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September 2003 Issue
Fast and Easy Snacks and Lunches
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Back-to-school time may bring a sigh of relief from frazzled parents and a different kind of sigh altogether for youngsters, but it's always a time to think about how to properly fuel those growing, learning bodies. Whether it's a sack lunch at school or something yummy to munch on at home, it's important to consider foods that are nutritious, easy-to-make and easy to carry with busy hands. Here are some recipes to cover lunches and snacks. Of course, don't forget the most important meal of the day! Make sure everyone starts the day with a healthy breakfast and you'll already have tackled one of the biggest challenges.

For Lunches:


Mini Pizzas

Using a pita flat makes these pizzas extra-quick to put together. Get your kids involved by having them help top each pizza differently.
  • 4 T. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 pita flats
  • Toppings: grated cheese, pepperoni, sliced ham, olives, roasted peppers, etc.
Combine the tomato paste and seasoning in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture on each of the pita flats. Top according to your child's tastes and toast in a toaster oven at a medium setting for 3-5 minutes or until the flat is crispy and the toppings are warm. Serve warm or cold.
  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes


Tuna Pockets

Have your kids help you with these portable sandwiches by having them spoon the filling into the pita pockets.
  • 5 oz. drained, flaked tuna
  • 3 T. mayo -- I like to use the sun-dried tomato variety
  • 1 T. finely diced celery
  • 1 T. finely diced dill pickle
  • 2 pocket pitas
Combine the tuna, mayo, celery and pickle in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine. Carefully spoon the mixture evenly into the pocket pitas. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill before eating.
  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 8 minutes


Smoked Turkey Grinders

For the more sophisticated palates out there, these sandwiches go beyond the routine PB&J. Enjoy them with your favorite chips.
  • 2 T. grainy mustard
  • 2 hard rolls
  • 1 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 6 oz. deli smoked turkey
  • 1 oz. baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 ripe tomato
Spread the mustard evenly on one half of the 2 hard rolls. Spread the goat cheese evenly on the other half of each hard roll. Arrange the turkey, spinach and tomato on each roll and press the rolls closed over the fillings. Wrap the sandwiches tightly in plastic wrap and chill before eating.
  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 8 minutes

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