Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles
Everyone knows that peanut butter and jelly is the old standby. It's so old, however, that kids might not get excited about a PB&J sandwich for lunch. Try putting the PB&J on waffles -- frozen or homemade -- and your kid will see this old favorite in a new light.
Peanut Butter on Banana Bread
Another way to jazz up the old standby is to spread peanut butter on banana bread.
Here's an easy banana bread recipe:
3 large ripe bananas
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Mash the bananas with a fork. Stir the flour and sugar together and mix with the bananas, oil, and eggs. Fold in the nuts, if desired. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees, until golden brown.
Add crunch and fiber to your kid's lunch by including a bag of this nutty snack mix. This granola also makes a great after-school treat, especially when blended in with vanilla yogurt.
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups uncooked, rolled oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a 15-by-10-inch jelly roll pan. Stir in the brown sugar until combined, then stir in the oats, almonds, and walnuts. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the pan. Bake the granola for 12 to 15 minutes or until it is golden brown, stirring twice during the baking process. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool. When the mixture is completely cool, stir in the raisins, dates, apricots, and chocolate chips. Store it in an airtight container. Makes about 5 1/2 cups.
Ants on a Log
This is a good way to sneak healthy foods into your kid's lunch box. Tell her that you have packed something exciting in her lunch -- something you found in the back yard. That'll get her curious mind working. Cut celery in 3" sticks and spread peanut butter it its groove. Place 4-5 raisins (the ants) on the peanut butter. Put them in a plastic, airtight box with a note on it: "Ants on a log. Open with caution."
Children can help prepare this treat, press it into the baking pan, and cut it into chewy bars.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the dates with the water for about 7 minutes or until they are softened. Remove the pan from the heat and cool. Stir in the lemon juice. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, walnuts, and salt.
1 package (8 oz.) chopped dates
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed
1 1/2 cups uncooked, rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
In another large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Gradually stir in the oat mixture, reserving 1 cup of it. Firmly press the remaining mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the dates evenly over the top. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the reserved oat mixture and lightly press it using your fingertips. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just starting to brown. Let cool, then cut into bars. Makes 16 squares.
Is it a hotdog or a bologna sandwich? Your child will love this mix.
1 tsp. mustard
1 slice bologna (or turkey bologna)
1 slice American cheese
1 hot dog bun
Spread the mustard onto the slice of bologna. Top with a slice of cheese and roll them together. Place the roll in the hot dog bun and wrap it in aluminum foil. Makes 1 serving.