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Pledge to Pack a Healthier Lunchbox

/ -- MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 07/18/16 -- (Family Features) If good eating habits have fallen by the wayside during the summer break, you can kick off this school year right by pledging to guide your family toward healthier lunches.

"Back to school is a great time for families to make a healthy resolution they can carry on through the duration of the school year," said Trish James, vice president, Produce for Kids. "As a mom of two boys, I understand the challenges parents face when packing a healthy, nutritious lunch for their children and for themselves. The Power Your Lunchbox Pledge was designed to help families tackle this universal challenge."

The initiative gives parents tools and tips -- such as this time-saving make-ahead pizza pocket recipe -- to achieve a great start for back to school, while giving back to children in need. Every online pledge results in a $1 donation to Feeding America programs that support families and children.

Photo courtesy of Produce for Kids

Find more creative ideas and join the discussion on Instagram and Twitter using #PowerYourLunchbox, and learn more about the program and its sponsors at

Freezable Pizza Pockets
Prep time: 90 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

1 1/2     cups all-purpose flour
1         teaspoon quick rise yeast
1         teaspoon sugar
1/2       teaspoon salt
2         tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
1         cup slightly warm water
3/4       cup uncooked oat bran hot cereal
3/4       cup whole-wheat flour
1/3       cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/2       cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
16        slices pepperoni, quartered
4         mushrooms, sliced
4         mini sweet peppers, sliced

In stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar and salt. With motor running, add 2 tablespoons oil and warm water. Switch paddle attachment to dough hook. Add oat bran and mix until combined. Add whole-wheat flour a little at a time and stop when slightly sticky ball forms. Continue to run mixer 1 minute. Brush ball of dough with remaining olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise 1 hour.

Heat oven to 450 F. Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Punch down dough. Dust counter lightly with flour. Roll out half of dough to 1/4-inch thick, dusting with more flour if too sticky. Use 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut rounds.

Spoon 1 teaspoon tomato sauce into middle of each round. Add 1/2 tablespoon cheese, 4 quarters of pepperoni, mushroom slice and 2 pepper rings. Moisten edges of dough with water. Fold dough over filling and press to seal. Use fork tines to crimp and further seal edges.

Place pizza pockets on baking sheet and poke top of each with fork.

Bake 15 minutes, or until tops are browned (some cheese may leak out).

Once cool, freeze in single layer on baking sheet. Once frozen, wrap individually in plastic wrap and transfer to freezer bag.

Notes: If placed in lunchbox frozen, even with ice pack, they will defrost by lunchtime. Serve with 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons hummus and a clementine.

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Michael French