Back to work? Tips on how I hacked it last year…

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Healthy Kids Lunches facebook page has fielded many questions this past year wondering why I stopped blogging (sorry!  I am going to start again this year!).  Well, I went back to work full time, and I was trying to run a small start-up business, and I have two kids, a bunch of chickens, a dog, a ridiculous garden, a husband, well – you get the picture.  2015-2016 was the year when I learned that I couldn’t do it all.  This was a hard pill for me to swallow but on this side of the time I can see how I am better off because of it.

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On the Road: Day 1

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(to see the other posts in this series, check out On the Road with Healthy Kids Lunches)

Day 1: A Local Hike & A Picnic Lunch

Our first day excursion is a local one with some personal history for Auntie E. The plan: do a short hike with the kids and enjoy a picnic lunch in a beautiful, natural, outdoor setting. We have no other option than to pack our own food. To keep the kids excited about their snacks and lunches I employed one of my standard strategies: empower them with choice!

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On the Road… with Healthy Kids Lunches!

I love these SnackTAXIs as a reusable option for packing dry snacks.  They were perfect for our hiking excursions this week.

Auntie E Visits!

This week we are so lucky to have one of our favorite cousins visiting! Auntie E is a west-coaster through and through, but she is ticking off a few bucket list items and spending the week with us in beautiful NY. Follow us this week as we travel the state and see what I am packing/buying for my kiddos to munch on along the way.

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Lessons from the Whole Foods Fish Counter

Lessons

I have always found fish to be the most confusing of all the different food categories when it comes to what to buy.  I hear so much information, (some of it conflicting) about so many different types of fish, and then I get to the grocery store and I am like a deer in headlights trying to sort out the best fish to buy.  Is it overfished?  Wild caught?  What is the mercury content?  Is it labelled correctly?  What country did it come from?  Is it genetically modified? Is it on the sustainable fish list?  It is enough to make your head spin, and actually I stopped buying fish from grocery stores for several years because I just couldn’t figure it out.  (I was still buying fish from a fish monger at our local Farmers Market whenever I got a chance.)

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Egg Shapes: A step by step tutorial to using Egg Molds

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It has been brought to my attention that although I have written about making Egg Shapes using egg molds a few different times (see this post, and this one), I have never done a step by step tutorial.  And the funny thing about using egg molds is that they are not intuitive at all.  The first time I ordered one all the instructions were in Japanese and I found myself googling an egg mold tutorial to no avail.

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Pancake Fun

A bird and a peace sign.

I am always looking for ways to up the interest level in the kitchen for kids.  My girls have been cooking with me from the get-go.  When they were babies I would pop them up on the counter in their bumbo chairs and talk to them when I was cooking.  It was like a poorly executed cooking show with only one audience member who couldn’t even sample the creations.

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Helping Kids Determine What to Eat, and When

Helping Kids Determine What to Eat, and

“Help, my daughter eats all of her food at once!”  I hear comments like this often, and it is something I have dealt with, with my kids too.  When kids are eating lunch and snacks from a tray-style bento lunch box, sometimes it can be difficult for them to pace themselves and ensure they have enough food for the entire day.  Here are some strategies for helping your kids determine what to eat and when, for times when you aren’t there to tell them.

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LunchBots Review + Giveaway

LunchBots and Giveaway!

Congratulations goes to Julie J.! You are the winner of our LunchBots Giveaway! We used a random number generator to pick the winner. Thank you to all who entered. Be on the lookout for more giveaways in the future!

We have so much to talk about today!  A LunchBots review, a giveaway, and a new newsletter.    Oh my!!

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Quinoa Love

Quinoa Heart Bites

A few years ago I had the privilege of sitting in on a nutrition and cooking demonstration by a local nutritionist and a local chef held at my children’s school.  It was a fun night; the best part of the evening was sampling all of the healthy treats that the chef had cooked up for us.

I have been cooking with quinoa for a while, but I’d never done much with it besides eat it in a similar fashion as rice.  This cooking demonstration, by Chef Meg Affonso, of Meg’s Love at First Bite, rocked my quinoa world.  She made us pizza quinoa bites to sample and they were amazing.  I went home that very night and whipped up a batch for the girls’ lunches the next day.

