Whether you’re five or 50, "brown bagging-it" is almost always cheaper than dining out. Keeping things fresh, however, can be a challenge—especially when there are only so many ways to eat peanut butter! Here are four fresh alternatives to typical take-along fare.
1. Try Toppings. Soups are still one of the most popular comfort foods to offer up on a cold day. To keep things exciting, pack small containers of soup toppings to mix into traditional soups. Yummy combinations include potato soup with green onions, bacon and shredded cheddar or tomato soup with Goldfish crackers, basil and mozzarella chunks. Even kids will get a kick out of the unique flavors and textures!
2. Change the Jacket. Sandwiches tend to wear on the nerves of those who get stuck eating them every day. Consider taking your usual sandwich and serving it with a different wrapping. Pita pockets, whole-grain wraps, spinach or sun-dried tomato tortillas and Panini are all kicky ways to house common sandwich fillers. You can also try ditching the sandwich altogether and serve cheese and meats with crackers or homemade tortilla strips!
3. Makeover Leftovers. Bento boxes are a Japanese-inspired way to eat leftovers. While the authentic boxes can be very involved, there’s no limit to the kinds of foods that can be included. Try putting leftover casseroles, fruits, meats, and veggies in small disposable cupcake liners. Then arrange them in a fun pattern and include some dipping sauces. If you find your traditional lunchbox won’t hold everything in place, look for authentic Bento boxes online at LunchBoxes.com or tuck it all into a Tupperware container.
4. Downsize. There’s just something exciting about eating tiny foods. Surprise your family with mini versions of their lunch favorites, including tiny sandwiches cut from sliced bread. Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and olives are all finger-foods sure to please picky eaters. And why not try smothering a mini bagel with some hummus or a veggie spread?
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