3 Ideas to Get Your Kids Out of the House and Burning Energy This Summer

Monday, July 10, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Stride Rite. All opinions are my own. 
Stride Rite

Summertime causes numerous reactions among parents. Sometimes it's relief that school is over, sometimes it's terror, other times it's just sheer exhaustion at the very thought of summer vacation. No matter what reaction you had when your child burst through the doors of their school for the last time this school year, one thing is for sure. If you don't get your kids outside for awhile, your house won't be standing for another week.

Don't worry we've got you covered with some fun ideas. All you need to do is grab sunscreen for your kids, tasty snacks, water bottle, some comfortable shoes like Stride Rite Leepz, and get buckled up in the car for some fun!
Stride Rite

1. Do a local playground crawl.
This will take a little planning but the idea is that you create a route to hit 3-5 local playgrounds in a row. Start in the morning when the weather is cool and spend about 20 minutes at each playground. Set a timer and when it reaches zero, everyone races to the car and then you hit the next stop on the tour. This way the kids get plenty of exercise and they don't get bored being at one place for too long. You can always cut the crawl short if the kids (or you) are getting tired.

Stride Rite

2. Head to the local museums.
Most cities have science or history museums that sell memberships, season passes, or even have free days. We use these passes to the fullest extent. These places seriously don't make much money off of us because we are hauling our family there so much. One of our favorites is the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. They have indoor exhibits, kids areas, and outdoor trails. Many museums also have special events throughout the summer. Make a note of the dates that will work with the age level of your kids.

Stride Rite

3. Nighttime Race down the block. 
Everything is more fun when it's almost dark out, right? We have our kids strap on their Stride Rite Leepz because they light up with every step. It's not just a walk around the block, it's a nighttime race with flashing lights! Not only does this make it easier to get them excited about running around, the obvious benefit is that it helps them get rid of that last bit of energy before bedtime. It's a win-win.

Stride Rite

I hope you have a fantastic summer and that your house is still standing by the end of it! Let me know which of the above tips that you try and what ideas of your own work like magic. To pick up a pair of Stride Rite Leepz, just head on over to www.striderite.com! They have great features like lighting up with every step, fixed laces so you never have to retie them, memory foam insole for comfort, and high rebound insoles.


The Allowance Hack That All Our Friends Ask Us About

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Swiffer. All opinions are my own.

I am convinced that 86.7% of parental headaches are due in large part to thinking about how to navigate topics like allowances and chores. That is, at least until your kids are old enough to drive and start dating. But we found a system that works for us, and it might be the top parent hack that our friends always want to hear more about.

When I Became a Dad, I Became...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pampers. All opinions are my own.

When you are single and childless you have plans for your life and you see things a certain way. There are natural talents you have and skills that you see you could develop one day. From an early age I realized that I wanted to work in an office type of job and probably didn't want to focus on manual labor. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I worked construction and landscaping for years in high school and college. I just knew that I was built for something different. So I earned a degree and went off into my career, imagining how I would change the world.

Enter Down Below to Win FREE Pampers Baby Dry Diapers for a Month!

All I Want for Father's Day is to Cook These Saucy Chicken Sliders With My Kids + Electric Smoker Giveaway!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Farm Rich. All opinions are my own.

Father's Day is almost here which means one thing, dads get to do whatever they want all day long! Not only that but it's dad's choice for the meals too. In my world that means it's time to get the kids and get into the kitchen. I love cooking with my kids! It's so fun being on the same team working to put a meal together. If you are a dad, and you've never cooked alongside your kids, you really need to make that part of your Father's Day present this year. If you do, these Saucy Chicken Sliders made with Farm Rich Buffalo Style Boneless Chicken Bites and BBQ Style Boneless Chicken Bites should definitely be on your menu!

We love Farm Rich products because they are easy to make, our entire family will eat them, and they use wholesome ingredients like all white-meat chicken. One of the exciting things they are doing for Father's Day is giving away a 2-in-1 electric smoker! Actually 3 lucky people will each win a smoker! Would winning that make your day or what? It's really easy to enter. Just head over to their Facebook page and read the post pinned to the top of their page. All the instructions will be right there. Good luck and continue reading below to learn how to make these easy saucy sliders!

