All Posts by MOMables

healthy school lunch made of a turkey & veggie wrap, fresh fruit and cheese

3 Tips for Packing School Lunches Like a Pro

Whether it’s your first time making school lunches or the summer wasn’t long enough to get a break from packing food daily, you know that kids need to eat a variety of foods to get the nutrition they need to grow.

Here is how you can add variety and simplify the lunch making process without spending an eternity in the kitchen.

  1. Start with a compartmentalized lunch container.

If you are a beginner and just want to get started, look for a container with three compartments. This way, you have fewer compartments to fill, and each will have their nutritional purpose. The more compartments, the more items you’ll need to fill, so start simple.

healthy school lunch made of a turkey & veggie wrap, fresh fruit and cheese

Not only do kids love “compartments” but a divided container also allows you to separate the “wet” foods from the “dry” foods. Make sure you look for one that is leak proof if you plan on sending things like yogurt or apple sauce.

The largest section will hold the main item. This can be a wrap, a pinwheel (a wrap cut into 1-inch pieces), salad, a sandwich, or even food skewered through a bento-pick.

The second compartment can hold either fruit or veggies, cut into bite sized pieces.

The third and smallest compartment can hold either fruit or veggies if you didn’t pack it in the other two, or a dip. A treat can be something as simple as fruit or an energy bite.

baked veggie falafels school lunch with veggies and yogurt tzatziki sauce

  1. Add Color.

Lunchboxes with a variety of colors and textures have a lot more eye appeal. Colorful (real) foods have a lot of nutrition, so the more you can pack in there, the better.

Add both color and nutrition by packing baby carrots, cut celery, and cherry tomatoes, for example. Other veggies that hold up well in a lunch box are broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, frozen peas, edamame, and sliced cucumbers. Try sending a little hummus or dip with the veggies for more interaction.

Adding fruit to the lunch box is another terrific way to add color. Blueberries, strawberries, apple slices, and kiwi are all great options. Do your kids love watermelon? Send that too, but make sure the compartment is sealed since it tends to release juices.

turkey and hummus pinwheels with yogurt, almonds and fruit salad

  1. Revamp those leftovers!

If it was a winner for dinner it’s a winner for lunch.

Leftover grilled chicken can be revamped into an awesome wrap, leftovers from taco night can easily be re-created into a taco salad, and meatballs can either be skewered or sent inside a thermos.

Most parents worry too much about the temperature of the food when in reality, kids rarely eat their food hot! Lunch is as much about socializing with friends as it is about actually eating the food so just make sure you pack the right utensils and you are good to go!

If you don’t have the brain power or energy left to come up with a different lunch every day and have been packing a turkey sandwich forever, here are 5 different ways to use up turkey throughout the week that incorporate today’s tips.

What do you struggle most when packing a school lunch?

For more videos like this one to help you add variety to your meals, visit MOMables’ YouTube Channel and subscribe. 

 

3 Slow Cooker Veggie Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sticks

For nights where you need an easy dinner, this Slow Cooker Veggie Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sticks idea will be a mealtime saver.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Dippers: adding extra nutrition to your kids meals is easy with these Go&Grow packets. They are simple to add to any meal.

What I love about today’s recipe is that the slow cooker does all the heavy lifting (cooking) while you go on about your day. I’ve partnered with Similac to bring you this recipe idea since they know that at times, it can be hard to get all the nutrition our young kids need in a day and Similac’s Go & Grow Food Mix-Ins help make it a lot easier.

As a busy mom to 3 young kids, I appreciate when one of my friends shares with me strategies that work with the kids, especially when it comes to making mealtimes less of a struggle and making sure my kids get enough of the nutrition for the day.

Many of our MOMables community members worry about the same things you and I do. I know this because I receive hundreds of emails per week wanting to know how to get enough nutrition in our kids’ diet.

The toddler years are the most difficult to gauge since they are just learning to taste new foods and vocalize what they like and don’t like. This can definitely be a challenge to many parents and so it leaves us wondering if our kids are eating enough.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Dippers: adding extra nutrition to your kids meals is easy with these Go&Grow packets. They are simple to add to any meal.While it’s tough to answer that question on a per meal basis, I try to make sure that my kids are offered a variety of fresh foods throughout the day to help maintain balanced nutrition while they are learning to eat new foods.

