The good news is that the kids are back to school. The bad news is that you’ll need to pack hundreds of lunchboxes this school year. But, take heart, because here are some nutritious, fun ideas from Kings Food Markets.
According to Google Trends, “kids’ lunch ideas” and “school lunch ideas” were top-rated Google searches last summer on the topic of back-to-school recipes. So the chefs at Kings created these three easy-to-make, easy-to-eat recipes for parents to whip up on school days or any time. And since these are bite-sized treats, youngsters are apt to nibble them at lunchtime, recess and even on the school bus.
I give a big thumbs-up to the granola cups with yogurt topping because a spoon is optional. And kids like that. These can be made in a muffin tin, which is also a top cooking trend among busy parents in 2016.
Taco cups are also perfect for little hands. This Kings version delivers a protein-packed, tasty lunch for children.
And French toast cups are always a hit because kids (and parents) like to eat breakfast any time. These are also a fun option on hectic homework nights when you want to serve breakfast for dinner, which is also a 2016 cooking trend.
Have fun and remember to get the kids involved in cooking. They’ll be proud and excited to gobble up their lunchbox creations.
Kings Back-To-School Recipes
Granola Cups with Yogurt & Fruit Topping
Makes 6 cups
4 tbls + 1 tbls Kings organic butter
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup unsweetened Kings apple sauce
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups Old Fashioned Kings Oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground Kings flax seed
1/4 cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped
1 tsp Kings chia seeds
1/4 cup dried fruit such as Kings blueberries or cranberries
1 cup of plain or your favorite flavored Greek yogurt
Fruit toppings: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and banana slices
– Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
– Add the 4 tablespoons of butter, agave, cinnamon and salt to a small saucepan. Heat until all ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and stir in the applesauce and vanilla.
– In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, flax seed, almonds, chia seeds and dried fruit. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix well until completely coated. Place the mixture into the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.
– Coat muffin tin or mini muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of butter and fill each opening about 2/3 full. Using your fingers (dipped in water), press into the center of the hole and then work your way around the edges to form a bowl.
– Place the prepared tins into the pre-heated oven. For regular-sized muffin cups, cook about 20-25 minutes. For mini muffin cups, cook about 15-20 minutes.
– Let cool completely before removing from the tin.
– Store in an airtight container. When ready to eat, fill with the yogurt of your choice. Top with fresh fruit. (For a special after-school treat, replace ice cream with the yogurt.)
Mini Tasty Taco Cups
1 tbls Kings organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Kings organic yellow onion, diced
2 organic scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 large organic garlic cloves, minced
2 tbls minced organic cilantro
1 lb Kings organic lean ground beef
2 tbls taco seasoning
1 cup of your favorite salsa, mild or spicy
1 cup shredded Kings Mexican blend cheese
24 wonton wrappers
½ cup sour cream
2 tbls green onions, chopped
1 Kings tomato, chopped
– Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
– Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Sauté onions and scallions until softened. Add garlic, cilantro and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
– Add the beef and sauté until no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning.
– Lightly coat muffin tins with vegetable oil and press 2 wonton wrappers into mini-muffin cups, overlapping the other. Spoon beef mixture into wonton cups.
– Top with salsa and cheese. Bake about 8 minutes or until wontons are deep golden brown.
– Garnish with sour cream, green onions, tomato and additional salsa.
On-the- Go French Toast Cups
Makes 6 cups
1 tbls Kings organic butter, for coating muffin pans
4 slices whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
2 Kings organic large eggs
1/4 cup Kings organic milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
For the apples:
1 Fuji apple, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tbls Kings organic butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tbls Kings organic milk
– Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
– In a medium sauté pan, cook apples with 1 tablespoon of butter and cinnamon for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Set aside.
– In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add bread cubes and mix together until all the bread is soaked in. Add the apples and mix until well distributed.
– Prepare pans with a coating of butter, then spoon bread mixture evenly into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown.
– Mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle on top of French toast cups.