Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 -- 019

Something Fishy Going On...

I don't know about all of you, but there are actual MANY foods my daughter loves that I would not eat. I learned early in my research of food and child rearing that often times when a child likes a food that parents don't, they usually don't have much access to it since kids tend to eat what their parents eat. I didn't want this to be something that happened in my home. I always wanted her to be able to enjoy a wide variety of foods, even if I didn't like them. I find lunch packing to be a fantastic way to provide her with things she likes even if I don't. This is one of those lunches. 

  • Tuna Salad - Tuna, mayo, celery, and carrot
  • Crackers
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 2 WhoKnew cookies
  • Carrots
If you weren't sure which item I hate, it's tuna. Not in any way or application. Monkey however is a fan so I like to keep some around for her. It works in a pinch, like this last minute-making lunch 30 minutes before we gotta go-lunch. 

Are there foods that you find disgusting or simply don't like that you still make for your children anyway? 

Happy Packing!! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 -- 018


It had been some time since Monkey got a burrito or nacho sort of lunch and it seemed like a good time to do one. I almost always have the stuff for making burritos on hand because it's an easy go to meal and my family loves it. Plus I like that you can use the same items to make burritos, tacos, nachos, and taco salad and everyone can sorta decide what they're in the mood for!

  • 1 tortilla cut in half (there is nothing inside, I simply rolled them up. She'll get to fill them herself)
  • Layered refried black beans, taco meat, and sliced olives
  • Shredded cheese
  • Grape Tomatoes cut in half
  • About 2 Tbsp of fresh Guacamole
This lunch is part of the "What's for Lunch Wednesday" link-up. Make sure to check out all the other lunches.

Bento Lunch

Happy Packing!! 

2014 -- 017

Leftovers in the Box

For two months now I have been making what I call ''Greek'' chicken. It is delicious and Monkey goes bananas for it. The best part for me is that it's easy and it's stuff I have on hand most of the time. Normally you all know that I like to wait before serving leftovers for lunch, but with these I knew it would be a home run and Monkey was excited to see I set some aside for her. 


  • Greek Chicken,
  • Couscous,
  • Green Beans,
  • Apple Slices and;
  • Organic Chocolate Milk
What are some of your family's favorite meals? I'm talking the ones that they always get excited to hear that you're making. I'll admit, I didn't intend to share a 'recipe' so you'll have to forgive that there aren't really measurements because when I cook, most of the time, I wing it. Here's what we use on the chicken we have been making at my house (will also be available in the recipes section). 

Greek Chicken
1 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic  
Dried Oregano, Dried Parsley, Salt & Pepper (I don't measure, I just sprinkle it on till it looks good)
I used about 6 pieces of frozen chicken (approximately the size of the one pictured above, you can use as many pieces as you can coat with the yogurt mixture though)
Olive oil

I didn't defrost the chicken first, I'm terrible about remembering to defrost meat for meals. That's another reason I LOVE this meal. Mix up your yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings in a 13x9 glass baking dish and then put the chicken pieces in and coat them with the yogurt mixture then drizzle with olive oil. I bake mine at 350 for about an hour. That's it! Easy Peasy!

This version of what I make was inspired from something I saw on pinterest, I'm trying to locate the pin so that I can properly attribute the webpage that inspired the meal. I don't actually follow a recipe for it, but I remember seeing the idea there. So when I find it -- I'll update this with a link!

Happy Packing!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 -- 016

A Laptop Munchable

So, I got my Laptop Lunchbox a while ago and I haven't used it nearly enough! I love the versatility but knew that my daughter struggled to open the outer containers as well as the inner containers. When I realized that this Monday was a teacher in-service day, initially I was a bit bummed. Not because I wanted to usher my child off to school, but because I wouldn't be needing to pack a lunch! Then it hit me that it would be the perfect opportunity to give my little monkey some practice with her laptop lunchbox with me nearby to help if she needed it (fingers crossed she's got it down herself now!). 

