Week 34: Memorial Day Lunch

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Flag lunch easy lunch boxes
Week 34: Memorial Day lunch, a little late.  My family and I were moving all weekend and my daughter was staying at my in-law's house, so I had to put off this lunch until today.  Even though this was a crazy weekend I didn't want her to forget about the real reason she gets some extra days of school off.  I wanted to make an easy Memorial Day lunch that everyone could feel they could make for this important holiday.  This could also work for a 4th of July lunch (another important holiday).  So take sometime when you are making this to remember those who gave their lives for our country.  This was made in an Easy Lunch Box container.  On to the details...

10-12 grape tomatoes (My daughter likes these because she thinks they taste like grapes!)
1 stick of string cheese
1 serving of fat-free all natural yogurt
Blue natural food coloring
Handful yogurt covered raisins
2 sticks of cheddar cheese (cut into 6 pieces)
2-3 pieces of lunch meat
1 serving of Goldfish crackers (Smokin' BBQ flavor)

1.  Tear a stick of string cheese into three long and two short pieces as shown.  Place in your container and alternate with grape tomatoes.  In a small square container put yogurt and mix with blue natural food coloring.  Place in the upper left hand corner of the container to make the flag.  Drop in a few yogurt covered raisins.

2.  In a side dish, place Goldfish crackers.  I used "Smokin' BBQ" flavor to go with the theme of Memorial Day BBQs.  

3.  Roll each stick of cheddar cheese in a small slice of lunch meat and arrange as shown in another side dish.  This doesn't have much to do with Memorial Day other than meat and cheese is on most appetizer tables or BBQs at this holiday's parties.

I hope you had a great holiday weekend, remember to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for great updates, fun ideas, and helpful tutorials!

No new lunch today

Monday, May 27, 2013

No new lunch today because of Memorial Day.  Check back Wednesday for a special lunch!

Sea Turtle Lunch Tutorial

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sea Turtle Tutorial!  Check out how to make a whole main dish out of the sea turtle seen in the Finding Nemo lunch.  This sea turtle stole the show from Nemo and is so easy to make in 2 minutes!

Week 33: Kermit the Frog

Monday, May 20, 2013

Muppets easy kids lunch
Week 33: Kermit the Frog, it isn't easy being green!  I thought I'd bring a classic into my daughter's life.  She has seen the latest Muppet movie and a few of the T.V. shows, but its our responsibility as parents to raise our kids right with an appreciation for those who came before.  The school year is coming to end soon so I would be failing as Lunchbox Dad if I did not remind her of the classics.  In short, she needs more Kermit the Frog in her life.  To go along with the famous frog, I had to go with a theme that reflected his personality the best--Its Not Easy Being Green.  Ironically, this lunch is made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.

1/2 a green apple
6-7 sugar snap peas
1 piece of white cheese
1 piece of lunch meat
1 serving of pasta
1 serving of shredded cheddar cheese
1 handful of blueberries
3 pieces of mango or other green skinned fruit
1 handful of green Goldfish crackers (found in the Goldfish Colors package)
1 strawberry
   Black food coloring

Slice an apple in half and shape it like Kermit's head in the picture.  Cut his eyes out white cheese, mouth out of a strawberry, and tongue out of lunch meat.  Cut Kermit's neckpiece and hands out of apple.

Place face pieces where shown and draw mouth and inner eyes with black food coloring.  If desired, use fat-free cream cheese to help Kermit's eyes lift up and secure them to his head.  You only need a pea-size ball of cream cheese for each eye.

Place pasta in background of your container.  Roll up piece of lunch meat and place at bottom of container.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over pasta.  Put Kermit's head in the middle of container with neckpiece underneath.  Place hands as shown on lunch meat.  Border Kermit with snap peas.

For side dish number one, place blueberries in your container and place strips of mango on top.  Drop green Goldfish crackers in your container for side dish number two.

