Often back-to-school also signals time to start packing lunches again. Typically, whoever's responsible will find it difficult to keep them interesting and appealing throughout the weeks and months ahead. It's said there are really no new ideas, but sometimes thinking about something from a different viewpoint can result in a fresh approach.
For instance, you can vary the type of bread used for usual sandwich fillings. A hamburger or frankfurter bun, pita bread or kaiser roll makes a nice change from standard bread slices. Cutting ordinary sandwiches into different shapes--triangles, strips or cookie cutter shapes--makes them more interesting.
Buns on the Run take that idea a step further. They're prepared with refrigerated dough, cut into varying shapes. Filling is tucked inside before baking until golden brown. Cool, place in plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.
Fully cooked meats such as bologna are typical favorites with children. The cold cut gets a slightly different twist in Crescent Bologna Rolls and Back-to-School Bologna Sandwich. Tucking in a surprise box of raisins, small bag of trail mix or other special treat also helps to make a lunch more special. Individually wrapped chunks of cheese, easy-to-eat vegetable sticks, or individual cans of fruit with easy-open tops all are good additions. Old favorites like bananas and apples are always good standbys.
Vacuum Bottle of Milk
Many times milk can be purchased at school. If it isn't available, send some in a vacuum bottle. A frozen can or box of juice might be substituted, or can be included for a snack. It will help keep the rest of the lunch cool during the morning hours.
Regardless of what you prepare, always keep three safety rules in mind when packing lunches. Keep cold foods cold. Keep hot foods hot. And always keep everything clean and sanitary.
BUNS ON THE RUN
1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls or buttermilk biscuits
Caraway, celery, poppy or sesame seeds
Separate crescent rolls or biscuits. Roll slightly and form or cut into desired shapes (rectangles, circles, hearts, triangles). Divide Suggested Filling equally onto half of shapes. Top with similar shape and seal edges tightly.
Brush with bottled dressing used in filling and sprinkle with one of the seeds. Bake at 375 degrees 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 4 to 8 buns depending on size of shapes.
Dilly Beef: Combine 1 (4 3/4-ounce) can roast beef or corned beef spread, 3 tablespoons bottled French dressing and 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle in small bowl.
Red Deviled Ham: Combine 1 (4 1/2-ounce) can deviled ham, 3 tablespoons bottled red Russian dressing and 2 tablespoons drained sweet pickle relish in small bowl.
Simple Salad: Combine 1 (4 3/4-ounce) chicken spread or 1 (7-ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked, 3 tablespoons bottled Italian dressing and 1/4 cup chopped green pepper.
CRESCENT BOLOGNA ROLLS
1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
Bottled red Russian dressing
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
8 slices bologna
Caraway, celery, poppy or sesame seeds
Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Blend 3 tablespoons dressing with mustard and spread on triangles.
Roll bologna slices and place on wide end of each dough section. Roll as package directs. Brush with additional dressing and sprinkle with one of the seeds.
Bake at 375 degrees 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 rolls.
2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons finely shredded carrot
2 teaspoons chopped raisins
2 teaspoons chopped walnuts
2 slices whole-wheat bread
1 spinach leaf
2 slices bologna
Combine cream cheese, carrot, raisins and walnuts. Spread equal amounts on each slice of bread. Place spinach leaf on bottom slice of bread. Fold bologna slices in half and arrange over spinach. Close sandwich with remaining bread slice. Makes 1 sandwich.