  • The main compartment has a pasta salad with rotini pasta, cut mozzarella balls, sliced grape tomatoes, and sliced olives with a little bit of pesto. 
  • In the blue compartment we have star, flower, and heart shaped cucumber cutouts.
  • In our orange section we have a little flower made of orange segments and a blackberry center. 
  • Our drink is an organic chocolate milk. 
When Monkey saw this lunch she was thrilled with the little orange flower and pointed out how I had constructed it and was thrilled I made cucumber shapes again. She smiled and hugged me and expressed how much she liked the flower and my making her lunch. All the smiles, hugs, happiness, and better nutrition than school lunches make this hobby so worthwhile. If her expression alone doesn't make the two minutes it took to make that little flower worth while, I don't know what would! BOO to the Bento naysayers! :-P

Happy Packing!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 -- 015

The Quick and Easy "Classic"

By the time lunch making rolled around last night, I was exhausted. Gotten up at 2:30 for work, went to my full day there, then rushed to an ultrasound appointment, spent way too long at the bank, and of course nabbed monkey from school, and went to game night which I have been missing. Was a nice day but oh so tiring! My awesome husband stepped up to make a lunch for me since I was so tired so he decided to ''go with the classic'' sandwich. :-P All I did was tell him what to put with it. He even took the picture. :-)

  • Whole Wheat Bread with Sunflower Butter & Blackberry Jelly, 
  • Tillamook Pomegranate Blackberry Yogurt w/ sliced almonds,
  • Raisins and one prune
  • 100% Juice Box (not pictured)

This lunch is part of the 15 minute Friday link up. Make sure you check out all the other fantastic lunches.

Happy Packing! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 -- 014

"Mom you rock!"

Isn't that what we all love to hear? My daughter came in to peak over the counter to see what I was packing for her lunch. I've never packed her tortellini before so she curiously said, ''What's that?" I told her it was sorta like a ravioli, but basically pasta with a little cheese inside. Of course, I then popped one into her mouth. Haha. Her eyes lit up instantly and bursted out, "Mom you rock! I can't wait for my lunch tomorrow" and scurried out of the room. If that's not a lunch packing win, I don't know what is! 

  • "Italian Kabobs" -- Tortellini, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, and Tomatoes
  • Pretzels
  • Orange Segments
  • Organic Milk (not pictured)
I've come to love flamingos, so I was determined to use this flamingo skewer. Let me tell you, I've been spoiled by the sharp ended skewers, like the heart ones that accompany it. The rounded ball end made getting things onto it tough! I had to use a knife to pre-make the holes in the food...I probably won't use them again because of that. I like quick and easy...that was not. It was also messy when it came time for tomatoes which is why I abandoned the pattern on the flamingo skewer and only put the one tomato!

What are some of your favorite things to skewer?

This lunch is part of the Lunch For Lunch Wednesday link up, so don't forget to check out the other fantastic lunches!
Bento Lunch

Happy Packing! 

2014 -- 013

A Little Bit of Everything

Things have been hectic the last few days with my car being broken down. I missed work and much to Monkey's dismay, she had to walk home from school. Luckily, we were able to get it checked out and it was just a battery issue! New battery in and now we're back in business. I was in SERIOUS need of a trip to the store. Here's one of those 'little bit of everything' lunches I pack when I don't have the items for the planned lunch. Ignore the My Little Pony font I used for my name this time in the photo, I have been working on tags and signs for Monkey's birthday party (yes, I have started working on her September birthday in January!) and forgot to change it back. Haha.


