Charlie’s mom turned his turkey wrap into faux sushi, and Olivia’s roasted veggie sandwich arrived in the shape of a unicorn. You’re considering an MFA just to keep up.
That’s why we asked Kelly Anderson, owner of The Lunch Bunch, a menu consultant for schools, for tips on packing quick, simple, and healthy midday meals.
Kicked-Up Corn Bread
Start with a boxed mix low in sugar. Replace the vegetable oil with olive oil. Add an extra egg for increased protein and some goodies for flavor (our kids’ faves include Mexican with blacks beans, fresh corn, and salsa or Mediterranean with chicken, feta, and rosemary). Bake your concoction in a muffin tin. And voila! A week’s worth of ready-to-pack mini meals.
It’s like Buttah
Premade peanut butter is chockful of sugar and preservatives. To make your own healthy alternative, simply toss a handful of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, sunflowers seeds) in the food processor with your choice of sweetener (agave, Stevia, organic honey). Blend in a dash of olive oil and sea salt, then package into individual serving containers. Send with a different dipper (carrots, celery, pita bread) every day of the week.
Skip sugary, artificially flavored grocery store yogurt in favor of the all-natural Greek variety. Layer yogurt in a clear container with whole-grain cereal or granola, fresh fruit, organic jam, or even a little dulce de leche. When your kid opens his lunch bag, he’ll think Mom forgot the main attraction and remembered only dessert.
Now that’s a work of art.
Find more creative recipes online at lunchbunchbistro.com.
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Bug Collectors Workshop
What: Mini entomologists construct a variety of simple structures to house creepy crawly friends.
Why: See what all the buzz is about.
When: Sat., 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Where: Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., at Curson Ave. (323-937-4230). Kids of all ages, $5.
What: Strolling magicians bring the Houdini: Art and Magic and Masters of Illusion exhibits to life with impromptu presentations of prestidigitation.
Why: It’s just the trick.
When: Sun., noon-2 p.m.
Where: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., at Skirball Center Dr. Admission is free on Thurs. (reg. adults and teens, $10; kids 2-12, $5).
Kids in the Courtyard: Float Your Boat
What: Tongva educator Craig Torres teaches kids to make Native American vessels, like those in current exhibit Launching a Dream: Reviving Tongva Maritime Traditions, from tule reeds and folded paper.
Why: Your ship has come in.
When: Sun., 1-4 p.m.
Where: Fowler Museum at UCLA, Sunset Blvd., at Westwood Plz., north campus, Westwood (310-825-4361). Admission is free.
Photo: Jamie Grill / Getty Images