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Five Days of Food to Tempt Children's Palates

Often, similar looking products vary widely in calories, sugar, fiber, fat and more. Compare some of your favorite foods and see how, as you shop, you can bring home healthier choices.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008; 12:00 AM

Running out of healthful lunch ideas for your youngster? Try a school week's worth of suggestions from chef-restaurateur and mother of three Gale Gand. The recipes she's referring to are in "Food for Thought: From Parents to Children," a booklet of nutritious recipes collected by the Wheat Council (see "Resources," for ordering information):

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DAY 1

Pita Pizzas (from the booklet; with tomato sauce, domestic mozzarella cheese and vegetables of your choice such as green pepper, broccoli, zucchini)
Black olives (enough to wear on their fi ngers; include illustration instructions in lunch box if necessary)
Fruit skewers made with canned or fresh pineapple chunks, green grapes and mandarin orange segments on toothpicks

DAY 2

Turkey Wraps (from the booklet; with romaine lettuce, roasted red bell peppers, tomato and balsamic vinaigrette)
Pineapple-dressed fruit salad: bananas, strawberries cut up and tossed with pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple used in the Day 1 fruit skewers)
Parmesan popcorn: popcorn, melted unsalted butter, Parmesan cheese, black pepper

DAY 3

Wheat Berry Tuna Salad (from the booklet; with celery, tomatoes, cucumber, hard-cooked egg, canned tuna, cooked wheat berries and Italian dressing)
Fruit yogurt with a granola bar to crumble into it

DAY 4

Chicken pot stickers
Edamame
Grapes

DAY 5

Crazy sandwich, made with 1 piece white bread, 1 piece whole-wheat bread, jam, low-fat cream cheese (or peanut butter if allowed). Cut in quarters; fl ip the 2 opposite-corner pieces to make a checkerboard sandwich
Veggie dip, with baby-cut carrots, snap peas and low-fat dip
Clementines, pre-peeled if desired

BONUS OPTION

Ham roll-ups: low-sodium or no-MSG ham rolled around 2-inch sections of low-fat string cheese (bicolored, if you like), secured with a toothpick
Whole-grain crackers
Apple slices


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