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Back-to-School with Weelicious Lunches – for You and Your Children

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

With fall quickly approaching and some school bells already ringing, it’s time to get back to thinking about what to pack for your kids’ lunch. Your third grader might not give the food in his lunch box much thought, but as a parent, many considerations probably cross your mind when you’re figuring out what to prepare each day. What will my picky daughter actually eat? Will this meal sustain my active son all day? Can my kindergartener eat this alone? Does this lunch travel easily? Is it healthy?

Then comes one of the most important questions: Can I make this lunch easily the night before or during the morning madness and get myself and the kids out the door in time to catch the bus?

Fortunately, Catherine McCord of Weelicious is coming out with a new book to help you figure it all out. “Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More than 160 Happier Meals” gives you suggestions that fit the bill for easy-to-prepare, healthy food that your children will actually enjoy eating!

While these meals are targeted for children, the best part is that they are delicious for adults, too, and will easily double as lunch for you.

We were so eager to see what wonderful new recipes Catherine had created for her new book that she gave us a sneak peek at two of her favorites – Veggie Tortilla Roll-Ups and Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars – and we’re thrilled to share them with you.

Don’t forget to pre-order Catherine’s book, which comes out Tuesday, Sept. 3!

Veggie Tortilla Roll-Ups (makes four)

Tortilla roll-ups are an easy way to pack veggies and protein into lunch – and it’s easy to substitute ingredients if your kids have different food preferences. Catherine’s recipe suggestion is a delicious combination, but feel free to include goat cheese or other veggies such as shredded beets, bell peppers or sprouts.

Ingredients

½ cup hummus

4 whole-wheat tortillas

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)

1 avocado, sliced 

 

Directions

1.     Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on each tortilla, taking care to cover the edges since the hummus will act as a glue to hold the wrap together.

2.     Sprinkle ¼ cup of the grated carrots along the near edge of each tortilla, and lay a fourth of the avocado slices on top of the carrots.

3.     Roll up, slice in half diagonally and serve. 

 

 

Whole Grain Fruit-Filled bars (makes 16)

Almost everyone loves a good soft-grain or granola bar – particularly as an afternoon snack or last-minute breakfast. But they’re pricey and often full of not-so-healthy ingredients, which is why we love this recipe to make our own. While it takes slightly more effort than picking up a box at the grocery store, these bars are significantly less expensive, healthier and just as fun to eat!

 

 

Ingredients

1½ cups whole-wheat flour

1½ cups quick cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold, unsalted butter, chopped into ½-inch cubes

2 tablespoons cold water

¾ cup fruit preserves

parchment paper

 

 

Directions

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2.     In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds.

3.     Add the butter and cold water and pulse until the dough holds together when pressed.

4.     Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, line it with parchment paper and grease the paper.

5.     Divide the dough mixture in half and press half into the prepared baking dish, using the back of a spatula to press down evenly.

6.     Spread the preserves evenly on top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly on top of the preserves and gently press down with the back of a spatula.

7.     Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

8.     Cool, cut into 1½ x 4-inch bars and serve.

Tip: Bars can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or kept refrigerated for up to a week.

For more fun lunch ideas, be sure to check out “Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More than 160 Happier Meals.”

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