Zürich’s school children are back in the classroom, and they need lots of energy to get going throughout the day.
For moms and dads, packing the kids’ snack boxes and lunch bags can be quite tricky because there is a need for balance.
Snacks and lunches must be nutritious, of course, but these have to be delicious as well. Preparing the school children’s “eats” with creativity is thus a tall order, so the food being served will be as hearty as it is healthy, and at once appetizing and nourishing.
If your child is studying in Zürich, and you are looking for fresh snack and lunch ideas, here are seven (7) to try:
#1- Fancy-Cut Veggies and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits make for nutritious snacks, but these may not look nifty sometimes. To make them more appealing, cut them into shapes, such as hearts, flowers, and stars. Invest in inexpensive kitchen tools, such as cookie cutters, wavy knives, and spiralizers, which are easy to work with.
Whenever you can, use local produce. Zürich is a huge cornucopia of veggies and fruits throughout the seasons, so you will never run out of freshly picked food for your growing son or daughter.
[Image Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer]
#2- Trail Mix
Each day in class is a journey that can be exhilarating yet exhausting. And what better way to energize children through this thrilling educational trek than packing their snack box with energy-dense trail mix?
Trail mixes are based on fruit, especially dried fruit, and nuts that have healthy fats, fiber, and protein to keep consumers on their toes until the next meal. These fun snacks are made by cutting up the dried fruits (including berries) into small pieces and combining them with nuts (and certain seeds, too).
The best trail mix is the do-it-yourself variety that uses a lot of your imagination and combination prowess!
Some dried fruits available to mix and match are apples, apricots, dates, figs, blueberries, raspberries. Nuts and seeds, meanwhile, include almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. There are plenty of bricks-and-mortar stores in Zürich that sell trail mix ingredients, along with online shops that will deliver to any district.
[Image Credit: SGrace]
#3- Power Balls
Variety is the spice of life, so break the monotony of serving trail mix but still use the same ingredients. Transform the fruit, nuts, and seeds into power balls by “gluing” the ingredients together with peanut butter and honey. You can add grains, such as granola, and smaller seeds like chia seeds.
These power balls have a name that sounds intimidating, but making them is quite easy. Just whizz the ingredients in a blender, crushing the solid stuff into finer pieces. Get handfuls of the yummy mixture and roll each one into a ball. If you create an entire batch that will last several school days within the week, store in an air-tight container and refrigerate it.
Namaste Switzerland has come up with similar “energy bites.” This video shows how to make some of these using assorted nuts, rolled oats, dates, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
Youtube Video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCEAaqlPnwU
#4- Power Wraps
With homemade or store-bought tortilla wraps, give your schoolchild savory or sweet delights. Fill them with vegetables and nuggets, peanut butter and honey, or something hearty and healthy that flows from your creative juices.
Before assembling the ingredients, heat the tortilla for a few seconds. If the wraps are too big, quarter them to make bite-sized goodies for snack or lunch.
Image Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer]
#5- Savory, Sweet, or Plain Crêpes
If you enjoy making crêpes or know a store that sells good ones, pack a couple of these in your child’s bento box.
Crêpes are wafer-thin pastries that resemble pancakes. These can be eaten as is, or they can be filled and topped with whatever the maker or the consumer fancies: Cenovis, Nutella, jam, ham, bacon, fish, cheese, you name it. Given their versatility, crêpes can be prepared as a snack or lunch.
Remember to put sliced vegetables and fruits, plus crackers, in the remaining compartments of the bento box.
[Image Credit: Melissa]
#6- Shaped Sandwiches
Packing sandwiches will never grow old, especially when it involves shapes that amuse and amaze the young.
To make your son or daughter’s snack or lunch less ordinary, get two slices of brown or white bread. Spread one slice with savory or sweet stuff: Raclette for savory and a preserve for sweet are just two of countless examples. Cover with the other slice, then trim the edges away such that the sandwich forms a heart.
If you are feeling adventurous, try making diamond- and star-shaped sandwiches, too!
[Image Credit: Melissa]
#6- Tuna Pasta
Mac and cheese, including the traditional Älplermagronen (Alpine farmers’ macaroni cheese with potatoes) dish, is a good thing. But tuna pasta makes for an awesome addition to your child’s weekly lunch menu!
To make tuna pasta, cook the pasta as instructed, then drain and let cool while making the sauce. For the sauce, sauté crushed garlic and finely chopped onions in olive oil, then add canned tuna chunks or flakes. When ready to pack, grate cheese over the top.
Tip: When shopping for pasta, have your child choose from a variety of shapes, including farfalle (bow tie or butterfly) and fusilli (corkscrew or spiral) that are easy favorites.
[Image Credit: Melissa]