Rock the Lunchbox ~ Back to School 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013
I have to admit. I enjoy the summertime break from packing daily lunches. My daughters never buy the school cafeteria food. And on top of that, they are extremely fussy lunch eaters. They don't eat sandwiches. They love fruit and veggies, but they need more than just that.

Packing lunches for two is a daily challenge for me. And to keep them healthy and balanced is an additional weight on my shoulders.

But I've become fairly adept at working with their preferences. But my biggest challenge is changing up what I give them. For example, if I give whole grain pretzels and cheese sticks more than 2 days in a row, they refuse to eat those food items anymore.

Constantly trying to change up what I include in the lunches can be exhausting, but I know that I have to do it to keep the girls interested in what they are eating.

So, over the years I've developed a list of items that I am constantly rotating in and out of the lunch boxes.

As a parent, I know first hand how tedious and monotonous packing lunches can become. As a Stonyfield Yo-Getter, I was invited to participate in the "Rock the Lunchbox" campaign. I received some product samples and/or coupons as part of my participation.

Annie's, Organic Valley, Honest Tea (makers of Honest Kids), and Stonyfield have partnered on a collaborative promotion to inspire parents to pack healthy, wholesome lunches that kids will look forward to eating day after day.

Here's what I typically pack for my 11 year old daughter. She doesn't eat sandwiches, and isn't a big meat eater. So, I have to be creative with her sources of protein.

What's in her lunchbox:

  • Pita bread
  • Cucumbers
  • Hummus (source of protein).
  • Annie's cheddar bunnies (salty snack)
  • Granola bar (sweet treat)
  • Stonyfield YoKids smoothie (her source of calcium)
  • Honest Kids pink lemonade

Sometimes she dips the pita and cukes into the hummus. Other times, she'll make a pita pocket and put the cukes and hummus inside. On occasion, I add a few jarred roasted red peppers.

My 7 year old daughter is a little less picky than her older sister. She likes more fruits than veggies in her lunches. She loves yogurt. It's easy to pop a YoKids Squeezer or a container of YoKids low fat yogurt into her lunch.

What's in her lunchbox:

  • YoKids blueberry yogurt with granola (main item)
  • Banana and apples which she dips into
  • Peanut butter (fruit and protein)
  • Annie's honey graham bunnies (sweet treat)
  • Annie's organic fruit snacks
  • Honest kids apple juice

I add a sweet twist on the apple slices by cutting out the core with a small heart-shaped cookie cutter. This isn't something I do everyday, but occasionally I like to do it. It's a fun surprise when she opens up her lunch box.

I also use these Bento-style boxes for their lunches. Obviously, not all items fit into the box, but those that do are kept neatly organized and separated. For items that require more room or an ice pack, I place those into compartments in the kids' lunchboxes.

And there you have it! Two balanced and healthy lunches for two hungry girls.

I would love to hear what you pack for your children and the challenges that you encounter on a daily basis when packing lunches.

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