A Monsterous Bowl of Oatmeal

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, in conjunction with Quaker. I received compensation for participating in this promotion.
A Monsterous Bowl of Oatmeal #QuakerUp #ad

School mornings are always stressful, between rousing the kids, getting them dressed, packing their bags and locating that one lost shoe… Breakfast can sometimes fall by the wayside. This month, I am partnering with Quaker and their Creative Oatmeal Officer, Sam Stephens from the New York restaurant, Oatmeals to bring you some fantastic kid friendly (and quick to prepare) breakfast ideas this month. Last week I shared a recipe for a Fun and Fruity Breakfast Parfait (hyperlink to last week’s post) and the week before, the recipe was for an Oatmeal “Bowl of Love” (hyperlink to first week’s post). For this week’s recipe I decided to explore the magical world of monsters! For exclusive pictures and step-by-step directions for this recipe and past Quaker oatmeal recipes visit Sam’s blog: www.oatmealchefsam.tumblr.com

Monster themed stuff is so much fun for kids. From movies, to books, to food you just can’t go wrong. This week I turned breakfast into a “monsterously” good time with my Monsterous Oatmeal Bowl. This is perfect for back-to-school, Halloween, or really anytime! 

You will not want to miss checking out all the great recipes and tips Sam has on her blog, there are so many great ideas for how to start the morning right!

A Birthday Lunch

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Birthday Party Lunch

I can't believe my daughter is going to be 8! This week her birthday is on the first day of school. We are celebrating it a little early. There are a lot of changes in our house this week. My daughter starts second grade and she turns 8 years old. We are doing a fun outing today so I decided to make her a birthday lunch for before we leave. This is a bittersweet one as one more year older means she's closer to...being a teenager! But as parents we treasure every moment, right? I plan to this week!

This looks complicated, but with the right tools it's pretty easy. I made it in a PlanetBox lunchbox and using a star shaped cutter and Lunch Punch sandwich cutters. I also included a Lunchbox Love note for fun. 

Remember to follow me on all my social media channels, including Pinterest. Have a great week with your kids.

A Birthday Party Lunch
Sandwich Bread
Fat-free cream cheese
Strawberry cream cheese
Peanut butter
Strawberry jam
Organic Fruit Snacks
Strawberry Jello
Pink yogurt
Grape tomatoes
White cheese or tortilla
Kabob stick

A Birthday Party LunchDirections
1. Use cupcake Lunch Punch sandwich cutter on two pieces of bread. Spread strawberry cream cheese on the top and white cream cheese for the wrapper. 

2. Spread peanut butter on the slice underneath and a little bit of jam for the cherry. Drop a few sprinkles on top for a great finishing touch.

3. In side dish place grape tomatoes. Cut out the words "Happy B Day" out of white cheese or tortilla. Place on top.

4. In second side dish put yogurt and top with a number candle. Full disclosure, this particular lunch wasn't eaten at school because school hasn't started for us yet. You would probably want to use a Planetbox Dipper container for yogurt so it doesn't leak everywhere.

5. In another side dish place fruit kabob with blueberries and watermelon star on top for the wand. Surround with fun shaped fruit snacks if desired.

6. For the final touch you can place pink jello in one of the dishes if your child enjoys that. 

A Birthday Party Lunch

Fun and Fruity Oatmeal Breakfast Parfait!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, in conjunction with Quaker. I received compensation for participating in this promotion.

A Fun and Fruity Oatmeal Breakfast Parfait #QuakerUp #ad

When it comes to back-to-school time, there is nothing more stressful than trying to get your kids out of the house with a good breakfast. I am partnering with Quaker and their Creative Oatmeal Officer, Sam Stephens from the New York City restaurant, OatMeals to bring you some fantastic kid friendly (and easy) breakfast ideas this month. I will be guest posting the recipes on Sam’s blog each week. Every Thursday, I will introduce a new recipe here on Lunchbox Dad and then you can hop over to Sam’s blog where she will have exclusive pictures and step-by-step directions at www.oatmealchefsam.tumblr.com

As a parent, I have found that many times presentation is the key to your kids eating well. This week I made my Fun and Fruity Oatmeal Breakfast Parfait. This is a breakfast that combines the look of a dessert with the health benefits of oatmeal and fresh fruit. My daughter couldn’t keep her hands off of it! 