Before we get to the recipe, there's one thing to remember. When I cook with my kids, I have to go into it with a mindset of having fun. Things won't be perfect and spills will happen. I try to remember to embrace the mess, goof off, and enjoy the time with my kids because it goes by so fast. Before I know it, they will be all grown up. But until then, we will enjoy making these chicken sliders together!

Saucy Chicken Sliders
Makes 4 sliders per box of Farm Rich Chicken Bites

How to Throw an Amazing Nintendo Themed Birthday Party

Monday, June 12, 2017

I partnered with Nintendo for this post. I received no monetary compensation but they did send my family a Nintendo Switch and accessories for the party. All opinions are my own.
Nintendo Switch Review
Flashback two months ago to a conversation with my son. We were talking with him about what kind of birthday party he wanted, and he had no clue. We gave him all sorts of ideas from the local amusement park, to seeing a movie, to going bowling. Nothing was exciting him at all. Every idea was just "ok." Mind you this is a soon-to-be seven year old we're talking about, not a teenager. It's not like he had an attitude about it, he just didn't know how he wanted to celebrate. My wife and I were a little frustrated and honestly getting a little concerned. At this point we were thinking the party could possibly consist of a bowl of cereal and a video rental from Redbox.

Then one day everything changed. We came up with an idea. Would he go for it or would the idea be discarded like so many others we had presented in the last few weeks? We gave it a try and told our son what we were thinking. His eyes lit up and the answer was a resounding "YES!" What was the winning theme? A Nintendo party! After the excitement and jubilation has died down a bit, reality set in. We realized we had never thrown a character themed birthday party before. We both grew up around Nintendo, so we had a good start. But that is mostly all we had, a start.

Nintendo Switch Review

We did have one more thing. We had a centerpiece to the party, the new Nintendo Switch. So if all else failed at least we had an amazing video game system to keep my son and his friends occupied. But more about that later. The next place we went was Pinterest. I created a board to start loading up on some food, game, and craft ideas. Lastly, we came up with a few ideas ourselves that we thought we could work in. We may have had some "Pinterest Fails" along the way, but we definitely learned how to put together a Nintendo party. Here is how we did it, and how you can throw your own Nintendo character themed party!

The Food

How We Flew our Family of 5 to Disney World for Basically Free!

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Have you ever looked into taking your family to Disney World, or Disneyland, added up the hefty cost, and then remembered you still had to get there somehow? We have done that. In fact we had been saving for a couple years to take our family to Disney World. However, the plane tickets for a family of five added thousands of dollars to the trip. We starting looking into deals on flights and couldn't find anything that helped much.

Then we stumbled across a blog post from thekrazycouponlady.com about how she flew her family to Disney World and Disneyland for free. It sounded too good to be true, so we didn't act on it for a little while. However, we couldn't get the strategy out of our heads so we decided to try it. Guess what? It worked! Thanks Krazy Coupon Lady! Not only are we flying our family to Disney World for almost free, but we are also able to fly other places to visit family members for almost free. Did I mention that we earned a pass that lets someone fly with you on unlimited flights for free for over a year as well? These tickets were almost free because you do still have to pay a few dollars for miscellaneous government fees for plane tickets and a couple small annual fees. However it is nothing compared to the thousands of dollars you save!

Watch the video below to find our how we flew to Disney World for basically FREE!

How to Create an Unforgettable Family Backyard Summer Campout!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Newell Brands. All opinions are my own. 
Dads Guide to Summer

Hey it's finally summertime! This means no more school lunches, no more crazy outfits for spirit week, and more time to spend at home with your family. So the big question is, how do you make this summer the most memorable possible? If you are anything like my family you throw a backyard campout using items from around the house!

