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Tuesday, October 22, 2019


5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Snacky lunches are fun to make, easy to pack and easy to eat. Lately, besides leftovers, most of Nikolai's lunches are snacky lunches which I often times refer to as homemade lunchables. With the short school lunch time, and of course the need to talk at lunch, snacky lunches are convenient and most welcome. It contains foods that he loves to eat, and we have the foods on hand most of the time.

These lunches are also easy for us to assemble with variety of fruits, vegetables, crackers, cheese, meats, breads, etc.

Our snacky lunches mostly contains any of the following:
  • Bread, crackers, croissant, bagel, tortilla wraps, muffins, pretzels.
  • A variety of cheese either in slices, sticks, wheels and at times cut into fun shapes from block cheese.
  • Sliced deli ham, turkey, roast beef, salami.
  • Fruits such as apple slices, seedless grapes, berries, peaches, watermelon, orange slices, and at times apple sauce.
  • Vegetables and dips (ranch or hummus).
  • Extra treat - Granola bar, rice krispies, popcorn, chips.
5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Here are 5 snacky lunches which Nikolai enjoyed recently.

5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Lunch 1: Cheese and ham roll ups, peach slices, seedless grapes in our favorite square silicone cup and tortilla chips in his leak-proof Ecolunchbox bento splash box. 

5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Lunch 2: Croissants, lefse with cinnamon and butter ( hubby is part Norwegian so we enjoy lefse occasionally), grapes, crackers and elderberry vitamin gummy. Packed in our Planetbox rover.

5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Lunch 3: Nitrate free pepperoni and crackers in the main compartment. Sides are apple slices, celery sticks with dip in the small container, a yogurt covered star, cheese stick above a granola bar. Packed in our Planetbox rover.

5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Lunch 4: A couple of turkey and cheese wraps secured with cute food picks, a granola bar, apple slices with cinnamon and crackers. Packed in our Easylunchboxes urban.

5 Snacky Lunch Ideas For School

Lunch 5: This was packed by dad a.k.a my awesome husband. Sandwich cut into half, crackers, orange slices, cheese slices and I believe he hand cut the N for Nikolai's initial. Packed in our Planetbox rover.

You can always assemble a snacky lunch with what you have on hand, and include foods that your kids love to eat. They are quick and easy to pack! For ideas on DIY homemade lunchables, you can find them here.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019


4 Grab and Go Muffins For School Lunch Box (with Recipe)

This school year I've been packing muffins quite often for Nikolai's school lunch. I'm definitely not a morning person, and we have to wake up way earlier since school starts earlier. You'll never find me waking up earlier than I have to, standing in the kitchen baking or cooking in the wee hours of the morning. Most days I'll pack his lunches the night before or he has to pack them in the mornings.

We usually make a batch of muffins during the weekend ( sometimes from scratch and sometimes from the box), eat some and freeze the remaining. They are super portable and will last in the fridge for days or in the freezer for months. They are especially great for busy mornings when you have to race out the door and need a grab and go breakfast, and perfect for the lunchbox, after school snacks or for anytime of the day.

4 Grab and Go Muffins For School Lunch Box (with Recipe)

Below are just a few lunch ideas with muffins included.

4 Grab and Go Muffins For School Lunch Box (with Recipe)

These ham and cheese casserole muffins are our favorite muffins lately, we have made them so many times that I remember the recipe by heart now, lol.

Ingredients:

3–4 pieces whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
3–4 slices deli ham, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin tin well.
  • Drop bread pieces evenly in muffin tins until they come about 2/3 of the way up the tin.
  • Sprinkle ham pieces evenly in each tin.
  • Sprinkle cheese evenly in each tin.
  • Whisk together eggs, milk, ground mustard, and pepper.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly in each muffin tin.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked through the middle.
  • Enjoy!!
Bento lunch 1: A couple of ham and cheese muffins from the fridge
(Nikolai doesn't mind eating them cold, but you can also heat them up and drop them into a thermos if you prefer them hot), a granola bar, organic baby carrots and seedless grapes.

4 Grab and Go Muffins For School Lunch Box (with Recipe)

These blueberry muffins are from the box, follow the instructions on the box and it's so easy and turned out tasty.

Bento lunch 2: A couple of blueberry muffins from the fridge, just pop them in the lunchbox with a granola bar and a cheese stick in the main compartment. Sides are apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon ( Nikolai's favorite way of eating apples) and seedless green grapes.