You will not want to miss checking out all the great recipes she has over on her site. See this week’s recipe and pictures at Sam’s blog: www.oatmealchefsam.tumblr.com

Simple Back to School ABC Lunch

Monday, August 18, 2014

Simple ABC Lunch for Back to School

Many times I tell people that you can start making fun lunches for your kids by just using cookie cutters on a sandwich. Today I took my own advice and did just that...with a back to school twist! I decided to make an ABC lunch, which is perfect for younger kids. For each part of the lunch, the food starts with the letters A,B, or C. 

The sandwiches are not only letter shaped but they are made from Almond butter, Bread, and Cranberries. I surrounded the sandwiches with Avocado, Bacon, and Cheese. In the smaller compartment I mixed Apricots, Blueberries, and Cheerios. As you can see this was fun, simple, and only took minutes to make. I put it all in a Planetbox Shuttle lunchbox. 

Remember to follow me on all my social media channels to get entertaining and helpful parenting articles, lunch tips, and insights from people much funnier than I am! All my social media buttons are in the right hand corner of this page.

Simple ABC Lunch for Back to School
Whole wheat bread
Almond butter
Dried cranberries
Dried blueberries
Dried apricots
Avocado chunks
1/2 slice bacon (cut up into pieces)
Chunks of cheese

Simple ABC Lunch for Back to School
1. Use cookie cutters to make the letters A, B, and C, out of bread. Repeat for a second set of letters. Spread on desired amount of almond butter and dried cranberries. Make a sandwich as shown in pic.

2. Place sandwiches in container. Surround with avocado, bacon or other protein that starts with "b," and cheese. I only had bacon in the house so I used just a little. 

3. In side dish mix apricots, blueberries, and cheerios for a fun and fruity trail mix. 


Quaker Kid Friendly Oatmeal Recipe: A Bowl of Oatmeal Love

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, in conjunction with Quaker. I received compensation for participating in this promotion. 
Quaker Kid Friendly Oatmeal Recipe A Bowl of Oatmeal Love #QuakerUp #ad

I am so excited to be partnering with Quaker and Sam Stephens of the New York City based restaurant, OatMeals to bring you kid-friendly and easy to make oatmeal recipes for the back-to-school time. Every Thursday for the next month you will find something new so check back often! Read on to find out more about Sam and also about this week’s fun recipe, “A Bowl of Oatmeal Love.”

"Hello, I'm Sam Stephens, chef/owner at OatMeals, the world's first oatmeal bar, in New York City. I'm also Quaker Oats' Creative Oatmeal Officer. I'm working with Quaker to help people see oatmeal in new and exciting ways! I was so glad to be introduced to the Lunchbox Dad blog and all the innovative meals Beau is whipping up daily. Seems Beau and I both like to have fun and get creative in the kitchen using wholesome, fresh ingredients in inspiring ways! OatMeals is all about experimenting with your oatmeal...whether it's my staff and I coming up with new ideas for the menu or customers creating their own oatmeal masterpieces, the options are endless. You can have something as simple as peanut butter & banana on your oatmeal, a savory option like sun-dried tomato, pesto & parmesan, or something sweet, like a s'mores bowl!

While I don't have children of my own just yet, I'm an auntie to my beautiful niece, Sydney, and two awesome nephews, Aydan & Braedon. I'm aware of the challenges when it comes to getting children to see that mealtimes can be fun and exciting. Kids love OatMeals because of the nearly 100 topping choices...they can choose their own adventure and create their own special bowl of oats. My staff and I try to make our customers' bowls of oatmeal as visually appealing as possible but I'm thrilled to see what Beau will be designing and sharing this week using some of the kid-friendly recipes that I've created for Quaker Oats! I'm sure it will be nothing short of extraordinary, check back often to see the delicious recipes come to life, I’ll be sharing his creations on my social channels as well, check me out on Instagram @OatmealsNY, on Facebook and at my blog Thanks Beau!"

Quaker Oatmeal Kid Friendly #QuakerUp #ad
This quick and easy breakfast with Quaker Oatmeal can show your kids that you want them to have a healthy breakfast, but also that you love them! See exclusive step-by-step directions and pictures of my recipe as I guest post over at Oatmeal Chef Sam’s blog: CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE!

You will not want to miss checking out all the great recipes she has over on her blog. She has tons of great ideas for how to start the morning right, enjoy!

