by Julie Snyder
First impressions are important. A plate of food is like a picture. The way you present a meal can determine whether it's considered blah or totally gourmet. Shouldn't your child's lunch be attractive and appealing, too?
Whether you're sending a sack lunch each morning or calling your child to the kitchen table at noon, you can turn that boring sandwich into a fun, tantalizing treat! See how creative you both can be! Who can make the coolest creature?
Start with a basic sandwich. Then get out the cookie cutters or free-hand cut into a critter that any kid gobble up.
Fun-shape cookie cutter PB & J sandwiches
Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 5 minutes | Yield: 1 to 2 servings
• 2 slices whole grain bread
• 1 teaspoon butter
• 1 tablespoon peanut butter, other nut butter or cream cheese
• 2 teaspoons "fruit only" jam
Spread a half teaspoon of butter on each slice of bread. Cover one slice with the peanut butter. Add the jam and swirl it into the peanut butter. Cover with the other slice of bread.
Choose a cookie cutter and cut into kid-friendly shapes or free-hand cut a favorite character from your child's sandwich.
It makes two servings for a toddler and one for an older child. Serve with a glass of milk and fresh vegetables.
If your school doesn't allow peanuts or nut products, you can substitute a tuna sandwich or a grilled cheese and vegetable sandwich. Once cooked to perfection, cool slightly and then cut into a favorite shape.
More sandwiches than cheese get better with grilling. Some moms grill peanut butter sandwiches for a gooey, comforting treat on a cold day. They say that the crispy outside and warm melted inside give the sandwich an entirely different taste. Have you tried it?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.