4 Grab and Go Muffins For School Lunch Box (with Recipe)

It's pumpkin season once again, and we love everything pumpkin! Of course we had to make some pumpkin muffins.
There are so many recipes out there, almost all are quite similar, but this one works for me, it's simple and I usually have most of the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

2 cups Pumpkin Pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Pam non-stick cooking spray or muffin cups.

Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In medium bowl, stir together pancake mix until moistened. Do not over-mix.
  • Spoon batter into greased or paper lined muffin pan, filling ¾ full.
  • There is enough batter to fill one dozen muffin wells.
  • Bake at 350º for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!!
Bento lunch 3: A pumpkin pancake muffin, string cheese, granola bar, crackers, nitrate free ham roll-ups in my favorite silicone cup, organic baby carrots and an organic apple.

4 Grab and Go Muffins For School Lunch Box (with Recipe)

Bento lunch 4: Turkey and cheese wrap, a couple of blueberry muffins, a granola bar, apple slices with sprinkle of cinnamon, grapes and crackers.
All of these lunches are packed in our Easylunchboxes container.

Do you have a favorite muffin recipe?

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019


10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

It's been a few weeks now since school started for us. I must admit that it was difficult to adjust to the new earlier wake up time, but we are getting used to it. We are super happy that Nikolai was selected to attend a collegiate high school, one of the best here in Florida, at which he will only study two years of high school and will then move to college course work for the next two. The effect is to complete both high school and the first two years of college at the same time which is like getting two years of free college. Another feature we all like is that it's a smaller school with excellent teachers, principal and staff. He wanted the challenge and we are confident that he will succeed. He loves it there! Happy child means happy parents. 😄

I've been packing lunches daily which is honestly a joy since I'd thought he might prefer school lunches in the future. They have been mostly lunches which were simple, quick and easy. Nikolai has always been a small eater, and he prefers a little bit of of this and a little bit of that in his lunchbox. I have a few lunchboxes which I go to whenever I am in a hurry and one of them is our Planetbox! The main reason is that I LOVE their divided compartments! Also, we have had our Planetbox since Nikolai was in Elementary school, and it's still in perfect condition. It's easy to pack, easy to wash, very durable and I'm confident it will last for many years to come!

I've combined several lunches I have packed for Nikolai in his Planetbox into this one post. They are quick and easy lunches which he had enjoyed a while back.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

I'll try to describe what we included when packing each of these lunches.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 1: Main compartment contains a sandwich with bear shaped cheese cut outs. I usually switch around the cheese and lunchmeat for his sandwich fillings. Sometimes it may also be PB&J, cream cheese or other spreads. Sides are apple slices, cucumber slices, baby carrots, Annie's organic fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 2: I believe this was packed by my hubby, he loves to cut the bread into this shape. Sides are applesauce, baby carrots, yogurt star and cheese crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 3: Chococat topper on a simple sandwich, celery sticks (dip not pictured), apple slices, crackers and Annie's organic fruit snacks.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 4: It was half day at school and we packed a small lunch. Sandwich with a robot cupcake ring, grapes and crackers in our favorite square silicone cup. This lunch was packed in our smaller Planetbox Shuttle.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 5: Low on groceries lunch = pack what we can find in the fridge and pantry! Sandwich, crackers, string cheese, fruit snacks and rice krispies treat.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 6: Tortilla wraps and a cheese stick in the main compartment. Sides are grapes, peach slices, fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 7: Another low on groceries lunch! High five stamped on sandwich, applesauce, cheese stick, Annie's organic fruit snacks and cheese crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 8: Superman themed lunch with superman cupcake ring, yogurt, grapes, Babybel cheese and baby carrots.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 9: Panda mini pocket sandwiches which I used our Cutezcute stamper/ cutter to create, grapes with cute Panda picks, choc chips, popcorn and yogurt.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 10: Again, either we are low on groceries or running late. Crackers, cheese slices, grapes and strawberry crepe.

As you can see, I do not always pack fancy lunches. Most days are leftovers or breakfast for lunch which I never bother taking pictures.

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox
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Thursday, August 8, 2019


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

Looking for the best lunchbox or insulated container for school? I've got you covered with this *long* post. Since I have packed many lunches and like to alternate among the many lunchboxes in our ever growing collection, I'll share my impressions of some of them along with the features that we like and some things to consider. I personally enjoy the variety of lunchboxes available and have a nice collection of them, but you need only those that meet your own needs.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

So, let's get started! This list is in no particular order.