Here is what we love about camping in the backyard. All of your supplies are about 50 ft. away from your campsite, you don't have to play Tetris packing your camping equipment in your car, and you can use an actual inside bathroom. Unless you have "porta potty" in your backyard instead. But in that case you might want to first work on a permanent bathroom instead of a portable toilet. So if you are looking to make some memories over the next few months, follow my tips below for an easy summer campout that you can put together in no time!

Dads Guide to Summer

Lunchbox Dad's 2017 Father's Day Gift Guide

Friday, June 2, 2017

Father's Day

It's almost Father's Day and you are still struggling with what to get the dad or husband in your life. Don't worry because I got you covered. Not only am I including specific products that I recommend, but this year I am also giving you a couple general ideas that you can customize for your dad. This is the only guide you will need, so pick something off of this list and you won't go wrong. I was not paid to talk about any of these products. I received some items for free for testing purposes and some items I purchased on my own. Only gifts that I have personally tested are included or they wouldn't be anywhere near this list. So read on to find the perfect Father's Day gift for the dad in your life!

Grillbot Review

A Birthday Cake Lunch for My Son

Monday, May 22, 2017

birthday bento lunch

It's my oldest son's birthday today, and it's the last week of school, so I had to make him a fun birthday cake lunch to celebrate! He's seven years-old-today and the time has gone by so fast. Of course he has been counting down the days for the past week and a half. If you have kids you know how it goes. We are planning to go out to dinner at his favorite restaurant of the moment. But hopefully he will enjoy this lunch first. If your child has a birthday coming up, Then this might be a fun idea to try!

BBQ Chocolate Fruit Pizza "Messipe" + Bonus Cleanup Hacks and Autographed Giveaway!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This post is sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. All opinions are my own.
Freddie Prinze Jr.

Mess. Even the thought of the word causes many parents to collapse in exhaustion. However, when you have kids, it's just a part of life so why not embrace it? This is especially true in the kitchen. Whether you are a trained chef, or a six-year-old, messes in the kitchen will happen. In my family, we have tons of fun with my kids in the kitchen and that's why I was so excited to partner with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Palmolive Ultra Strength to create a "Messipe." A "Messipe" is basically when you can enjoy the experience of cooking a recipe together as a family, embrace the mess that will happen during this time, and easily clean it up afterwards. Be sure to check out Freddie's Messipes on the Palmolive Facebook. 

We came up with the idea of a personal chocolate and fruit dessert pizza that you grill on the BBQ! Not only that, but each person can choose to top their pizza the way that they want it. It was definitely a rewarding experience, and we will be making this "Messipe" again and again throughout the summer. You can find the "Messipe" below, but we've also included some hacks using Palmolive Ultra Strength that will make cleanup a snap. Lastly, two readers will win an autographed set of Freddie Prinze Jr.'s own personal "Messipes" and a Palmolive Ultra Strength "Messipes" kit! Did I ever tell you about the time that I competed with Freddie on a show and won? We made our own bento lunches, beat the other team, and took home the trophy!

Freddie Prinze Jr.

So make sure and scroll down to see my "Messipe," cleanup hacks, and win a "Messipes" kit featuring autographed "Messipes" from Freddie Prinze Jr.!

Baby Groot Guardians of the Galaxy Lunch!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Baby Groot might just be the most popular character in movies this summer. And really, you can't really blame people for loving him. He talks cute, kicks butt, and steals red atomic launch buttons from Rocket Raccoon. I have been waiting to watch Guardians of Galaxy with my kids ever since the first movie came out. I think they are almost ready to handle it and they have been begging to watch it for years. The new movie trailers with Baby Groot haven't helped matters much either. Well, until we are able to see the movies, this lunch will have to do!

I made the lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. I am not including step-by-step directions because they are pretty self explanatory, and it's the end of the school year, but the ingredients are listed below. Have a great end of the school year!

The Princess Bride Bento Lunch, Can You Guess All the Movie References?

Monday, May 8, 2017

For as long as I can remember The Princess Bride has been one of my favorite family movies. I don't know when it started for me because I don't think that it was a hit in the theatre. Obviously it has developed a cult following over the years. Can you believe it's been almost 30 years since it was released? It is always a pleasure to introduce this film to new generations. I had one of those moments recently when I watched this with my kids for the first time. Of course, I had to make a fun lunch for them based on the movie.

