Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Lunchbox Kids YouTube Reviews are Here!

The Lunchbox Kids Food Reviews

I'm so excited to tell you about the newest feature here at Lunchbox Dad. We have remodeled our YouTube channel and our introducing The Lunchbox Kids. Have you ever wondered if those snacks designed for kids will go over well? Do kids really like them? What about those other products that are supposed to be the "perfect" new thing to help your children? That's what Lunchbox Kids is all about!

On a regular basis our Lunchbox Kids videos will show you the honest truth about what my kids think about all of these products. This includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. Believe me, we've already had some hilarious moments! Our goal is to make these funny, engaging, and helpful.

So please go check out the remodel on our channel and our first two Lunchbox Kids episodes. My children will tell you what they love and what they don't like about Clif Kids ZBars and also Wausome Wafers, a healthier line of snack crackers.

Click the picture above or the link below to check out The Lunchbox Kids and follow our YouTube channel!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Hero 6 Bento Lunch and Tutorial

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Hewlett Packard for their new product Sprout by HP. I received compensation for participating in this campaign.Big Hero 6 superhero bento lunch

A few days ago I was able to take my kids to see the amazingly awesome Disney movie Big Hero 6. We don't have cable so my kids hadn't seen commercials for it, so they had no idea what they were in for. They absolutely loved it. If you have seen it, you know what I'm talking about. I knew that I had to put together a Big Hero 6 lunch soon. I made this for my daughter and made my son a special Baymax treat also. Baymax is actually a turkey quesadilla! Not in the movie, but in my lunch. That would be weird if he was turkey quesadilla in the movie. I tried to make each container have something from the film. Have you or your kids seen this yet? What is your favorite part? Let me know below!


Disney's Big Hero 6 Bento Lunch
Many times I get asked how I have time to make lunches like this. I thought I would add a little something extra to this post and show you some ways, that save time making lunches, using this one as an example (the recipe is still here just at the bottom). 

Honestly, it starts with having fun. You need to want to have a little fun with food and your kids. It doesn't have to be complicated at all. You can begin with just using cookie cutters on sandwiches. It literally takes an extra few seconds. Then you just experiment. See what you have time for and what your kids like. I also try and use food that I already have. It is less wasteful and saves a trip to the store. The next step is owning a good reusable lunchbox. It will save money in the long run and make it easy to plan your lunches. From there, it just takes your imagination.

One other tool that I highly recommend is something that makes it easy to take and keep pictures of what you are doing. Even if you don't want to start a blog, you will want to keep these awesome memories you are creating. For me the Sprout by HP is the best choice for this. You can read my initial reactions to it in my post HERE. My kids and I love looking back at old pictures and your family will as well. The Sprout lets you scan in the lunches (or any creations your family makes), easily edit the photos, save them to your hard drive, and share them online, all in one device. Here was my process yesterday.
Making a Big Hero 6 lunch with the Sprout by HP
I started off by seeing what the different characters looked like and what powers they had (pic 1). Then I scanned in the yubo lunchbox and started sketching out on the Sprout's touch mat what food would go in each container (pic 2). I used those ideas to make the lunch (pic 3). When the lunch was made, I scanned it into the Sprout (pic 4, screenshot unedited). I then edited the photos, saved them, and uploaded them online to my blog...all from one device. The Sprout saves me so much time now that I am able to do everything on one machine.

Hopefully these ideas can help you save time, energy, and make some fun lunches for your kids. You can see more about the Sprout by HP here. Now on to the recipe. Please make sure and follow me on my social media channels for even more lunch and parenting tips!


Baymax Big Hero 6 Lunch
Ingredients
Tortillas
Turkey or chicken
White cheese
Babybel cheese
Brussel Sprouts (or other favorite veggies)
Blackberries (or other favorite fruit)
Circle shaped crackers
Grapes
Low Fat cream cheese
Crushed cereal
Black food coloring or food coloring marker


Directions
1. Place your child's favorite fruit and vegetables as the background in the main container. I used brussel sprouts and blackberries.

2. Cut out the shape of Baymax from two white tortillas as shown. Put cheese and meat inside. Heat up in microwave and put in refrigerator to cool. Trim off excess cheese and tortilla bits once cold. This is much easier to do after it is cold. Place Baymax on top of fruit and vegetables. Make his eyes using black food coloring or food coloring marker. 

3. In a side dish place circle shaped crackers. I used Wausome cheese wafers because my kids love them. I also thought they looked like GoGo's discs that she uses for on her suit.