Need to be a Parenting Multitasker? This T-Mobile 4G Tablet Can Help!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Trio AXS T-Mobile 4g Data Free For Life #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #Shop

That PTA email won't send itself. The e-vites for your five year old's princess party? They have to get sent out too. Don't even mention the bill payments that need to be scheduled. Being a parent these days can sometimes make your head explode from busyness. If you're like my family, you have to schedule meetings to talk about the family calendar because your days are so full. How are you supposed to get the recipe for dinner while you are at your oldest child's soccer practice? T-Mobile's new free data plan for tablets might just be every parent's dream invention.

T-Mobile recently introduced a new plan for the Trio AXS tablet that gives us parents free data for life. Okay, the plan is for everyone who buys the tablet, but it just feels like this data plan is meant for busy parents like you and me. I have always wanted a tablet that has the option of connecting wherever there's a data signal, but I never wanted to spend the money. When I saw that Walmart was selling the Trio AXS, I had no choice but to check it out for myself.

Trio AXS T-Mobile 4g Data Free For Life #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #Shop

Finding the tablet was easy. I just headed to the electronics department and looked for the T-Mobile banner by the tablets. The "Free Data For Life" sign told me I was in the right place. I was in and out in a matter of minutes because I didn't have to fill out any lengthy forms or sign any contracts. I also found out that although you get 200mb for free, you can also upgrade to another affordable data plan from T-Mobile if you need to.

I put this tablet to work right away. For example, my wife was sick so I had to work from home and take care of our kids. I also needed to take them to swim lessons. I was able to do work online with the Trio AXS and 4G data speeds while my kids were at their lessons. It was efficient and fun.

Trio AXS T-Mobile 4g Data Free For Life #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #Shop

I then started to think about what a day would look like for a busy parent who doesn't have a tablet connected with 4G data.

A Day of Parenting without a T-Mobile 4G Tablet:
Wakeup (if it's before the kids and you get a shower then bonus points). Get kids dressed and take oldest child to school. Realize you left shopping list at home on computer. Drive home with youngest kids, run into get shopping list. Head to grocery store. Barely get to checkout line without a child meltdown. Pin toddlers arms to their sides to prevent them from grabbing every candy bar and magazine within reach. Think to yourself "I wish there was a way to distract them while the line moves at a snail's pace." On the way home the baby falls asleep. Sit in the driveway with no wifi until the baby wakes up. Pick up the oldest from school and take to soccer practice. There was no time to send important work emails before. Now there is time, but there is no wifi. Guess emails will have to wait. Make dinner and get kids into bed. Exhausted, ready to pass out, but unfortunately there are way too many things that still need to be done online.

Then I thought about how a 4G tablet could make a busy parent's day much easier.

A Day of Parenting with a T-Mobile 4G Tablet:
Wakeup (get a shower after a good night's sleep). Get kids dressed and head out the door. Wait in drop off line at school and give younger child your tablet to play with while you do last minute spelling test quizzing with the oldest child. Head straight to the grocery store. You forgot your list but you can access it on your 4G tablet. Lines are long, but its cool, you let your child play a learning game on your tablet. You have extra time so you stop for coffee on the way home. You must transfer money to another bank account and you don't want to use unsecured public wifi. You just use your 4G connection on your tablet while you wait for your coffee. Later in the day you are able to send important emails while at soccer practice. You get the kids to bed, watch your favorite show, look up a dinner recipe for the weekend, and get a good night's sleep.

Trio AXS T-Mobile 4g Data Free For Life #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #Shop

Ok, maybe a busy parent's day won't be quite that easy. However, there are so many times where I have wanted a good 4G tablet over a smartphone and definitely instead of a wifi only tablet. You know those times where there is an important conversation you need to have with your spouse and the kids are acting like...kids. We were in a restaurant (with no wifi) and gave my daughter the tablet for a minute so we could talk. We then handled business so we could get back to family time. It was like magic, only better.

Trio AXS T-Mobile 4g Data Free For Life #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #Shop

Two other great family friendly features that sold me on the Trio AXS are the size and the price. Tablets are great for kids and adults but if they are too big then they aren't great for taking everywhere. Also, if they are too expensive then you don't trust your kids with them. This tablet is 7.85 inches, has 16gb of storage, front and rear cameras, HD resolution screen, Quad Core processor, and sells for under $200 at Walmart. Combine that with the free 200mb per month of 4G data from T-Mobile and this is a fantastic deal. Also, It runs on the Android OS so you can get almost any app you need from the Google Play store.

