"Healthy Lunches your kids will love…

…and actually eat.”  That is the secondary title of a cookbook I picked up over the summer.  The book’s title is:
Good Food to Go It is written by Brenda Bradshaw and Cheryl Mutch, MD.  They are both working mums (one a teacher and one a paediatrician).  120 recipes that offer “creative ideas for balanced lunches and nutritious snacks that will make packing lunches a joy and not a chore.”  Well, yes…and no.  The chore part is still there.  The foreward is written by Jeremy Friedman, Head of Division of Paediatric medicine at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids…”I have a feeling this book is going to become an invaluable resource for parents for years to come.”
   Okay…so let’s give it a try.  My kids and I chose a few recipes from the book to try out.
   The first one was “Egg fried rice”, page 146…this is typically a standard “quick supper” in our house.  We tried it for a saturday lunch.  My kids announced partway through that “its good, but I like yours better”.  What I liked were the instructions for making it for one serving.  Most family recipes are for four servings, but what about the times when you are really only cooking for one child?  Even in our house, it happens…one out with friends, one at soccer and one at a volleyball game…skating finished and now you are home with only one.
   The next one was Spanakopita, page 87.  This recipe is a bit of work, and it makes a lot (which you can freeze for quick lunches), so if your family doesn’t already like spanakopita, I don’t think I would bother with it.  After discovering this summer that my son likes spanakopita (one of two things on the menu at a vegetarian restaurant that he liked), we gave it a try.  Really, really good.  Definitely worth the work.   We made our own tzatziki to go along with them.  
   The third recipe we tried was for Mini Banana chocolate chip muffins, page 173.  These were easy, with a very soft crumb.  You could easily use all whole wheat flour rather than half and half whole wheat and all purpose.  My own banana muffin recipe uses yogurt, and I have to say I missed the creamy flavour.  But, the best testers for these recipes are the Under 5 crowd, and they loved them, so that guarantees this recipe will get repeat business for the Daycare set.

The other big hits were Udon Noodle stir fry (page 158) and No bake Chocolate Haystacks (page 171), which were lovely old fashioned rolled oats and cocoa, and tasted just the way I remembered them as a kid…They tasted like “More”.

   Now, why did I find the discovery of this cookbook a little bit depressing?  Well, let’s just say, “They beat me to it…”  Here’s hoping there is room on the shelf for two of these books…

If you don’t have a lot of cookbooks in your kitchen, and you are looking for some lunch time inspiration or, if you have some Mums with young children (heading off to daycare or kindergarten) on your gift list this Holiday season, this book is definitely a good buy.

Happy Packing!

Kim

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