How to Make a Bird's Nest Bento Lunch

Monday, August 31, 2015

back to school
Has your child gone back to school yet? My daughter just started the third grade and my son just started Kindergarten. That means two things. Our kids are growing up way too fast and my son finally gets a weekly special lunch. That means I'm making lunches for two now! 

I thought I would start this year off with a fun and simple lunch. It's a bird nest lunch complete with egg bird, grape eggs, pasta nest, granola and berry bird food, and strawberry flowers! We've had a bird makes it's nest on our front porch a couple times over the last few months. The bird is gone but I thought this would make a fun memory for my kids.

This lunch recipe will be a little different though. I am going to give you the ingredients below but you are going to have to go to the Pinterest pin to get the step-by-step directions. It would be a great time to follow me on all my social media accounts as well. The buttons are on the upper right. 

Have fun with your kids this school year and I hope this blog can be an encouragement to you!

Project Mc2 Lunch: The Smartest New Tween Series!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

If you haven't heard of the new Netflix series Project Mc2, then you and your tween kids need to watch it right now! It is about a group of four super smart teenage girls who just happen to be secret agents. While the series is extremely fun, the main message is that girls can be smart, stylish, and save the world at the same time. The characters excel at math and science, but also are strong enough to take on the super villains of the world. The tagline for the series is "Smart is the New Cool" and it definitely makes that case.

My wife and I were initially skeptical because many "tween" shows feature characters that are outdated stereotypes who use cruel language (i.e. stupid, idiot, etc.) to communicate with each other. I was pleasantly surprised not to find any of that with Project Mc2. This series is funny and entertaining without lowering itself for laughs. It empowers girls to be smart, work together as a team, and have fun at the same time. My daughter's favorite character is Adrienne Attoms the culinary chemist, but it's hard not to like each of the girls because of the diversity and talents they each bring to the team. Currently there are only three episodes but my daughter and son were glued to the TV for each of the adventures. However, there is talk from my inside source that there will be more episodes coming soon.
In the meantime there is a fantastic Project Mc2 website with puzzles and games for kids to work on. Not only that, but you can already pick up the new line of dolls at places like Toys R Us or Target. What I love about these dolls is that each one also contains a science experiment that you can do with your child at home. So check out the Project Mctrailer below and then make my recipe that includes the famous composition notebook, Adrienne's glasses, and a beaker of course!

Project McLunch Recipe
Dark Colored Bread

Happy Bento: Lunches on the Go Book Review

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

back to school

Sometimes parents can't have too many ideas at their fingertips. I share all of my recipes on my blog here, but when another parent shares battle tested kid-friendly recipes, you must listen. After all, if one source isn't right for your family, it might help to try another. This is where Anna Adden's book Happy Bento comes in.

Anna Adden has spent a number of years writing the creative food blog This means one thing. She knows what she's talking about. Her new book is filled with her vast experience making bento lunches for her own kids. When you peruse the pages you find every category of bento that you can think of. If you are a beginner, there is a section for you. If you want to make fun cartoon characters, those are included as well. Holidays, Seasons, ideas for shopping, lunchbox choices, they are all in there. The book also contains helpful pictures that not only show you the finished product, but many step-by-step pictures too.

One of my favorite ideas that Anna introduces
is for making the mushrooms from the video game Super Mario Bros. I won't tell you exactly how she says to do it, but it is so easy I am kicking myself for not thinking of it first!

I especially enjoyed the beginning section that goes into detail about helpful bento tools.

Back to School Lunch Tutorial

Monday, August 24, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with Smarty Pants Vitamins. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Smarty Pants Vitamins

It's Back to School time and every parent needs fun ideas. Chances are your head is already spinning with class supply lists, room assignments, and schedules. You might feel as though you can't fit anymore information into your brain. Good news! This fun DIY tutorial won't use much brainpower and it will really take your child's back to school time to another level! 
Smarty Pants Vitamins
When we are stressed out we tend not to eat as healthy because we are running on fumes. However, this lunch is a healthier alternative to many "prepackaged" choices out there, and is just as easy to get ready for the school day. For example, instead of fruit snacks on the carrot pencils, I used Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins. My kids love the taste of these, they are all natural, and are packed full of awesome ingredients.

Not only does this post contain a recipe for putting together a fun school lunch, but I also want to share an easy idea to mod your kid's lunchbox so you can write notes to them directly on the lid! So make sure and scroll down all the way to the bottom or you will miss some of the ideas. Feel free to share this on social media as well so your friends can get in on the fun too!

Lunch Recipe
Red Smarty Pants Gummy Vitamins

How to Make An Under the Sea Yogurt Snack

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Let's Play. I was compensated, but all opinions are my own.

It's August and the days are long and hot. Your kids may or may not have gone back to school, but the fact remains that by this point in the summer every parent needs snack ideas. In our family we often find an hour to fill where we have to come up with a snack, craft, or game because we don't want our kids to tear apart the house. Every parent knows what I'm talking about. Sometimes it's good just to get everyone outside.

For this reason we came up with this interactive Under the Sea Yogurt Snack. Your kids can help make the yogurt cup and then decorate it while they eat. Another great thing is that you can serve this chilled or even frozen!
I shared awhile back that I am partnering with Let's Play this year to help promote families getting active. To encourage your family to stay active and cool this summer, we also wanted to pass on three fun water games. So after you check out the recipe for this snack, head on over to to see the complete instructions for how to play these new games! Watch the video preview below to get a taste of how fun these water games can be for your entire family!

Let's Play and its nonprofit partner Good Sports is also hosting a Facebook contest and giving away a Good Sports Water Play Package that is worth over $100! Make sure to visit

How to Make An Ocean Themed Bento Lunch

Monday, August 17, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with Whole Foods Market. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are solely my own.

