We are what feels like just days away from back to school time at our house. We have been preparing our oldest for her first day back to school with everything she needs and I have been thinking about ideas for lunches including home made (nut-free) snacks I could send along with her for her first day in grade 2!

Typically I do tend to buy prepackaged snacks for lunches during the average school year, they are easier to throw in the lunch bag. They can be a bit pricy having to buy everything peanut and nut-free as K's school is a peanut and nut-free school. Besides, having something home made or better yet, something the kids helped make on their lunch will help make that first day lunch even more special! There's nothing my kids enjoy more than helping me out when it comes to making something yummy, after all they get to be the taste testers and we all know that's the best part!

Pencils, paper...popcorn?!? No, popcorn is not only for the movie theaters, send kids back to school with the tools they need, including a delicious, satisfying snack that is also a great source of fibre and whole grains, popcorn! It's easy to make and make things with, it's healthy and kids love it.

Asking the kids to help out when it comes to preparing lunches is a great way to help get them excited about getting back to the regular school routine - which of course includes making the next day's lunch. It also makes it a little easier on us parents, having the extra hand once in a while reduces the "what to pack" panic.

A good routine to start is preparing snacks for the week on a Sunday night and let the kids choose what to pack in their own lunches. I also find when our daughter chooses the foods she brings to school with her, the more likely she is to eat up all her lunch and not bring home left overs of what she didn't like that I may have packed for her.

An easy snack tip: Pop extra popcorn the night before and pre-package it in individual snack containers (to keep it tasting that just-popped freshness). For a quick hint of flavour, put the popcorn in a large bowl and sprinkle taco seasoning or parmesan cheese to taste, shake until gently coated.

Another great idea if you have extra time to spare is the Orville Redenbacher's Power Crunch Bars. We all know that Orville Redenbacher has been a family known name for over 40 years. variety of popcorn flavours in both microwavable and kettle corn popcorn. Orville Redenbacher's Power Crunch Bars are a simple to prepare snack that will score straight A's with the kids. Check out the recipe below!

 Orville's Power Crunch Bars

Serves: 24 servings (1 bar each)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes

  • 1 mini bag (31 g each) Orville Redenbacher's® Smart Pop!® 100 Calorie Buttery Flavour
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3/4 Cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup margarine, softened
  • 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 *serving (1/3 sec spray) PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 15x10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove any unpopped kernels; set aside.
  3. Combine brown sugar and margarine in large bowl, using electric mixer on high speed.  Add water and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy.  Gradually add flour mixture and blend well. Turn mixer on low speed; add cranberries.
  4. Cover hands with plastic gloves or sandwich size plastic bags; spray with cooking spray. Mix popcorn into dough. Spread mixture into prepared pan.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Let cool before cutting into 24 bars.  Store in tightly sealed container.

For more great recipes the whole family will love visit www.orville.com Happy first day back everyone! What are some of your favourite creations using popcorn?


*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of Orville Redenbacher. We received a sample product for review purposes. Recipe and information provided by representatives of Orville Redenbacher. All opinions and comments are honest and always our own.*



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