This Completely Changed the Way We Thought About Boxed Mac and Cheese!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Three Bridges. All opinions are my own.
three bridges mac and cheese kits

If you have kids, chances are that macaroni and cheese is a dish that you are intimately familiar with. Mac and cheese is to parenting as Christmas lights are to the month of December. Technically you can do without it, but kids always ask for it, so why would you? The problem for us has always been finding the time to make really good mac and cheese that doesn't come out of a box. Thankfully Three Bridges Creamy Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese Kit has literally changed the way we think about boxed mac and cheese. They've made it amazingly simple to make this family mealtime staple in mere minutes, with no cheese-like dust, hormones, preservatives, or antibiotics. It was so easy my daughter even helped out making it for us for dinner!

Three Bridges mac and cheese kits

As a parent, I love that Three Bridges leaves out those three ingredients. However, if I were to be honest, I love the taste and the convenience even more. Let's talk first about the flavor. We were skeptical that it would taste any better than other brand's mac and cheese, but I can honestly say we were blown away. Not only did my kids suck down the Three Bridges Creamy Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Kit, but my wife and I are convinced that it's perfect to serve to grownups as well. That's okay to admit right? You can't get your adult card taken away by admitting you love mac and cheese?

Christmas Elf Bento Lunch

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


In our house, we are Christmas fans...after Thanksgiving. I am of the opinion that it should illegal to decorate for Christmas, or listen to Christmas songs, until the day after Thanksgiving. I would vote for someone who ran for office on this platform. It's just the right thing to do. With that being said, when it become the day after Thanksgiving, all bets are off. Hang lights like crazy and turn your house into Santa's house. This is why we waited until this week for our first Christmas lunch.

I have actually never made an elf lunch before, so it's about time. Maybe next time it will be an "Elf" themed movie lunch. I made this lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container and also used a Christmas themed cloth napkin. I also used Wilton's Shape N Amaze edible decorating dough for the eyes and mouth. Here is how to make the rest of the lunch!

10 Parent-Friendly Online Black Friday Deals You Can Get Now!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I don't usually talk about deals on my blog, but one thing my family does altogether is scout Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday deals. It's kind of like a family event for us. We don't go out to stores, but we use Thanksgiving as a day to relax, eat good food, play some games, go on a walk, and find the best Thanksgiving Day/Black Friday deals around. Since we do this every year, I thought I would pass on a roundup of my favorite kid-friendly deals that you can order online today and tomorrow, avoid the masses, and have more fun with family!

Save Your Sanity by Setting Up This Oatmeal Breakfast Bar

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This is a sponsored post with Quaker Oats. All opinions are my own.
Quaker Oats

Have you ever had the morning that just got away from you? It's like your family can barely get out of the house on time, much less have a meal together. I know I have felt that with my family. Mornings sometimes feel like a you are a hamster on a wheel, moving as fast as you can just trying to get somewhere and failing miserably. Thankfully I have an easy morning parenting hack for you. Save your sanity by putting together my oatmeal breakfast bar. It has something for your whole family. It can be prepared the night before, or set up in mere minutes in the morning. Keep reading to find out how!

Quaker Oats

Super Mario Brothers Lunch and Visit to Nintendo HQ!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Nintendo 3DS

Let's just be blunt and get this out there. Super Mario Brothers 3 is the best video game of all time. There I said it. As a kid, I spent hours trying to beat this game. The kicker is that I never owned an original Nintendo Entertainment System. I always wanted one. Correction. I lusted after them. The only time I was able to play one was at a friend's house, or when there was a special occasion and I could rent one from the local video store in our town. Remember those places? Needless to say I've always been obsessed with this game console.

Recently I was able to fulfill my dream and take my kids on a behind the scenes tour of the Nintendo of America Headquarters in Redmond, Washington. More on that later in this post, but because we had such a fantastic time, I had to make my kids a Super Mario Nintendo lunch! Check out the recipe below and then make sure and read about our 3DS experience at Nintendo HQ. Spoiler alert, I was
able to pick up a new NES Classic edition at the Nintendo store, and it is not only nostalgic to play all of the old games from my childhood, but it is perfect to share with my kids.