1. Planetbox Rover

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The Planetbox Rover has five compartments and comes with both big and little dippers. It measures 10” x 7.5” x 1.5”

2. Planetbox Shuttle

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The PlanetBox Shuttle has two compartments and one dipper. It measures 7.75" x 5" x 2"

3. Planetbox Launch

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The PlanetBox Launch has three compartments and one dipper. It measures 10.3" x 7.5" x 2"
Each come with a colorful magnet set, perfect for personalizing. The lid is the hinged type and is secured with a metal snap-type latch, so it all remains together.
The price tag is on the high side but if you’re looking for a box that will last for years to come and that is completely plastic free, high quality and durable, this is the one for you. While the price is a bit more than some alternatives, the value more than justifies it when its quality and all of its many features are considered.

Features that we like:
- Made of stainless steel and there’s no worry about BPA.
- Dishwasher safe, eco-friendly and should last indefinitely.
- Compartments which provides variety and versatility.
- Cute magnet designs to choose from.
- The dippers are great containers to hold sauces, dips, yogurt etc that fit perfectly inside the Planetbox.

Things to consider:
- It's a little on the heavy side compared to other lunch boxes.
- Not for use in microwave.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in PlanetBoxes by clicking HERE.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The Yumbox Panino has a four compartment removable food tray which you can choose either with illustration or without illustrations. It is truly leak proof and I've sent yogurt, applesauce and dips without any problems.The main section is large enough to fit a sandwich or two cups of pasta, brown rice, salad or more. Two more half cup sections are ready to hold your sides and then there is a one ounce circular shaped section for any topping, dip, or treat. The removable tray is also ideal for meals or snacks at home. The box measures approx. 8.5 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches so it fits nicely in a standard size lunch tote.

Features that we like:
- It's leakproof! It seals very well to prevent wet foods from leaking onto other foods.
- It has an overall size which is convenient for backpacks or lunch totes.
- The removable tray is divided into sensible sized sections.
- It is dishwasher safe.
- All materials are BPA-free and phthalates-free.

Things to consider:
- Although I have never had the need or desire to microwave our Yumbox, their website claims that the Tritan tray of the newest version (after May 1, 2013), but not the outer shell, is microwavable.
- When using a dishwasher, Yumbox recommends using top rack only.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in Yumbox Panino by clicking HERE.

5. Easylunchboxes


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The Easylunchboxes container provide three sections for food which makes packing lunches easy.

Features that we like:
- The containers are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe and they are made from BPA free, FDA approved, food-safe polypropylene plastic.
- In case you are wondering whether these are similar to those disposable ones sold in stores, the answer is NO. The Easylunchboxes are much higher quality, more durable, the lids are not flimsy.
- The lids come in fun colors.
- Easy to open and close for small hands.
- They are quite economical, a set of four for around $14. The sets come in classic and brights colors. The newest are the Urban colors which we love.
- The insulated lunch bag is great and I have even used it for carrying other boxes.

Things to consider:
- The boxes are not leak proof and do function best when carried in this Easylunchboxes insulated lunch bag.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in Easylunchboxes by clicking HERE.



20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The Bentgo kids has five compartments; largest compartment is good for sandwiches, leftovers, pasta, salad and more. The other compartments are perfect for fruits, veggies, snacks, yogurt, applesauce and dips.

Features that we like:
- It's leakproof! It seals very well to prevent wet foods from leaking onto other foods.
- Drop-proof, rubber-coated edges and sturdy design.
- The removable tray is divided into sensible sized sections.
- It is dishwasher safe.
- All materials are BPA-free and phthalates-free.

Things to consider:
- It's a little on the heavy side compared to other lunch boxes.

You can view my gallery of lunches packed in Bentgo Kids by clicking HERE.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags



20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
We personally own both the LunchBots Duo and Quad. LunchBots are made of stainless steel, come in various sizes and styles and with lids in cheerful colors.
We own the LunchBots duo for nine years now and it is still in perfect condition, well worth the price.

Features that we like:
- Divided compartments to keep food separate and not touching.
- The lids are easy to remove even for small hands.
- They are easy to clean, will not retain stains, odors or residues since it is stainless steel.
- Will last for a long time with proper care.
- Lead free, plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, non toxic and waste free.

Things to consider:
- The containers are not leak proof.
- Not for use in microwave.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in LunchBots by clicking HERE.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The Go Green lunch box is a generously sized five compartment food container which even comes with a bottle that will hold eight ounces of your preferred drink.

