Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my and some cute little elephants too! What a fun lunch, full of lots of colors, which means a huge variety of vitamins and minerals!  Throw in some good proteins and whole wheat and you've got yourself a well balanced meal that will not only excite your little ones, but fill them up and give them the energy they need to be a kid!  Kids love anything served kabob style; fruit, veggies, meat and cheeses...sneak in something new on a stick and see if your kids will give it a try.
This Little Lunch has a decidedly Safari feel to it.  With fruit kabobs or pineapple and strawberries, orange bell pepper sticks, a mini cucumber with some cute safari picks, a ticki drumstick, a variety of safari animal shaped cheese slices and whole wheat pretzels!
I packed this lunch in our easylunchbox containers because they hold so much food!  I used some cupcake picks and some great bento picks, some silicone cupcake holders and Japanese grass...nothing is touching, just how kids like it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy!

I'm always looking for great ideas to help my kids develop healthy habits and the attached link is full of them!  As an added benefit, the blog I borrowed the list from is one of my favorites.   I've tried to establish really healthy eating habits at our home, but with my sweet tooth it hasn't always been easy.   Because of this I try really hard not to keep junk food in the house (soda being my weakness, it's like my kryptonite), but instead always have tons of fresh produce on hand.  It still doesn't stop an all to common request in our house, the "I'm starving, can I have a cookie" complaint.  Usually my response goes something like this, "No, but you may have a banana, apple, orange, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper...".   (Unless I am within 5 miles of Yo Top It (a frozen yogurt store in the area), in which case I have a really hard time saying no to original tart topped with loads of fresh berries.)  And so the discussion goes, until finally the starving child decides they really are hungry enough to have a healthy snack, or they decide they were bored and find an activity other then eating junk.

As for meals, I cook one meal, and everyone eats it.  I don't have clean your plate rules (because I think that sets up unhealthy eating habits) but I do have try a bite rules.  As adults we just don't cook the foods we don't like; my family has never had meatloaf; so it's only fair to assume that those little ones might not find the bitter taste of brussel sprouts to their liking!   I try to not serve dessert every night, my Hubby, who loves dessert and probably only eats dinner to get to the sweet course, doesn't love this general rule and often breaks it by serving himself and the girls large portions of ice cream, a food group all it's own.   I have a wonderful hubby, who grew up having pretty standard meals, heavy on meat and starch, with a veggie and a salad thrown in and always dessert.  Old habits die hard.  
Whatever your families food rules, with persistence you can slowly change the bad ones and replace them with good ones and your family may not even notice!  One to try tonight, have fruit for dessert or at least top that ice cream with some lovely fresh strawberries.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Lunch Without Meat

Generally my family likes protein, a little meat with their meals.  Every once in a while I debate going with a Meatless Monday theme, Taco Tuesday or a Fish Friday but I think my family would have my head! (Actually the girls would eat fish 7 days a week, but Hubby, not so much!)  I know there are some households where every week they have basically the same menus on a 7 day rotation, it wouldn't work for me, I love food to much!    
I could easily stick in a meatless lunch and my kids might not notice, there are plenty of protein options, cheese, eggs, tofu...and I've been trying to really mix things up on the lunch front, less we get in a lunch rut. 
Grace watched me preparing this little lunch and kept trying to sneak slices of strawberries and bell pepper and when I brought out the English peas (already shelled, in the fridge section at Costco) she literally squealed with delight, which made me think I should do a Piggly Wiggly Lunch!

Today's lunch has sliced strawberries, orange bell pepper sticks, crenshaw melon butterflies, English peas, and cheese quesadilla topped with some avocado slices.  Yummy, can't wait to eat lunch!
These lunches were packed in our easylunchbox containers, my favorite!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Teddy Bear's PicNic

GiGi and I have been singing this song all day to my little nephew (the cutest baby EVER!) and she asked for a lunch that the Teddy Bears might have had at their picnic.  There will be another Teddy Bear's picnic on a day when I have time to plan, this one was totally winged with what we had on hand.  We're going to pack these tomorrow for a day full of running around. 

Both girls will have the same lunch again tomorrow...we're on a roll!  This lunch has dried peaches, a bear shaped hard boiled egg, whole wheat pretzel sticks and some white cheddar cheese slices colored to look like a picnic blanket (I know, this whole thing is a stretch! LOL), frozen blueberries, a bit of homemade granola, raisins and raspberry Greek yogurt.

Just in case you needed proof....cutest baby EVER!!! Love this little guy!

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

That's get to this lunch!  Yummy! LiLi was so excited to see drumsticks make an appearance in her lunch, she loves them for dinner and loves them even more leftover.  This was a lunch based loosely on chicken, but mostly on what was handy and in the fridge!
Both girls have the same lunch: a bar-b-que drumstick, a "chicken" shaped cheese slice; colored with food safe markers (I know thats a duck,'s our little secret!), wheat thin crackers, pineapple chunks, orange bell pepper strips and a banana.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some Bunny Loves You!

