Lunchtime Makeovers

Tired of serving the same old sandwiches? Try some new and improved lunches -- your kids will love 'em.

The Spaghetti-O's Lover

Preschoolers can be finicky when it comes to mealtime, and lunch is no exception. Some kids end up eating the same sandwich over and over again no matter how hard you try to break them of the habit. Others refuse to eat anything unless it comes in a prepackaged lunch kit from the supermarket. To help you get your child out of a lunchtime rut, we took four of the most common preschool eating styles and gave them a healthy makeover.

The Spaghetti-O's Lover

If "I want Spaghetti-O's!" are the only words your child utters when lunchtime rolls around, then it's time for a makeover. The good news is that, with just a little extra effort, you can make a homemade hot pasta lunch that still appeals to the kids and brings a nutritional boost to the brew. Your child will love how the pasta letters grow bigger the longer they sit in the bowl.

The soup makes 4 servings.

A-Plus Alphabet Soup

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces alphabet pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 7-3/4-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Add broth, water, and tomato sauce to a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta, vegetables, and chickpeas, and boil gently, uncovered, until pasta is done, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Pour in bowls and top with cheese. Serve with sliced apples and a glass of milk.

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