10 brown bag lunch recipes

Whether they're heading off to school, or staying at home, these 10 tasty recipes are a great way to bring more variety to your child's brown bag lunch.

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Surprising Sandwiches

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Crunchy Turkey Avocado Pinwheels

For a crunchy, tummy-pleasing treat, make these easy roll-ups instead of a sandwich. On a whole wheat tortilla or sandwich wrap, layer sliced turkey cold cuts, sliced or shredded cheese, and guacamole (store-bought or homemade). To make it crunchy add shredded carrots, and sweet pickle slices or baby gherkins. Roll up tightly, slice into four pieces, and wrap individual pinwheels in aluminum foil or wax paper.
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Cream Cheese Hearts

Show them you care at lunchtime with this clever alternative to peanut butter and jelly. Slather fruit spread and softened or whipped cream cheese between two slices of bread. Cut sandwich with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. To keep it healthy, use low-fat cream cheese and all-natural or low-sugar fruit spread instead of jam or jelly.
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Cucumber Carrot Wrap

Here's a smart way to get more veggies in your child's diet. Peel and slice a cucumber into thick slices, shred a carrot, then slice and drain extra firm tofu into thick pieces. Generously spread your favorite nut butter on a whole wheat tortilla wrap or pita pocket. Layer cucumbers, tofu, and carrots. Roll tightly, and cut in half. Wrap each half in foil or wax paper.
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Toasted Waffle Sandwich

This unusual lunch sandwich is made from two toasted waffles. Spread almond butter on one waffle, and layer it with sliced bananas. Top with the second toasted waffle, and cut in half for a delicious sandwich that's also rich in iron and potassium.
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Peanut Butter...BETTER!

Give an old stand by a new twist. On your child's next PB&J day, try introducing some new flavors. Instead of peanut butter, try a different type of nut butter like almond, soy nut, or cashew butter. Or replace smooth peanut butter with chunky style. In place of the grape jelly or strawberry jam go with orange marmalade, apricot preserves, or mango chutney.
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Healthy Sides, Snacks & Treats

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Curly Pasta Salad

Instead of a sandwich, try this. Prepare curly pasta (such as fusili or spirals) according to package directions. Drain and toss together with ricotta cheese (three heaping tablespoons per cup of cooked pasta), baby spinach, cubed carrots, and corn niblets. Salt and pepper to taste. Pack in sealable containers. Makes a great side with a sandwich too!
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Cool Dipping Sauce

Make a refreshing dipping sauce for baby carrots, red bell peppers slices, broccoli crowns, or celery sticks. Simply stir 1/4 of a shredded cucumber into plain yogurt. Add chopped fresh dill, then salt and pepper to taste. Pack the dip in an air-tight, sealable plastic container.
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Colorful Fruit Kabobs

Here's a new way to get kids to eat more fruit. Thread strawberries, green and red grapes, cherries, or melon balls onto plastic coffee stirrers. Chill over night, then pack in a zip-seal plastic bag. To create a cool at-home snack, make a bunch of fruit kabobs and place in a zip-seal bag. Put the bag in the freezer and chill until all the fruit is frozen.
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Homemade Granola

Give store-bought granola an extra kick by adding dried fruit like blueberries, raisins, or apricots. Other add-ins include chocolate chips, pistachios or sunflower seeds, and nuts like pecans or walnuts. Your kids will thank you.
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Yogurt Add-Ins

When packing yogurt for your child, give her a zip-sealed bag of treats to add into her vanilla or plain yogurt. Favorites include raisins, dried blueberries, diced dried mango or pineapple, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, or granola.
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