Design Mom » Lunch Box Menus http://www.designmom.com The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Thu, 15 May 2014 01:34:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Lunch Menu #23 http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-23/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-23/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 14:00:34 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42044

ham fried rice lunch menu

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Menu #23 of our Lunch Box Series has a bit of Asian flair. We eat a lot of Asian food, and therefore a lot of rice. If I have leftover plain rice, a great way to use it up (besides rice pudding) is to turn it into another meal. Here I made good use of it for a quick, semi-healthy hot lunch. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making it from scratch, order a little extra the next time you have takeout and use it for an easy lunch.

LUNCH MENU #23
- ham fried rice
- kale chips
- clementine
- freeze dried strawberries and chocolate chips
- milk (or water)

TIPS
- To make quick fried rice: heat a little oil in a pan, add some diced veggies (carrots and celery, or even broccoli) and ham. Cook for a few minutes until they soften, then add 1 beaten egg. Stir constantly while it cooks. Transfer to a small bowl. Add a little more oil to the pan. Add leftover rice and a little soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir-fry until it’s hot. Add the veggies and ham back to the pan. Cook a bit longer. And it’s done!
- Reheat the fried rice before placing in the insulated container. To keep food hotter for longer, fill the bowl with boiling water, let stand and pour the water out, then fill with the food.

SOURCES
- Foogo insulated bowl and drink bottle
- Blue Avocado reusable bag
- Fit n’ Fresh container
- Kale chips and freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s

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Lunch Menu #22 http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-22/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-22/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 14:00:05 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=43889

french toast stick lunch menu

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

I know what you’re thinking — another breakfast-for-lunch menu? Yep! I think my kids and I could eat breakfast for every meal, so Menu #22 of our Lunch Box Series is a popular one in my family. It doesn’t have to be French toast. It could be baby pancakes or waffles. The idea is that it’s a finger food that doesn’t need a fork or plate. Dipping is all part of the fun! I like to include jam instead of syrup for several reasons: 1) syrup is super sticky and spills more easily, and 2) it’s super sticky and spills more easily. : )

I add in some kind of extra protein in the form of lunch meat, cheese stick or cubes. Rice pudding is a relatively new thing we’ve been trying. I didn’t love it as a kid myself, but so far so good! It’s a great way to use up leftover rice and fill their little bellies. If it’s not your child’s thing, you can totally substitute yogurt or cottage cheese. This menu is 100% flexible!

LUNCH MENU #22
- homemade French toast sticks with all-fruit jam (see below for directions)
- a few slices of lunch meat
- carrot applesauce
- rice pudding
- orange juice

TIPS
-To make the French toast sticks, beat one egg with a few tablespoons of milk, a little vanilla extract, and a pinch of ground cinnamon. (I use less milk and more egg for these.) Cut two slices of whole wheat bread into four equal pieces lengthwise and then in half horizontally to make 16 total. Cook them in a a little melted butter in a hot skillet. Make them ahead in bigger batches and store in the fridge. (Of course they make great breakfasts too!)
-My kids will eat the sticks cold or at room temperature, but you can keep them warm if you like in an insulated bowl.
-I send jam because maple syrup is more likely to leak. My daughter also likes a little spoonful of jam in her rice pudding, so it pulls double duty for this menu.
-Swap out the salami for ham or another lunch meat.
-If rice pudding isn’t a popular item, switch it out for yogurt or cottage cheese.
-Don’t forget the ice pack (or insulated containers if you go that route) with this lunch.

SOURCES
- Fit and Fresh containers
- Thermos Bottle
- Green and orange Lunchblox containers

P.S. — You can see all of the lunchbox menus in the series here.

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Lunch Menu #21 http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-21/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-21/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:00:07 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=43226

homemade pizza pocket

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

I’ve been really trying to find something my son will eat for lunch. He has numerous issues with food beyond being a picky eater. It’s more of a sensory issue — he’s on the autism spectrum. When I find something he will eat besides peanut butter and honey, I’m super excited. For Menu #21 of our Lunchbox Series, I made him homemade pizza pockets! (I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before!) Admittedly it’s not the healthiest of lunches, but every once in awhile I feel okay about it. And it’s a lot better than the pizza they have available at school.

