheat hamburger bun for assembly at lunch.

Find more at

Here’s a cute winter snack that lets you have fun with your child while the child actually consumes healthy stuff. Win/win.

Cottage Cheese SnowmenFunny Christmas Breakfast For Child


Cottage cheese


Cottage Cheese Snowman


Slice of toasted bread

Celery stalk

Ice cream scoop and melon ball scoopers (for graduated body size)


Place two or three scoops of cottage cheese on a salad plate.

Place the raisins to create buttons and eyes.

Cut a small piece of carrot for the nose and a slice of celery for the mouth.

The leafy part of a celery stalk can be adder for arms, and the hat is cut from the toast.

More ideas at

This one reminds us of Mom and Nana. And maybe some cereal?

Baked Apple Cinnamon Crisps


2 Red Delicious or green Granny Smith apples

Cinnamon for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees
  2. Line a large baking tray with parchment
  3. Core the apples and slice then up into thin pieces about 1/8 inch thick. If you go thinner, the slices will be crisper, but it’s all good.
  4. Place the apples on the lined baking tray
  5. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon
  6. Bake the apples on the lowest tray in your oven for 25 minutes
  7. Turn the apples and bake for another 25 minutes but keep watching so they don’t burn.

Remove and let cool. Store any leftovers in a lidded container.

One more site for good measure – now get yourself going in this New Year!


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