Sunday, September 25, 2011

What do you pack for lunch CONTEST!


I used to be a really really organized person before I had kids.

My grocery list was a printed out and laminated sheet of everything I ever buy, with checkboxes next to each item.
Every week i would meal plan each meal my husband and I would make (breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks) and I would create the master grocery list by checking each thing on my laminated "master" grocery list, with a dry erase marker.

Then, I'd go to the grocery store, and slowly rub off each thing that was checked as I purchased it.  It worked great, and I never needed to waste millions of scrapes of paper jotting down things I'd need to grab at the store.

That of course, all changed when we had our first child.  Now I have two, and food planning is a luxury that my very overloaded brain occasionally remembers I need to do, and sometimes I even remember it would make my life easier.
At my house, you will find many scraps of paper, here, there and everywhere, with little things jotted down that i suddenly remember we need, and then always loose.  Eggs, and Almond Milk.  Written on the back of an overdue bill on my desk.  Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, Cheerios.  Written on a crumpled up old receipt on the arm of the couch.  You can imagine.

So now I find  myself here.  Every morning at 7:00am staring into the fridge.  Thinking the same thought, "what on earth do I pack for lunch??" (I removed the profanity so as not to offend)

I've been graced with a picky eater, as I'm sure many of you have as well.  She only likes certain things depending on the day, or week, of phase of the moon (it could be, right??), and of course even if she does like something THAT day, it's absolutely disgusting tomorrow, and she's totally sick of it.

So, I've decided to tap into the collective motherhood (and fatherhood/grandparenthood) of my customers, blog readers, facebook and twitter fans.  There's a lot of you in this exact same position.... maybe it's easier for some than others (we want you people that make it look easy to especially help us!).

1.  I'm asking anyone and everyone to enter a week's worth of school lunches that you pack for your little people.  Do you have more than a week?  You rock.  And if you tell us, we'll be extra nice to you.
2.  Give us any recipes you'd like to share of your lunch box winners.

So, we're looking for IDEAS and/or RECIPES!  And be real, if you make PB & J's every day, it's ok to tell us that too.

You can do this by adding it as a comment to the end of this blog, or by entering it on our Facebook page, or even a simple email.

Here's the exciting part!  We're turning this into a contest to make it extra fun and enticing to participate.  After we gather enough recipes/ideas to put into a nifty little COOKBOOKLET (everyone will get a copy once it's done, if we get enough entries), we'll be selecting 2 winners at random to win $50 each to Bumblebee Toys, just in time for some holiday shopping!


Here's 3 different places/ways to enter:
Go to our FACEBOOK PAGE and enter there in a comment field.
or
Email us at info (at) bumblebeetoys (dot) com (spammers be gone!)
or
Comment at the bottom of this blog post

Contest will close on November 15th 2011 (or earlier if we get a bazillion recipes/ideas overnight)

Thanks and good luck!!

(PS... All these photos are courtesy of Lunchbots, and if you haven't heard of them, you simply must go check them out!  Or at the very least, go like their facebook page.  You will NOT be disappointed with all their amazing and inspirational bento box photos!!


27 comments:

Peggy on September 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM said...

#1 nutella on whole wheat bread with apple slices on the side milk as drink
#2 chicken ceasar wrap with cheese stick on side and juice box as drink
#3 english muffin pizza with carrort sticks on side with water as drink
#4 peanut butter on celery with orange on side milk as drink
#5 chef salad with water as drink dressing on side
#6 meatloaf on white apple on side water as drink
#7 peanutbutter banana sandwich carrots on side milk as drink

Megan on September 25, 2011 at 8:22 PM said...

Our school is a nut-free/sugar-free zone, which has made meal-planning admittedly a *little* tricky somedays. But here is my run down for my preschooler:

1. Hummus and celery, carrots, and pita slices
2. Homemade chicken noodle soup (in a thermos - she doesn't mind lukewarm food) and whole wheat banana muffins
3. An assortment of snacks in a Laptop Lunch container... she prefers Just Tomatoes freeze-dried peas, sunflower seeds, cold kidney beans, and crackers of some sort
4. Crackers and cheese, apple slices, grapes, carrot juice
5. Zucchini slice in muffin form (WONDERFUL to sneak in additional veggies - here is the base recipe I use: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/5546/zucchini+slice), whole wheat carrot bread muffin, juice

I am going to be entirely, completely honest and confess that in a pinch, we have used Lunchables (being they are nut-free and sugar free at school, my first inclination of tossing in a peanut butter sandwich would be unacceptable). But the above menu consists of foods that we send to school with my daughter on a fairly regular basis. :) megancrose at gmail dot com

Melissa on September 26, 2011 at 3:11 AM said...