What is your favorite part of The Princess Bride? For me it is probably the infamous Vizzini wine death scene. It is so hard to pick the top one though! There are so many iconic scenes it was pretty much impossible to get all of the best ones into this one lunch. Every compartment of the Easy Lunch Box has something from the movie in it though. Can you name all the references? The answers are below!

How to Make a Star Wars BB-8 Breakfast Sandwich (with video tutorial)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


By now you should know that my family is full of Star Wars fans. We love everything about it and we, of course, dress up for Star Wars Day each year. It's because of this admiration (and fun that we have) that I developed this fun breakfast recipe for my kids. Don't be fooled though. Even though this is a BB-8 breakfast sandwich, it is great for any meal. Watch my video below to find out how to easily make it!

Star Wars Luke Skywalker Lunch

Monday, May 1, 2017


In my family Star Wars isn't just a movie series, it's a way of life. If you have read my blog for awhile, this will not come as a surprise. It's pretty much been a constant theme around here since I began making fun lunches four years ago. The odd thing is that I just recently realized that I had never made a Luke Skywalker lunch. I have made Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2D2, BB-8, and even a Kylo Ren lunch. But never Luke. It appears as if I have neglected the character who brought hope to the galaxy.

Well, this week the neglect ends. There many types of Luke to choose from, but I decided on the X-Wing Pilot Luke. There is no deep reason behind it except that I had all the ingredients on hand to create it with! I made this lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.

Seven 80's Movies on Netflix That You Need to Watch With Your Kids This Weekend

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stream Team

Sometimes you need a little 80's nostalgia, and you need it right now. This is one reason why I loved the show Stranger Things. It reminded me of all the great entertainment we grew up with in the 1980's. If a movie was good enough for us kids then, it should be good enough for our own kids now, right? Here are seven movies that you need to watch with your kids, and that you can stream on Netflix right now.

Seven 80's Movies on Netflix That You Need to Watch With Your Kids This Weekend
Adventures in Babysitting
This one always had a special place in my heart. I don't know if it was Elizabeth Shue, a guy who looks like Thor, a rat the size of a small dog, or the fact the zany 80's hijinks. No matter what it is this is a fun movie to watch with your preteens.

Two Mary Poppins Jolly Holiday Lunches!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Disney bento lunches

For as long as I can remember my family has loved the movie Mary Poppins. It all started with my daughter watching it quite a bit as a little kid, and then continued with my two sons. We have the DVD which we used to take on road trips in our old minivan. It was always a fantastic choice to keep the kids entertained and to sing along with.

Unicorn Yogurt Cones Recipe (With Video)

Friday, April 21, 2017

dessert recipes

If you are looking for a fun frozen yogurt dessert, look no further! Our family created these the other day, and we all loved them, so I thought I would show you how to make them as well. I have put the full recipe and a tutorial video below. My family especially loved the special sprinkle treat surprise in the middle of these Unicorn Cones. So make sure to watch the video and share with your friends who would love these unicorn treats too!

Unicorn Yogurt Cones Recipe
Ingredients: Vanilla greek yogurt, white chocolate chips, vegetable oil, sugar cones, sprinkles (multicolored mix, and pink, purple, silver), food coloring (pink, purple, and blue), lollipop sticks, egg carton, plastic container.

5 Ways the Warmer Weather Can Save Your Parenting Sanity

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Stride Rite. I was compensated but all opinions are my own.
Stride Rite Phibians

Now that Spring is here, all of us parents can breathe a sigh of relief. It means the the weather is warming up and we can kick the kids out of the house. Wait, what I guess I should have said is that we can spend more time with our children outdoors. Let's be honest, both sentences are probably true. It's great to be able to get the kids outside so that they can stop destroying the house when you turn your back for three minutes. However, it is also definitely fun to be able to take your kids places that you haven't seen since the weather decided single digit temperatures were much more fun than double digit temps. Since you probably have been pushed to your mental limits with cabin fever over the past few months, here are some outdoor ideas that have worked for us, and might work for you as well!

stride rite phibians

How to Make Edible Star Wars Easter Eggs (With Video Tutorial)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Star Wars craft

If your family is like mine you are crazy about Star Wars! We are also crazy about Easter. So this year I thought, why not combine the two into a fun craft? So I decided to make edible Star Wars themed Easter eggs for my kids. The best part is that the Star Wars exterior is completely edible and really easy to make!