  • Leftover Sausage - We like to have sausage slices in our spaghetti so we set aside a few slices for her lunch since it's one of her favs!
  • Annie's Organic Cheddar Bunnies
  • Carrots
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Cottage Cheese w/ Pepper
  • Horizon Organic Strawberry Milk (not pictured)
In your home do you buy organic? I'd never even given any thought to organics until a couple years ago when I really started getting interested in food, nutrition, and where food comes from/how it's made. I do not buy everything organic but there are some things I do spend the extra money on (though I don't typically say which of my items are organic except for products that include it in the name), especially when it comes to produce. Have you heard of the dirty dozen/clean fifteen? It's a good rule of thumb when buying produce to know which items are highest in pesticides and other yuckies vs the items you can just wash up and be okay with. I feel most comfortable buying non-organic for things I do not eat the outside of the product like melon and avocado. Thing I eat the skin I prefer organic whenever possible. Plus, in my local grocery store, the organic stuff usually ends up on sale for about what the regular costs so I snag a little extra then! Some things like grapes and berries freeze really well!

This lunch was shared on the "Leftovers on Friday" link up. :) Check it out. 
Leftovers on Fridays

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 -- 012

Something Old, Something New

So my husband brought home this really fantastic fresh baked hoagie rolls for our pulled chicken sandwiches. They were so fantastic that I was willing to break with my normal wait two days to pack leftovers rule. We did chicken with BBQ sauce, cooked onions, and bacon all mixed up together. Healthy, no...magic on a hoagie roll? Yes. Tonight was a bit of a indulgence night, which in my opinion is just a good thing for life.

So I took the other half of Monkey's roll and filled it with some leftovers and got that baby in the box! She was enjoying dinner so much I couldn't imagine that she wouldn't like having it again for lunch. In addition to this I snagged her a couple of the crispier leftover fries (she specifically asked if she could have some in her lunch) and tossed them in as well. She wanted Brussels sprouts, but we polished them off at dinner (they never last around here). 

The third aspect of our lunch today was inspired by something I have been really crushing on that I've seen online, the Grape Parfait Crunch by MOMables. The recipe I saw took vanilla yogurt, two types of grapes, and granola. Looked delicious and I wanted to make it. Come to find out, I had no yogurt and one kind of grape...and no granola. I could have made some myself but after a long day dealing with my broke down car I just wasn't feeling that. So I went with what I had! 

This grape parfait has red grapes, a dollop of whipped cream (I put a little too much, but she won't mind :P), dried cranberries for a little tartness, and slivered almonds on top for the ''crunch'' aspect. This will be her dessert and calorie wise whipped cream is one of those lesser evils in my book. So, just to recap...

  • Leftover Pulled Chicken Sandwich
  • A few leftover crispy curly fries
  • My version of a grape parfait crunch
  • Organic Milk (not pictured)
Happy Packing!! 

2014 -- 011

No School

So, Monkey has the day off from school and I debated about whether or not to pack a lunch but since I will have to make one anyway, might as well just stay in the lunch making groove! 


  • Slices of Pineapple (Dinner had pineapple so I snagged a couple slices before they got cut up and tossed into the meal). 
  • Leftover Peas and Carrots (I still maintain that leftovers are some of the best packing materials!)
  • Pinwheels - Wrap, Laughing Cow, Pepperoni, and Turkey lunch meat. These were quick and easy! 
She'll probably end up with a glass of almond milk with her lunch or maybe some orange juice. We'll see when we get there! 

Happy Packing! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 -- 010

New Containers!

So I have been crushing on those lunchboxes that have the built in ice packs in the lids for some time. Well, my husband apparently spotted them on clearance and nabbed them for me! I love that he sees lunch containers and thinks of me (and enables my lunch making craziness hobby). When looking at my monthly lunch menu I was not seeing anything that really would showcase the new box! What's a girl to do? Plan a new lunch obviously! I had some pita that needed using up anyway...