4. Use a sharp knife to cut the words "Big Hero 6" out of the red wax of Babybel cheese. This is optional but I thought of it at the last minute and thought it was a fun touch. Place it anywhere near Baymax.
Big Hero 6 bento lunch Honey Lemon and GoGo
5. In the second side dish are Honey Lemon's Chem-Balls. In the movie these are different colors and do many useful things. These were inspired by a recipe I used in this lunch here. I just covered grapes in a small amount of cream cheese. I then rolled them in different colors of crushed cereal. 

6. Serve to your kids and watch the smile spread across their faces!


Disney's Big Hero 6 Superhero Bento Lunch

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mr Potato Head Bento Lunch


If you missed my Toy Story Jessie lunch from a few weeks ago, my family went with a Toy Story theme for Halloween this year. We had a great time, and I hope you did as well. I wanted to put some closure on this time of year by doing one last Toy Story lunch. I went with a Mr. Potato Head lunch because my wife and I dressed in these costumes. Who knows, maybe a Woody and Buzz lunch will come eventually. Instead of making a bunch of potato head pieces out of food, I thought it would be fun to give the toy a scare and actually serve potatoes a few different ways!

I made this lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. I also did some of the picture taking and editing on my new Sprout by HP device. I am still getting used to the Sprout, but it sure is fun! I hope this can inspire you to do some creative food ideas during the upcoming holiday season.

Ingredients
Whole wheat sprouted bread
White cheese
Cheddar cheese
Ham
Sweet Pepper
Black yogurt covered raisin
Black edible modeling dough
Brussel sprouts, cooked
Grapes
Baked potatoes
Potato chips

Directions
1. Cut two slices of bread into potato shape. Cut ham and cheese into other potato head pieces as shown. Slice yogurt covered raisin in half for the eyes.

2. Mold modeling dough into the shape of a mustache. I was going to use nori but I didn't have any. Either will work.

3. Place bread in main dish and place brussel sprouts as the feet. Surround him with grapes. Arrange other potato head pieces as shown.

4.In one side dish put leftover baked potatoes. I used mini organic ones from a local farm and seasoned them with my daughter's favorite spice. In second side dish put a few potato chips.

5. If you have any other ideas for pieces, feel free to use them instead of the potato side dished I put in. Let me know what you came up with!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Sprout by HP is Perfect for Families and Creative Projects!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Hewlett Packard for their new product Sprout by HP. I received compensation for participating in this campaign.
Sprout by HP

Yesterday HP made a huge announcement and showed the world their innovative new device, the Sprout! I was given the top secret mission of playing around with this machine over the past few weeks and I am so thrilled I finally get to talk about it. You know that I am passionate about showing parents new products that can help make their lives easier. The Sprout has changed the way I think about editing pictures, creating graphics, and how my kids interact with the digital world. It is a dual screen device with a Touch Mat that acts as the second screen. There is also a built in projector and camera that captures 2D and 3D images. I know, it sounds like something out of science fiction, so instead of just telling you about the Sprout by HP features that make me excited, I thought I would show you. 

After you watch the video below, scroll down so you can see see more about this family friendly creativity station. For the next few months I will be regularly posting more about the Sprout, from project ideas to how my family is using it, on my social media sites and here on Lunchbox Dad. I don't want you to miss anything.



As you can see from the video, the Sprout is unlike any device you've ever used. There are so many ways that families and creative types can use it. Here are a few of the features that I've enjoyed about it so far.

The Sprout setup is simple. No busy parent wants to spend hours setting up a new device like this. Snap together the plug in the monitor, snap in the Touch Mat, and you're ready to go!


HP Sprout installation

The Sprout makes it simple to scan in physical objects. You just place the item on the Touch Mat, push two buttons, and it's done. We have been scanning in lunchboxes, superhero action figures, and pretty much anything else we can fit on the Touch Mat! From there the pictures can easily be edited using your finger or the included stylus. You then combine these objects with your digital projects for what HP calls "blended reality." We have had so much fun with this feature. In fact, for the picture below, I scanned in actual food made in the shape of the different letters "REIMAGINE."


Editing photos and graphics is ridiculously easy. I have worked with all sorts of photo editing software and the is the most intuitive program I have seen. It is a snap to crop, remove shadow, add backgrounds, and create layers. Even if you have never used a photo editing program you will be able to pick up the basics of this right away.



The kids apps are so fun and creative! My children love playing with the Crayola drawing app. They color in pictures while creating music at the same time. The color and tool combinations seem to be endless. Their favorite part is the stickers feature. They are constantly scanning in Legos, dolls, or even their own hands to add to pictures. Did I mention my 8 year-old and 4 year-old can do all of this on their own? This is a parent's dream!


