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10 Simple Lunchbox Swaps

Be honest, packing lunches once again after the holiday can sometimes feel like climbing Mt. Everest.  Good news is you don’t have to be a kitchen wunderkind to make a better lunchbox for your child.  We’ve put together ten simple swaps to get you on the right path for the New Year.

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Cooking Swap:  Swap your kitchen cooking stress for repurposed leftovers!  No need to spend time creating new ideas when you can dress yesterday’s for an enticing new meal.  For a hearty rice bowl, grab your rice from last night and add veggies like edamame and pepper along with any leftover chicken and a drizzle of sesame dressing!

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Pizza Swap.  What kid doesn’t love pizza?  For a better lunch, swap that greasy pizza for fresher lunchbox-sized pizzas!  These mini pizzas only look fancy—they actually use ingredients already in your fridge and can be made in 15 minutes or less.  Cut out circles of whole wheat tortilla using a cookie cutter and place one circle in each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin.  Add a tablespoon of pasta sauce, tablespoon of cheese, and your toppings of choice.  Bake at 425˚F for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Let pizzas cool and then pack!

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Veggie Swap.  Picky eaters not eating their veggies?   Swap the often-shunned raw vegetables for cooked vegetables mixed in kid-favorites like pasta!  We recommend peas in ravioli or broccoli in mac & cheese, but the options are endless.  You won’t have to worry about containers of veggies coming back home to you uneaten, because these meals will be gobbled up with delight!

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Wrap Swap.  Weary of the usual wrap?  Swap it for tortilla sushi!  These bite-sized rolls not only make a great presentation, they’re also easier for kids to eat.  To try your hand at these tightly wrap up turkey, cheese, and lettuce in a tortilla, and then cut into small sections and secure each piece with a toothpick.

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Hotdog Swap: Leftover buns? Swap out the traditional hotdog for Applegate Smoked Turkey Breast, wrapped around a mozzarella stick!  When topped with the usual fixings of ketchup and mustard kids will hardly know it’s a good-for-you option! 

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Time Swap.  Swap the time you spend making lunch in the morning for repurposed breakfast ingredients!  Since mornings can be pretty hectic, you might as well make your breakfast do double-duty—wrap up the extra scrambled eggs and sausage from breakfast in a whole wheat tortilla and pair with yogurt and granola for a great Breakfast-for-Lunch pack!

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PB & J Swap.  Because we can all agree the classic PB&J is pretty overused, swap it out for a more exciting Banana & Peanut Butter Hot Hog!  For this tasty treat, spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on each side of a whole wheat hot dog bun and top it with a whole banana.  What could be faster and more fun?

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Vegetarian Swap.  Got vegetarian kiddos?  Swap the soggy veggie sandwich for a more creative Open “Face” Sandwich.  Pack sandwich flats along with a container of hummus and assorted veggies and kids will be able to truly express their artistry at lunchtime.  We recommend including cucumbers and olives for eyes, halved cherry tomatoes for noses, cut carrots for cheeks, and pepper strips for mouths!

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Sandwich Swap.  Looking to change up the everyday sandwich?  Swap it out for kabobs!  Cut bread, rolled up turkey slices, lettuce leaves, and a cheese stick into small pieces and then artfully assemble your ingredients onto a skewer.

Frozen Pouch

Ice Pack Swap.  To maximize space in the lunchbox, swap out that cumbersome ice pack for a frozen Honest Kids pouch!  Simply place an Honest Kids in the freezer overnight and pack in the lunchbox right before the kids head off to school.  The food will be kept cold and the juice will thaw just in time for a refreshing noontime treat!

What are some of your simple lunchbox ideas? For more inspiration, visit www.rockthelunchbox.com

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