I'm new at this and I hope that I get some good ideas for my picky eater. So far I've done
1 - plain pasta with red peppers on the side
2 - ham wrap with mayo and mustard and carrot sticks on the side
3 - turkey salad sandwich with cucumbers on the side
4- ham and cucumber sandwich with green peppers on the side
He likes peanut butter, but of course there's no nuts allowed in the school at all. He also can't stand any sauce on anything. He hated the ham wrap because of the mayo.. but at the turkey salad. lol He only goes to school 2-3 days a week so that's 2 weeks worth for me :P

Anonymous said...

1. Peanut butter and Jelly, pretzels, Apple slices, flavored water bottle. 2. Ham and chesse on wheat bread, pita chips, orange wedges, juice box. 3. Turkey wrap with lettuce and tomato, wheat thins, fruit cup, water bottle. 4. Pizza lunchable 5. Her choice on Friday for Fun Friday Lunch!
Kellie O (koshields@rsui.com)

tree on October 6, 2011 at 12:13 PM said...

We pack everyday, but i don't write out a menu. Most days they get cheese quesadillas, bean and cheese burrito, PB&J, PB and banana wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla (like a burrito) or crackers and cheese. Sides...i pretty much always pack carrot sticks or cucumber slices, a fresh fruit (whatever is in season)), pretzels or sesame sticks, and juice or water. i occasionally pack a homemade treat..like blueberry muffin or cookie if i have them. Thanks for the chance!! enchantedtree(at)hotmail.com

Christina said...

1. egg sandwich, peach, rice cakes, 2. Bean salad, apple, toast 3. Pasta, cheese, peach 4. Peanut butter sandwich, pear 5. Potato salad, rice cake, banana, raisins

cjhopman at hotmail dot com

Wren said...

We are also part of a nut free school. A lot of what I send, depends on what the dinner menu has been and what is left over. Trying to learn from my mom and incorporate the good old dinner menu plan :)
1. black bean & chicken Quesadilla (or ham and cheese)
2. ham and Pineapple pizza (left over or on pita)
Wed - hot lunch day - just need snacks :)
3. chicken soup (or minestrone or split pea)
4. egg salad sandwich
other days include pasta, rice crackers with a side of cream cheese. snacks include homemade muffins, cookies or bars. cold cuts, sliced veggies, fruit in season. great idea to share, I too do the 7:00am stare ...

katelinsley on October 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM said...

no Children in my home (yet!) but i am a private chef for families with young kids, and here are some great things i make for their little guys (yes, they all have boys):

"rice & beany balls" come out looking like risotto cakes, but are made up of short grain brown rice, pureed kale and sweet potato, black beans, mushrooms, and ground flax seeds. adding a little shredded cheese doesn't hurt either.

"chicken parmiggiano fingers:" chicken tenders, dipped in pureed broccoli and then rolled in ground flax seed, wheat germ and almond meal to create that breaded feel all children want..then sauteed gently.

"chips and guac:" pretty straightforward, but mix some pureed cooked spinach in with the avocado and they won't know the difference

"turkey sliders:" ground turkey, wheat germ, flax seed, pureed carrots and kale, and an egg.

hope that provides some inspiration! most freeze quite well, and can therefore be made in large batches in advance.

additionally, from my days as a preschool teacher and lunch cook:

edamame make a great lunch box food, as do fried tofu patties (i bread them in nutritional yeast and squirt a little braggs on them while they're searing on the heat.)
smoothies hold up really well and you can get a lot of good nutrition in there, too.

that's all for the moment! don't forget to throw in an icepack to keep cold foods cold and prevent upset tummies!

cheers,

kate

stacythemagnificentmommy on October 6, 2011 at 1:10 PM said...

1. Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup- with bread, apple slices and a little cheese.
(my 4yr old seriously says this is yummy)http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-carrot-apple-and-red-lentil-soup/detail.aspx

2. Fragrant Chicken Curry with long grain brown rice or basmati- with grapes, carrots and sugar snap peas, naan if I'm feeling particularly crazy(it takes forever to make but freezes well when done in advance).
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fragrant-chicken-curry/detail.aspx
http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/09/naan-127-recipe-016-serving.html


3. Falafel and pita bread- with ranch, carrots, red bell, tomato and apple slices.
(I make double+ batches of this and it freezes awesome)
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/jeanies-falafel/detail.aspx
http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/12/pita-bread-078-recipe-010-serving.html

4. Butternut vegetable soup- with bread, little cheese and grapes. Sometimes I put a little bacon on top!
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-vegetable-soup/detail.aspx

5. PBJ as a special treat- with seasonal fruits from the garden if we have them- or pears, celery, carrots and baby tomatoes, ranch dip.

