Product Review: Lunchbox Love Notes

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Product Review: Lunchbox Love notes. Sometimes you barely have enough time or energy in the morning to throw some food in a box and send it to school, much less go the extra mile with creative food. 

However, if you want to express your love in words, that can be difficult as well.  This is where Lunchbox Love comes in.  Each volume contains 12 different notes that are about the size of a business card.  On one side of the card is an inspirational saying such as, "There is nothing you can do or say that would change how much I love you."  On the back of each card is an interesting fact or a joke like, "Owls cannot move their eyeballs."  Each volume comes in a recyclable plastic case to hold all the cards.  To see the recent lunch I made with Lunchbox Love click HERE.

I'm a big believer that words can build up or tear down your kids.  You can never tell your kids enough how much you love them or how special they are.  Lunchbox Love is great for that.  However, there are some drawbacks that you should know about...Click HERE to read my full in depth review which includes more pics and my pros and cons!

I am giving away four volumes for FREE to one lucky person.  All you have to do is enter my giveaway HERE.

Disclosure: Say Please 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.

School Supplies Lunch for First Day of School

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

first day of school kids lunch

Year 2, First Day of School: Today is my daughter's first day of school, so I made her a special school supplies lunch complete with chalkboard sandwich, cheese pencil, watermelon erasers, and of course apples!  I made the lunch in a Planetbox Rover and the note in the middle is from Lunchbox Love.  I can't believe she is in 1st grade, the past year went by so fast.  If you have kids you know you have to show up the first day with all the school supplies, so I wanted my daughter to be prepared.  I hope the school year has started off well for you and your kids.  We will be back on Monday so check in for a really fun lunch that my daughter and I came up with!
lunchbox love notes

--Slice of watermelon cut up into squares
--Handful of dried apples
--1 serving of carrot sticks
--Handful of spinach
--1 stick of string cheese
--1 peanut butter and honey sandwich (or whatever type of sandwich your child likes)
--1 piece of white cheese
--1-2 pieces of nori (dried seaweed snack)

watermelon erasers
1) Place sandwich in container and put dried seaweed on top of it to make the chalkboard.  Fill in space around it with baby carrots.

2) Cut numbers out of white cheese and place on top of the seaweed.

3) Arrange dried apples in a side dish.  Put spinach in another side dish.  Trim string cheese with a knife so that it makes a point.  Dip the end in black food coloring and use a toothpick to draw the details as shown.  Drop it on top of the spinach.

4) Take your watermelon squares and trim the edges at an angle to form an old school pink eraser shape.  Place watermelon erasers in the last side dish.

5)  If you want to add a finishing touch you can include a note from Lunchbox Love.  I am giving away four volumes of them this week, so be sure and enter the giveaway HERE.
back to school kids lunch

5 Weeks of Free: Lunchbox Love Giveaway

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lunchbox Love Giveaway: Lunchbox Love are notes that you can put inside your child's lunch to let them know that you are thinking about them and that you love them.  I always put a personal note in my daughter's lunch and she tells me about how much she likes them.  Sometimes she even saves them!  Lunchbox Love notes are great when you haven't had your coffee, you are out of time, and you still want your child to feel special while at school.  "Positive words on the front inspire while fun trivia & jokes on the back entertain. Each volume contains 12 cards--10 with different phrases and fun facts or jokes and 2 blanks so you can add a personal message."  You can read my full review on Lunchbox Love cards later this week, but in the meantime...We are giving some away!

The great people over at Say Please have given me some of these cards to pass on to Lunchbox Dad readers.  This giveaway is for 4 volumes of Lunchbox Love notes, so enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and spread the word about Lunchbox Love, so that other parents can include them in their child's lunches as well!

Remember that you must be resident of the United States.  If you are the winner you must respond to the email I send you within 24 hours in order to claim your prize.  If you don't I will move on to the next person.