LUNCH MENU #21
- homemade pizza pocket (recipe below)
- carrot and celery sticks
- banana
- dried cranberries
- portable kefir (my kids call these ‘yogurt smoothies’)

SOURCES
- Wrap-N-Mat Sandwich reusable wrap and placemat from Amazon
- Reusable zippered pouches from Blue Avocado
- Small green Lunchblox container

homemade pizza pocket-2

Pizza Pockets
Ingredients:
1 lb. store-bought or homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
12 slices pepperoni

Instructions:
1. Divide the pizza dough into four smaller balls. Let them rest for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Roll each ball of dough into a medium-sized circle on a lightly floured surface. Let rest for a few minutes if the dough pulls back when it’s rolled.
4. Spoon a few tablespoons of the sauce on one half of each of the dough rounds, making sure to keep it about 1/2″ from the edge. Top with 1/4 cup (or more if you like extra cheese) and top with the pepperoni slices.
5. Fold the dough over on itself to make a half moon. Bring the bottom edge of the dough up over the top edge and press it together to seal it. (If it’s not sticking, dab a little water around the edge to use as “glue.”
6. Place each of the pizza pockets on the prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make several slashes/vents in the top of the dough.
7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top and the cheese is bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving, or serve at room temperature.

Yield: 4 pizza pockets

Note: I either make these the night before for dinner and make extras for lunch the next day, or make a dedicated batch for the purpose of school lunches. I keep them in the fridge overnight, wrap them up, and they kids eat them at room temperature. If you want them to stay warm, one idea is to heat them up in the morning and wrap them well in aluminum foil and place them in a small insulated bag — like the ones you see at the grocery store for keeping food hot/cold for several hours, or an insulated lunchbox minus the ice pack.

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Lunch Menu #20 http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-20/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-20/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:00:37 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=43082

chicken enchiladas

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Menu #20 of our Lunch Box Series is all about the leftovers. I’m a big fan of sending them to school for lunch with my kids. Chicken enchiladas is a favorite. Here I’ve added some tortillas chips and salsa and cinnamon applesauce. It’s a very filling hot lunch that I know will always be eaten and enjoyed. And I love the bonus that my leftovers are getting used up!

LUNCH MENU #20
- chicken enchiladas
- tortilla chips and salsa
- cinnamon apple sauce
- water

TIPS
- Preheat the insulated bowl by pouring boiling water inside, draining it and adding the hot food.
- Topping the enchiladas with sour cream eliminates the need for another container.

SOURCES
- Fit and Fresh containers
- Thermos Bottle
- Thermos Funtainer

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Lunch Menu #19 http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-19/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/12/lunch-menu-19/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 15:30:57 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42042

pretzels+chocolate dip

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Menu #19 in our Lunch Box Series is another favorite snack-y lunch. There are lots of little finger foods that are perfect for sharing with a friend, but tasty enough I know they’ll eat them.

LUNCH MENU #19
- whole grain pretzels with chocolate nut butter dip
- grapes
- baby carrots
- dried mango pieces
- cottage cheese
- hardboiled egg

TIPS
- I’ve started substituting Nutella with a healthier version from Nuttzo. If your kids attend a nut-free or peanut-free school, substitute with cookie butter, sunflower butter, or hummus.
- I wrote a tutorial all about cooking the perfect hardboiled egg.
- This lunch requires an ice pack.

SOURCES
Fit and Fresh container
Lunchblox
Thermos bottle

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Lunch Menu #18 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-18/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-18/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:00:20 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=43079

linguine+marinara sauce

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

For menu #18 of our Lunch Box Series I planned another pasta dish. A warm meal like this is so simple but satisfying — especially on a cold day. My kids are all smiles whenever they see me prepping the thermos for pasta!

LUNCH MENU #18
- linguine with marinara sauce
-cheese and garlic bread stick
- string cheese
-carrots with homemade dip
- squeezable fruit puree*
-water

TIPS
- To make the homemade dip stir 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/2 cup sour cream together.
- Preheat the insulated bowl by adding boiling water to it, pouring it out and adding hot pasta and sauce. It really does stay warm for hours!

SOURCES
- Fit and Fresh container
- Thermos Bottle
- Thermos Funtainer

*Awhile back I received the fruit puree in the picture as part of a sample pack of new Earth’s Best products to try out. I think this pomegranate cranberry apple puree is actually for babies and toddlers, but my kids and I all love it, so into the lunch bag it goes! They will be available in stores in March 2014.