How to Prepare Your Family to Binge-Watch Netflix's New Season of Gilmore girls

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Netflix stream team

November 25th is coming. Wait, isn't Thanksgiving on November 24th? Yes you are absolutely right, but the 25th is what many people are waiting for. This is not only the day after Thanksgiving, but it's Black Friday, and the premiere of Netflix's brand new Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life! It's really the perfect time to get up early, do your Black Friday shopping, and spend the rest of the afternoon on the couch binging on leftovers and Gilmore girls with your family. But how do you successfully pull this off? I'm glad you asked. Here is my list (with a little help from the show) so you can get yourself mentally prepared.

1. Make sure you have plenty of caffeine.
Let's face it, you've been up since the wee hours of the morning and have been gorging on turkey and gravy for 48 hours straight. You are going need to make sure you have plenty of caffeinated beverages on hand. Assuming Luke's Diner isn't next door, you will need to get serious about your coffee if you're going to do this binge right.

Win a Free Vacation and Learn 7 Tips to Easily Find the Best Online Deals For Your Family Vacation

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Homewood Suites. All opinions are my own.
Win a family vacation

So you've decided that you and your family are going to take the plunge and experience a family vacation this year. Maybe this is even the first year that you have taken your kids with you on family trip. Trust me, this upcoming trek can produce some lifelong memories for everyone. However, one of the first things that probably comes to mind, when you are planning, is the budget. Don't worry if you don't have the bank account of a Kardashian, that doesn't have to stop you from enjoying your vacation. Just follow my tips below to save money and also one lucky Lunchbox Dad reader will win a free vacation from Homewood Suites!

3 Fun Sandwich Ideas For Kids With Food Allergies

Monday, November 14, 2016

This is a sponsored post with Daiya Dairy-Free Slices. All opinions are my own.
daiya cheese slices

If you have a child with food allergies, then you know that keeping your child safe is your number one priority. My kids do not have food allergies, but I do have friends and a young family member who do. If your kids have food allergies, then you also know that it is harder to find fun food ideas for kids. Because of this, I don't want you to just get one idea, I want to give you three "sandwich" type ideas that you can make for your kids this week!

Thankfully, we live in a time where kids with food allergies can have many more options at the grocery store than ever before. If you have read my lunch posts you know I love to use cheese in many of my lunches.

daiya cheese slices

I recently discovered Daiya cheese slices. They are dairy free, gluten free, casein free, and can melt just like regular cheese. Best of all, my kids loved the taste of the slices. They are also widely available at many different grocery stores! Because of this, I used the Slices with all of my fun ideas below. Slices are definitely a great plant-based alternative for anyone who is dairy-intolerant, allergic, vegan, or simply looking to live more of a healthy lifestyle. You can find out more about Daiya on their website HERE.

1. Gluten-Free Football Sandwich 
This is for your favorite little sports fan.

Make Sure and Take Advantage of This Fun Part of Fall!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

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

There is much more to Fall than wrapping your hands around a pumpkin spice latte. If you're a parent, this time of year brings some of the most fun you can have with your kids. This year has been unseasonably warm so we were excited to feel the chill in the air this past weekend. It finally feels like Fall so we decided to take advantage, pull on our Snoot boots, and head outdoors.

What makes the weather perfect for this is that it's not blazing hot, like in summer, and it's not freezing cold, such as in the winter. If you just slow the pace of life down a little you will find that there's so many little things for you to discover with your kids. The trick to this being successful is to

Oklahoma University Sooners College Football Lunch

Monday, November 7, 2016

OU bento school lunch

About ten months ago my family moved from the San Francisco bay area to the Oklahoma City area. We only knew one or two people, but a job opened up so we moved across the country. Having lived in California for most of my life, I didn't know much about Oklahoma. Before we moved we did our homework and learned as much as we could about the history and culture here. However, nothing could prepare us for what is like to live in a college football metro area where 90% of the people are diehard fans of either Oklahoma University or Oklahoma State University. You choose either the Sooners or the Cowboys, but never both. I can't confirm this, but I think this college love might be part of a native Oklahoman's DNA. The SF bay area is a pro sports region so this love for college football was pretty much foreign to us.

Fast forward ten months and my kids have been influenced by their friends and classmates into rooting for Oklahoma, especially when it comes to football. I don't mind as long as they keep their love for the Raiders, A's, and Warriors as well. This new found obsession is why I made them an OU lunch, in the OU school colors,  to take to school. Here is how you can make your own, or adapt this to whatever football team your kids root for.
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