School’s only just started, but if you find yourself already tearing your hair out over new ways to jazz up the brown-bag lunch, this book is for you.
“Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love” (Chronicle), of which I received a review copy, features 75 simple and sensible recipes that kids won’t be tempted to trade away for something else. The book is by Katie Sullivan Morford, a Bay Area food writer and registered dietician who also happens to be the sister of famed Chef Mark Sullivan of the Bacchus Management Group of restaurants that includes Spruce in San Francisco, Cafe des Amis in San Francisco, the Village Pub in Woodside, Mayfield Bakery and Cafe in Palo Alto, and the Pizza Antica locales. As the mother of three daughters, she knows all too well the challenges of getting kids to eat well.
The book is filled with tips for easy ways to make lunch even more nutritious and appealing. For instance, instead of packing a tub of strawberry yogurt with a granola bar, make a Greek yogurt parfait instead with sliced berries, honey and granola. The latter has more protein, less sugar and nothing artificial. Instead of a regular cheese quesadilla made with a flour tortilla, use a whole-wheat one instead and fill it with black beans and sweet potato for more fiber, protein and potassium, and far less saturated fat.