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Lunch Menu #17 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-17/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-17/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 15:30:27 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=43074

tortilla soup

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Menu #17 of our Lunch Box Series is one of my oldest daughter’s favorite lunches — chicken tortilla soup, or as we call it at home “Corn Chip Soup.” (I’ve included the recipe below!) We always eat this soup with salsa, sour cream, and corn chips, hence the name. Sometimes we add shredded cheese and a squeeze of lime, but I left that out this time. The fruit makes a great dessert.

LUNCH MENU #17
- chicken tortilla soup
- chips and salsa
- sour cream
- cubed fruit: watermelon and pineapple

TIPS
Preheat the insulated bowl by adding boiling water to it and hot pasta and sauce. It really does stay warm for hours!

SOURCES
- Fit and Fresh containers
- Camelbak water bottle
- Thermos Funtainer
- Lunchblox containers

RECIPE
Chicken Tortilla Soup (Corn Chip Soup)

Ingredients:
1 large chicken breast, diced
1 jar salsa (your favorite)
2-3 cups chicken broth (use less for a thicker soup)
1 (15-ounce) can beans (your favorite)
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, lime wedges

Instructions:
Combine all of the ingredients, except for the toppings, in a 3 to 4-quart pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Makes 4-6 servings.

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Lunch Menu #16 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-16-sunflower-butter-sandwich-finished/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-16-sunflower-butter-sandwich-finished/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:00:25 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42040

sunflower+banana sandwich

Image and text by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

According to my Kindergartener, Menu #16 of our Lunch Box Series, this sunflower and banana sandwich, is the BEST sandwich ever and she wants to eat it every day. Now if that isn’t a compliment! The sunflower butter is super tasty. We’ve decided we like the kind from Trader Joe’s the best, which I am sure is because it has cane juice in it. : )

A great thing I’ve just discovered are these awesome reusable pouches. They can even be washed in the dishwasher. The other side has space to write what is in the bag that day. The one in the picture has Greek yogurt in it. Kind of a nice budget-friendly way to send yogurt in my kids’ lunches. We’ll be trying out homemade applesauce next.

Now let’s talk about root beer cookies because they always garner a mixed reaction. I know they sound strange, but they have been a family favorite since I was in elementary school. I’ve started using whole wheat flour and my kids never notice the difference! They are super soft and remind me of childhood. So what do you think? Would you try them?

LUNCH MENU #16
- sunflower butter and banana sandwich
- clementine
- grapes
- yogurt (in EZ squeezees pouch)
root beer cookie sandwich
- crunchy pea snacks
- water

TIPS
- I spread a thin layer of sunflower butter (or peanut butter) on each side of the bread, then a layer of sliced bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This helps the bread from going soggy.
- The root beer cookies are usually frosted on top, but I sandwiched two together with frosting in between so it wasn’t as messy. Kind of a splurge, but I imagine they like to share half with a friend. (Maybe.)
- Don’t fill the reusable pouch too full and only use smooth purees or yogurt.
- The lunch requires an ice pack for the yogurt.

SOURCES
Fit and Fresh Containers
Lunch skins pouch
- EZ Squeezees reusuable pouch (these are awesome!)
Camelbak water bottle

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Lunch Menu #15 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-15/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-15/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:00:35 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42036

tortellini + salad

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Here’s Menu #15 in our Lunch Box Series — pasta, sauce, and salad! A sure to please combo that my kids adore. And with the right equipment (click through for sources), the pasta really does stay warm till lunch.

LUNCH MENU #15
- Tortellini with marinara sauce
- Olives, halved grape tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls
- Small salad with homemade ranch
- All natural fruit snacks

TIPS
- The mozzarella, tomatoes and olives are kept separately to add to the salad. Separating them until lunch time keeps salad greens from wilting. But of course, I’m sure my kids put the olives on their fingers and not in the salad. : )
- To make the homemade ranch healthy, I used Greek yogurt to make it. (No mayo!)
- Preheat the insulated bowl by adding boiling water to it and hot pasta and sauce. It really does stay warm for hours!
- The red checkered napkin is just fun. I picked up the set at a thrift store and my kids really love them. (You might remember seeing the set in our outdoor cooking series.)
- Swap out the tortellini for other filled pastas like ravioli or lasagna, or use other pasta shapes to make things even more fun.