I know my 'menu' isn't typical, but it's due to what we are able to grow in our gardens. That's been the biggest thing I think in getting my kids to eat well- we try a lot of new dishes using things we've grown. They love to help plant, water, pick, etc. And odd of odds, fresh peas never actually make it IN the house because they eat them on the spot outside. Can't recommend having a garden enough!

hancoci_s at msn dot com

jmdigi on October 6, 2011 at 3:47 PM said...

1. natural ham or turkey and cheese in a whole wheat wrap, apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon, pickled carrots, homemade trail mix (usually rice crackers, almonds, raisins and wasabi peas)
2. beet soup with yogurt on the side to add in when he eats, fruit salad, sesame crackers.
3. rice cake with almond butter and honey, plain yogurt with maple syrup and berries to add in on the side, apple and cheese slices, trail mix.
4. sushi (usually made with avacado, cucumber, smoked salmon and pickled carrots), orange slices, rice cake with butter and jam
5. szechuan noodles (soba noodles made with avacado cucmber hijiki cashews and ciliantro, a spicy sesame/soy dressing and served cold) or leftover pasta (hot in thermos) and sauce, trail mix, apple slices.
6 & 7 ... we are lucky to have a wonderful hot lunch program at our school made by three lovely moms of the best wholesome foods, like bean and cheese burritos, veggie/noodle soups, quiche, veggie and rice bowls, etc. So I don't always have to figure it out!

mcmillan_jamie on October 6, 2011 at 8:45 PM said...

#1: ants on a log: take a slice of bread (crusts cut off) spread some kind of nut/ seed butter or cheese spread and line up raisins along one edge, then roll. Can use any dried fruits. Send with carrot sticks and/or cheese sticks.

#2: cinnamon whole grain waffles with flax. I use any recipe from AllRecipes.com. Send plain or with honey. Send with yogurt and apple slices.

#3: cheesy scrambled eggs with steamed diced carrots. Mix carrots and cheese with egg then scramble. (alternately thawf some rozen chopped spinach and scramble with eggs). Send with pretzels (low sodium) and grapes

#4: celery filled with peanut butter. Cheese sticks. Send with soft avocado and hummus and both carrot and bread sticks.

#5: make your own sandwich kit. Use small cookie cutters to cut out shapes from slices of cheese, lunch meat and bread or send crackers. Send with a banana.

Some good treats to send once in a while are Hershy's kisses, yogurt covered raisins and cookie cups filled with yogurt or applesauce. Cookie cups are made by baking cookies over top of the bottom of the muffin cups in a muffin pan.
Also muffins are great. Keep a bag o flax meal and some frozen berries and some frozen carrot gratings on hand and in a pinch use a muffin mix, throwing in some flax and frozen berries and/or carrots for a quick instant lunch

Kelley on October 10, 2011 at 2:26 PM said...

#1 Turkey Rolls: Whole wheat tortillas, turkey, lettuce, hummus, cucumbers. Apples and carrots.
#2 Peanut butter and honey on whole grain bread. Oranges and celery
#3 Mock Miso Soup: Tofu, green onions, chicken broth, with Liquide Aminos. Rice bowl and steamed kale. plum.
#4 Grilled Chicken over dark greens, raisins, apple, almonds, and ranch.
#5 Mini Veggie Pizza Muffins, steamed broccoli, grapes!
I am a mom of four and have to make lunches everyday. That means I have to get creative and tasty meals for them. We gave up on school lunches a long time ago I am afraid! We EAT OUR WAY TO A's!!!!!

Kelley on October 10, 2011 at 2:40 PM said...

#1 Vegan BLT, almonds and fruit trail mix, fruit salad.
#2 Ham, cheese, and onion poppers, side salad, apple and raisin slices.
#3 Black bean sliders, sweet potato sticks, and side salad.
#4 Zucchini muffins, spinach salad with almond slices and apples, celery and peanut butter.
#5 Peanut butter rolls, fruit salad, yogurt and granola.
I have more if you would like me to share!

Alicia said...

