Liven Up The Lunch Box

Shape Up Cheese & Crackers

Cheese and Cracker Lunches

Kana Okada

The problem with some prepackaged versions: They have a lot of saturated fat and some use artificial colors. Try these healthier twists instead.

Berry Alphabet
Mash 2 Tbs. fresh blueberries; stir in 1/4 cup light whipped cream cheese. Serve with 8 Newman's Own Organics Alphabet Cookies. (226 calories, 12g fat)

Garden Delight
Use a 1 3/4" flower-shaped cutter to cut 6 cheese flowers from slices of reduced-fat cheddar. Serve with 6 Pepperidge Farm butterfly crackers. (218 calories, 11g fat)

Dippin' Sticks
In a blender, combine 4 oz. light cream cheese and 1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers until nearly smooth. Transfer to a container and stir in 2 tsp. grated Parmesan and 1/4 tsp. dried basil. Serve one third with 10 wheat-cracker sticks, like Wheat Thins Stix. Store remainder for up to 1 week. (165 calories, 11g fat)

Crunchy Crispbread
Spread 2 Wasa crackers with a wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb cheese. Wrap in plastic to prevent drying out. (135 calories, 4g fat)

Plum-Ricotta Stacks
Spread 5 woven-wheat crackers (like Back to Nature Harvest Whole Wheat) with 4 tsp. part-skim ricotta cheese. Add 1 or 2 plum slices to each and top with another cracker. (222 calories, 8g fat)

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