SOURCES
- Fit and Fresh containers
- Red lunch bag from IKEA (available in-store only in US)
- Thermos Bottle
- Thermos Funtainer

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Lunch Menu #14 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-14/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-14/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 15:30:35 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42022

chicken gyos + hummus

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

One thing we rely on is leftovers for lunch. For Menu #14 of our Lunch Box Series, I’ve included our family favorite, Chicken Gyros and Tzatziki. It’s just as good cold as it is hot. For a little crunch and some green, there’s a container of sprouts (these are actually micro-greens) to go inside. I’ve also got some hummus to eat with the carrots and grape tomatoes.

LUNCH MENU #14
- chicken on pita
- tzatziki
- baby carrots and grape tomatoes
- grapes
- hummus


TIPS
-Keep the tzatziki in a separate container. I’ve tried mixing the chicken with the tzatziki a few times and it always makes the pita soggy.
-I’ve pictured some micro-greens/sprouts for a green component. Baby spinach or another tender green could be used.
-Make sure to use an ice pack with this lunch.

SOURCES
- Lunch Blox
- Fit & Fresh

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Lunch Menu #13 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-13/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-13/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 14:00:05 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42088

veggies + dip

Image and text by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

For Menu #13 of our Lunch Box Series, we’re doing another snack-y lunch because they are so popular! This time I’ve created a mini-relish tray (minus pickles) with a homemade Ranch dip (Greek yogurt and seasoning mix). Instead of cheese, I’ve included a squeezable yogurt.

LUNCH MENU #13
-mixed veggies + olives
- ranch dip
- salami + ham
- cereal bar
- honey whole wheat pretzels
- squeezable yogurt
- grapes

TIPS
- I like to roll the lunch meat. It’s easy to pick up eat and it’s more fun. :)
- You can freeze the yogurt so it stays extra cold, but my kids said it stays cold enough with the ice pack.

SOURCES
- Lunch box from IKEA (available in-store in the US)
- Orange container and dip container by Lunch Blox
- Lunchskins snack bag
- Camelbak water bottle

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Lunch Menu #12 http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-12/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/11/lunch-menu-12/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:00:40 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42032

ham sandwich

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Today’s menu in our Lunch Box Series features another lunch menu classic: ham and cheese. The special thing about Lunch Menu #12 is that it doesn’t require an ice pack. Lots of crunchy finger foods too! If your school is nut-free, swap the almond butter for a little cup of caramel. You can usually find them near the apples in the produce section of grocery stores. You’ll find the individual packages of almond butter on the shelf near the other nut butters in grocery stores.

LUNCH MENU #12
- ham and muenster sandwich with a little Dijon mustard (totally optional)
- baby carrots
- apple
- pretzels
- almond butter

TIPS
- Hold the cut apple together with a rubber band, it helps prevent the apple from going entirely brown (it still does brown a little).

SOURCE
- Camelbak water bottle
- Lunchskins sandwich and snack bags
- Blue Avocado snack bag

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Lunch Menu #11 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-11/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-11/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:00:32 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42038

quesadilla

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Quesadillas are on the menu today! What would I do without this go-to favorite? Menu #11 in our Lunch Box Series is full of other goodies too. First we have pico de gallo with veggie chips. (Can I just tell you how much I love the chips pictured? More than my kids do. See below for the source.) I also have to tell you how much we’re digging the pink dip container. It’s actually a separate piece that fits into the lid to the container holding the pico de gallo. It inverts and sits next to an ice pack that fits neatly inside the lid. It’s brilliant!

LUNCH MENU #11
- quesadilla
- homemade pico de gallo and veggie chips
- sour cream
- jicama and olives
- plum
- fruit leather
- coconut water

TIPS
- The coconut water is kind of a special thing that I wouldn’t/don’t send every day. But every so often it’s something my daughter can look forward to as a refreshing drink with her lunch.

SOURCES
- Lunch Blox
- Fit & Fresh

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Lunch Menu #10 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-10/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-10/#comments Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:00:01 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42024

pretzel bread + salami sandwich

By Lindsey Johnson of Café Johnsonia for Design Mom.

Have you ever bought pretzel rolls? I never had until the other day. My husband and kids went crazy for them. They are the perfect vehicle for a salami and cheese sandwich — a little more substantial than other rolls. So that’s what I’ve used here in Menu #10 of our Lunch Box Series. It’s another basic lunch menu that seems to be popular at our house. (Anyone else have salami fiends living with them?) A new thing we tried were new-to-us smoothie mashups. My girls really loved this blueberry-purple carrot flavor a lot. I think I’ll be stocking up on more of them. (The tops are recyclable.)

