Lunch Time Ideas

We had a request for lunch ideas from a blog reader for snack ideas for kids! Family Nutritionist, Jen Wright delivered the following ideas. These recipes are gluten free. So here is a few ideas to get you started. We all know the snacks are the first thing eaten so let’s try to add some nutritional value to some fun favourites.

The Rice Krispie Square

This is a great snack to hide things such as, chia seeds, hemp hearts and flax seeds. Throw in a few mini chocolate chips for camouflage and everyone is happy.

Rice Krispie Squares with a twist!

Rice Krispie Cereal or Brown Rice Cereal (approx. 6 cups)
1 Bag of marshmallows
2 Tbsp. of butter or coconut oil
1/3 cup chia seeds (white or ground ones hide better and ground unlocks nutrition)
1/3 ground flax seeds
1/3 cup hemp hearts
Splash of vanilla
Handful of mini chocolate chips

Melt the marshmallows and butter in a pot, slowly add the rice krispies to mixture. Once incorporated add the chia, flax and hemp seeds. Stir. Grease a 9×13” pan with coconut oil. Sprinkle in a few chocolate chips, give one last stir and place mixture into pan. A greased spatula or your fingers works well to keep the mixture from sticking. Allow to firm up, cut into squares and Enjoy!!

The Chocolate Chip Cookie
Always a favourite. This can be made with any flour blend you enjoy, Bob’s Red Mill is an easy one.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Chick Peas:
These are a great addition to your children’s lunch, they are quick to make, and are loaded with protein. This is very important for school age children as protein helps, with brain function, growth, energy and muscle maintenance.

3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
3/4 cup of butter
1 egg
2 tsp. of vanilla
1 can of chickpeas 15 oz. (drained and rinsed)
2 cups gluten free blend flour
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

How we do it

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Mix butter and sugar in a bowl, beat in an egg. Add the vanilla.
Drain and rinse one can of chick peas, blend in your food processor until creamy.
Mix into sugar mixture. Add in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix until a creamy batter is obtained.
Sprinkle in your chocolate chips and give one last stir. Place round balls approx. 1” in diameter on cookie sheet, you may have to flatten with a spoon, as they don’t spread very much.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, allow to cool and then Enjoy!!

Some other lunch ideas include:

1. Greek Yogurt Parfait – plain Greek yogurt and berries in your child’s thermos so it stays cool until lunch. Send a small container of gluten free granola if wanted as a topper.
2. Make your own “lunchable” using gluten free crackers, pepperettes, sliced cheese (sometimes you can cut into shapes with a small cookie cutter) and a little treat.
3. Veggies and dip or hummus is always a hit at our house.
4. Leftovers in a container are often an easy choice. Things such as chili, soups, and meatballs are great.
5. Roasted chick peas are a fun snack! These can be eaten on their own or added to a trail mix. Use nut free items such as popcorn, dried fruit, raisins and gluten free cereal.
6. Use a melon baller to change up the shape of melons, makes it more fun to eat.

Crunchy Cinnamon and Maple Roasted Chick Peas

These are so delicious! All of my kids were not so patiently waiting for them to come out of the oven. (And my oldest hates chick peas) More than one of them came into the kitchen saying, “what smells like cinnamon buns! Can we try those?” As we all know smell is the so important in what we choose to eat! They are so simple to make but pack a nutritional punch. Chickpeas are a great source of protein, high in iron, rich in fibre and can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. These little babies are great warm out of the oven, cold on their own, or put into a snack mix for school. The only downfall was we only had one can, and they only lasted a few minutes.

1 can organic chick peas
2T coconut oil
2T maple syrup
2-3 tsp. of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pour onto a baking sheet. Melt coconut oil, mix with maple syrup and pour over chickpeas. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in oven, shaking pan every few minutes to prevent them from sticking. Bake for 40- 45 mins. Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.

Hopefully that helps with some new ideas! Happy Lunch Making.
PS. Only 187 lunches left this year. (approx.)