With lunch bells poised to ring, we here thought it would be fun to get kids involved in making their own meals.

With lunch bells poised to ring throughout Central Ohio, we here at Columbus Parent thought it would be fun to get kids involved in making their own meals.

We enlisted some expert advice on lunch box goodies with some (kid) assembly required.

We asked Jill Jacobs, owner of the Young Chefs Academy in Gahanna, what she thought about asking kids to put the finishing touches on their lunch while in the school cafeteria.

"I think it's a really good idea," she said. "When kids have a hand in making their own food, they are more interested in eating it."

Lori Mooney, a dietician at the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children's Hospital, agreed. It's also a way to make lunch more exciting, she said, adding: "You can get really creative."

RECIPES from Jill Jacobs at Young Chefs Academy:

ASIAN BARBECUE WRAP

WHAT TO PACK

A flour tortilla About 1 tablespoon of shredded carrots 1/4 of a cucumber, seeded and diced About 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds About a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded chicken 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce A clean paintbrush, pastry brush or spoon A cloth napkin or paper towel for child to use as work space

KID ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Spread out the paper towel or napkin. Place the tortilla on top. Using your spoon or brush cover the tortilla with barbecue sauce. Carefully place vegetables, seeds and chicken in the middle of the tortilla. Roll up the burrito.

PIZZA PASTA SALAD

WHAT TO PACK

4 to 6 ounces of pasta salad prepared with dressing but without meat or cheese, in container with room for more ingredients A small green onion Four pieces of turkey pepperoni A mozzarella cheese stick 2 fresh basil leaves Plastic knife and small cutting board

KID ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Slice the pepperoni into quarters, add to pasta salad. Slice or break apart the cheese stick, add to pasta salad. Cut up the onion, add to pasta salad. Mince the basil, add to pasta salad.

RECIPES from Lori Mooney at Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition

YOGURT PARFAIT

WHAT TO PACK

6 ounces of Greek yogurt poured into a container designed to hold about twice that amount 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh berries or sliced fruit 1 to 2 tablespoons of granola

KID ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Add fruit to yogurt and stir. Sprinkle granola on top of the yogurt mixture.

MINI CRACKER SANDWICHES

WHAT TO PACK

6 to 8 whole wheat crackers 2 pieces of deli meat, sliced in quarters A slice of cheese, quartered 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing that was made ahead; Mooney makes her own healthy dressing by combining two cups of plain yogurt and a package of dry ranch dressing mix.

KID ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Make cracker sandwiches and spread with ranch dressing.