Sprout by HP

The Touch Mat is washable! If you are a parent you know that no matter how careful you are, accidents and dirty hands happen. Most kids have the superpower of somehow destroying an entire house using only a blueberry muffin. You can just wipe down the Touch Mat using a damp cloth and it is ready to be used again.



The Sprout's technical specs are stunning. From the beautiful 20" touchscreen display, to the powerful Core i7 processor, to the 1TB SSD hybrid drive, this thing runs like a finely tuned sports car. HP also included 4 USB ports and a built in memory card reader just because they never want you to run out of ports. To top it off there is a built in HD webcam for all of the video calls your parents want your kids, I mean you, to make to them.

These are just a few of the many features that I have discovered with the Sprout. I encourage you to go to the Sprout by HP website to see more details and videos that demonstrate what this device can do. I can't wait to show you more of the projects I am working on so keep remember to checking back so you don't miss any of the fun!

#parentproductreviews

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ghostbusters Bento Lunch

Ghostbusters Bento Lunch

Today was one of those days. My wife was gone and I thought I would be industrious and make this lunch during the afternoon with my three kids around. Any parent knows that when you are dealing with three kids, it's just a matter of time before things go sideways. The good news is I got the lunch done. The bad news is that it isn't as "Ghostbustery" as I wanted. But hey, there's the logo and there's slime, so the two most important things are there. 

My kids haven't seen the movie but we had fun putting together the Ecto-1 Lego car last month. Anyone out there remember the cartoon from the 80's? I used to watch it every Saturday morning as a kid. The one thing missing from this lunch would be the best Hi-C flavor ever invented: Ecto-Cooler. Full of sugar but boy did it taste amazing.
Ghostbusters Collage Lego Ecto 1
I made this in a Planetbox container with a Halloween Lunchbox Love note. I also used custom magnets made for the Planetbox from a company called Max and Otis. Make sure and follow me on my social media channels. Also, if you sign up for my email list you will get a free copy of my ebook with exclusive recipes. Thanks for reading!

Ghostbusters Bento Lunch
Ingredients
Red apple
Tortilla
Black food coloring
Yogurt
Green food coloring
Blackberries
Boo Chips
Orange Sweet Pepper
Snap peas
Ghost shaped Peep
Plastic Halloween decorations


Directions
1. Cut the ghost hape out of a tortilla. It is very easy to do with a sharp knife. Make the facial details with black food coloring. You could also make two pieces and melt cheese in between for a quesadilla. 

2. Slice a red apple into pieces and arrange in the main dish in a circular pattern. This was a little difficult so if you could think of another red food that would work let me know. Place tortilla on top and one apple slice on top of that to finish the Ghostbuster logo.

3. Place blackberries in side dish and arrange Halloween decorations on top. In second side dish put sliced sweet pepper and snap peas. Drop a Ghost Peep on top. I thought this kind of looked like the lazer beam the Ghostbusters use to trap ghosts. 

4. In the last side dish put some Boo Ghost Chips. In a leak proof container mix yogurt with green food coloring to make the famous slime that the Ghostbusters got covered with. 

5. Finish with a Lunchbox Love note if desired.


Ghostbusters Bento Lunch

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Fun Food Linkup

Halloween Fun Food Link Up

Halloween Spooky Graveyard LunchIt's almost that time of year so why not share some great food ideas. Please share your fun food Halloween ideas below! Just use the widget below to easily share your link.

If you share, please also share this link up on your social media so everyone can join in the fun!

Here is my Spooky Graveyard lunch from a few years ago. To see the ingredients and recipe just click HERE.








Monday, October 20, 2014

Black and Bleu Bacon Sliders


I have been on vacation this past week but I thought I would share with you one of our families favorite burger recipes. If you're looking for a burger with flavors that will dazzle your friends at your next party, but is easy enough to whip together in minutes, you've found your recipe. The great thing about this slider is that the mushrooms, bacon, and bleu cheese work together perfectly. This unique burger is always the favorite.

Makes Six Sliders

Ingredients
1 lb. hamburger meat
16 ounces sliced mushrooms
4 slices bacon
1/3 cup bleu cheese
Pretzel slider buns
Dijon mustard (optional)

Directions

1. Mix bleu cheese in to hamburger meat. Form into small patties and heat up your grill.

2. In large pan cook bacon slices until halfway done. Remove and cut into small pieces. Put bacon back into pan along with the mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While mushrooms and bacon are cooking, BBQ patties until they are fully cooked.

4. Place patties on pretzel buns and cover with mushrooms and bacon. You can spread a little Dijon mustard on the bun if desired.

5. Serve and enjoy!