It's just LiLi and I today, so she requested a bunny lunch and I was happy to oblige her wishes.  GiGi is at an overnight slumber party to kick off Spring Break and so LiLi and I are hitting the park for a slightly soggy picnic!   
This lunch was fun to make, rabbits love fruits and veggies, and this Mama loves to feed all those yummy treats to her girls.  I used one of my egg molds to shape the hard boiled egg and found some really yummy hazelnut butter that's produced near our home, in a totally peanut free facility! Yippee!!!
Hop on over and take a nibble or two.
Lunch today:  Hazelnut butter bunny sandwiches, bunny shaped hard boiled egg (decorated with food safe pens), broccoli trees, carrot flowers, banana and kiwi flowers and graham cracker and chocolate bunny wafers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck O' The Irish

Today's lunch brought to you by the Leprechauns.  I fancy myself as Irish, I'm really Welsh, but that's pretty darn close...and with a name like Aaryn who could ever question my heritage?!    I love St. Patrick's Day.  The Wee People leave treats all over the house and cause mischief, we get to break out the green and wear it with total abandon (we're a Beaver Nation family, green is a bad word normally) and we get to eat Irish Soda Bread! Yippee!
I really had bigger plans for today, but with a possible earthquake looming in the West Coast's future I had other more pressing things to take care of today.  I packed a "green" lunch and the girls loved it, but I also packed three days worth of food and clothes for the whole family; just to be on the safe side.   We're not going to let the threat of a little earth shaking ruin our celebrating, not when theres green milk and cookies to eat!

From my Family to Yours...
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Both GiGi and LiLi had the same lunches today!  See it really is a lucky day!  Lunch included whole wheat turkey and cheese shamrock sandwiches, rainbow string cheese (I used food safe markers), 4 Leaf Clover kiwi and cantaloupe, carrot coins, "gold" fish, chocolate coins and shamrock cookies.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flutter By Butterfly

The girls got a new butterfly tent, and really want us to order the caterpillars so they can "hatch" some new Butterflies.  I think we should wait a touch longer so the weather can warm up before we release them...I'm hoping these butterfly lunches keep them satisfied for at least a couple of weeks!

Butterfly pineapple and cantaloupe, broccoli with a cucumber butterfly, a ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat sandwich rounds, topped with a slice of butterfly cheddar cheese, a hard boiled egg with a butterfly cut into it and some food color dabbed on, and an applesauce crusher.

his lunch was made in our favorite containers, from .

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Blog Guidebook

As a new blogger, I'm always looking for ways to spread the word.  I want feedback, and I want people to enjoy reading my blog and seeing the lunches I've created!  I'm hoping to inspire other families to chose a healthier option for their kids!  I hope the new button, The Blog Guidebook helps me...and that you might use it too to  help you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

Happy Mardi Gras!  It was a fat Tuesday at our house, we took full advantage of the holiday to have lots of treats, and the best part; we're not Catholic, so no Lent!  I'm taking advantage of Lent though, and using it for motivation to finally kick the soda habit.  I'm also doing a 40 day 40 bag challenge to clear my house of clutter.   But on to more fun things, FOOD!  Our little lunches today are based loosely on Mardi Gras, to make it more festive we had our own little parade in the house and everyone got beaded necklaces.

Both girls have basically the same lunch today and they're packed in our Sanrio Hello Kitty boxes.  I tried to stick to green, gold and purple...but it's a pretty loose interpretation.   In this lunch we have pineapple coins, and purple grapes, carrot and cucumber flowers, Fleur De Lis cheddar cheese slices, and samoa cookies (which sort of look like King's Cake), and a nice crunchy apple.   GiGi has a ham Fleur De Lis sandwich and LiLi has an egg salad Fleur De Lis sandwich both on whole wheat bread.  
Everyone in this house is loving all things Mardi Gras compliments of our recent vacation to New Orleans and the fabulous Madri Gras museum!

Monday, March 7, 2011

In the Jungle, The Mighty Jungle

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the mama feeds her cubs. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the monkey's love their lunch.    I guarantee that lunch will be a whole lot better then this Mama's singing! 

I got a break this weekend from the normal Wife, Mommy, Household duties and I got to go to the beach with girlfriends! YIPPEE!!!! Imagine my total, bliss full, glee when the outlet stores had not one, but two kitchen supply stores!  (I know, I'm using a lot of exclamation points, but it was super exciting.)   I got so many darling cookie cutters, little, tiny silicone cups, picks and a mini donut pan!  I'm feeling so excited to create little lunches that the girls will love and all these new supplies are getting all my creative juices flowing.

Today's lunches are based on the Jungle themed cookie cutter set I got.

GiGi's lunch is filled with jungle juicy orange slices, ham logs with jungle animal picks, a half of a blueberry muffin with jungle grass, topped with cheddar lion and giraffe,  mangrove tree fruit (little sweet peppers) and finally safari sweet feed (chocolate bunnies, graham bunnies, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips).
LiLi's is exactly the same, except for her half a muffin is chocolate chip.  Hope my girls feel like they've been on a safari adventure when their eating their jungle lunches.  It was sure fun making them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Do you like green eggs and ham?  I do not like....WAIT! I do like green eggs and ham! I love green eggs and ham, and hopping on pop and red fish and blue fish...
It's Dr. Seuss's Birthday and in our house that's reason enough to celebrate!  We LOVE Dr. Seuss, from "The Cat in The Hat" to "Go Dog Go",    My girls learned to read with Dr. Seuss and his books are still a favorite go to read.  The idea of making a lunch based on his beautiful, crazy, silly stories really got me thinking...of course, it was to late to hit the store for some of my zanier ideas, but next year.  GiGi watched me making the lunches and she had some great ideas of her own, and I know she can't wait for lunchtime. 

In today's lunch we have a Green Egg, some ham, 2 granola bar fish (if you look closely you can see they are in fact fish shaped), a Dr. Seuss Hat (made with apple slices and fruit leather bands), "Hop On Pop" cucumber people on a bed of carrot and bell pepper slices, and finally "It's Not Easy Being a Bunny" chocolate bunny crackers for a sweet snack on top of a little homemade snack mix.

Dr. Seuss didn't write all of these stories, but they are sold under the Dr. Seuss name, and they are all wonderful and magical books!   Here's to you Dr. Seuss, we love you!  

Lunch is being served in our Easy Lunch Box Containers,