Star Wars Easter Craft

You can watch the video below but all you will need is one plastic Easter egg for each character, something to stuff in the egg, different colored premade fondant or Wilton's Shape-N-Amaze. I buy premade fondant because it is way easier. I prefer Wilton's Shape N Amaze but it isn't available everywhere. I like it because it is a little stiffer than fondant. You will need as many colors as each character has in the design. You can combine colors to make other colors. For example, put a little black into white to make grey, or combine red and yellow to create orange. You will of course also need a knife and cutting board.

Below you will see pictures of every design that I created. I have also made a video that shows the tutorial to make BB-8, but you can use the same principles to make every design. Store these in sealable plastic container when done and set in Easter basket in the morning. Let me know if you have any questions. Please share with your friends who would love to make these for your own kids!

A Pokémon Pikachu Lunch! Gotta Collect All the Sandwiches!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pokemon Go Pokemon Sun and Moon Nintendo

This summer Pokémon Go took the world by storm. However, it didn't just capture the world's attention, it captured my son's attention. He had already started trading Pokémon cards with his friends and this came along. Then he heard about the Nintendo 3DS games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, and of course he wanted them. So let's just say that at times he has been a bit obsessed.

He has been requesting a Pokémon lunch for months, so it's pretty clear that it was long overdue. I honestly didn't start thinking about this one until two days ago so it came together pretty fast. Honestly the ingredients were really easy to come by, so it made the creation pretty simple. I built the lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. Read below to see how I made it and how you can make this lunch for your kids as well!

The Lunch I Never Wanted to Make: An Emoji Lunch

Monday, March 27, 2017

poop emoji winking emoji thumbs up

When I first started making fun lunches for my kids, I never imagined this would be one of the lunches I would be making. I want to be clear that I am anti emoji. I know, I know, it's like being a member of the fun police, right? I use them only when I have to, or I'm feeling lazy. It takes a little piece of my soul every time it happens however.

This is why this lunch was so hard for me to make, and why I have been so disappointed with my kids choices to suddenly become infatuated with this cultural obsession. Regardless, these lunches are not about me, they are about my kids so that means an emoji lunch had to be made. The only redeeming factor is that I had the chance to include poop in a lunch for the first time. I made this wretched lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container, and I hope my kids enjoy it because this is the last time I am making emojis for them. Probably.


All of My New Sugar Sprinkle Art Portraits Including Harry Potter, Beauty and The Beast, Star Wars, and More!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Harry Potter Star Wars Beauty and the Beast Disney
Who knew that sprinkles could be way more fun off the cupcake than on? A little while ago I was perusing Instagram and saw some people creating amazing works of art using items like sugar sprinkles. I thought it would be a fun little project to try for my kids. I had no idea if I could do it, but it actually turned out to be pretty enjoyable.

I turned it into #7DaysofSprinkles on my Instagram channel where I surprised my kids with a new portrait every morning. I used only a toothpick and my fingers to create the art, no stencils allowed. I even made a few videos since then showing how I made them (scroll to the end to see those). Each portrait usually took 30-40 minutes. Don't worry, I didn't feed these to my kids for breakfast, they were strictly for fun. The trick was getting inspiration from other works of art, using a smooth surface, and not getting frustrated. I hope you enjoy the results!

1. Beast From Beauty and The Beast
A post shared by Beau Coffron (@lunchboxdad) on

10 of the Most Superb St. Patrick's Day Snacks on Pinterest

Monday, March 13, 2017

St. Patty's Day
With St. Patrick's Day Day right around the corner, you can never have too many snack ideas. Don't worry I, along with Pinterest, have you covered. I rounded up ten of the hottest St. Patrick's Day snack ideas around. Your family will love you for it and it will help take your celebration to the next level!