IN THIS LUNCH: "Homemade Pizza Lunchable"
  • Whole Wheat Pita, cut into slices
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Cut up pepperoni slices (it's only about 4 whole slices, but they were too large for the pita so I cut them down smaller). 
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • For the treat (monkey likes to point out the store bought lunchables always have a treat) is a lindor truffle. 
  • On the side is no-sugar added applesauce with cinnamon on top
  • Served with Organic Milk (not pictured)
Fantastic marketing has gotten kids to really love the lunchable and the convenience is something that parents can enjoy for sure. But for the cost to me it's just not worth the buy. They are usually pretty expensive for the little bit of food they're getting and I don't always feel great about what is in them. This lunch only required about 1/2 a pita, 4 slices of pepperoni, a few TBSP of tomato sauce, and a small amount of shredded cheese. They're definitely cost effective and only take a few minutes! I am so glad I started making my own. 

I'd love to see all your homemade 'lunchables'! Please feel free to share. :) 

Happy Packing!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 -- 009

Bagel Sandwich

I don't know about you, but sometimes I am just NOT in the lunch packing mood. That's when my month of planned out lunches goes out the window and I stare blankly into the fridge debating what I can pack besides a sunflower butter & jelly sandwich. I don't know if this is MUCH of an improvement, but I'd like to think it's a small step up!

  • Mini Bagel Sandwich: Cream Cheese, Pepperoni, and Cucumber Slices
  • Tillamook Strawberry Yogurt w/ sprinkles
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • 100% Juice Box (not pictured)
This lunch took maybe 10 minutes to throw together which was mostly the sandwich! I was informed later that cucumber/pepperoni is Monkey's favorite sandwich (I don't recall ever making her one before) she's so silly! 

Happy Packing!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 -- 008

Breakfast Lunch

If there is one thing Monkey loves it is breakfast lunch! I realized I hadn't made one in a while so thought it was a good time to bust out the muffin pan and make some pancake muffins. 

Monkey was excited to pick out her mix-ins. I sat out various items on the counter including frozen berries we got this last summer while they were cheap, white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and a few other items. She was really worried that I would do it while she was in the shower, so I waited, so don't let her disheveled damp look throw ya! Haha. 

  • Pancake Muffins (Monkey chose blueberry almond and raspberry/blueberry with a couple white chocolate chips). 
  • Hard boiled egg
  • String Cheese
  • Grapes
  • A little whipped cream
  • Juice box
She was very excited to take this with her to school today. I realized when taking the picture that we ended up with a lot of white in this box! Lol. I typically hope for a bit more color but she enjoyed the food. 

If you want to make your own Pancake Muffins they are super easy!

Take your own pancake batter and fill your muffin tin about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Add your mix-ins and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. If you make any, would love to see them and hear what kind of mix-ins you and your family enjoyed! 

Happy Packing! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 -- 007


Today felt like a day to work with whatever I could find in the fridge. Last night for dinner we had ''Taco Pizza'' which was a crescent roll base with refried beans, meat, rotel, onions, cheese, and olives. It was good, but was definitely a fork sort of food! Luckily, Monkey will have one in her box and once it chilled in the fridge it seemed like it was easier to pick up the next day.

  • Leftover ''Taco Pizza''
  • Side Salad w/ Ranch
  • Apple Slices
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Cheese
  • Organic Chocolate Milk
For me leftovers are one of those fantastic ways to save a little bit of that money that everyone SWORE I would be losing by packing lunches. If you want to pack lunches do not let people talk you out of it by telling you it will ''be more expensive''. It will only be so if you pack all pre-packaged and individual portioned items. If you aren't afraid to pack your kids real food, aren't afraid to portion out things yourself, and seriously take just a few minutes each day to pack. You CAN pack lunches for your kids everyday that are delicious and healthier than what they're getting in the cafeteria (and better tasting haha). 

Happy Packing!

2014 -- 006

Another Meatless Monday

Well, now that I have officially kicked H1N1 to the curb and am feeling good it's time to get back to work! While I am not looking forward to getting up at 2:30 a.m. for work I know it'll be nice to start getting paid again! Haha! I was glad to see that people enjoyed my post about salad. It was a lot more work than I ever imagined it would be putting together a post like that, but with my New Year's goal of throwing myself back into my blog I just got so excited and went for it! If you haven't checked it out, please do!