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Back to School with Hello Kitty!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School This Week! lunchbox dad

My daughter starts school this Wednesday, so we will have a special first day of school lunch then.  But I thought it would be fun to post her first lunch from last year today, since I am coming up on my 1 year Blogiversary.  This Hello Kitty lunch is the one that started it all!  

There will be fun going on all week here so you won't want to miss out.  Our latest 5 Weeks of Free giveaway ends today.  It is a big prize package from Funny Face Cranberries.  You will want to enter this right now, just click HERE!  Tomorrow, we start our 5th giveaway.  You will want to check in because it something very fun.   Wednesday will be the first day of school lunch and Thursday will be our next product review.  As you can see its a crazy fun week, and it won't be the same without you so stop by and say hi! 

We were Featured in Two Disney Articles!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lunchbox Dad was featured in two lunch roundups over at Disney's yesterday!  I am so excited about it so head on over there and check out some of my old Disney lunches as well as some AMAZING ones from other parents.  Just click on the pictures below to go to the two articles...
disney lunches


5 Weeks of Free: Funny Face Cranberries Prize Pack

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5 Weeks of Free: Funny Face Cranberries Prize Pack: This week we are giving away some great prizes from Funny Face Cranberries.  One lucky winner receives everything shown in the picture on the left.  This includes samples of all their fantastic dried cranberry snacks.  They are low in sugar and my kids love them.  The snacks come in flavors such as Choo Choo Cherry (my favorite), Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry, Goofy Grape, and Freckle Face Strawberry.  

Check out below for a trail mix recipe my family made up using these.  You will also get balloons, a reusable shopping bag, stickers, and tons more fun stuff!  Easily enter using the Rafflecopter widget and be sure to tell your friends as well.

Freckle Face Strawberry’s Mega
Fantastic Trail Mix
--1 cup Freckle Face Strawberry dried cranberries by Funny Face
--1 cup whole almonds
--1 cup yogurt covered pretzels (broken in pieces)
--1/2 cup peanuts

1) Pour each ingredient into one suitable size bowl. Mix all ingredients together. Put bowl out on counter and watch it disappear. The sweet and salty go great together!
2) Make sure and cover overnight so it doesn't go stale. 

Funny Face Prize Pack Giveaway
This is open to all those living in the U.S. only.  Winner must respond to notification email within 24 hours of receiving it or I will move on to the next entry.  Thanks for entering!

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Lady and the Tramp Back to School Easy Meal #BTSIdeas

Monday, August 19, 2013

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop
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My family was getting ready for "Back to School" time.  On the way home from doing errands we swung by Walmart and came away with a great meal idea.  If you have seen many of the lunches here you know we are big fans of Disney movies, so I decided to make a quick and easy lunch for my daughter that was reminiscent of "Lady and the Tramp".  Of course the famous scene is when Lady and Tramp are sharing a romantic dinner outdoors and end up with a noodle between them.  That is the scene I had to use for inspiration.  I chose Lean Cuisine Ravioli's for the main course because they are healthier, easy to make, and taste good hot and cold.  I also put the meal in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.  If you want to see how our whole shopping trip went, click HERE.

When we were ready to make the lunch for my daughter, we decided to serve the ravioli's with whole wheat dogs on top as the main dish.  We used cookie cutters on bread to make the dogs.  We used the same cookie cutter for each dog, but to make Tramp we just cut some pointy ears and a skinny tail after using the cutter.  I put a small string of cheese in between the two dogs to connect them together.  For the side dish, we steamed some peas and cut out baby carrots to look like dog bones.  The dog bone carrots were very easy to make and only needed a couple quick cuts.

For a dessert that was a little healthier, but still tasty, we decided to throw in some yogurt covered star cookies.  They were all natural and reminded us of the starry, romantic night from the movie.  We had to wait to heat up the Lean Cuisine Ravioli's last because they only took a few minutes in the microwave.  The great thing with this meal is that you can serve it right away on a plate, or throw it into a to-go container like we show in the pictures.

