(Joyce Trepus welcomes your questions at 503-292-2741).

When my three children were small, I cooked, baked, dehydrated and froze a seemingly endless amount of food. My children loved waffles and crepes, so we always had them in the freezer.

Now you can purchase relatively good waffles in your grocery store and turn them into wonderful grill-less sandwiches. To make, just add cheese slices, a tomato slice and some leftover meat or poultry, and microwave just to soften the cheese. Cool, wrap in plastic wrap and send off to school.

To make child-accepted sushi, cut crusts from soft bread and roll the bread thin. Spread with softened cream cheese or hummus. Add a few very thin carrot sticks, celery sticks and whatever other vegetables the child will eat, roll like a jellyroll and cut slices to wrap and send to school.

Remember to test these foods at home so you know whether they will be eaten at school. Also, be careful to only pack foods your children enjoy, and avoid adding anything that could cause embarrassment.

My husband still remembers his most embarrassing lunch: His Mom had poured soda pop into one of the old-fashioned thermos bottles with the stopper that had a metal lever. He didn't know what was in the thermos, so he shook it like he did for juice and chocolate milk. When he released the lever, the whole thing blew, and the stopper ended up stuck in the ceiling tile.

And as a side note, I recently had a pre-birthday tea with my granddaughter and I learned of a new food category called 'sprinkles.' Her butterfly-shaped sandwich was served with sprinkles, which were colored sugar sprinkled on the top slice of bread. I know I'm a little out of the mainstream, but this was real news to me.

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