It is truly leak proof due to their innovative design. Due to it's size, it fits best with the lunch bag that comes with it. The dimensions are 13in x 8in x 3 in.

Features that we like:
- It's leak-proof. The “turn n lock” knob and soft silicone bands were designed to make it leak-proof and airtight.
- The top and bottom are tethered together so I don’t have to worry about the lid getting lost or being forgotten at lunch.
- The drink bottle fits neatly inside the box and the bottle is stainless steel.
- Easy to unfasten retention clips allow lid to be separated for cleaning.
- It is BPA-free, Lead-free, PVC-free, and Phthalate-free.

Things to consider:
- Not recommended for dishwasher.
- It's best used with their own lunch bag since it's size is larger than most standard bags.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in the Go Green Lunch Box by clicking HERE.

10. Ecolunchbox Blue Water Bento Splash Box

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
Ecolunchbox blue water splash box is a leak-proof lunch box. Measures 6 1/2 by 4 3/4 inches by 2 inches tall.
Silicone lid and stainless container are free of plastic, BPA, and phthalates. The Splash Box’s blue lid is embossed with an ocean-inspired wave design. It also features easy-to-grip corner tabs for opening and closing. As for clean-up, all parts are dishwasher safe. The quality of this lunch box is excellent and I am sure that it will last for many years with proper care.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The ECOlunchbox is a stainless steel container and we own both the Solo Cube and Solo Rectangle versions. The Solo Cube measures 5 1/4 inches square, 1 7/8 inches deep, with 600ml capacity and the Solo Rectangle measures 4 3/4 inches wide, 6 3/4 inches long, and 2 inches deep with 850ml capacity.

Features that we like:
- Easy to open and close for small hands.
- Stainless steel will not retain stains, odors or residues and will last for a long time with proper care.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Lead free, plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, non toxic and waste free.

Things to consider:
- The containers are not leak proof.
- Not for use in microwave.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in ECOlunchboxes by clicking HERE.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags


15. Thermos Stainless King - 16 oz

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags


Insulated containers are great for leftovers which are mainly dinner foods! We do soup, tortellini, pasta, gyoza, chicken nuggets, chili, meatballs, fried rice, fried noodles, mac & cheese, pizza (cut to fit), Jambalaya and more. We have several thermos jars, the FOOGO  has 12 oz capacity while the Funtainer is 10 oz capacity. We also have the Thermos Stainless King which holds 16 oz.

16. LunchBots 16oz Thermal Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Thermos

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The 16 oz LunchBots thermal has a bowl like shape which is both easy to fill with foods such as chili, stews, pasta, soups and also makes it easy to use when eating. I love the inside of the lid which is stainless steel and without plastic coming into contact with hot food.

17. Warm and Tote Heated Meal Totes

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

This lunchbag helps keep food warm or cold for hours with the Microcore pac. There is plenty of space in the Warm and Tote, and with two compartments separated by an effective thermal divider, you can keep the lunch warm in one while you keep fruits or a beverage cool in the other.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
Warmables Neoprene Food Warmer Sleeves keep meals warm for hours.Their heat packs are filled with natural cherry pits, and do a truly remarkable job of retaining heat when used with the sleeve. The size of the sleeve is about 8"x 9", uses a Velcro closure, and is easily washable.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The Planetbox carry bag is one of the bags that our son uses daily. It's designed to comfortably hold your PlanetBox Rover or Launch lunchbox or any other lunchbox that you have. Outside water bottle pouch holds water bottle with a 3-inch diameter or less. Outside snack pocket. Inner mesh pocket fits the ColdKit ice pack to keep your foods cold and inner elastic straps holds utensils.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

This premium medium capacity insulated lunch bag with shoulder strap is leak proof and thermal insulated. There are also side pouches to store your water bottle and front pocket to store extra items such as utensils and napkins. Available in many colors.

The above are just a few lunchboxes from our collection and this list does not include the many double tiered bento boxes, some of which can be seen HERE, or some really cute ones which can also be found on this blog.

Do you pack lunches for your kids or for yourself, and do you have a favorite lunch box?

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

Continue Reading »

ABOUT ME

Rina

Hello and welcome! My name is Rina. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and our amazing son. My goal is to present our son a variety of foods that are healthy, mixing the cultures and ideas in packing balanced lunches. I also try to present them in a fun way which led to my collection of bento boxes and accessories. Thank you so much for stopping by!


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