Have fun with this lunch and remind your children about the importance of the Muppets.  It may not be easy being green, but it is sure is fun making a green lunch!  Remember to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Also, keep an eye out for my next video tutorial later this week.

This Lunch won Bento of the Week over at Bento Blog Network!
Bento of the Week Winner

PlanetBox Rover Product Review

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PlanetBox Rover Review

The creative parents behind PlanetBox wanted to design a lunch box that helped to promote healthy kids and a healthy planet.  They desired to make it all-in-one, durable, with a simple to use latch, and easy to clean.  The resulting lunch box accomplishes most of those goals.  However, it isn’t perfect and there are some things to keep an eye on before you pack a lunch in it.  Click HERE to see the Finding Nemo Lunch I made in the PlanetBox Rover.

I reviewed the “PlanetBox Rover Complete” with CarryBag, magnets, and dipper set.  This model retails for $59.99, however packages without the bag or dippers are available for less.  There is also the larger “PlanetBoxLaunch” model. 

The lunch box itself is constructed out of stainless steel so it is non-toxic and very sturdy.  It is reminds me of a lunch tray with five compartments to hold food.  The attached lid folds down and latches securely and easily.  The Rover’s tray cleaned up nicely in the dishwasher.  You can choose the style of magnets, which stick on the lid, to make fun designs.

There are two drawbacks to this design.  It is heavier than most lunch boxes and it doesn’t seal completely.  You should not pack foods like yogurt or applesauce inside because they will leak out.

To solve this problem you need a set of PlanetBox dippers.  I found out the hard way that these are necessary when I packed Jello in the Rover tray.  My daughter didn’t eat all of the Jello and it leaked everywhere. It was my own fault, however.  The instructions clearly state that the Rover tray is not leak proof.  The dippers can fit inside the tray or in the pocket of the CarryBag. 

The CarryBag is well constructed and made with recycled materials.  It
has one carry strap and one shoulder strap.  One pocket on the outside can carry a bottle and the other can carry utensils or a dipper.  There is also a pocket on the inside.  The bag can be washed in soap and water.  This is fortunate since it was very sticky after the Jello mishap.  After a few uses the bag has a few small stains on it, but they don’t bother me much.  The CarryBag is handy because it fits the Rover and accessories well.

Overall, I like the PlanetBox system.  I found it durable and easy to clean.  The CarryBag is sturdy and the shoulder strap is handy.  However, if you like an all-in-one system you must remember that the dippers are almost a necessity.  These add extra pieces and cost.  This stainless steel lunch box is unique and fun, but starting at $39.99, it comes at a price.

Disclosure: PlanetBox sent me this product to review.  I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.


Week 32: Princess Leia...Hamburger

Monday, May 13, 2013

Star Wars easy kids lunch
Week 32: Princess Leia...well actually a Princess Leia hamburger!  I know, I know, I just made a Star Wars lunch.  The problem is my kids and I just watched The Empire Strikes Back yesterday. It was their first time and my daughter has been begging for a Princess Leia lunch.  So I thought, "Why not?"  I also thought I would show off some of the tools you can get to make lunch packing easier.  The lightsabers/cupcake toppers, the Darth Vader decoration, and the Stormtrooper decoration are all from BentoUSA.com.  You can get them for really cheap.  The Millenium Falcon was made with a cookie cutter from Williams and Sonoma.  You can get the whole set online.  I got mine from Ebay.  The point is, you can make a pretty cool lunch by using some decorations that you can find anywhere.  Your kids will love it!  This was made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.  You can get those on Amazon.
1 piece of white cheese cut round (I used Babybel so it was already round)
Raw hamburger meat, enough for one slider size burger
1 slice of bread
1 handful of strawberries
1 serving of yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
5-7 baby carrots
Black and red food coloring
Various Star Wars decorations
Shape raw hamburger meat into a Princess Leia shaped wig with hair on the top and bun shapes on the side.  Cook and season meat however you prefer.

Draw facial features on round piece of cheese using a toothpick and black food coloring.  Draw lips on face using red food coloring.

