Posted by Olivia on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
It’s back to school time! You want your kids to eat well during the school week, so you’re packing their lunches at home. Here are some delicious ways to incorporate olive oil into your kids’ brown bag lunches this school season. They’ll be excited to have homemade versions of the standard school lunch meals.
Make a marinara alternative. Spaghetti is a popular school lunch for kids, and it’s often served in school cafeterias. Make your own kid-friendly pasta by tossing together cooked noodles, olive oil, and a small dollop of marinara or canned tomatoes. Add steamed broccoli or peas to the mix and season lightly. Your kids will love the uncomplicated taste of the homemade pasta, and you’ll love that they’re eating well.
Rethink the dip. Your kids are upping their vegetable intake since you’ve started including baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery sticks in their lunch boxes. To go alongside their crunchy veggies, skip the typical Ranch or cream-based dip. Instead, include a freshly made dip made from canned beans, herbs, and olive oil—such as creamy hummus. These hearty dips will also add some beneficial fiber into the kids’ lunches. If you don’t have time to make fresh hummus, you can always swirl a bit of fresh olive oil into a store-bought variety.
Offer the “oil and balsamic” option for salads. It’s a treat to be offered cruets of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for your salad while dining out, and it’s just as much of a treat to be offered the same while dining at school! If your kids are eating salads—either as a side dish or as their entrée—offer to pack portable dressing cups with olive oil and vinegar instead of store-bought salad dressing. This grown-up type salad will make them feel like they’re one of the adults.
Pack a gourmet popcorn. Your kids will love the seasoned, crunchy popcorn you’ve packed in their school lunches as a change from the usual bag of chips. Make it at home by popping popcorn, drizzling lightly with olive oil, and seasoning to your kids’ preferences. Try mixing up the seasonings for different school days: parmesan cheese, chili powder, cinnamon and brown sugar, or plain sea salt are all tasty topping ideas.