Packing kid-friendly lunches

When you feel like you are always packing the children’s lunch boxes with the same old boring foods, it is time to branch out with new ideas and ingredients.

I am sure that school lunches can be more creative and exciting than when my kids went to school. In those days, it was peanut butter and jelly day after day. 

To make the job easier, plan ahead. Make sure the things you put in your children’s lunch boxes are the things they like to eat at home. Ask them what they would like to have — and then ask them to help prepare it.  

If soup sounds good, fill a thermos with hot soup for cold days, and cold soup for hot days, along with lots of their favorite crackers. If there is leftover fried chicken, by all means wrap it up and box it. 

But don’t be afraid to try something totally new, like Easy Roll-up Wraps. They are delicious when filled with chicken or turkey and veggies — just wrap with wax paper, and they fit easily into a lunch box. I always include a potato salad or coleslaw, too — a perfect pairing.

Prepare a fruit salad by cutting up your kids’ favorite fruits, mixing them in a bowl and sprinkling it all with orange juice. Use apples, oranges, bananas, plums, peaches, grapes and berries.   

And to keep things healthy, don’t forget to pack sliced carrots, celery, sweet peas or cucumbers — and a dip of some kind.

Here is another valuable tip during the warm seasons: To keep cold foods cold, partially freeze juice and boxed drinks; the drinks will thaw by lunchtime, and the foods will remain chilled. Alternatively, use miniature “blue ice” cold packs 

As for dessert, a classic that everyone in our family loves are my jam-filled Linzer Sandwich Cookies. Square, round or diamond-shaped, these rich, crumbly nutty cookies are a treat. Put a few extra in the lunch box so your child can share with friends.


1/4 cup mayonnaise

6 (10-inch) flour tortillas

6 lettuce leaves

1 (8-ounce) package sliced deli-style chicken or turkey

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 cup minced tomato

Spread mayonnaise evenly over the tortillas; top with lettuce leaves. Arrange chicken slices in even layers on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle the carrots and tomatoes over the chicken slices. Roll the tortillas into wraps. Cut the wraps diagonally into half portions. Secure with toothpicks.  

Makes 12 roll-ups.


I always prepare too much salad; cover  with plastic wrap and serve it the next day.

4 medium new potatoes, boiled and peeled  

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, quartered and sliced 

2 stalks celery, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 green onions (scallions) finely sliced

1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, bell pepper and green onions. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten and toss gently. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper; toss gently again. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Pack in small plastic containers in your child’s lunch box. 

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


1/2 cup finely ground toasted almonds

1/4 cup finely ground toasted hazelnuts

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely ground semolina flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup unsalted margarine

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups jam

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

In a bowl, mix together almonds, hazelnuts, flours, salt and cinnamon. 

In the bowl of a mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat margarine until creamy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture until evenly combined.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead to incorporate the ingredients. Shape the dough into a disc; divide in half. Roll each dough half between two pieces of parchment (baking) paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Place on baking sheet and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Remove dough from refrigerator one sheet a time to prevent dough from getting soft. Peel off top sheet of parchment paper and use it to line a cookie sheet. Cut the cookies into rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter; transfer them to the prepared cookie sheet, using a metal spatula. Using a round 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut a hole in the center of half of the cookies — these will be the tops of the sandwich cookies. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden on the edges. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer tops to a wire rack. Turn bottoms over and spread each with 1 teaspoon of jam. Dust the tops with additional powdered sugar and gently sandwich with the bottoms. In an airtight container, layer cookies with parchment paper and store for up to 1 week.  

Makes about 18 cookies.


The Jewish Journal is no longer accepting mailed or faxed event listing information. Please e-mail event listings at least three
weeks in advance to:

By Keren Engelberg


” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>


Beth Hillel Day School: 5 p.m. A Musical Pajama Party with children’s entertainer Stephen Michael Schwartz of Parachute Express. $10-$12. 12326 Riverside Drive, Valley Village. (818) 692-1703.

Hudson Mainstage Theatre: “The Time When I Was Mamadou” about an African American, gay, Jewish Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. $65. 6537 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 960-7735.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>


Democrats for Israel, Los Angeles: 10 a.m. Representative Brad Sherman (D -Sherman Oaks) on “Iranian Nuclear Weapons Options for U.S. Policy.” Free. Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. (310) 285-8542.


Jewish Community Center of Orange County: 3 p.m. Ellen Gould’s one-woman play, “Bubbe Meises” (grandmother stories). $28-$34. Myers Theater, One Federation Way, Irvine. (949) 435-3400.

Emek Hebrew Academy: 7 p.m. “The World’s Best Chamber Music” concert with wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and Viennese table. Luxe Summit Hotel Bel-Air, Grand Ballroom, 11461 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (818) 783-3663.