LUNCH MENU #10
- salami and cheese sandwich on pretzel bun
blueberry smoothie mashup
- pear
- celery sticks
- pita chips
- water

SOURCES
- Dabba Walla lunch bag
- Fluf snack pack
- Blue Avocado zippered snack bag
- Lunch Blox
- Camelbak water bottle (thanks for the recommendations!)

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Lunch Menu #9 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-9/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-9/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:00:45 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42030

pesto grilled cheese + tomato soup

By Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

Sometimes you just feel like having a hot lunch, right? I know my kids feel like that sometimes too. For Menu #9 in our Lunch Box Series, we have a classic favorite: tomato soup with grilled cheese. At our house, grilled cheese is acceptable hot or room temperature, so I have no complaints about sending one in a packed lunch. The thing that makes this sandwich special is a layer of basil pesto inside. Yum! Of course, it’s optional, but I think once you try it that way, you’ll never go back to plain cheese. : )

LUNCH MENU #9
- tomato soup
- grilled cheese (with optional smear of pesto)
- grapes
- sugar snap peas
- bunny cookies

TIPS
- To keep the sandwich from getting too soggy (a little sogginess is inevitable) I layer the inside of the sandwich box with a paper towel. It also absorbs any of the excess butter and helps curb greasy fingers, though I suppose those are always inevitable too.
- Before putting the soup into the insulated container, make sure it’s piping hot. You can also pour boiling water into the container and pour it out before adding the soup. Sort of a preheating kind of method.
- Our favorite way to make quick homemade tomato soup is to puree a large can of tomatoes, add a little water or broth to thin it out, add a little Italian seasoning, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. You can also add a bouillon cube instead of salt.

SOURCES
- Thermos water bottle
- Thermos funtainer
-Lunch bag from IKEA (available in-store only in US)
-Lunch blox

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Lunch Menu #8 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-8/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-8/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 14:30:19 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=42026

green smoothie + muffin

By Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

We’re on Menu #8 of our Lunch Box Series — and this continues to be a lot of fun for us! I hope you’re enjoying this series as much as we are. For today’s menu, I’m sharing one my kids really, really like. It includes a green smoothie. We’ve totally jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon and we’re not ready to get off yet.

In the picture, I’m showing a store-bought green smoothie that works great when you need to take a little shortcut. Otherwise, we normally do fresh ones and put them into an insulated bottle. Generally it’s okay to make them the night before, but if you’re having one in the morning, make a little extra to send with school lunch. : ) I’m also thinking my older kids would probably need two muffins to fill them up. One is enough for my Kindergartener. The dipping sauce for the celery sticks is just a little Ranch dressing powder mixed with Greek yogurt. I used a homemade mix that a friend gave me. It was all over Pinterest awhile back. Packaged kind is fine too.

The lunch bag pictured is one of my favorite bags. There are ice packs in the bag itself, so you freeze the entire bag and it keeps everything inside nice and cold. My daughter actually complained one time that it was too cold! I use it when I know everything needs to be kept extra cold to be enjoyable.

LUNCH MENU #8
- green smoothie
- homemade muffin
- plum
- banana
- celery with yogurt dip

TIPS
- It’s more budget-friendly (and eco-friendly) to make your own smoothies. You can freeze them in a reusuable bottle or use an insulated bottle to keep them cold.

SOURCES
- PackIt lunch bag
- Lunchblox

What do you think? Would your kids enjoy a smoothie with their lunch? Are you already doing that?

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Lunch Menu #7 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-7/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-7/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:00:59 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=41516

greek yogurt, blueberries, granola + rollup

Photos and text by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

When my oldest was little, I came up with different variations of what we called “roll-ups.” Basically it’s anything you can smear, stuff, layer and roll up in a tortilla. For some reason she just always loved roll-ups and would request them for every meal. For our Menu #7 in the Lunch Menu Series, I’m sharing one of my daughter’s very favorite roll-ups with you. Some lunch menus tend to be more like a second breakfast, and this is one of those menus. But it’s full of healthy proteins, whole grains, and fruit.

