3 Simple healthy lunchbox treats

Lunchbox Trail Mix. For Three Simple Healthy Lunchbox

Lunchbox Trail Mix. For Three Simple Healthy Lunchbox Treats. ( Photo by Marge Perry ) ltc (Credit: Marge Perry/)

Marge Perry

Newsday columnist Marge Perry Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts,

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TIP Disposable 1/4-cup (4-ounce) containers are available at most restaurant supply stores, and come in handy throughout the school year for dips, snacks, sauces, and more.

LUNCHBOX TRAIL MIX

Healthy fats and carbohydrates keep kids full and energized, and just a little bit of colorful chocolate makes them feel as if they're eating a treat.

2 tablespoons mini M&M's

1/4 cup salted peanuts

1/4 cup dried fruit bits

1/2 cup puffed wheat or rice cereal

1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Combine all ingredients.

Makes 5 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 104 calories, 3 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 44 mg sodium

RED PEPPER HUMMUS AND VEGGIES

Serve with carrot and celery sticks.

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup bottled roasted red pepper, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5-ounce) can low-sodium or organic chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon tahini (or natural style peanut butter)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Mince garlic in the food processor. Add the roasted pepper, chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin and salt and puree.

2. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Makes 8 servings (each about 1/4 cup)

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 91 calories, 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 109 mg sodium

CINNAMON APPLES

These treats may be made 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4 crisp apples

1 wedge lemon

1. Combine raisins, walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and a pinch of the nutmeg.

2. Remove the core from the apples and peel the top halves. Fill the center with the raisin-nut mixture. Rub the outside with the lemon wedge and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. Coat a glass pie plate or baking dish with cooking spray: place the apples (with space between them) in the dish. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the dish. Microwave until fork tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 146 calories, 1 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 4 mg sodium