Salads for Kids Post is Available Here

On to today's lunch!!


  • 2 Tbsp Hummas
  • Pita Bread Pieces
  • Carrots
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Green Bell Pepper Slices
  • Olive Slices
  • String Cheese
  • 100% Juice Box
This is definitely a veggie tray lunch. Veggies are filling and full of nutrients and I think I'm just in a veggie zone after talking so much about salad! Monkey loves hummas and dipping her veggies and it's been a while since she got to have olives so I know she'll be super excited for those too! If you've got a kiddo that loves to eat veggies or dip veggies try making a veggie platter for a lunch! 

This post is celebrating another Meatless Monday! 

Happy Packing!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Special Post: Salads For Kids

There is a BIG misconception that children won't eat salad. When I mention the word 'salad' in regards to Monkey most people look at me like I have sprouted a second head (or roll their eyes with the 'yeah sure' face). I promise you it's 100% true and it's a meal that she chooses to have on her own, even when we go out to eat and she has things like pizza sticks and chocolate chip pancakes available.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that following these ideas will magically turn your child into an avid salad eater or that it'll be their new favorite food. Though, there may be tips, tricks, and ideas that you can use that will make them more interesting, fun, and desirable to your kiddos.

First, there are TONS of salads to choose from. Your typical green salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, or even compound salads are all viable options of things that can 1. break you out of your lunchtime rut and 2. pack a nutritious punch. Here are some great salad examples with tips, tricks, and ideas included in each, providing you with no shortage of salad options. 

Bentos on the Bayou
Introduce Side Salads:
Packing a salad as a side is a good thing to do if your child isn't accustomed to eating salads or isn't a big veggie eater yet. I liked to take simple mixed greens of any kind and toss in something I KNOW Monkey will love, like tomatoes, a little cheese, or even a couple croutons. You can take pre-bagged salad mix and add your own mix-ins or break up your own lettuce, cabbage, spinach etc... It also helps if your child has a favorite salad dressing. Ranch is usually a safe bet with most kids (try out different salads and dressings with dinners so you can get an idea of what might work for your child). 

Bent on Better Lunches
Appeal To The Eyes:
Using cutters is an easy way to fun up a lunch! This lunch has some great cucumber cut outs paired with tomatoes, carrots, with kid friendly fruits and yogurt. It took introducing Monkey to several application of cucumbers before she'd eat them, but now LOVES them. She's a big fan of the cucumber cut outs like Candy Girl from Bent on Better Lunches did in her salad. Playing with flavor, color, texture, shape, etc is a fun way to get kiddos to try new things.

Bento Lunch

No tools? No Problem!
If you don't have cutters don't fret! You can still make a fun lunch for the kiddos. This one features both a layered chef salad and a fruit salad. The silly face is something ANYONE can do and all you need is a knife. This one is made with a tomato slice, hard boiled egg and a blueberry cut in half. You could even use olives if you prefer.

Lunch, Snack, and "Sninner"
Raid the Leftovers!
This lunch is a BBQ Chicken Salad (with a side fruit salad). Has mixed baby lettuces, black beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a homemade BBQ ranch dressing. I don't know about you but there are often many items that get left in the fridge or when making dinner I feel like there isn't enough left to save I like to use them for salad. 

Bentos on the Bayou
Use the Already Kid Friendly Taco!
Taco salad is in my opinion one of the most accessible salads to a kid. Tacos, Nachos, Burritos, etc... are a big hit and staple in my house so taco salad was always a hit too. You can even use leftovers! Some mixed greens, onions, corn, tomatoes, peppers, avocado (fantastic healthy fat), olives, cheese, and even leftover chicken or ground meat will all make a fantastic, filling, and well rounded meal. Use whatever you like! You can use a bottled dressing, or provide a little salsa or sour cream to go with it. If you want to ''trick'' your kiddos a little you can even give them tortilla chips or a couple small tortillas as a faux nacho or make your own taco lunch. 

