(Family Features) - Summer break vanished in the blink of an eye, like it seems to every year, and it's school time again. Although the kids may really be ready to return to a regular routine, chances are you might sense a bit of reluctance to leave the ease of summer behind.
So sweeten the trip back to school with a special lunchbox treat.
Making lunch time something your kids look forward to is something you can do every day of the school year. You can bet they won't be swapping lunches when theirs is so special everyday!
Try some of these tips that make the lunch break special:
- Pack their favorite sandwich filling-if they love PBJ or cheese everyday, that's okay!-but cut sandwiches in halves or quarters, or use a cookie cutter for fun shapes.
- Use small self-sealing bags to pack bite-size servings of fruits and vegetables, such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, grapes and orange segments.
- Make a snack mix of dried cereal, raisins, nuts and mini marshmallows.
- Decorate the lunch bag with special stickers, or include a note with a special greeting for lunchtime.
- Make kitchen time with your kids so they can share the fun in baking treats to tote to school or enjoy for after school with their friends.
- Wrap up a home-baked treat-cookies, bars, muffins or these fun and fabulous Surprise Prize Cupcakes.
These frosted cupcakes will be prized. Each holds a surprise of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside chocolate cupcake batter, so each bite is a delight. Since the recipe makes two dozen, there are plenty to share and enjoy after school, too.
When you're planning special treats for the lunch box, or want to bake with the kids after school, take a sweet trip through the creative ideas at www.VeryBestBaking.com.
Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.