Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Let’s be honest… sometimes the food served in the school cafeteria is not always the healthiest choice, nor does it offer a lot of variety. That’s why we interviewed Chanelle Watson, an author, professional chef and baker and owner of Chanelle’s Heavenly Treasures. Watson started CHT in 2010 and has written a cookbook for women as well as a children’s book, Cupcake Girl and Her Birthday Adventure. Her passion for cooking and helping people eat what they love is evident and she offers her services around the U.S. Luckily we have her here in DFW.

Chanelle Watson
Owner
Chanelle’s Heavenly Treasures
(214) 289-5649
www.chanellesheavenlytreasures.comTurkey And Melon Wraps

“This recipe is simple to make because you can create a sweet sandwich, which most kids love sweets,” says Watson. “The good thing about preparing this wrap is you can use whatever you like to make the best sandwich for your child’s lunch.”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup small cantaloupe or any melon
  • 1 tortilla (wheat, flour or corn)
  • 1/4 cup bottled mayo
  • 3 large green- or red-leaf lettuce leaves
  • 12 oz. thinly sliced, deli smoked turkey breast

Directions

  1. Cut rind from cantaloupe; cut flesh crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (you should have about 1 cup).
  2. Unfold tortilla. Evenly spread tortilla with mayo; top with lettuce and turkey, overlapping to fit if necessary. On a short end, arrange cantaloupe in single layer to cover half of tortilla.
  3. Starting from end with cantaloupe, tightly roll tortilla, jelly-roll fashion. Trim ends if you like. With serrated knife, cut roll into 4 pieces.
Pita Bread Pizza

“Kids love pizza,” says Watson “So what better way to create a meal for them than to give them pizza they can make the night before and your child can eat them the next day for lunch.”Ingredients

  • 4-6 pita rounds (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup of pizza sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • toppings of your kid’s choice (veggies, cooked meats, cheeses)

Preparation

  1. Spoon pizza sauce over pita rounds.
  2. Top with mozzarella and desired toppings.
  3. If you choose to bake, then preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake on baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.
Stringy Cheesy Mac“Instead of using elbow noodles, use Ramen Noodles to create a great mac and cheese meal,” adds Watson.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Ramen Noodles (flavor packets can be used or not)
  • 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Preparation

  1. Follow the instructions on the Ramen Noodle.
  2. Add cheeses and milk.
  3. Stir.
  4. Instead of adding the flavor packet you can add peas, carrots or diced chicken.

Related: Ask An Expert: First Day Of School Jitters


Chicken Noodle Soup
“Granted, not all children will enjoy the idea of eating soup for lunch, but if your child has an interesting pallet then they might not mind this one,” adds Watson.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of diced chicken (you can purchase from store)
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 cup of celery, sliced
  • 1 cup of egg noodles
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 3 tbsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. In a large stockpot, bring chicken stock to a boil.
  2. Add carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add celery and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add egg noodles and cook according to package.
  5. When noodles are tender, add chopped chicken, parsley and rosemary.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Packing The LunchSchools are not our places of employment. While some schools offer a microwave in the cafeteria, you should not always prepare hot meals for your child in the morning. Always pack your child a meal that is friendly to other students, such as nut free. You should also consider purchasing lunch bags that stand rather than lay to the side for easy packaging and food storage. Avoid using plastic bags and consider using containers for better meal portions. Always try to serve at least one item from the food groups, avoiding sugars and high salt items. If you plan, you will be able to cut your time in half and you and your child will have more time to spend together in the morning.

Related: 5 Ways Kids Can Help Around The House

Ivy N. Carter has been professionally writing since 1998 when she started writing for the Texas Southern University The Herald student newspaper. Since then Ivy has enjoyed writing for several magazines, newspapers, businesses and other publications throughout the country. She has a MBA is the owner of Written By INC a professional writing and editing company. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.