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6:58 PM / Friday August 19, 2022

10 Sep 2016

Better boxed lunch and after-school snack ideas

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September 10, 2016 Category: Food And Beverage Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Chocolate Pizza with Grapes

Family Features

Making food fun is a simple way to get kids excited about smart eating. Bring on the fun this back-to-school season with bento box lunches: a selection of kid-size portions filled with bite-size finger foods.

Bento box-style eating is gaining popularity among both adults and kids, because it makes it easy to manage portion sizes, and is a great way to encourage variety at mealtime. Learn how to create a bento box that will make your child the envy of the lunch table with these tips:

  Choose a container with ample space for a variety of foods. Some containers feature detachable units, which can be handy for changing up your configuration.

  When it comes to filling your box, the more creative your approach, the better. Mix and match colors and textures for a well-rounded, fun and flavorful meal. Because they require no chopping, peeling or coring, fresh grapes are an easy add-in to bento box lunches. Healthy, great tasting and refreshing, they pair well with a wide range of box-friendly items, such as sandwiches, crackers and cheese, nuts and yogurt.

  Get kids involved by turning lunch assembly into age-appropriate education. Little ones can practice their colors, while older kids can put math skills to use by counting, adding and subtracting.

  Invest in a few simple tools to boost the fun factor. Cookie cutters transform boring sandwiches into exciting nibble-worthy shapes. Silicone baking cups are ideal for smaller items if you’re using a container without dividers (and they add a colorful touch to the divider styles, too).

After school, put a fresh twist on favorites, such as pizza, with ingredients that pair well and can be easily assembled. This Chocolate Pizza features a hazelnut spread and red California grapes, which add a burst of juicy flavor and freshness.

Find more recipes to make lunchtime fun time, as well as snacks to fuel up for homework and other after-school activities, at grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Chocolate Pizza with Grapes

Servings: 4

4  small (4-inch) whole-wheat pocket-less pita bread rounds

1/4  cup chocolate hazelnut spread

1  cup halved red California grapes

Spread each pita with chocolate hazelnut spread then top with grapes. Serve.

Optional: Heat broiler to high. Broil pita bread on both sides until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes per side then top with chocolate hazelnut spread and grapes. Serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 216 calories; 4 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (33 percent calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (8 percent calories from saturated fat); 3 mg cholesterol; 138 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

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Source: California Table Grape Commission

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