No nuts at school for us either. I can totally relate to the "loves it one day, hates it the next" senario. Here's a few things that my son generally agrees to:

1. Turkey and Havarti Wraps, sealed with plain cream cheese
2. "Salad" wraps...I feel embarrassed packing these for him, but he insists. They are just Romaine lettuce with either caesar or poppyseed salad dressing (whatever strikes his fancy).
3. Leftovers in a Thermos (so happy when he agrees to this!).

Snacks:
1. Homemade muffins (e.g., apple spice, orange craze) - freeze them so they last longer (and so you don't eat them all yourself) and take one out in the morning, it will be thawed by snack time.
2. Yogurt Parfaits (a much cheaper version of what you see at the grocery store - I use a small Tupperware container about the size of a muffin). Vanilla yogurt, nut-free granola (bought from the bulk food store - much cheaper and can buy it in smaller quantities), and a few frozen berries on top.

Another idea that my son won't agree to but I think is great is the English Muffin pizza (tomato sauce, cheese, any other toppings if desired warmed under the broiler or in the toaster oven...make the night before so they are cooled in the morning and the cheese won't stick to whatever you wrap them in).

Mark on October 20, 2011 at 1:39 PM said...

1. bagel with cream cheese, sliced fruit, pretzel crackers
2. veggie samosa, quinoa salad, yogurt
3. pickles, cheese, crackers, veggies
4. Wow Butter and Jam, cottage cheese
5. pizza day at school! Yeah, I feel a little guilty, but the girls love it! I try to round it out with fruit, veg,

amber_l_ferguson on October 20, 2011 at 1:58 PM said...

#1. Pasta salad with assorted veggies and Italian dressing, Apple muffin.
#2. Peanut butter banana sandwich, fruit salad
#3. Mini Quiche with spinach, ham and cheese, and fruit kabobs
#4. Ham and Cheese pinwheels with carrots, broccoli and dip.
#5. homemade mac and cheese with peppers, and chicken. (the only part that i dont make from scratch is the pasta) with ants on a log. (raisins cheese whiz or peanut butter on celery.)

Stephen on October 20, 2011 at 2:45 PM said...

My son comes home for lunch, so a typical week might look like
1. homemade borscht with homemade bread
2. toad in the hole...bread with a hole cut in the centre and then placed in a frying pan and an egg cooked in the hole, flipping one during cooking
3. homemade mini pizzas - his favorite is pineapple and ham
4. mongolian beef with rice
5. the day i take it easy and he makes himself a grilled cheese sandwich (he is 11 so he can manage)and he adds some pickles just for fun

Jade on November 4, 2011 at 10:53 PM said...

My girls aren't in school yet but are in daycare all day so I have to send quite big lunches/snacks with them. I always make lunches the night before because I am NOT a morning person!
Most days I send 'real' apple juice box to eat with lunch but mostly just drink water from their cups.
1. Main meal: Rolled up slices of natural deli meat,a slice of buttered squirrley bread, and some slices of cheese. Snacks: Sliced apple, grapes, granola bar, yogurt (we eat yogurt every day!), fishy crackers.
2. Main meal: Noodles and sauce. Snacks: Cheese slices, sliced apples, oranges, yogurt, fruit snack.
3. Main meal: Same as day 1. Snacks: Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, oranges, yogurt, granola bar.
4: Main meal: Rolled up sandwich meat (to use up the rest I bought on Sunday night), cheese string, crackers. Snacks: Apple slices, grapes, baby carrots, yogurt, and fruit snacks.
5: Main meal: Jam sandwich (b/c by this day I'm LAZY!)made with my homemade low sugar jam and and squirrley bread. Snacks: Yogurt, oranges, granola bar, fishy crackers, and cherry tomatoes.

RJ on November 4, 2011 at 11:49 PM said...

I've got a tough kid, too. Picky AND has allergies. so we live peanut/nut free, limited on fruit and other things, too. (but for some reason, lots of junk food is ok for him. I always wonder why?)

Here is what I work with

Main part of lunch:
-Cheese sandwich
-Turkey sandwich
-Blueberry jam sandwich
-(all on whole wheat bread - and am working
him up to a soft bun/pita roll)
-mini pitas with thinly shredded turkey and a little bit of grated cheese / lettuce
-tortellini and sauce
-mac and cheese
-spaghetti and meat sauce

snacky sides:
cut up apple
apple sauce (various flavours)
3 mini oreos
3 arrowroot cookies
cheesy rice crackers with cheese and sausage (home-made lunchables)
yogurt
cheese sticks

I like to make cut out shapes in the cheese or even the sandwich if I have time. Or decorate a little bit just to tempt him to eat more.