No lunch would be complete without drinks so we picked up some Juicy Juice boxes while we were at the store.  They are 100% juice and were on sale, which were both things that my wife and I appreciated.  Plus, they had Monsters U on them which lent itself to the back to school theme.  We prefer our kids to drink water, so we also included a small kids size bottle of water in case they were still thirsty after the juice.  Our family was pretty happy with the this lunch, especially because it was easy to take on-the-go during this busy back to school season.  My daughter tried it warm and cold and loved it either way as you can see from the picture below!

After picking up the raviolis from the store, my wife spotted some Lean Cuisine Chicken Fried Rice.  She thought it might be good in lettuce wraps so we tried it out.  Heating it up was as easy as the raviolis and only took a couple minutes.  During that time I peeled off and washed a few iceberg lettuce leaves.  You can see below that I was able to put quite a bit into each leaf.
After I loaded up three lettuce wraps, I quickly rolled them up and paired them with some carrot sticks and a bottle of water.  The whole lunch took about 6 or 7 minutes to make. I have to tell you that I stole one before my wife could take them on the way out the door.  They turned out good if you are looking for a quick meal on the go for adults!

Five Weeks of FREE Giveaway: Go Green Lunchbox

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Giveaway: Go Green Lunchbox.  Thanks to the great people at Go Green Lunchbox we are giving away a free lunchbox set this week as part of our 5 Weeks of FREE event!  Go Green's founder, Kim Castner, became frustrated with the amount of waste being produced in her kid's lunches so she sought to make a better lunchbox product.  The Go Green Lunchbox was the result.

A few features that I love about this is the included stainless steel bottle (which fits in the box), the ability for every compartment to seal food in, and the whiteboard in the insulate carrier.  To see my full review and more pics click HERE.

To see my Turtle Slider Lunch click HERE.  You can also check out my Star Wars Lunch HERE.  It is very easy to win, just enter using the rafflecopter widget below.  Remember to go look at Go Green's website to see all the great products they have available.  Please also share this giveaway with your friends!

This giveaway is open only to those in the United States.  If you are the winner you must respond within 24 hours to the confirmation email or I will have to move on to the next entry.  Thanks for entering!
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Simple Summer Turtle Slider Burger Lunch

Monday, August 12, 2013

turtle kids bento lunch
Simple Summer Turtle Slider Burger Lunch.  You may have missed this, but my favorite news story of the summer came out not too long ago.  It is hilarious and made me laugh out loud.  It is the story of a man who refused to leave his turtle alone while he took a plane flight.  So he did what any normal person would do--He disguised it as a hamburger and tried to get through security and was caught.  You can read the story (its pretty short but worth it) HERE.

 I was so inspired by this man's ingenuity I decided to do a Simple Summer Lunch about it in a Go Green Lunch Box.  But on a more serious note, this reminded me of a few points of etiquette when taking your lunch (or pet) on a plane.  You will want to skip smelly food.  Even if it smells great to you, you are part of a group and many others could get sick.  And if one person gets sick on a plane, know.  There are also many people with deadly peanut allergies now, so leave the peanuts at home and snack on them when you get back on the ground.  Leave your pets at home and watch the amount of liquid you bring on.  Otherwise, have a safe flight and enjoy your slider turtle burger!

Turtle slider going through airport security X-ray
--1 serving sliced strawberries and bananas
--1 large piece of lettuce
--1 serving of Greek nonfat yogurt
--Blue food coloring
--Slider bun (I used a pretzel bun)
--1 small hamburger patty, you can use turkey for a healthier burger
--2 small dill pickles
--1 slice of cheese
--2 Wilton candy eyes
--10-12 yogurt covered raisins
--1 serving graham cracker crumbs

1.  Cook and season slider patty to taste.  Cut pickles as shown in picture to make head, tail, and legs.  Put pickles in between bottom bun and burger patty.
2.  Place cheese in container as background and and place turtle on top.  Finish by placing eyes on head.  You can make them stick by using cream cheese or similar pasty food.
3.  In a side dish put a lettuce leaf as a background.  This can then be used in the burger.  Arrange fruit on top of the lettuce for the "turtle food."
4.  Spoon yogurt into a side dish and tint with blue food coloring for the ocean.
5.  Place graham cracker crumbs in another side dish.  Arrange yogurt covered raisins on the "sand" as turtle eggs.  The cracker crumbs and raisins taste great mixed in with the yogurt too!  If desired, finish the lunch by placing turtle themed food picks in the different side dishes.