1. Leprechaun Popcorn

Boba Fett Star Wars Lunch

Monday, March 6, 2017

Return of the Jedi

No matter what is going on in our family, no matter who left their Legos out, or who had a bad day, Star Wars can always bring us together. Rarely do a few days pass that my kids and I don't talk about the movies in one form or another. Boba Fett was always one of my favorite villains growing up, so I can't believe I haven't made a lunch for my kids featuring him yet. I remember that when I was a kid I picked out one of those plastic store bought costumes for Halloween. Remember those old ones where it was pretty much a solid piece of uncomfortable, non breathable plastic that ripped halfway through the night? I was so excited to be Boba Fett. So it was time to finally make this lunch.

I created this in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. Of course I had to also include the Sarlacc Pit where Boba Fett died in Return of the Jedi. Oops, maybe I should have said spoiler alert right there. Well, if you haven't seen the movie by now, that's probably your own fault. The second side dish is just symbolic of space and stars. If you want to know how I made the lunch, read on below!

Disney Beauty and the Beast Bento Lunch

Monday, February 27, 2017


I don't know about your family, but we are so excited for the new Disney Beauty and the Best live action movie to come out in theaters. I feel like my daughter has been asking about it for a year now. Beauty and the Beast is one of her favorite stories and Disney animated movies. Because she's so excited, I knew I had to make her a lunch to celebrate.

This one includes Belle's famous dress (which is actually a quesadilla), Beast's rose, and the book the Belle is reading towards the beginning of the movie! I made the lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. Will you be seeing this movie with your family? Have you seen it already? Let me know in the comments below! Read on to find out how I made the lunch for my daughter.

Cheesy Quesadilla I Love You Lunch

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sometimes it is okay to be a little cheesy with your kids. A lunch that says I love you is one of those times. I have done heart themed lunches in the past for Valentines Day, but I wanted this one to be a bit different. My goal was to make this one be half build your own, and the other half designed in a fun way. So this is actually a cheesy quesadilla and beans lunch. It will be interesting to see how my kids will react to this theme because, although they enjoy this type of food, my son usually doesn't go for the "mushy" themed lunches. He loves Star Wars, Super Heroes, and sports lunches but I think it is important to show some affection towards your kids. Normally this is done in a lunch note that I write, but I think he will appreciate this, even if he won't admit it.

I made this in an Easy Lunch Boxes container and I cut grape tomatoes in 45 degree sections, then put the sections together to form hearts! See how I easily made the rest below.

Golden State Warriors Steph Curry Sandwich Lunch

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dub Nation

About a year ago my family moved out to Oklahoma City after spending years in the San Francisco Bay Area. While we love where we live now, you can't take our love of Bay Area sports teams out of us! As far as NBA basketball, we are Golden State Warriors fans through and through. At my office I am known as the lone Warriors fan and my kids proudly represent the Dubs while at school.

If you ask my kids who their favorite Warrior's player is they will tell you it is two-time MVP Steph Curry. Kevin Durant is second but my two older kids love Steph. The Warriors are coming to town this week to play the Oklahoma City Thunder, but unfortunately we can't get our hands on these sold-out tickets. I would love to take my two older kids, but my wife doesn't really like the idea of taking out a second mortgage on the house to do it. So because we still want to support the Warriors this week, I made my kids this Steph Curry sandwich lunch. The sandwich is based on Steph Curry's jersey. Hopefully this lunch will bring the Dubs some luck and if anyone out there knows Steph (or any of the other Warriors) tell them there will be at least one family rooting for them in front of the TV in OKC this weekend!
If you want to make your own Warriors lunch (for your kids of course) check out my recipe below. I made this lunch in Easy Lunch Boxes container.