Latin American Jewish Association and the New JCC at Milken: 11 a.m. Sports (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), lunch, adult and teen movie (2 p.m.), children’s treasure hunt (2 p.m., ages 3-12) and Israeli dancing (4:30 p.m.). 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (818) 464-3300.

Workmen’s Circle: 3 p.m. Tsunami Benefit Concert featuring works by local artists in memory of the victims, classical Indian music and dance and Middle Eastern music and dance. All proceeds go to the American Jewish World Service. $25 donation.

1525 S. Robertson Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 552-2007.


San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council, Burbank Human Relations Council and Forest Lawn: 4 p.m. “Remember! Celebrate! Act!” celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with speaker Constance L. Rice and emcee KNBC anchor Chris Schauble. Free. Forest Lawn Hall of Liberty, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles.(800) 241-3131.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>


Museum of Tolerance: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. “Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks” screening and discussion with UCLA historian Dr. Berkie Nelson. Free with admission to the museum.

9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P. required, (310) 553-9036.

” width=1 alt=””>


Survivors of Shoah Visual History Foundation and USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences: 7 p.m. Reception and lecture by Dr. Yehuda Bauer commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. USC, University Park Campus, Doheny Memorial Library, Intellectual Commons, 3550 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles. (213) 740-4996.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>


North Valley JCC: 7:30 p.m. “Communication Prescriptives: A Guide to Healthier Relationships” with Celeste Charbonnet-Cross. $5 . 16601 Rinaldi St., Granada Hills. (818) 360-2211.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>


UCLA: 8 p.m. UCLA Live’s Spoken Word series presents playwright, author and director David Mamet. $15-$35. Royce Hall, UCLA campus, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 825-2101.

” width=1 alt=””>



” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

Hillel at Pierce and Valley colleges: 7 p.m. Silent Auction and “Comedy Nite 2005: Honoring Theodore Bikel.” $30-$35. Pierce College, Main Theatre, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 887-5901.


” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

Singles Helping Others: Help Tree People plant trees in Sherman Oaks. (818) 591-0772.

G.E.E. Super Singles (35-50s): 6 p.m. Cocktail party at Sportsmen’s Lodge $20. 12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. R.S.V.P., (818) 501-0165.

Jewish Single Parents and Singles Association: 7 p.m. Dinner and movie in Tustin. Don Jose Mexican Restaurant, 14882 Holt Ave. R.S.V.P., (949) 726-0943.

Social Circle (40-60s): 7:30 p.m. Starlight Dance Soiree with buffet dinner, wine, dessert and coffee. $20-$25.

Stephen S. Wise Temple, Hershenson Hall, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 204-1240.

BEBWorld Productions: 9:30 p.m. Rock band High School Logic plays an all-ages show at the Roxy Theatre, 9009 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. $10 with R.S.V.P. to

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

Klutz Productions (21-45): 8 p.m. Party at Monroe’s Bar to benefit Operation USA’s Tsunami Relief Fund. $10. 8623 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (310) 360-0066.

Jewish Outdoor Adventures: 10 a.m. Intermediate hike to Orchard Camp on the Mount Wilson Trail. Free. Carpools run from West Los Angeles and the Valley. For more information, e-mail

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

Project Next Step: 8p.m. “Coffee Talk” with coffee and pastries. $7. 9911 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 284-3638.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

L.A.’s Fabulous Best Connections: Sportsmen’s Lodge supper and conversation. $10. R.S.V.P., (323) 782-0435.

Westwood Jewish Singles (45+):

7:30 p.m. Therapist Maxine Gellar leads a discussion on “The Use of Power in Relationships.” $10. West Los Angeles area. R.S.V.P., (310) 444-8986.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

New Age Singles: 6 p.m. Eat and Schmooze West L.A. sociable no-host dinner. R.S.V.P., (323) 874-9937.

Project Next Step: 7 p.m. Talking for Tolerance discussion “Is There Such a Thing as a Judeo-Christian Culture?” with African American Group Joshua Ministries. Simon Wiesenthal Center, Museum of Tolerance, 1399 S. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 772-2466.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

Conversations at Leon’s: 7 p.m. “Transitions, The Spice of Life.” $15-$17. 639 26th St., Santa Monica. R.S.V.P., (310) 393-4616.

New Start/Millionaire’s Circle: 7 p.m. Social in Beverly Hills. (323) 461-3137.

” width=”1″ height=”8″ alt=””>

USC Chabad: 6 p.m. Israel-themed Shabbat with Israeli food, songs and discussion. Guest speaker on the ingredients for success in the business world. 2713 Severance St., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (213) 748-5884.

Upcoming Singles

” width=1 alt=””>