Remember, next time you have to fly leave your turtle at home and take this hamburger instead. Remember to check out Lunchbox Dad on Twitter and Facebook because I post a bunch more great information, tutorials, and recipes.  Also keep coming back here because we have some great giveaways for back to school, including this week!

Product Review and Giveaway: Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters Review and Giveaway.  I have been looking for something for awhile that can make fun sandwiches without taking a ton of time.  I tried different cookie cutters, but many of them cut way too much off the sandwich.  After talking to some friends, I found out about Lunch Punch sandwich cutters.  They come four cutters to a set and there are five sets to choose from.

The creator of Lunch Punch wanted to make something that helped her boys have fun while eating healthy food.  I was able to test out all the sets of cutters and overall I was impressed.  They work well on sandwiches, but I was able to use some of the shapes to cut out fruit and pancakes as well.  Click here to see a few of the lunches I made with the Lunch Punch cutters.

I found that the cutters with the larger shapes (such as the butterfly and puzzle pieces) were the easiest to use.  These were also the best ones to use on pancakes.  The more detailed cutters (the princess, ice cream cones, etc.) require a little bit more patience and practice. They are very fun to use on fruit such as watermelon or cantaloupe because they will make imprints on them as well as cutting them out.  However, sometimes bread can get caught in the small holes.  In these cases I used a knife to gently pry the pieces out.  It wasn't difficult but you have to be careful.  It also works well to use the cutters on cheese.  You can then lay the cheese cutouts on top of the sandwich to create a fun picture.  One of the best features of the Lunch Punch is that it generally leaves most of the sandwich and cuts off the crust.  
Of course you have to also like that they are BPA free and Dishwasher safe.  I found that even though there are many grooves and holes, they clean up very easily in the dishwasher.  If you handwash it will take a bit more time to clean up, especially with peanut butter and jelly.

If you are looking for fun ways to entice your kids to eat healthy, Lunch Punch cutters are a great choice.  Some of them will work great right out of the box and some of them will take some experimenting to make them look good, but have fun with it, because your kids sure will!  You can buy them online from retailers such as Amazon or Pottery Barn (currently starting at $6.99 a set).

The great people at Lunch Punch gave us a set of their Sandwishes and Vrrm! cutters to giveaway to one lucky Lunchbox Dad reader.  It is easy to enter below using Rafflecopter.  Please visit to see all of their products.  Enter now!  This contest is only open to those in the United States.  You must contact me back within 24 hours of being notified that you are the winner, or I will move on to the next person on the list.  Thanks for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Lunch Punch 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.

Simple Summer: Easy Lunch Punch Meals

Monday, August 5, 2013

Simple Summer Easy Lunch Punch Meals.  These meals are for those times when you are on the go with very little time, but still want to put something together for your kids that has a little fun added in.  Sometimes, you just need to throw multiple lunches together and head out.  We seem to be doing this a lot lately.  I found The Lunch Punch sandwich cutter to be a great tool to make fun sandwiches fast.  Check back Wednesday to see my full review of them with another special surprise!  These are made from the Critter Cutter set and the Match and Munch set.  The blue lunch box is from Yubo and the purple lunchbox is from Laptop Lunches.