There are certainly moments when you and your family need to unplug and set everything else aside for quality time together. However, when the situation calls for parental multitasking, you need a tablet that frees you from wifi and doesn't break the bank. The Trio AXS from T-Mobile, with free data for life, might just be what you are looking for. Check it out at Walmart today.

#TabletTrio #CollectiveBias

Huge Lunch Gear Giveaway! Get All Your Back-to-School Lunch Stuff for Free!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One of the hardest parts of this time of year is back-to-school shopping. I want to help make your shopping a little easier. I've partnered with Fit & Fresh to bring you a huge prize pack of lunch gear. This is enough awesome product to get you through the whole school year...and maybe next year as well! 

I reviewed Fit & Fresh lunch containers last month and you will get the same package that I received. You can read the full review HERE. The Tiger lunch I made in them actually was featured in People magazine. So make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 

Here is a list of everything you get: Bento lunch container with insulated carrier bag, drawstring insulated monkey lunch bag, and 17 piece bento lunch container set.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received these products for free from Fit & Fresh. I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.

5 Tips for Buying the Best Back-To-School Lunch Gear

Monday, August 11, 2014

Some parents can’t wait for it and some parents dread it. Either way there’s no escaping it. It’s back-to-school time and besides getting your kids into the right class, parents also have to deal with back-to-school shopping. But how do you decipher what to buy when you are hit with the endless waves of advertisements as well as pressure from your kids?

I can’t tell you what binder is best, but here at Lunchbox Dad I do have some experience with lunch gear. So here are five quick tips for buying the kind of lunchtime supplies that will make you and your kids happy.

Tip 1: Look for Durability
Many of the big department stores will try and sell you on the dime-a-dozen thermal lunchboxes with characters printed on the top. They are usually made of cheap materials that rip easily and are hard to wash. It is also tempting just to throw food inside without other bags or containers. This means they quickly get stained and moldy.

Instead, look for sturdy plastic or stainless steel lunchboxes. These will have a much higher chance of lasting the school year. They will cost a little more, but the features they provide are definitely worth it, and they might even last for a couple years. Example: Planetbox

Tip 2: Easy Cleanup is a Must
You’re a busy parent and you don’t have time to hand wash and scrub a lunchbox or bottle every time it comes home. Always make sure what you buy is dishwasher safe. This is especially true if a lunchbox comes with multiple pieces. Double check to make sure every piece can be thrown onto the top rack. You might not think this is a big deal now, but you will thank me later. Example: Yubo

Tip 3: Compare Prices
Just because the lunch gear is right in front of you at the store doesn’t mean it is the best deal. You not only need to factor in the immediate cost, but also the cost to replace it if the box becomes too stained to use or breaks down (trust me I’ve had it happen). Should you spend five dollars more for the better box? You need to think of it as an investment rather than something to just check off your list. If you go the dirt-cheap route you could be rebuying the same cheap gear again and again throughout the year because it didn’t last. When this happens, you will be spending much more. Example: Easy Lunch Boxes

Tip 4: Size Matters
If you have a first grader, they should probably use a smaller lunch box. For older kids a slightly larger lunch container is a must. Plus, for younger kids you want them to be able to carry their lunch gear in their backpack. It just makes the whole trip to school that much easier. Also if you give a younger child a big container, it could get heavy in a hurry. Have them carry it around the store for a few minutes before you buy it. This is especially important if you choose stainless steel instead of plastic. Example: Laptop Lunches

Tip 5: Think About the Planet
There are many lunchbox companies now that are making their products with the environment in mind. If it doesn’t put too much strain on your budget, think about our planet when you make your purchase. Choosing gear from one of these companies could be a great chance to talk to your kids about how small choices can have a big impact. Example: Eco Lunchboxes

Will these tips solve all of your back-to-school problems? Maybe not, but hopefully they will help you think through your lunch gear choices so you can save time, money, and your kids can have fun. What tips do you have for parents during this busy time? Let me know in the comments!

#fatherhood #lbdbento

How to Make the Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival Pack

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Disclosure: I was compensated by Life of Dad and Snyder’s of Hanover for my participation in this promotion.
The Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival Pack

Sometimes packing for a day trip with kids seems more daunting than packing for a month long African safari. It doesn't have to feel that way though. When you head out to your next trip to the amusement park, use this handy guide to make your own Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival Pack. This pack has everything you need to make your amusement park trip a success, from clothes to the best snacks. Read on to find every supply you will need as well as a chance to win $10,000 in America's Summertime Favorite Sweepstakes.

The Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival Pack
We took this survival pack out and road tested it to make sure it was absolutely perfect, and thanks to Snyder's of Hanover's pretzels, it was. The first thing you need to pack is protection for your kids and you. Sunscreen is a must. We like the spray kind because it covers well and it is fast to apply. You also must remember a hat and sunglasses. This goes for your kids too! Take the extra 5 minutes after you get out of the vehicle to cover your family well.

If your kids are anything like mine, then good snacks are a must. Snyder's Pretzels saved us on our latest trip. Not only are they healthier than those greasy, artificially flavored chips, but they satisfy your snack craving with the awesome crunch. We brought along Snyder's Sourdough Nibblers and Pretzel Snaps. My kids could barely keep their hands off of them. We thought it would be fun to add a little extra so we brought dips for the pretzels as well. All you have to do is use small, resealable, reusable containers and ice packs to keep the dips cold and in their place. 

We took a few sweet and a few savory dips. On the savory side we brought cheese sauce, peanut butter, and dijon mustard (the adult's favorite). For the sweet tooth we packed chocolate spread, m&ms, and raisins. It was also fun to double dip. For example, first in the peanut butter, then in the raisins. Or chocolate and then the M&Ms.

The Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival Pack

Also don't forget to bring along water or your local amusement park's reusable souvenir cups. Many times you can fill them with ice water for free at the park. 

The Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival PackIf your destination has a water park inside it, you should also be prepared by bringing swim goggles, beach towels, and a change of clothes. You will want to bring the sunscreen in with you, especially if you will be spending an extended time in the water park section. 

A little hint about water parks. You will get wet. Your stuff will get wet. Your snacks will get wet. There are a million little kids splashing and running around. It is not humanly possible to leave a water area in an amusement park without getting something soaked. The beauty of our snacks being pretzels is that they seemed to have a supernatural moisture barrier. I'm not making any guarantees but those pretzels did not get soggy and held up like champs. Score one for Snyder's.

As you can see, this survival pack helped us throughout the day. No one got sunburned, no one was dehydrated and no one went hungry. In fact, when you have snacks at an amusement park, kids attack you like packs of ravenous wolves, so make sure you bring extra. We met up with friends there and the kids devoured our pretzel supply. If we wouldn't have brought extra, we would have been sorry. Snyder's Pretzels also come in many great varieties such as pretzel sticks, sourdough nibblers, pretzel butter snaps, pretzel snaps, and mini pretzels.

The Ultimate Amusement Park Pretzel Survival PackMy son and I even took a little detour and found a great place to take a pretzel selfie along the way. Even in the midst of a hectic day, trying to hit as many rides as possible, don't forget to stop and allow those special moments with you and your kids. They are what make the day worth it!

Another important thing to remember is that you can win $10,000 from Snyder's. Check the Snyder’s of Hanover Facebook Page weekly and participate in the America’s Summertime Favorite Sweepstakes for a chance to win 10,000 towards your family vacation! Also search #PretzelGuys on Twitter and Facebook to see more ideas for pretzel survival packs and see creative ideas for how people are using Snyder's Pretzels!

Here's the Ultimate Survival Pack Recap
-Reusable amusement park cup
-beach towel
-swim goggles
-change of clothes
-ice packs
-pretzel dips in sealable containers
-Snyder's of Hanover pretzels

The Perfect Back to School Giveaway from Lunchbox Dad & Pacific Foods!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back to School Giveaway from Lunchbox Dad

Here at Lunchbox Dad I love partnering with companies who offer tasty and healthy products. Recently, I had the chance to try out a number of great items from Pacific Foods and their partners. I made a few fun lunches out of them and also have been working them into our regular mealtimes. You may remember the two planes lunches I made last week.

Planes Bento LunchPacific Foods wants one lucky Lunchbox Dad reader to get in on all this great food with a tremendous giveaway! They want to stock your pantry with the great items listed below. Believe me, this is the perfect back to school giveaway for you and your family. It will help you get the school year started right. 

To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter Widget Below!

Back to School Giveaway from Lunchbox Dad
Prize Pack Includes: 

- Solo Cube from Eco LunchBoxes

- 10 squeeze-packs from Justin’s Nut Butters

- 1 loaf Organic Buttermilk Bread from Franz Bakery

- 1 Box of Pears from The Fruit Company

- 6 Packages Pasta O’s from Pacific Foods

- 6 Packages Mac & Cheese from Pacific Foods

- 1 case, 4-pack non-dairy beverages from Pacific Foods

- 1 case 8-ounce Organic Creamy Tomato Soup from Pacific Foods

If you are wondering, my kids are enjoying everything but especially the all-natural, ready made mac and cheese!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received these products for free from Pacific Foods. I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.