Drinks are always only water. He usually won't drink anything else - but we are branching out to chocolate milk on occasion.

nothing fancy here. But some others have already given me some new ideas!

Brige on November 5, 2011 at 5:25 AM said...

We mosly send in leftovers in her Thermos. This past week, this is what she had.

Monday - leftover spaghetti with the homemade sauce from Sunday.
Tuesday - fajitas meat in the Thermos with 2 tortillas on the side and all of her usually fixings.
Wednesday - pizza - she likes it cold.
Thursday - leftover curried chicken and chickpeas with rice.
Friday - bologna sandwich.
* sandwiches always have lettuce.
Side - everyday she gets a small container of yogurt, some fresh fruit, some raw veggies with a dip of some sort, a homemade treat (either muffin or granola - all with veggies snuck in) and sometimes cheese with crackers.
A special tip for pears and apples. We slice/core them with our fancy pampered chef tools and put one of those big brocoli elestics around it while it goes through. The fruit does not turn brown and the whole thing get eaten quickly :)

Brige on November 5, 2011 at 5:26 AM said...

Oh - b dot malloy at rogers dot com

Angela said...

We alternate between something hot in a thermos (soup or pasta).. swish some boiling water around in it before you load it with really hot soup and it is still acceptable by lunch. (I've tried it.. it is still hot enough)

Also do sandwiches in either a pita or wrap. Sometimes quesadillas or mini pita pizzas. No nuts at our school.. the kids like lunchmeats or cheese, though.

Always fruit/veggie cut up. Sprinkle lemon juice on apples. Wet the carrots so they don't get dry (these things always make them bring them home untouched..)

Usually just make them drink water for lunch.. though once and awhile I'll let them bring a juice box.

Also send a snacky thing too.. mini muffin, pretzels, craisins or a granola bar in a pinch.

Make 3 of these in the morning.. basics are the same - sometimes tweak the additions to suit pickiness.

We love thermoses, re-useable lunch/snack bags (lunchskins and 4 my earth had great ones), still using little tupperwares for fruit but someday will invest in those lunchbots.

Paula on November 11, 2011 at 8:04 PM said...

We're a nut free school as well with only snack time because the Kindergarten kids aren't there for lunch! Everyday she gets a sports bottle of water.
Mon -- carrot sticks, cheese cut in heart shapes, mandarin orange
Tues -- raisins, celery sticks, mandarin orange
Wed -- mandarin orange (she loves them!), fruit cup, cucumber cut in heart shapes
Thur -- banana with google eyes glued on it, fruit snacks, salad
Fri -- mandarin orange, broccoli, cheese (not cut special as I was in a rush!)

Her lunches are nearly always (98%) of the time litter free with reusable snack bags and tupperware.
pjkmitchell at hotmail dot com

Faith Tiberend on November 12, 2011 at 1:47 AM said...

My children are homeschooled, but my Mom always packed my favorite sandwiches for lunch... tuna with alfalfa sprouts; cheese and mayonnaise, or tomato, lettuce & mayonnaise. For sides, it was always a granola bar or fruit roll-up with a juice box.

Csilla said...

For the past few years, the main staple was bread and butter. He usually gets fruit (apple slices, berries), sometimes I pack a smoothie instead (from frozen bananas/berries). In addition pasta (with goat cheese, with cabbage, plain pasta, or store-bought ravioli).

It's not that great for packed lunches (gets a bit mushy in the thermos), but at home we also often make my own version of hash browns (shredded potatoes and eggs); that's the only way he eats eggs.

vasar12 at yahoo dot com

Heidi on November 13, 2011 at 3:55 AM said...

I use a lot of leftovers...so usually our weekly menus looks a little like this...
-sandwhich, veggies, fruit, muffin, milk
-wrap, veggies, fruit, muffin, milk
-leftovers from dinner (chicken & veg)
-leftovers from dinner (casserole of some sort, or sausages & vegs),milk
-soup, bread, muffin, fruit,milk

Jen on November 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM said...

My daughter is a very picky eater, so I can't get too elaborate with things (ie: no veggies or fruits on a sandwich...no PB with banana)all fruits and veggies need to be on the side.

1. PB sandwich on W/W bread, yogurt, carrot slices and grape tomatoes, oatmeal muffin
2. Cheese wrap, sliced cucumbers and orange peppers, pepperoni stick, natural yogurt covered raisins
3. Left over pasta or pizza, sweet peas and grapes, coconut granola bar
4. Turkey sandwich kebabs with grape tomatoes, yogurt, blueberry muffin
5. 1/2 PB sandwich, orange slices(snack only day :)

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