MENU #7
- Greek yogurt with blueberries and honey
- Granola (homemade or store bought)
- Energy Packed Roll-Up

TIPS
- To make the roll-up, start with your favorite kind of tortilla. Sometimes I use whole wheat, but they can be a little drier and more difficult to roll. I spread a thin layer of peanut butter across the entire surface. If your child’s school is nut free, you could easily substitute sunflower butter or even cream cheese. Next, I top with a light sprinkle of sunflower and chia seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and top with chopped dried fruit. For this particular roll-up I used dried figs and a large Medjool date, but I have also used raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots and mangoes. Tightly roll everything up and let it sit for a few minutes and cut into pieces. Easy peasy!

energy packed rollup

- I’ve used a Weck jar here for the yogurt, but any kind of jar or plastic container will do. I just wanted to use something more bowl-like for easier eating. They are better for older children who can manage opening and closing them and keeping track of all the parts. (I know, I know, I know. But they are so cute!)

-Pack the granola separately and let your child add it right before eating so it stays crunchy.

SOURCES
- Weck jar from Williams-Sonoma
- Small jar from Ball
- Lunch box, Kullar from IKEA (only available in-store in the US)
- Spoon from IKEA
- White cloth napkin, similar here

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Lunch Menu #6 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-6/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-6/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:00:50 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=41523

turkey+swiss sandwich

Photo and Text by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

This is another basic for our Lunch Menu #6 — turkey and swiss on whole wheat bread. I’m still a fan of basic lunches because they always get eaten up and my kids love them. I do want to highlight this super cool Wrap-N-Mat. It functions as a reusable sandwich wrap, but also as a place mat. I love it! It’s super easy for kids to use and fold up and fastens with velcro.

MENU #6
- Turkey and Swiss Sandwich on whole wheat
- Whole grain cookies
- Baby carrots
- Apple
- Pickles

TIPS
- The pickles are a fun thing to add, but can be messy. I drain them well first so pickle juice doesn’t leak onto the other lunch items. They seem to be fine until lunch time.
- Cut up whole apples for younger kids. (My kids prefer whole apples.)

SOURCES
- Wrap-N-Mat Sandwich reusable wrap and placemat from Amazon
- Reusable zippered pouches from Blue Avocado
- Water bottle from Rubbermaid (ok, but not great)

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Lunch Menu #5 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-5/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-5/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:00:45 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=41508

crackers, ham, cheese, fruit

Photo and text by Lindsey Johnson

Remember when Lunchables first came out and you begged (I mean, begged) your mom to get you one. But then after all the hype it just wasn’t as good as you were hoping? Yeah, me too. That’s why I refuse to buy them for my kids. They’ll thank me for it later, I’m sure.

Nothing could be easier than this Menu #5 from our Lunch Menu Series. The best part is that it is also one of my kids’ favorite lunches. I have one who will spread cheese on the crackers and layer with lunch meat. And one who eats everything separately, and yet another who creates her own cracker sandwiches. It gives them the chance to be a little creative here. You can totally sub whatever cheese, meat, crackers, and fruit your kids like best. It’s just a nice reminder that sometimes nothing tastes better for lunch than good old crackers and cheese.

MENU #5
- assorted crackers (one or two kinds)
- ham
- cheddar cheese stick
- herbed goat cheese (you could sub cream cheese or Laughing Cow)
- grapes
- strawberries

TIPS
- For younger kids, skip the spreadable cheese and knife and use sliced or cubed cheese instead.

SOURCES
- Lunch blox from Rubbermaid
- Zippered reusable pouch from Blue Avocado

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Lunch Menu #4 http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-4/ http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/lunch-menu-4/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 14:30:23 +0000 Lindsey Johnson http://www.designmom.com/?p=41512

pasta salad + broccoli

Photo and text by Lindsey Johnson.

This week’s Menu #4 of our Lunchbox Menu Series swaps a sandwich for a pasta salad and loads up on healthy veggies and fruit. I’ve finally discovered the best pasta salad that is full of goodies and easy to adapt to your child’s preferences.

MENU #4
- loaded pasta salad with vinaigrette
- fresh broccoli
- carrot apple sauce
- oatmeal raisin cookies

SOURCES
- Lunch box from IKEA (only available in-store in the US)
- Plastic handled fork and spoon from IKEA
- Reusable zippered pouch from Blue Avocado
- Checkered napkin, thrifted
- Apple carrot crusher from Trader Joe’s

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