However, we all know that there are days where our kids aren’t hungry, periods of time where they become more selective about the foods they will eat, and mealtime is a real struggle. For days like that, I’m happy to know that I can add a Go&Grow Mix-Ins packet into 1/2 cup of my toddler’s meal to enhance it with DHA, Lutein, Vitamin E, protein, fiber, and more without them tasting the difference. The Mix-Ins are designed for toddlers 12 months to 4 years old.

It is easy to incorporate Go&Grow into recipes you already love since its tasteless powder incorporates into many foods my kids love. Some of the easy ways that I have used these packets are, mixed in with some overnight oats, sprinkled on a PB&J sandwich, stirred into some hummus and the best is mixed into my gluten free pancakes. There are many more ways you can mix these packets into some of your kids favorite meals, and to find out more, check out www.Similac.com/ToddlerMoms.

In this case, adding a single Go&Grow packet to a kid serving of this delicious and easy to make slow cooker tomato soup gives me the peace of mind that they had a meal that boosted their nutrition intake for the day. Not every day is perfect but I do try my best.

What’s your family’s go-to meal that also pleases the younger kids?

 

WIN A $150 TODDLER GIFT BASKET FROM SIMILAC!

Make mealtimes more fun with a toddler mealtime-themed gift basket (valued at more than $150!) that helps make mealtime easier AND healthier. The basket includes one box of Similac’s Go & Grow Mix-Ins, a stain remover product, a cute towel, wooden bowl, stuffed fruit or veggie, and a packet of oatmeal for the Mix-Ins to be stirred into.

Enter by leaving a comment below sharing your go-to meal that also pleases the youngest kids.

Giveaway ends September 2nd 11:59cst.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Dippers: adding extra nutrition to your kids meals is easy with these Go&Grow packets. They are simple to add to any meal.

Slow Cooker Veggie Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sticks
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 - 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes or puréed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients inside a slow cooker. Cook for 6 hours on low.
  2. Prior to serving, insert an immersion blender and blend until smooth, or blend in smaller batches and serve.
 

This post was sponsored by Similac. All opinions and recipes are 100% my own. Mix-Ins is available at all major retailers. Visit www.Similac.com/ToddlerMoms for store locators and more information about how Mix-Ins helps your child maintain balanced nutrition.

Top 5 Lunch Containers for Back-to-School

Top Five Lunch Containers to send your kids lunch Back to School in!Shopping for lunchboxes can be an overwhelming task since there are hundreds of different containers to choose from. Today, I’m showing you the top 5 lunch containers our lunch plan members love.

#1 EasyLunchboxes

Easy LunchboxesThe most affordable way to have a compartmentalized container when you have multiple meals to pack.
Browse all styles and shop for EasyLunchboxes here.

Pros

  • They come four to a pack and various colors; they are dishwasher safe, and a set should last you through the school year without any issues.
  • They are a great option for young kids without assistance, and they are perfect for packing multiple lunches ahead of time and stock your fridge.
  • Made from FDA-approved, high-quality polypropylene #5 plastic; No BPA, PVC, or phthalates.
  • Great for portion control or special diet; keeps food separated; safe for microwave, freezer, dishwasher.
  • These food storage containers nest together to save space for storage. 
  • Fewer pieces, more function; pack eye-appealing meals or snacks with ease; freezable, microwaveable, portable, stackable.

Cons

  • They are not leakproof for things like applesauce or yogurt.

#2 Yumbox Lunchbox

yumbox leakproof bento box container

This is the leak-proof solution to the single tray, single lid dilemma.
Browse all styles and shop for Yumbox Lunchboxes here.

Pros

  • Leak-proof
  • They come in various sizes and compartments letting you pick whichever fits your lunch packing lifestyle best.
  • Multiple colors and various trays make give this lunch box ultimate kid-appeal.
    • All food-safe materials, BPA-free and phthalates-free. Sturdy ABS (outer box), Tritan(tray) and Silicone (seal).
    • Dishwasher safe. Top rack only.

Cons

  • The price per unit. If you have multiple kids to pack for and want to pack ahead of time it’s an investment.
  • Outer shell must be hand washed to maintain the seal.