Whale Watching Lunch
--1 handful of spinach
--3 grape tomatoes
--1 serving of dried snap peas (they are kind of like chips, but healthier!)
--2 slices whole wheat bread
--1 serving of peanut butter and jelly
--Mixture of dried fruit and yogurt covered raisins

1.  Make PB&J sandwich (or whatever sandwich your child likes best) and cut into whale shapes using Lunch Punch sandwich cutter.  Place lettuce leaves in container and put sandwich on top.  Garnish with grape tomatoes.

2.  Place dried snap peas in one side dish.  Mix your child's favorite dried fruit together in a second side dish.  Add yogurt covered raisins for a dessert like treat.

A Puzzling Lunch
--1 serving carrot sticks with your child's favorite dip, like lowfat ranch or humus
--2 slices whole wheat bread
--1 serving peanut butter and jelly (or whatever sandwich your child likes best)
--3-4 pieces of cantaloupe or watermelon.
--1 serving nonfat greek yogurt with fruit garnish such as a raspberry

1.  Make PB&J sandwich and cut into puzzle shapes using Lunch Punch sandwich cutter.  Place in main container.  Arrange carrot sticks around it and use a small container with lid for dip.
2.  Pour Greek yogurt in one side dish container and garnish with raspberry or other fruit.  Use a second Lunch Punch puzzle cutter to cut melon into puzzle pieces.  Place these pieces into a second side dish container.

I hope you are getting the picture that although you can make a really fun character lunch (like last week's Despicable Me 2 lunch), you can also make a great simple lunch fast using the right tools.  Have fun with making it healthier and your kids will too!  Stay up to date with great reminders and extra ideas on Facebook and Twitter.  Also follow me on Pinterest and Tumblr if you are on those sites more.  Thanks for supporting my blog and I hope you are having a fun summer!

Simple Summer: Despicable Me 2 Minion Lunch

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Despicable Me 2 minion kids lunch
Simple Summer Despicable Me 2 Minion Lunch: We made this despicable lunch on Good Day Sacramento this past Monday.  You can see the video HERE.  My family actually hasn't seen number two yet, but of course, my kids love the minions.  We always have bananas in my house so it was a natural thing to use them.  Especially with the awesome trailer which features the minions singing the now famous banana song.

I know this is Simple Summer, and this might look a little intimidating, but this lunch is super easy to reproduce a few times.  Its also fun because your kids can construct the sandwich themselves, just like the minions construct things (ok they destroy things too sometimes).  This was made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.  So have fun with this lunch and don't forget we are in the middle of 5 Weeks of Free as well!

--1 banana cut in half with the ends cut off
--Blue and black markers
--2 pieces of Nori (dried seaweed) cut in the shape of goggles as shown
--3 small circles of white cheese for eyes
--3 small pieces of raisins for eyes
--1 piece of lettuce for the background
--1 slice of whole wheat bread cut in four squares
--1 handful of trail mix
--1 serving of grilled chicken cut into strips
--1 slice of cheese cut into squares
--Cheese cut into "ME 2" as shown
--Tool shaped stickers for decoration, if desired

1.  Draw blue overalls on the bananas.  They are shaped like an "H".  Wrap nori goggles around them first, then place white cheese on top, with the raisin pieces put on after that.  Moisten the nori on the back to get it to stay on the banana.  You may use a piece of toothpick to hold each eye in place if you choose.  Finish the bananas by drawing black hair with a marker and mouths as shown.

2.  Place lettuce in your container.  Put the banana minions on top and place the pieces of bread above them.

3.  Use a side dish for the trail mix (I used almonds and dried cranberries).  Arrange the cheese letters and number to spell out "ME 2."  For simplicity you may use tool stickers in the place of these letters.

4.  In another side dish alternative chicken strips and cheese.  Stick tool stickers to toothpicks and insert in lunch wherever you want to decorate.

Thanks for following me during the Simple Summer series.  Make sure and enter now for your chance to win a yubo lunchbox and check back next week for another great giveaway.  Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  Why?  Because I post a ton of great ideas and tweet out some more interesting recipes from some of my talented lunch making friends.  You don't want to miss what happens on there!
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