People always tell me that, "I don't have time for this." This lunch is proof that you can do this. In fact not only did I teach a number of moms and their kids how to make it, I also recently taught a TV host to make this lunch in about three minutes. Once you have the ingredients it shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes for people to make this. I figure if five year olds can make this lunch, any parent can!

When I taught a local back to school workshop with moms and kids at Whole Foods Market in Oakland, CA it was inspiring to not only see parents realize that they can do this, but to experience the creativity of young children as well. We came together to talk about healthy eating and fun ways to start the school year right. Families left with new ideas for making healthy meals and also with a bundle of school supplies thanks to PBS Kids, Bentology, and Whole Foods Market

Below are some pictures from the workshop and the recipe so you can make your own Under the Sea Lunch with your kids! Remember to follow me and your local Whole Foods on social media so you don't miss the next class in your area. 

Under the Sea Lunch Recipe
Whole wheat bread slices
Sandwich filling (Jam and nut-free spread, or tuna, or turkey and cheese, etc.)

Lunchbox Dad's 2015 Back to School Guide

Thursday, August 13, 2015

school lunches

Back to School. The mention of it either causes parents to cry tears of joy or causes involuntary twitching from all the stress of preparation. If you are suffering from the latter, here at Lunchbox Dad I have you covered. This time of year is like Christmas as we get to test out some of the best lunch gear, backpacks, and school clothes around. We do the work so you can focus on what's important, spending more time with your kids during the last few moments of summer. One tip, try not to giggle too much as you watch them make that long walk through the door of their new classroom!

Planetbox Jetpack Backpack
I always get asked how my kids lunches don't become a jumbled disaster on the way to school. I have

School Bus Back to School Lunch Video Tutorial!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to school time can be fun because it's a fresh start for kids and there are so many exciting new things to learn. You can probably guess that I like to send my kids back to school with a fun lunch to celebrate this time of year. Here is a great idea that we did awhile back for teacher appreciation day but we never posted the how-to video. The great thing about this lunch is that it can be adapted to get your kids excited for back to school, or you can send it to their teacher to thank them for everything that they will do for your family this year. The choice is yours!

I wrote down the ingredients below but for instructions you will have to watch the video. I hope your school year is off to a terrific start. Remember to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest so you never miss a recipe, idea, or article. The buttons to easily get there on the right side of this page.

Ingredients for School Bus Lunch:
Whole wheat bread
Sliced sandwich meat 

5 Sanity Saving Back to School Lunch Hacks

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with Tuesday Morning. I received compensation but all opinions expressed are solely my own.
It's back to school time and you know what that means, it's also back to making school lunches. Some parents dread this chore, but I'm here to show you how to not only survive packing lunches, but to maybe even enjoy it a little too. I've partnered with Tuesday Morning to bring you 5 Back to School Sanity Saving Lunch Hacks.

I'm giving you the first one below but you will have to go to my post on the Tuesday Morning blog to read the rest. Believe me, you will need these hacks to get through packing lunches this school year with your sanity intact! Make sure and leave a comment on the Tuesday Morning blog telling me what you think about my tips and giving me some of your own as well. 

To find all the deals at a Tuesday Morning store near you CLICK HERE. You can also sign up for their email list so you can get more fantastic blog posts, deals, and more mailed right to your inbox, just CLICK HERE.

Tuesday Morning

1. Use Cookie Cutters to Make Fun Shaped Sandwiches
If you have two extra minutes you can make a sandwich shaped like a dinosaur, heart, airplane or football. Just break out your favorite cookie cutter, place one on top your child’s sandwich, and press down until it cuts all the way through. You won’t believe how easy it is to turn boring PB&J into an exciting creation!

5 Family Friendly Downtown Vegas Restaurants You Can't Pass Up

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

fremont street experience

What's the first place that comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas? I bet for most of you, you pictured something on "the strip." What if I told you that there are a multitude of different ways for a family to experience Vegas that doesn't involve the hassle of the strip? Let's be honest, the strip is spread out, baking hot, full of people handing out flyers you would rather your kids not see, and it takes a GPS just to figure out how to get the family across the street. I was recently able to experience just the opposite when I visited the Fremont Street Experience. It's old style Vegas with restaurants and attractions that are all within an easy walk of each other.

I stayed at the fabulous D Hotel and Casino, which plants you right in the middle of downtown, and every attraction you will want to visit in the area. Besides the close proximity to all the action, The Fremont Street Experience is covered by a canopy that not only cuts down on the heat, but also projects fun light shows up and down the street. It was 105 degrees out but it felt like 80 degrees on Fremont Street beneath the canopy. There are also many excellent family friendly restaurants that call The Fremont Street Experience their home. Below are the five restaurants that I have personally tried and recommend, along with a few bonus attractions that are must see stops for your entire family. Make no mistake, there are plenty of nearby places for adults to have fun as well, but if you are traveling with your kids this is your definitive downtown food guide.

1. American Coney Island
american coney island
Located inside the D Hotel and Casino, this is more than just a hot dog joint. Your kids might

7 Brilliant Back to School Lunch Ideas to Get You Ready For the New Year

Monday, August 3, 2015

bento lunches

Back to school time can be stressful, expensive, and busy. Here at Lunchbox Dad I always want to help out in situations like this. That is why I decided to put together a few of my recipes that can not only help make your life easier, but help your kids' lunches be more fun at the same time! Below is my roundup of the top 7 lunch ideas to get your family off to a great school year! Some are simple, some are cute, and but they are all easily made from ingredients you probably already have in your refrigerator. Have fun and check back regularly for more great ideas for back to school! 

7. ABC Lunch
bento lunches

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