#3 Lunchbots Containers

lunchbot containerA compartmentalized stainless steel solution that is both durable and stylish.
Browse all styles and shop for Lunchbots here.

Pros

  • Made from food-safe stainless steel with no linings or toxins.
  • Easy to clean
  • Virtually unbreakable.
  • Multiple compartment options for different lunch packing needs

Con

  • Not leakproof between compartments.
  • Price per unit. If you have multiple kids to pack for and want to pack ahead of time, it’s an investment.

#4 Rubbermaid Lunch Blox

rubbermaid lunchblox

Packing lunches is now as fun as building Legos.
Browse all styles and shop for Lunch Blox here.

Pros

  • Various shapes and sizes provide make this a great lunch solution for different foods.
  • Blue freezer pack fits between the modular containers keeping foods chilled while on-the-go.
  • Durable plastic.
  • Leakproof.
  • Microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, BPA-free.
  • Fit in all lunch bags, regardless of size (smaller blocks only).

Con

  • These will quickly take up the entire top rack of the dishwasher.
  • Small compartments can be difficult for younger kids to open without assistance.
  • Takes up a lot of storage room.

#5 Kids Konserve Nesting Trio

Kids Konserve NestingPortable, easy to carry, durable, and great for food storage.
Browse all Kids Konserve containers here.

Pros

  • Bottoms are made from food-safe stainless steel with no linings or toxins.
  • Lids are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead.
  • Easy to clean
  • Virtually unbreakable.
  • Leak-proof.
  • Affordable 3-pack to start packing.
  • Fit in all lunch bags, regardless of size. Great for packing snacks too!

Con

  • You’ll need a few sets to pack ahead of time or for multiple kids.
  • Can’t pack a standard sandwich easily, must be cut in half and inside the largest container.
  • Can be a little hard to open for the youngest kids.

While there are many other lunch containers in the marketplace, these are the ones we typically use in our meal plans and recipes and for my kids. I hope this gives you a little guidance and helps you get packing healthy and fresh school lunches. You can check out all the other lunch containers and supplies we recommend in our store.

Pack a few Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites in your kid's lunch box for a healthy, gluten-free meal they will love! Full of pizza flavor & easy to prepare.

Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites

Pack a few Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites in your kid’s lunch box for a healthy, gluten-free meal they will love! Full of pizza flavor & easy to prepare.

Pack a few Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites in your kid's lunch box for a healthy, gluten-free meal they will love! Full of pizza flavor & easy to prepare.

Pack a few Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites in your kid's lunch box for a healthy, gluten-free meal they will love! Full of pizza flavor & easy to prepare.

My kids LOVE bite-sized foods. I mean, who doesn’t? We enjoy everything from bite-size no bake chocolate bites to one of our favorite recipes, spinach and bacon mini quiches. For some reason, it’s so much easier to get my kids to try new foods when they’re in small bites. Everything is better when it’s mini!

Another great thing about bite-sized foods is that they’re super easy to pack in a lunchbox. These Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites are yet another fun-sized food that my kids can’t get enough of! My kids love pizza, so I took all the familiar flavors and used them to introduce another healthy food into my kids’ diet: quinoa! It’s a gluten-free food that’s packed with protein and nutrients. Score!

You can customize these with your family’s favorite pizza toppings – we used olives, spinach and peppers. These are great for meal prepping at the beginning of the week to have lunch ready to go! Of course, don’t forget to pack the pizza sauce for dipping. That’s the best part!

Pack a few Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites in your kid's lunch box for a healthy, gluten-free meal they will love! Full of pizza flavor & easy to prepare.

Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pack a few Mini Quinoa Pizza Bites in your kid's lunch box for a healthy, gluten-free meal they will love! Full of pizza flavor & easy to prepare.
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch
Serves: 24 bites
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of your favorite pizza toppings, chopped (pepperoni, olives, peppers, onions, spinach, ham, etc.)
  • ¼ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pizza sauce, for dipping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 24-count mini muffin pan with cooking spray (or make 2 batches in a 12-count pan).
  2. In a large bowl, add all ingredients except pizza sauce. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Scoop mixture into each mini muffin cup; fill to the top of each.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
  5. Pack pizza sauce in a separate container in a lunch box for dipping.
 

1 2 3 59
×
MENU