Iron Man Bento Lunch

Monday, August 4, 2014

Iron Man Bento Lunch

My kids love superheroes. Wait, that's not true. My daughter likes them, my son is obsessed with them. He was looking at a sheet of stickers yesterday and pointed to a picture of the superhero "Beast" and said look it's Hank McCoy (Beast's real name). Since it is still summer where we are at, I decided to make him an Iron Man lunch today. I had put off making this for about a year because it seemed complicated but it was actually really simple. All the food in the main compartment can be combined to make a sandwich if your child chooses to. So if your kids are into superheroes, try this lunch, they will love it.

This was made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container and the Matkins superhero placemat went perfect with this lunch. I hope you have a great last bit of your summer or beginning of school year. Remember to follow me on all my social media channels which can be found in the upper right hand part of the sidebar.

Iron Man Bento Lunch
Whole wheat bread
Cheddar cheese
White cheese
Red colored lunch meat
Fresh spinach or mixed greens
Grape tomatoes
Sliced mango
Sliced red apple
Hard-boiled egg
Red, black, and blue markers
Optional white sprinkles
1. Cut bread slice in the shape of Iron Man's head. It is a very simple shape. Lay lunch meat on top and trim to shape of head. 

Iron Man Bento Lunch2. Slice cheddar cheese in shape of mask as shown. Cut nori and white cheese in shape of facial features. Place sandwich pieces together.

3. In main compartment arrange spinach, tomatoes, and Iron Man sandwich. Optionally you can use white sprinkles for decoration.

4. In one side dish alternate apples and mango. These should look like Iron Man's colors.

5. Use markers to draw on hard boiled egg. The design is supposed to look like the power source that powers the suit. You can use food color markers or other non toxic markers that you may have. You are only coloring on the egg shell. Start with the black "spiderweb" design. Then fill in the gaps with blue marker. If you have time and patience you can color the rest of the egg red. If not, no big deal. 

6. The Matkins placemat is a fun addition to this lunch if you want an extra piece of flair. Other than that, have a good time making this lunch for your kids!

Iron Man Bento Lunch

Lunchbox Dad and the San Francisco Bay Area are Going Bananas!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, in conjunction with Dole. I received compensation for participating in this promotion.Despicable Me 2 Minion Lunch

If you haven't figured it out by now, we are big fans of fresh fruit and vegetables in my house. Especially bananas. Seriously, we can never keep enough of them around. I eat them on the way to work, my wife throws them in the blender for smoothies, and we even mash them up for our youngest. There's a reason my favorite internet meme is #bananaforscale. Yes, my friend Andy over at HowToBeADad.com coined it but it is also about...bananas. 
Dole Peel the Love tour
My blog has always been about trying new ways to get my kids to eat fruits and vegetables. My daughter's Kindergarten teacher encouraged it and we ran with it. So when Dole asked me if I was interested in partnering with them for their new Peel the Love tour, I jumped at the chance. I turn down 95% of the offers I get for my blog, but this was a perfect fit.

I am not exaggerating when I say If I had to live on one fruit for the rest of my life, it would be bananas. They are healthy, taste good, and perfect for on the go. I am not saying this because I have to, I literally have been telling people this for years. In fact, one of my most popular lunches on this blog is the Despicable Me Minion lunch you see above. Below are the directions so you can make this banana recipe at your own house!

If you want to make the lunch, however, you are going to need bananas. My suggestion is to check out Dole's website to see when the Peel the Love tour is coming to your area. It's not just a trip to the store, it's a family event! There's going to be giveaways, recipe ideas, samples, and tons more craziness. 

Check the map HERE to find a tour stop in your area. Where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area there are stops from Aug 7-9 in Redwood City, Alameda, and a few more places. Chances are, there is a tour stop near you.
Dole Peel the Love tour

Why not buy bananas for the minion lunch and have some fun at the same time? Back to school is a great time to start making some of the fun recipes you see on my blog and to encourage your kids (and yourself) to eat healthier. The Peel the Love tour could be just the fun event to help with that. 

Despicable Me 2 Banana Minion Recipe
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. Tape tool shaped stickers to toothpicks and insert in lunch wherever you want to decorate.

Despicable Me 2 Minion Lunch

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