Back to School Lunch Ideas with Cheese

Mr. Food

Filling our shopping carts with foods kids like to eat is often a challenge because they eat with their eyes first. If we don't entice them, they may wind up playing with their food rather than eating it.

My thought is why not "play" into that instinct to make mealtime fun? Recently, when I spotted packages of pre-cut slices of cheese shapes, it gave me an idea that will work with any brand or variety of cheese – sliced, blocks, whatever.

Imagine the kids' reactions if we send them to school with a selection of sliced cheese, maybe American or Cheddar or a flavored Jack cheese, along with either shredded, chunked or sliced fruits and veggies, and pickles, olives, some sliced hard-cooked eggs, crackers and/or their favorite bread. They can let their creative juices flow by assembling their own open-faced sandwiches – I mean, fun faces.

You know that sandwiches they make themselves with fun ingredients and fun faces are going to disappear. And the kids have a blast making and eating them, too. So once you've tested the waters with that, try making eye-catching edible boats you build by threading a toothpick with an apple slice, fresh mozzarella cheese ball, a grape tomato and peapod sails.

Of course, even something as simple as using a cookie cutter to make fun shapes out of cheese slices for snacking can be a blast. So say "Cheese," and let the kids play along to become members of the "I ate my own lunch" club, because…"OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!®"

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