Monkey Munchables
Don't Over Think It
Here is a super simple Chicken Cesar Salad that is fast and delicious. Easy bagged salad (with cabbage and carrots), sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and garlic croutons were paired with the pre-tossed salad and some leftover cut up chicken. You know your child best and can customize the veggies to what they might eat and make the salad as big or small as they might need to feel full. | "Flutterbys & Rosebuds"
Organized Bites
Try including Fruit in your green salad:
What I LOVE about this salad is not only did they incorporate several shaped veggies, but they paired in some delicious fruits too. The tomato is a fruit that makes lots of appearances in salad but including things like mandarin orange segments, strawberries, blueberries, mango etc... is another way you can make a salad seem less veggie overwhelming if that's a problem for you. It also gives great nutrients and is something new if your kiddo is already a seasoned salad eater.

meet the dubiens;  This colourful little bento was for Kirsten's morning nutrition break. She had some fruit salad with a cute little elephant pick, a cereal bar, and some pretzel sticks with cute little cheese birdies.
Meet the Dubiens
Pack a Fruit Salad!
While green salads are a fantastic lunch or side a fruit salad can be full of vitamins too! Can be a mix of any of your child's favorite fruits! Can also include a little dollop of whipped cream (which is a yummy treat without many calories) or use poppy dressings, or fruit based dressing like lime! Can use what is in season, thing you have on hand that need to get used up, canned, or frozen fruit. I'll often pack lunches the night before and if I pack a frozen berry mix the night before it has plenty of time to defrost by lunch. Plus, Monkey LOVES frozen blueberries. 

Monkey Munchables
Shake it up!
One of the things I did for Monkey when I first started trying to get her into salads as a meal (or part of one) was pack the salad in a mason jar. I packed the dressing on the side so come lunch time, she need only add the dressing, close the jar, and SHAKE! I remember loving the salad shakers that fast food restaurants used to have and inspired this method of salad eating for my daughter. Everything gets well coated and the ingredients mixed together. 

Lunchbox Pretty Pasta  recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe's @Kelly Teske Goldsworthy Lester / EasyLunchboxes Cookbook photography
Family Fresh Cooking 
Toss in some Pasta!
When I was little my mom used to combine ham, cheese cubes, pasta, and Italian dressing to make a quick easy pasta salad in the summer. I LOVED it. Now as I grow up and experiment with food I am finding there are more and more fun pasta salad combos! Cuts of meat, cheese, and veggies all go fantastic with pasta. Try pasta, drained flaked tuna, and peas with a little mayo and lemon juice for a quick throw together Pasta Salad. 

Sometimes I will pack Monkey pasta w/ pesto, chicken, peas, and spinach. The possibilities are endless!

Operation Lunch Box
Call it Dip!
So in this lunch you see a very large fruit salad and on the side what is being called shrimp dip. These are salad shrimp, cream cheese, Tabasco, chives, and lemon juice. By making it a little thicker with the cream cheese and pairing it with some hearty crackers this little shrimp salad works as a seafood dip! I've found that kids can be more open to the idea of ''dip''. 
Also try:
Tuna Salad: canned tuna, mayo, lemon juice, grated celery, grated carrot, and salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken Salad: cut or shredded chicken, a little mayo, cut grapes, cut apple, walnuts.

Don't Forget: You don't have to just use crackers! You can use pita, pita chips, pretzels, pretzel thins, flat breads, or best of all a wide range of cut veggies! You can turn the lunchbox into a little veggie tray with a great ''dip''. Use whatever you have on hand. :)

Lunchbox Dad
So you gave salad to your kiddo and it didn't blow over? Don't throw in the towel! You still have plenty of options. In this lunch Beau from Lunchbox Dad put together a fantastic salad with chicken, Greek yogurt, blue cheese crumbles, sliced mango and strawberries, sliced almonds, and mixed greens. If your little one isn't much for a seeing those greens front and center you can do what Beau did and.... 

