Lunchbox Wars: The DIY Pizza Lunch

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Today we put ones of those boxed Do-It-Yourself pizza lunches to the test. It’s easy to see the appeal of this lunch – mini pizzas the kids get to make themselves – fun! Food and interaction? definitely a plus.

What’s In The Box?

Our boxed lunch came with 4 mini pizza crusts, a portion of rubbery mozzarella (that I had to break apart), a pouch of sauce, a stack of pepperoni slices and a Capri-Sun drink. There was also supposed to be a chocolate treat – but ours was missing! How disappointing that would have been for a child.

Round 1 – Contents

Do the contents match the DIY picture?  It’s always a disappointment to watch my kid open something and when they do… it doesn’t look anything like what’s in the box.  In this case, it holds true.

My version, (shown below, packed in EasyLunchboxes),  has the same ingredients as the boxed lunch, but better quality: nitrate-free pepperoni, whole wheat bread rounds, real shredded mozzarella (not prepared cheese product), and all natural low-sodium marinara sauce.

The boxed lunch sauce comes in a squeeze pouch – mine is in a recycled condiment cup, so I packed a spoon for spreading. I also added some grapes – the boxed lunch has no fruit serving. 

Round 2 – Nutrition

As with the cracker lunches, the boxed pizza lunch has 30% more fat. It’s also 20% higher  in sodium and 35% higher in carbohydrates, probably because it has 55% more sugar! My lunch is higher in one thing – it has 20% more fiber. The boxed lunch does have 10% more protein than my remake, probably from the peanuts in the chocolate bar. Winner by an average of 30% less of what kids don’t need : the MOMables lunch!

Round 3 –  Overall Appeal

My girls had no interest in trying the boxed pizza lunch; primarily because the ingredients looked bland, colorless (the pizza dough) and the cheese felt rubbery.  I can’t really compare taste in this round. Both girls pointed to my lunch and shouted “I want that one!” Winner, by kid’s choice: the MOMables lunch!

The all-around winner: homemade MOMables!

Wouldn’t you rather send your kid to school with a lunch like this one?
Fresh and delicious in 10 minutes or less.

This challenge showed me that my kids know good food when they see it! Both the 3 & 5 year old chose the homemade lunch over the boxed, on sight. And the homemade version only took a few minutes to put together. You too can make your own fun, fresh & healthy “MOMables” like these, and more, with the help of MOMables menu plans!

Too busy to make school lunches? We’ve got you covered.  Lunches like this one & more in 10min!
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  1. Kristi says

    I am very sad to say that my 5 year old loves the pizza lunchables. I am a military wife and have 3 kids. Husband deploys for a minimum of 6 months every year. Our youngest (10 months) just had major surgery. So, trying to cook every meal is very difficult. But I’ve noticed on the days that I try really hard to feed them healthy food they seem happier and aren’t so moody. I googled “homemade pizza lunchables” and this post came up. I am so happy I found your website!

    I’ve felt so guilty for so long about what I feed my kids. There’s been days when I feed them spaghettios from a can. I hate that!!!! I want to feed them healthy meals. I grew up eating unhealthy. I don’t want to do that to my kids. Thank you for your website! I am going grocery shopping this weekend and have written out several meals from your recipe index. I hope the kids like them!

  2. Michele B says

    My son’s favorite lunch – my homemade one of course! I make my own pizza rounds and homemade pizza sauce too. I will do about 15 pizza rounds and once and freeze what we don’t use for later. Love all your great ideas for lunches and just picked up your cookbook. Keep up the good work!!

  3. Michele B says

    My son’s favorite lunch, my homemade one of course. I make my own pizza crust rounds and my own homemade sauce as well. I do about 15 rounds at once and then freeze the rest for a future lunch!

  4. says

    I shared this idea on my Facebook Page (Fearless Freezer Cooking) today. So excited to try it this week! I also found that Kroger makes less expensive sandwich thins….

    • says

      the ‘dip’ cup is a re-purposed to-go dip form a while back. It’s difficult to find something for sure, I also use gerber plastic baby food containers -although they are not leak-proof- but i place them inside the lunchbox and it does the trick.

    • alice says

      You can buy reusable sauce cups online! I actually bought some that sort of look like the ones pictured here except in assorted colors.

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