It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through my six-week series on lunch packing.  So far, I’ve shared eighteen new lunch ideas with you: six each in the Easy Bites, Mini-Meals, and Stuff in Other Stuff categories.  Hopefully, as the school year begins in earnest all over the country now, some of you will find things in these posts that will inspire you to feel great about packing lunches for your kids (or yourselves — we adults need to eat well too).

I keep hearing from people, though, who are concerned about feeding kids who seem particularly hungry.  Some of our kids will be fine with an apple and cheese and a few sides, but others — and P., my own 3-year-old, is often among them — appear to always need MORE.  Tonight I’m sharing lunch ideas that I think of as “Hearty and Handy.”  These lunches tend to be a little more filling, bite for bite, than many of their counterparts.  They’re no harder to prepare than anything else I’ve shared, but they’re substantial and, importantly, easy to pack and eat.  A ravenous, growing kid could eat one of these lunches and have enough energy to get through hard play at recess, afternoon classes, and even an after-school game in the schoolyard before looking for a snack.

On the menu tonight:
Turkey and Cheese Hand Pies
Chicken-Apple Waffles
Mediterranean (ish) Tarts
BLT Panzanella
‘Roni Salad
Taco Rice Salad