Meals When the Kids are Out of School

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Schools out.  If you thought coming up with ideas for kids to take for lunch was tough during the school year – it is even worse during the summer.  Summer meals on the go was always tough.  Belinda was always on the go – gymnastics, field hockey, cheering, working, and friends.

Here are some quick and easy recipes from Amy Carter, owner of Sarah’s Place in downtown Roanoke, VA.

summer+snack+ideas+for+kids
Peanut Butter (Nuttella) Quesadillas
Ingredients:
– 1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
– Optional ingredients
– 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
– 2 Tbsp Nuttella
– 2 Tbsp Biscoff
– ½ medium banana
– 1 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1 Tbsp Raisins

Instructions:
1. Spread the peanut butter or spread of choice over the surface of the tortilla.
2. Slice the banana very thinly and then arrange the slices over half of the tortilla. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and or Raisins over the banana slices and then fold the tortilla in half.
3. Cook the quesadilla in a skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
4. Take a pizza cutter and slice into triangles if desired.

French Bread Pizza
Suggestive Ingredients:
– 6 whole Deli Rolls Or Crusty Italian Rolls
– Jarred Marinara Sauce Or Pizza Sauce
– Jarred Or Refrigerated Pesto
– 2 pounds Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
– Grated Parmesan Cheese To Taste
– 1/2 pound Sausage (regular Breakfast Sausage Or Italian Sausage)
– Pepperoni Slices
– Canadian Bacon Slices
– Pineapple Chunks, Fresh Or Canned
– Roma Tomatoes, Sliced
– Sliced Black Olives
– Sliced Bell Peppers, Various Cheeses, Pepperoni, Jalapeno Slices, Diced Red Onion, Any Other Pizza Topping You’d Like!

Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice rolls in half and lay them, cut side up, on a large baking sheet.
3. Top each half with a generous portion of either marinara or pesto. Next, top with a generous amount of grated mozzarella and Parmesan, if you’d like.
3. Add whatever toppings you’d like on top of the cheese!
4. Once all assembled, put the pan in the oven on the lowest rack for 8 to 10 minutes. Crank up the heat to 425 and put it on the highest rack until the cheese starts to bubble a bit and turn golden.
5. Remove and serve immediately! You can cut the pizzas in half right across the middle so there are mini-French Bread Pizzas for everyone.

Easy Fruit Smoothie
Ingredients:
– Favorite fruit (frozen)
– Bananas
– 2 cups vanilla yogurt (Frozen Yogurt if desired)
– 2 cups milk or almond milk
– Ice if desired

Directions
1. Blend frozen fruit, banana, vanilla yogurt, and milk in a blender until smooth
2. Pour into cool glass

Cheerio Snack Bars
Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup creamy unsalted butter (half of one stick)
– 1/4 cup honey (light-colored corn syrup may be substituted and will keep the bars firmer at room temp than using honey)
– 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 3 cups Honey Nut Cheerios (or similar store brand cereal; plain Cheerios may be substituted for a less sweet bar)
– 1 cup raisins, optional (1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, 1 cup chopped almonds, or 1 cup trail mix may be substituted) about 1/2 cup chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, optional (I used Trader Joe’s)
– Pinch sea salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling, optional

Directions:
1. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large heavy sauce pan, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and heat on medium low until all the sugar is melt and begin to boil
3. Boil for 3- 4 minutes. Be very careful when adding remaining ingredients ( Mom do this).
4. Stir in the vanilla using caution because mixture could bubble up.
5. Stir in the cereal.
6. Stir in the optional raisins (or nuts).
7. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top.
8. Optionally, sprinkle evenly with sunflower seeds and salt (the salt cuts some of the sweetness and I recommend it).
9. Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until bars are completely set before lifting out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving.
10. Bars will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I recommend storing them in the fridge rather than room temp because they soften and get loose.

What are YOUR kids favorite quick meals?  Share them with us.

Have  a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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