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Christmas break is over and it is time to kick back into gear! I have been taking things pretty easy with work the past few weeks, and Zoey hasn’t been doing any school. But now we are ready to get back into action. Since we have started homeschooling more with Zoey this year I have continued to work full time, that means I am always on the look out for easy lunch solutions that don’t interrupt our day too much.
Zoey usually rates meals on how fun they are. She loves creative play and playing pretend with her ‘tiny toys’, and food has to fall into that fun realm for her. Eating food just for the sake of eating is considered boring. It is so much different than her brother Zander, who is entertained by food itself. He is only one year and he already eats more than his older sister… So with school lunches I am always trying to think of ways to make things more exciting for Zoey, to help motivate her to get some food in that belly and fuel her day.
One thing I have found really helps is incorporating elements of creativity and play into her meal. This sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. It actually makes my life easier! For example, she loves it when I do ‘make your own sandwich day’. I give her the bread and then fill up the compartments on her plate with different toppings. I put things like sliced cheese, Smucker’s® Strawberry Preserves, butter, honey, Smucker’s® Concord Grape Jam, mayo (sounds weird, I know, but she loves it…), Jif Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter, etc. Then I let her put together her own sandwiches. Lunch time is so fun for Zoey when I do this, and it is easy since I technically don’t have to make anything.
Another thing that Zoey absolutely loves at lunch time is miniature food, or ‘tiny food’ as she calls it. I make her tiny PB&J sandwiches and pair them with mini carrots and raisins, etc. According to her, tiny food tastes a lot better than ‘big food’… I am not sure how accurate that is, but I will go with it if it helps her eat her lunch! Read below to see how I put together a mini school lunch for my mini me.
Mini PB&J Lunch Recipe
Zoey absolutely loves mini lunches, so this is something I make for her ALL the time. You can get all the ingredients you need at ShopRite!
What you need:
– Smucker’s® Strawberry Preserves
– Smucker’s® Concord Grape Jam
– Jif Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter (Use this ibotta offer to get $.50 off each Jif and Smucker’s product, bonus $1 if you buy both)
– Mini Caraway Rye Loaf or Loaf of Fresh French Bread
– Mini Carrots
– Mini Raisins
1. If you are using a loaf of french bread slice it into 8 mini slices of bread. If you are using the mini caraway rye loaf skip to the next step.
2. Lay out 8 slices of bread. Spread half of them with Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter. Spread two of them with Smucker’s® Concord Grape Jam and the last two with Smucker’s® Strawberry Preserves.
3. Put together your tiny sandwiches and pack them into a lunch container that is divided into compartments.
4. In the other compartments add the rest of the miniature snacks for your little person. I put mini carrots, raisins and anything else small Zoey might like to munch on at lunch. You could add cubes of cheese, blueberries, etc.
5. Pack it up and you are all set to go.
This fun lunch is the perfect back to school snack to brighten your kids day! Jif has that familiar, great taste that kids love, and Smucker’s has the perfect touch of sweetness, thanks to the fact that it is made with real fruit. There couldn’t be a better combo for a delicious lunch for littles. It can be difficult returning to school after the festivities of the holiday season, but simple things, like a special lunch, can make it easier.
What is your kid’s favorite back to school lunch?
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Zoey’s Dress: Little Adventures