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Packing a healthy child lunch your children will enjoy day in and day out certainly isn’t an easy task.
It’s hard to keep coming up with fresh ideas for packed lunches for the 20 or so school days there are in a month. No wonder we often rely on the same old lunch recipe favorites.
Here are a few kid lunch box ideas. I’m sure you’ve heard some of them before but I’m hoping you’ll find a few new ideas to inspire you.
Change the bread
For a change from everyday sandwich use soft tortillas for wraps, bagels, English muffins, pita pockets or fresh baked rolls. Frugal tip: Hit your local bread store. You can get a ton of different types of bread for really cheap!
Create your own snack mix
Use a selection of small flavorful crackers, cereal, dried fruit or pretzels. Just about anything goes. For an occasional treat toss in a few M & Ms or yogurt or chocolate covered raisins. Experiment with different mixes and pre-package in individual zip lock bags. Do it once a week to save a ton of time and you won't be running out to buy the prepackaged ones.
Try different sandwich fillings
Alter the sandwich fillings. Consider combinations like diced chicken and corn, ham and avocado, grated carrot and cheddar cheese, or jam and cream cheese.
Place on soft tortilla in a hot frying pan. Spread with tomato sauce or pizza sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and other fillings like ham, bacon, peppers, onions and tomatoes. Place another tortilla on top and heat until cheese melts. Cut into pizza triangles.
Don't forget veggies
To ensure your child gets her daily requirement of vegetables cut up a selection of carrot sticks and celery sticks. Consider also other veggies like cucumber, ears of baby corn, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. Pack a small container of dip.
Cut up different pieces of fruit and package in a plastic container. Use fruit or vanilla yogurt as a tasty dip. This is much cheaper than $2.00 plus that it cost for those fruit bowls.
Fruit & cheese bites
Cheese cubes and grapes make a nice snack or lunch dessert. Pineapple and apple slices dipped in lemon juice also go nice with cheese.
Kids love things that come in small packages. So think ‘mini’ – small muffins and bagels. Vary flavors to avoid boredom.
Remove crusts from bread and cut out different shaped sandwiches using cookie cutters.
Pack a note
Occasionally pack something extra special in your child’s lunch like a note saying I love you or even a simple smiley face. Be creative and come up with something like a funny cartoon or saying that you know will put a smile on your child’s face.
If your child is tired of bread in any form consider crackers. What about packing a few crackers in your child’s lunch along with a side of cheese and ham slices? Kind of like a homemade lunch able only healthier. You can even cut the ham and cheese slices into fun shapes using cookie cutters. Be sure to package the crackers, cheese and meat separately.
For more fun and creative lunch ideas and recipes visit http://www.school-lunch-ideas.com
Annita is a wife, mommy of one, and freelance writer in Kentucky living a frugal life while trying to earn some money working from home. She just started a new blog about her frugal journey at http://thefrugalmama.blogspot.com/
What is your finanical life?
I am married with a one year old son. I stay home full time and I am trying to build a career as a freelance writer. We own our home, but while we were both working we racked up quite a bit of credit card debt that we are currently trying to pay off.
What is your budget buster?
Credit card debt is what really hurts because often we can only afford to pay the minimum which means interest is eating us alive.
What is your favorite money saving tip?
My favorite tip has to be menu planning. It sounds simple enough, but in our budget groceries are often the only flexible spending area that we have. By planning out a menu every week I know exactly what I have to have and there are no unplanned trips to the grocery where I might be tempted to buy things we don't need. I can also plan meals around available funds, if we have more I willl choose different meals than if money is tight.
If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?
Since cold weather is right around the corner I would probably stick it in an envelope marked electric bill and use it as backup when our bill gets high this winter. If I had any left when winter was over I would apply it to our highest interest credit card.
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1 in 12 Americans will become victims of identity theft.
- Today Show / MSNBC
How Can I Tell It’s Happened?
Your identity can be stolen by obtaining bank statements, credit card applications, checks from your trash or mail, purse or wallet, or getting your debit card number from a corporate database. Once a person has this information, he can wreck your good name. Since the crime may take days or even weeks before you noticed what happened, it’s easy for the criminal to commit several crimes before you’ve realized what occurred. This crime leaves your credit history in a mess and can take years to rebuild it.
Warning signs someone may have stolen your identity:
What Do I Do?
If you think you are a victim:
The three main credit reporting bureaus are Experian in Texas, Equifax in Georgia, and Trans Union in Pennsylvania. You can report fraud or get a copy of your credit report by reaching one of these companies. Once you report to one bureau, the other two agencies will be sent the report. A fraud alert will be put on your account by each company and you will be sent a copy of your credit report.Dave Ramsey is the author of The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
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If you are like millions of consumers you assume the government is protecting you. Unfortunately you are mistaken. Make an informed decision next time you purchase household products.
Reading labels might not be good enough. Many ingredients are kept off labels entirely by “trade secret” or proprietary blend. This means that manufacturers are not required to divulge the actual ingredients in their products, including those which are toxic. Another way around telling you what is in their products is using alternative names for ingredients. All these ingredients contain, break down into or release formaldehyde: 2-bromo-2nitropropane-1, 3-diol, diazolidinye urea, DMDM nydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15. All the manufacturer has to do is put safe handling instructions on the label. If the warning label includes danger, hazardous, toxic, use in well ventilated area, think twice before bringing it into your home.
What chemicals are in your home? Formaldehyde, phenol, benzene, toluene, xylene and chlorine are commonly found in most households. They are ingredients of products like cleaning products, dishwasher detergents, laundry products, personal care products (soaps, shampoos) and cosmetics. These ingredients are known or suspected carcinogens and cause many adverse reactions including allergy symptoms, difficulty breathing and chemical burns.
According to the EPA the air inside your home is 3 to 70 times more polluted than the air you breathe outside. Cancer rates have doubled since 1960. How many new products are being used in our homes compared to 1960? According to a study by the National Cancer Association women who work in the home are a 54% higher risk of developing cancer than women with traditional employment out of the home.
There are safe ecologically friendly alternatives available. Many are also more cost effective per use and actually work better than the products found in you grocery store. Don’t tell this to the big name manufacturers. Do your homework before you reach for a product at your grocery store; while you are there, take a deep breath, and notice the smell. This is called out gassing, remember these chemicals are packaged in sealed containers and you can still smell the chemicals. Are you willing to expose your family?
Teri Rouse has been a registered nurse for 10 years. She is currently practicing for the State of
Teri Rouse has been a registered nurse for 10 years. She is currently practicing for the State of