Use Millenium Falcon cookie cutter to shape piece of bread and stamp it with details of ship.  You may toast bread if desired and draw on details using black food coloring and a toothpick.

Place cut strawberries in lunch container.  Place cheese on top of strawberries and place hamburger wig above the cheese as shown in picture.  Set Millenium Falcon bread above Princess Leia head.

Use healthy, non-fat yogurt and baby carrot sticks (or whatever veggies your kids will eat) for the sides.  Arrange Star Wars decorations however you think looks best in the container.

As you can see, making a fun lunch doesn't have to be intimidating or complicated.  Just use the tools you have available to you!  Remember to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.  Also watch our new videos that are coming out regularly on the Lunchbox Dad YouTube channel.  Remember to share this with your friends!

EASY Pillsbury Chocolate Croissants: Because everyone needs a little chocolate sometimes...

Friday, May 10, 2013

I was craving some chocolate and I thought, why not make some chocolate croissants?  One or two every once in awhile isn't bad so I made some for breakfast.  Instead of going to the local bakery or coffee shop you can make this very easily right at home with only two ingredients!

--1 tube Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls
--Handful of chocolate chips

--Take crescent rolls out of container.  They will tear into triangle pieces.
--Place 5-7 chocolate chips on the wide side of each triangle.
--Roll according to directions on tube.  Arrange rolls on baking sheet.
--Bake according to directions on tube for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.
--Serve immediately (be careful chocolate will be hot!) or store in refrigerator 
and heat up when ready to serve.

Lunch Box Video Product Review

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lunchbox Dad Video Product Review for Easy Lunch Boxes, PlanetBox, and Go Green Lunchboxes!  If you don't have time to read through my in-depth reviews on products spend a couple minutes watching this video product review on three popular lunch boxes.  Don't forget to follow Lunchbox Dad on YouTube so you can see all of our video tutorials and product reviews that will be coming out soon.

Week 31: Where the Wild Things Are

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kids book easy lunchWeek 31: Where the Wild Things Are.  Let the wild rumpus begin...or start, or whatever side of the literary debate you fall on discuss below.  Either way, we really like this book (ok maybe I love this book and my daughter likes me reading it to her!).  Honestly, we got home late last night and I was super tired, so this is what my tired brain came up with.  The side dishes aren't that creative but they work and she enjoys the food so thats why I did them.  Sometimes when you are making your kids' lunches you need to go with a little convenience and speed over anything else.  I packed this in my Easy Lunch Boxes container.

1 handful of snap peas
3 heads of broccoli
2 slices whole wheat bread
   Peanut butter and jelly
   Nutella hazelnut spread
1 cup of healthy yogurt
Black food coloring
Dried mango and green mango
Strawberry cream cheese
1 slice of cheese
1 strawberry

--Cut wild thing head and shoulders (as shown in pic) out of a slice of whole wheat bread.  Repeat with second piece of bread.  Spread jelly (or substitute whatever your child prefers) on one slice and press together to make a sandwich.  Use knife and toothpicks to spread Nutella around the head of the wild thing.  Spread peanut butter in lines on the shoulders.

--For the facial features, use a toothpick to spread the strawberry cream cheese for the nose.  Cut out two circles of dried mango and place them on the face for his eyes.  Cut two strips of dried green mango (they are actually white) and place them on his head for the horns.  Use black food coloring (mix equal parts red, yellow, and blue) to draw the eyes and mouth.

--Place wild thing in your container and surround with snap peas and broccoli to make the forest.  

--Cut a slice of cheese and draw the quote in the picture with black food coloring.  On the yogurt, put pieces of strawberry on top to form the star.  For this lunch I am trying Yoplait ProForce which has an extra amount of protein.  Here is the picture of the package.

I hope you enjoyed the Star Wars blog hop this weekend.  If you didn't see it click HERE for my Chewbacca lunch and keep clicking the big button to see the others.  Have a great week, leave your comments below, and be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
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