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Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Hand Pies

Heart Shaped Hand Pies in a Lunch Box

Last month I wrote a post about making microwave meals for my husband for Christmas.  What I neglected to mention in that post was how jealous my girls were of their daddy’s Chicken Pot Pies.  They have an unnatural love for Chicken Pot Pie and request it all.the.time.  When I came across this little heart-shaped pie press on Amazon, I knew it would be the perfect thing to use to make the girls their own Chicken Pot Pies.

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Valentine’s Day Healthy Lunch Box Ideas 2015

Valentine's Day Lunch Box Ideas

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  Hallmark holidays are not a favorite of mine, but since having kids, I actually really like Valentine’s Day.  And I especially love making Valentine’s Day lunches for the girls because they are so cute and fun, and the girls just love them.  It’s all about the love!

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Valentine’s Day Lunches – Part I: the Basics

Valentine's Day Food Picks

It’s a snow day.  Like a real snow day with a ton of snow falling from the sky.  I’m home with the girls and all they want to do is vlog.  It’s pretty cute.  Today my littles are going to show you guys how to use three simple tools to make an awesome Valentine’s Day lunch for your littles.

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Healthy Tote Bag Review & Giveaway!

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I am so excited about this post because we are giving away one of my most favorite and most useful products!!!!!  It’s so fun to be able to share amazing items with our readers.  We love you guys and love being able to say Thank You!  The details are all below.

I read somewhere that healthy New Years Resolutions come crumbling down on Superbowl Sunday.  I hope this post can inspire you beyond the Superbowl to continue with your healthy resolutions throughout the year.  I want to share with you my favorite method for transporting my lunch boxes and water bottles – and everything else!!  Being set up with the right tools removes some of the barriers to a healthy lifestyle, and the right storage and transportation system for your healthy snacks is most definitely helpful.  I’d almost go so far as to say that this bag has changed my life…

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's DayHealthy Kids Lunches

Last year I loved creating Valentine’s Day Lunches for my girls — and I can’t wait to do it again this year!  Let me show you how easy it is to make lunches for all the loves in your life!

2015: Week 3 Lunches

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What my kids brought to school this week.  For a longer description of what I pack, and why, please see the Week 1 post.

Monday was a holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), so no packed lunches.  However, I was able to Plan and Prep this week, and part of that included making a list of healthy lunch box options that the girls could choose from.  They loved this, and each morning chose too many fruits and veggies for their lunches.  This is a great problem to have!

Tuesday: Both kids had the same lunch today but they chose different lunch boxes.

(A review of the PlanetBoxes can be found here) In a PlanetBox Rover:

Cold Day, Hot Lunch

How To Pack A Hot Lunch

It feels like just yesterday that I was posting about keeping lunch cold on really hot days.  How quickly seasons change!  Now it’s all about the soup, the comfort foods, and the warmth of the fireplace. Truth be told, I love winter.  I love hibernating.  I love COZY.  And given the opportunity to send some warm love to school with the girls, I’ll take it! Today’s post is all about warm lunches for cold days, what to pack, and how to keep it warm. What to pack: Soups and Stews What to pack them in:

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{Healthier} Pasta and Meatballs

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Tonight I made a dinner that everyone loved.  I wanted to share it with you lovely readers because I know how valuable it is to have a quick, easy, and healthy dinner – that the entire family enjoys – in your repertoire.  You might be surprised to find out that the dinner was actually pasta and meatballs.  I know – doesn’t sound very fancy, nor particularly healthy.  Stay with me!  Here are my tips, ingredients, and recipes that make this dinner a winner (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

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2015 – Week 2 Lunches & Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

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What my kids brought to school this week.  For a longer description of what I pack, and why, please see the Week 1 post.

Monday : Both kids had the same lunch today

Packed in a PlanetBox Rover:

Accessories:

Tuesday: Both kids had the same lunch but requested different lunch boxes.  I give you one lunch in two lunch boxes…

The top lunch pictured is packed in an EasyLunchbox, and the bottom one is packed in a PlanetBox Rover.  We have:

Wednesday: It’s pizza day at school so the girls each got a Yumbox with snacks for the day.

Packed in the Yumbox Original:

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