Monogrammed sandwiches and shark quesadillas are what’s for lunch

If you brought your own lunch to school when you were elementary age, you probably remember a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apples. There may have been some variety, but chances are the variety extended only as far as lunch meat, potato chips, a Twinkie, a few Oreos or a can of Shasta. It’s possible that things are different in the year 2023. Food Network last month published a list of 35 foods they believe could easily be part of your child’s lunch, just in case your child doesn’t receive hot lunch and free breakfast in public school already. First on the list? Lasagna roll-ups. They’re made with lasagna noodles, olive oil, skim ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and optional slices of pepperoni, and they’re served with a cup of marinara dipping sauce. That may sound exotic by school lunch standards, but they’re not difficult to make, and if you want the recipe, it’s available at, as are the recipes of everything else about to be mentioned. The second suggestion is shark quesadillas. Shark quesadillas are not seafood. They are not made with shark. But the recipe requires that you cut tortillas into the shape of a shark’s head, add sliced black olives for the eyes, then cut out a jagged-toothed mouth and fill that mouth with marinara sauce. The rest is your basic quesadilla, which is just cheese melted on a tortilla. Reading this entry, you might notice that some of the suggested foods will be made kid-friendly by turning them into edible characters. The third food listed is not a character food, though. They’re called “power wraps with sweet potato hummus”, but visually they’re identical to the turkey roll-ups at Costco. Teddy bear toast is an easy character. It’s toast with a spread of peanut butter, sliced bananas for teddy bear ears, sliced blueberries for teddy bear eyes and one slice of banana topped with one slice of blueberry for the teddy bear nose. Mouth not included. Next up are the very ambitious berry-almond energy bites. They consist of raw almonds, dried blueberries, dried tart cherries, pitted dates, flaxseed meal and shredded unsweetened coconut. Put it all into a food processor and process it into small pieces. Stop before it becomes a paste. Then, roll the small pieces into balls and put them in Tupperware in the refrigerator. They’re like a no-bake cookie. The next two entries are antipasto pasta salad and chicken noodle soup. Both are homemade but similar to what you’d get at the grocery store. The next idea is the second-easiest on the whole list. Make a sandwich, any sandwich, but cut your child’s initial into the top slice of bread. It’s called a monogrammed sandwich. At this point in the list, you may be deciding that there’s a fine line between simple creativity and overkill. Next are spinach cake muffins, made with applesauce instead of sugar. That’s fairly simple, and it’s followed by the breadless double-decker turkey club sandwich. Instead of bread slices, you use apple slices. Apart from that, it’s just a very small club sandwich. If you want to see the entire list, go to and check it out. Some of the remaining highlights include cream cheese and ham-stuffed peppers, buffalo chicken tacos, rainbow sushi sandwiches and mini quiches with peas and bacon. Earlier it was mentioned that the second-easiest entry on the list was the monogrammed sandwich. The easiest to make are simply called “fun-shaped sandwiches”. You make a sandwich, again any sandwich, and cut it into the shape of your child’s favorite thing. Examples include airplanes, footballs and kittens. If your child’s favorite thing happens to be a sandwich, you’re already done. And it still counts.