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By now, you are in the swing of the school routine—up early, hair combed, teeth brushed, find the home- work assignment, and rush out the door. Many, though, continue to struggle with one dreaded question: What am I going to make the kids for lunch? To help you out of this rut, we put together some simple ideas and recipes that earned the coveted “thumbs up” award from our kids (grown-ups enjoyed them, too!). Before we get started, here are a couple of tips:


Teach your kids to never share their lunch with others. Explain that is doesn’t mean they are being unfriendly. Many kids


at school have food allergies and could have a life-threatening reaction if they eat something from someone else’s lunch. Use reusable containers as much as possible. Not only are they more economical in the long run, they keep food from


getting smashed. Shapes appeal to younger kids. Use a cookie cutter to cut small shapes for fun, bite-sized sandwiches.


Corn Puppies


2 boxes cornbread mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 cup grated cheddar cheese


2 eggs 1 ½ cups milk 9 hot dogs, cut into chunks


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin pan with paper wrap- pers. Te paper wrappers are optional but do make the puppies easier to pack for lunch. In a large bowl, fold together the cornbread mix, brown sugar and cheese. Whisk together eggs and milk and add to the dry ingredients, stirring until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin cups until each is 2/3 full. Add four chucks of hot dog to each muffin. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 18. If you do not have a muffin pan, pour the batter into a 9x13 baking dish and scatter the cut hot dogs evenly before baking.


Crockpot Breakfast Casserole


1 32-ounce package of frozen potatoes 1 pound bacon OR sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or Colby cheese 1 dozen eggs 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper


Coat the bottom and sides of your crockpot with non-stick cook- ing spray. Add a layer of frozen potatoes, followed by bacon or sausage, and then cheese. Repeat layering two or three times until all ingredients are used. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the layered ingredients. Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on low 10-12 hours. Serve by itself, with toast or rolled in tortilla.


Wrap Up Your Day


1 8-inch plain or whole-wheat tortilla shell 2 tablespoons cream cheese, soſtened 1 teaspoon honey Sprinkle of cinnamon ½ sliced apple or banana


Combine cream cheese, honey and cinnamon until smooth. Spread down the center of the tortilla and top with cut fruit. Create a wrap by folding one end of the tortilla in and rolling it up around the cheese and fruit. If apples or bananas don’t appeal to your child, substitute sliced strawber- ries, halved grapes or blueberries. Other great additions are sunflower kernels and dried cranberries. Delicious!


Wafflewich


2 plain or whole-grain frozen waffles, toasted and cooled 2 tablespoons peanut butter ½ small apple, sliced thin 1 tablespoon of jelly or jam, any flavor


Spread peanut butter on one waffle and jelly on the other. Layer apple slices on top of the peanut butter, then top with the other waffle. Cut into wedges for smaller hands. For a savory twist, replace the peanut butter and jelly with one slice of American cheese and sandwich ham. Keep the apple slices in the center for a tasty crunch.


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