Lunchbox Dad
Wrap It
Take your salad and put it in a wrap. This wrap has ALL the same ingredients as the previous salad only, it was put in a whole wheat tortilla. Sometimes kiddos like the hands on method! If you don't think a big container of straight up salad will work, give wraps a try!
*I find that taking a tortilla, spreading with a little cream cheese and just layering the veggies or even ribbons of lunch meat make a fantastic ''chef salad'' inside a wrap.
You can also use lettuce to wrap instead of tortillas

Tuna & White Bean Wraps

Whether you're putting black beans in your taco salad or you're making this recipe from for white bean and tuna salad wrap beans are a fantastic addition to any salad or lunch. Beans are a good source of fiber, protein, and a source of antioxidants. They work well as a meat substitute and actually will keep you feeling full longer than meat typically will which makes them an ideal source of protein too.

Cucumber cups - stuff with tuna or chicken salad - Brilliant!
Sheila Obb


Here is an idea I stole from Pinterest, Ssh! You can hollow out cuts of cucumber with a melon baller, use the flesh in your chicken or tuna salad (or what have you) and then fill the cups with it! It's a finger food twist on salad you may not have considered and that your kiddo certainly won't be expecting.

Fabulous Food Blog
Make it seem like a special treat
Sometimes attitude is our best weapon in the occasional food fight that happens in our homes. A positive attitude when eating a food in front of my child will often make her feel better about eating it. Really, she's more likely to like something if I indicate that I do too. Make a bad face and any chance she had of eating it, gone. In this picture you have a crescent roll shaped as a carrot that was stuffed with chicken salad and some lettuce at the top to represent a carrot for a fun Easter lunch. You could also do this with egg salad if you like for an equally tasty treat! These salads are great places to hide extra servings of veggies and can make the kids feel like it's a real treat since it is something so out of the ordinary!

Becoming a Bentoholic
It does NOT have to look like a typical salad
What I love about this anti pasta salad is that to a kid, this doesn't look like a typical salad (and the fruit salad on the side is accessible to most kids). In this salad we see spring salad mix, black olives, green olives, pepperoni, turkey, cucumbers, carrots, artichoke hearts, and a sprinkle of cheese. Not only does it look delicious and have a lot of amazing flavors happening, it's not stuffy like your typical adult boring salad and therefore I link less likely to put kids off.

Turkey and Coleslaw Sandwich on Wheat Bread
Stock Food
Make it a Sandwich
I'm sure you saw this coming! I remember eating egg salad as a kid and LOVED it. Was a deviled egg on bread and was a favorite of mine. Kid's will usually like those old goodies too! Don't forget there are plenty of other options for salad sandwiches too, like this turkey sandwich with coleslaw (which is a cabbage salad!). Another great options is a BBQ pulled pork sandwich with a little coleslaw! YUM!

The Guardian
Bring Back Summer
Summer is when I see a lot of salads hit the table, especially at BBQ's! Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Pea Salad, Grilled Corn Salad, Coleslaw, Quinoa Salad, Watermelon Salad, Caprese Salad.... Many of these are just as easy to make the rest of the year or you can use frozen varieties of fruits of veggies that are off season to cut a little on cost. Seriously, google or pinterest search ''summer salad'' and you'll find tons of fantastic ideas of things you can use in your kid's lunch! Also, check out the other season's salads too. Inspiration will be sure to find you!

Remember they can be big or small, sweet or savory, and have as many (or few) health benefits as you like! The possibilities for salad are endless.

Happy Packing!

