TheMomBuzz received one FunBites and one PlanetBox to review. The other items, inspiration, thoughts, materials are mine! This is my opinion on items received and owned through 4 years of school lunch experience.
Like many moms, by the end of the school year I was getting a little “lazy” with the back-to-school lunch packing. I stopped looking up different foods and ways to pack their lunch. This actually is a-ok with my oldest, who likes the consistency of a Peanut Butter Sandwich Day-after-Day, but my younger picky one only wanted Yogurt and Gogurt and would leave everything else in his lunchbox as waste.
So Summer is my time to be inspired to come up with new ways to present a healthy(ish) lunch that will satisfy my seven year old and even please my 9 year old. This might mean cutting or rolling sandwiches in different shapes, trying new flavors of foods they already eat or presenting food in a cool way, rather than just tossing it all in a box. I get my ideas from PlanetBox and Pinterest.
Here are some lunches that I packed in my sons’ PlanetBox lunchboxes. PlanetBox has been a popular lunchbox for years, but they have been coming out with new sizes, to satisfy anyone’s appetite and eating style. We already owned the Rover, which is the one with 5 compartments, so kids can have variety. But there is also a slightly smaller one called the Launch which has three compartments, which might be more “traditional”, yet greener, cleaner and cooler than plastic lunchboxes, in my opinion.
Here are a few examples of my 9 year old’s lunches this week in the Rover, when I had to take him to work with me at the office.
If you are wondering, he has:
- Goldfish Pretzels
- Minion Fruit by the Foot (guilty pleasure) or Gushers
- Yogurt Pretzels
- Apple Slices
- Orange Juice
- Water Bottle
- Sandwich. One day I rolled Turkey, Provolone Cheese and Pepperoni in Flat Bread and then cut out spirals. Another day I used a FunBites cutter to cut out Triangle Shapes from a flat bread sandwich made of Cajun Turkey, Monterey Jack Cheese and Pepperoni.
Next, here are the two lunches I packed for my picky eater in the Launch.
Summer lunch for a 7 year old #planetbox #planetboxlaunch #pickyeater #honestkidsjuice A photo posted by Erin Taylor (@speak2erin) on
- The tin container holds Cookie Crumbles for his Yogurt Mix-in.
- Goldfish Pretzels.
- Minion Fruit by the Foot (guilty pleasure) or Minion Fruit Snacks. We love Minions.
- Sandwich. One day I made his sandwich out of potato bread and then cut them up using a different FunBites cutter that turns them into the cutest mini sandwiches. Another day I made him spirals, as well, using the flat bread. Inside the sandwich on both days is Pepperoni and Provolone Cheese.
- Gogurt, which fits in the Carry Bag, along with his Honest Kids juice.
- Water Bottle
I can tell you that it’s easier for me to pack a lunch for my picky eater using the Launch and a more varied lunch for my other son in the Rover. I like that you BUILD your child’s lunch kit online to make it awesome for them. My son’s Launch Kit I have included a Carry Bag, Cold Kit, Fork and Spoon , Big Dipper and Little Dipper. The Rover Kit I reviewed came with the Satellite Dish (pictured) and Tall Dipper, but you can CHOOSE which accessories you think will work best for your child.
There is also a Shuttle Planet Box, which has two compartments. I think it looks like it would be good for younger kids and small snacks, and you can really add versatility with the different accessories you might want to add with it.
I have to say, even my PICKY eater devoured his lunch both days. I call that a success, after 2 years of trial and error in packing him lunches! I you are ready to prep for your kids’ school lunches – here is what I suggest:
1. A Fun Lunch Box: Not necessarily a fun outside design, but something that invites them to look at their food in a pleasing manner and want to eat it. Presentation is key! PlanetBox has lots of styles and accessories that let you do just that, plus fun ways to further personalize the kits with a variety of magnets and carry bags.
2. Different ways of presenting foods. Kids get bored. They need motivation to eat, especially picky eaters. What they like one day they wont like the next, so keep them guessing and ENJOYING what they see in the box. I buy a lot of different sandwich cutters. They make your own uncrustables, turn sandwiches into little animals, or they cut them in fun shapes.
I like FunBites, which cut through a sandwich really well with a slight rocking motion thanks to this slightly curved blade. It is well made, not cheap plastic. It comes in two pieces, one piece to cut deeply and the other to help push out the bite-sized pieces. I use it on the sandwiches, but it is also fantastic for fruits, breakfast foods and whatever else you can slice and dice into magic bites! They are also USA made, dishwasher safe and BPA free. They come in a variety of shapes, and buzz on the street is there might be a new MINION SANDWICH CUTTER! (OMGOODNESS! NEED!)
3. Research and Plan. Some people make the lunches the night before. I am a morning lunch packer, but I try to keep a bank of ideas on Pinterest. I then purchase the foods I need for the week, place them in a kids lunch zone in the fridge and pantry and then easily reach, grab and pack. When I don’t research and shop, its a lazy packing day. That said, then I just pull out a trusty sandwich cutter to liven things up. For Lunch Inspiration try:
How do you plan your kids lunches? What foods are wins and what challenges do you face when packing lunch?
Two readers at theMomBuzz are going to win their very own FunBites cutters ($12.99 Value, Each)! Please follow the directions to enter to win. This contest begins 7/24/15 and ends 8/5/15.