Keeping my kids interested in their lunch box means being creative. Now in upper grade levels, they have access to all the tempting pizza, tacos and other less than healthy choices available at school. And really it's okay to indulge in that stuff sometimes. However, for the most part I like to send them to school with a more balanced meal to keep their energy up and their brains working at full speed.
Like me, my kid's have always loved string cheese. It's rare that one of the fridge drawers are not full of all kinds of varieties of this awesome snack. Even their friends are aware of the cheese snack drawer. And if I put a package of string cheese in their lunch, they eat it without a doubt. But, to make sure my kids never get bored with their lunch, I like to get creative with how I serve this wonderfully packaged little snack.
Luckily Sargento has a large variety of options when it comes to string cheese and cheese stick flavors. It means I can be innovative with my ideas and always find something to please everyone in the house. Best part, Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks are a natural source of high-quality protein offering 4-8 grams of protein per serving.
And let me be clear, it's not only my kids who love to gobble down creative cheese ideas in their lunch box. The picture above is my favorite way to enjoy Sargento® Natural Pepper Jack Cheese Snacks. I slice the cheese and thread it with some grape tomatoes on toothpicks. Dipped in basil pesto, it is the perfect, addictive, caprese inspired snack.
I love using the pepper jack cheese sticks for a spicy kick, however feel free to use regular string cheese for someone who might not prefer any heat. It will taste just as good.
This is one of my oldest son's favorite ways to enjoy the Sargento® Natural Blends® Cheddar-Mozzarella Cheese Snacks. it's what I call cheese and apple sandwiche. I'm sure you've all heard of cheddar on apple pie, it's a delicious combination of flavors. I've taken that idea and turned it into a healthy snack bite for lunch time.
I slice the cheese sticks in half lengthwise, then slice them again crosswise only once. This yields four pieces of cheese. I secure two of the pieces with a toothpick to each side of the apple. Each bite is a tasty nibble for my apple-loving, cheese-addicted teenager.
To keep the apples from browning and looking unappetizing, I soak them in pineapple juice. It adds a teeny bit of sweetness, but does not make the apples taste like pineapple. It's a better option than lemon juice, which can make them sour tasting.
My youngest son is my pizza guy, he craves it every day. Since daily pizza is not on the menu, making something "pizza-like" can be just as satisfying. I slice Sargento® Natural String Cheese Snacks into cheese circles and thread them on toothpicks with mini pepperoni. It's the perfect snack for a school lunch box and a kid who loves a little taste of pizza in his lunch.
String Cheese Lunch Box Ideas
Pepperoni and Cheese:
- Sargento® Natural String Cheese Snacks
- mini pepperoni slices
- Sargento® Natural Pepper Jack Cheese Snacks
- small grape tomatoes
- pesto sauce
Cheese and Apple Sandwiches
- Sargento® Natural Blends® Cheddar-Mozzarella Cheese Snacks
- pineapple juice
- thinly sliced apples
- For the pepperoni and cheese, slice cheese into thin circles. Thread cheese and mini pepperoni on toothpick and serve.
- For the caprese version, slice pepper jack cheese sticks into cubes. Thread a toothpick with small grape tomatoes and pepper jack cheese. Serve with prepared basil pesto for dipping.
- For the cheese and apple sandwiches, soak apple slices in pineapple juice. Slice cheddar-mozzarella sticks lengthwise and then again crosswise. Place two slices of the cheese on each side of the apple slice and secure with a toothpick.
Get creative with your kid's lunches today, they will love the effort.
Disclosure: The following content has been sponsored by Sargento Cheese. Please support this wonderful family brand who continues to make posts on this blog possible. While I have been compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.