I Love You With All My Heart Lunch

Monday, February 6, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Crispy Green and the Produce for Kids' Power Your Lunchbox program. All opinions are my own.
Power your lunchbox pledge

Around four years and a half years ago, I was looking for a way to connect with my daughter. She is my oldest and was about to start Kindergarten. I wanted her to remember that whatever came her way, her daddy was thinking about her. I saw some moms making fun bento lunches online and I thought, "Hey, I'm a dad, why can't I do that?" So on Monday every week I have made sure that she knows that I love her with all my heart. This is why when I make lunches like this, it is more than a box filled with fun shapes, it represents why I started doing this in the first place.

Because these lunches are fun and meaningful, I always want to include food that is both healthy and tasty. In fact, we are consistently trying to introduce new and healthy food to our kids. Lunchtime is a great way to do that. We have been trying out some snacks from Crispy Green, called Crispy Fruit, and my family loves them. They are freeze dried and 100% pure fruit--no added sugar or preservatives! For this lunch I thought the apple colors matched the theme of the lunch really well.

Crispy Fruit

Crispy Green is also one of the sponsors for Power Your Lunchbox Pledge. In August 21,674 families and classrooms pledged to eat a healthier lunchbox, helping to provide 238,414 meals for families in need through Feeding America. This pledge program empowers families with tips, ideas, and recipes to make healthy lunchboxes. When you take the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge to eat a healthier lunch, you can get money saving coupons and money will be donated to Feeding America to provide meals to families in need. To take the pledge and help feed families, go visit the Power Your Lunchbox website now!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Rollup Valentine's Day Lunch

Monday, January 30, 2017

valentines day

It's almost Valentine's Day so I decided to get a head start on putting a little extra love in my kids' lunches. We also spent part of the weekend experimenting with some recipes so I thought I would add one of our experiments into the lunch. It's the Twisted Peanut Butter and Jelly Snacks that you see. The recipe video is coming soon. I'll include it in this post when it is done. Until then, hopefully this lunch can inspire you with a few ideas for your own kids' lunches!

7 Ways Kids Can Take Care of the Family Dog

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Swiffer. All opinions are my own.

Every parent has heard that one line. You know the one, "I promise I will take care of it." But we know better. It doesn't matter with it's a dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, or alligator. Those words that our kids utter trying to get parents to say "yes" to a family pet are famous, or maybe infamous is a better word, because they are usually forgotten a week or two later. Thankfully, with a little gentle prodding (or threatening to shut off the wifi), there are a number of ways that kid can easily take care of a family pet.

In our house the family pet is a dog named Shasta. He's a twelve-year-old American Eskimo dog who likes to shed like it's going out of style. His white fur is magically magnetic to black clothes, but he is part of the family. Once our kids reached a certain age we decided that enlisting them to help take care of the dog would not only help out the family, but it would help teach them some responsibility. So we came up with some tasks that were age appropriate, and let's be honest, tasks that my wife and I would rather not do. Shhh don't tell my kids that though. Hopefully these ideas help you as well!

1. Feeding time, because animals need to eat for some reason.
If you've ever had a dog, and are late feeding it that day, you know the look it gives you. The dog sets it's chin on your leg and gives you that wide eye and droopy face, trying to make you feel as though you are the worst person in the world. If you look close enough, you might see a small tear roll down it's little doggy cheek. As a parent, you don't need that kind of guilt in your life. Pass this on to the kids who are six and older! If they can't fill up a bowl with water, and dump nuggets into a dish, then well, you might have bigger parenting problems.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Lunch

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ever since Netflix released the new Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events series, my kids have been obsessed with the story. My daughter even checked the books out of the school library. I didn't know much about the series, but after watching the first few episodes I am pretty impressed with the series. The way it was shot is dark, and the story really draws you in. The humor is subtle but entertaining. However, if you are looking for a feel-good show, this probably isn't it. After all, it is called "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
I've come to learn that in this series, food is pretty much a supporting actor. Since it is so prominent, I thought I would make my kids a lunch based on the food from the first few epsiodes. I'm sure as we move along, there will be more lunches from this story, but almost everything in this lunch is symbolic of something from the series.

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