*A special thank you to everyone that shared pictures of their lunches for this post! Captions under each picture link directly to origin of the photo. :) 

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 -- 005

Home Sick Again


  • Chicken Cesar Salad w/ grape tomatoes and cucumbers
  • Garlic Bread Croutons
Monkey stayed home sick again today, which she was not pleased about. Last night decided to pick something off the lunch list and do it a bit early since I'm still feeling a bit under the weather. This is a super easy to throw together lunch and is really fast. Monkey has a strange love of croutons (I think most kids do!). When she saw me writing up the post for Facebook she made a point of telling me she LOVED this lunch and wanted to have it again. The nice thing too, is that the chicken was just set aside from last night's dinner for lunch today. I like plan lunches ahead like that as much as I can.

Leftovers on Fridays

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 -- 004

The lunch that smiles back. :)


  • Sunflower Butter & Apricot Jelly Sandwich. Used the cutter that removes the crust and seals the edges. Used my food markers to draw a happy face for my sick girl. 
  • Carrots
  • Cottage Cheese (full fat)
  • Peaches
  • Organic Chocolate Milk
Monkey stayed home sick but she still ate this for lunch! We ended up subbing a glass of Orange Juice for the milk. 

Happy Packing!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 -- 003

The lunch that almost wasn't

So, I got the lunch all ready to go and found that Monkey had forgotten ANOTHER lunch box at school. Well the first we've still never seen again, so I was a bit distraught thinking that we'd lost a 2nd box and our last ice packs. Luckily, the box was recovered and we were able to send this lunch a day late.

  • Skewers -- 1 Babybel cheese cut up, 1 slice of turkey, 3 slices of salami, 3 grape tomatoes. 
  • Cucumber Stars and Flowers (about 6 slices of cucumber)
  • Grapes
  • Home Popped Popcorn
  • Organic Chocolate Milk
Monkey adored the cucumber shapes and it was an easy way to incorporate them in a fun way. Usually I just toss slices in and call it good. This didn't take much extra effort and she really enjoyed the product. Popcorn is one of Monkey's favorite snacks and is a great lunch feature for a whole grain. Our protein star in this was cheese and lunch meat. 

Don't forget this lunch is part of the ''What's for Lunch?" Wednesday Link-up. Check out all the other fantastic lunches!! 

Bento Lunch

Happy Packing! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 -- .002

In This Lunch: 
  • Turkey Meatballs
  • Peas and Carrots
  • Applesauce w/ Cinnamon
  • Annie's Cheddar Bunnies
  • 100% Juice Box
So yesterday was a shopping day and we found that when we filled the freezer there wasn't any room left for a small package of turkey meatballs. So decided to change the lunch plan for today and cooked them up. The peas and carrots were actually leftovers and then the applesauce and cheddar bunnies were part of the original lunch plan. I really enjoy using leftovers whenever possible but find that Monkey isn't always thrilled with eating traditionally warm foods cold but luckily she's not SO picky that she'd refuse. 

Happy Packing!

Monday, January 6, 2014

First New Year Lunch!

Back to the Lunch Making Routine

So, I've been slow about updating the Facebook but even less so here, things in life got crazy as they often do. Of course lunches were still being packed and devoured but time to update, take pictures, etc... just didn't seem to present itself. Small update for those that follow my blog, I'm nearly 32 weeks pregnant with my 2nd little monkey! In October (about when the posts stopped) I had to pick up a job which has me getting up at 2:30 a.m. and honestly, the sleep deprivation and illness has been getting to me (not pregnancy illness, I just keep getting colds etc). With the new year, one of the things I wanted to do was try to get back into the blogging habit with making lunches. I really enjoy it so what's an hour out of the day? Haha. 

  • Sunflower Butter/Jelly Puzzle Sandwich,
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Chobani Champions Yogurt Tube
  • Banana
  • Organic Chocolate Milk
This lunch is part of the Meatless Monday Link up! Make sure to check it out and see all the other Meat Free options.