Kids Lunch Box Ideas for Back To School

Kids Lunch Box Ideas for Back To School

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetCheesy #CollectiveBias

School will be back before we know it and the lunchtime struggle is real. Making the effort to  provide your child with a healthy and nutritious lunch they will enjoy can be a tough task. Especially when you are trying to keep things new and exciting for picky little palates. I do my best to keep from packing a sandwich with deli-meat each day. These tips have helped me develop fun and creative kids lunch box ideas and themes for the summer, and I’m ready to start creating more for back to school time. It’ll be here before you know it..

Kids Lunch Boxes

The Eyes Have It

Developing minds rely mostly on their senses (sight & smell mostly) to function. Fewer things can draw kids in more than bright vivid colors and a fun invitation. My kids attend a Montessori school, and the thinking behind the Montessori method is to respect the individual by setting up an invitation to learn. The shelves in a Montessori classroom have materials laid out in a fashion that would invite someone of interest to take part in that particular lesson. The same goes for kids lunch boxes! By arranging the food in such a way that it looks inviting could be enough to get your kids munching in no time.

Organic Valley

Organic Valley Stringles and American Singles make it easy to pack individual sized portions for lunch-time snacking. Right now you can save $1.25 off any Organic Valley Cheese at your local supermarket.

Cut It Out

A simple slice of watermelon may not seem enticing to a kid. But a melon ball they can pop in their mouth and is easy to hold can be a blast. Making smaller and creative portions of food, it invites the child to take part in eating a well-balanced meal. Organic Valley products are all organic, without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides, or GMO’s. Cutting your items into fun shapes and sizes makes kids lunch boxes a little less intimidating, and a little more exciting.

Kids Lunch Boxes

Kids Lunch Box Ideas

When In Doubt, Stick It

Kids will eat just about anything you put on a stick. Our new favorite kids lunch ideas mostly involve Kids Kabobs. A simple salad may not be enough to get your child excited about lunch, but throw some spinach, string cheese, and tomatoes on a stick and you’ve got yourself a winner! My boys love finding new and interesting ways to incorporate kabob-style lunches into their school lunch. Organic Valley Stringles makes that easy by simple cutting up a cheese stick and adding it to most of the fun lunch-box combinations. You can create fruit sticks, salad kabobs, and even quesadilla on a stick. It’s become such a hit they have started requesting their breakfasts on a stick (french toast kabobs anyone??).

Kids Lunch Ideas

You can find the Organic Valley cheese products easily in the dairy aisle at your local Publix supermarket.

Essentially yours,

Erika

Healthy Summer Kid Snacks + DIY Sun Catcher

Healthy Summer Kid Snacks + DIY Sun Catcher

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackStories #SnackSnapShare #CollectiveBias

Summer is here and with it comes summertime crafting! After picking the boys up from camp they always ask what we are up to today. During the school year schedules are tight and there isn’t always time for as much fun as we’d like. During the summer while the days last longer, we try to take advantage of all the extra outdoor time by eating al fresco as much as possible.

One of the ways I keep the kids engaged, is by providing delicious snacks for them to munch on while were outside. With two hungry boys this can be a tough feat, some days it feels like they are never full! I struggle with making sure they get the right nutrition while fueling their busy little boy tanks. I like to create an “invitation to eat” by making snacks individualized, kid-sized, and most of all, fun-looking. Bright foods with different textures are most inviting to kids. Right now the boys are digging anything crunchy, so my options are pretty wide open on the veggie side.

 

Summer Snacks

Late July® Organic Tortilla Chips are the perfect go-to for snacks. They are crunchy, made with high-quality ingredients, and ready for dipping. The new Jalapeno Lime flavor is the perfect kick for some summertime snacking. My oldest likes a little spice, but my youngest son prefers the original tortilla chips, and I love the new recyclable packaging!

Summer Snacks

I make sure to provide a few different options so they don’t get tired of the same flavor. I cut open a few peppers and added Avocado Hummus (our newest favorite), Black Bean Salsa, and traditional salsa. They each pair perfectly with the Late July®Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips. Avocado Hummus is a new twist on hummus, the boys really love the texture and I love how simple it is.

Easy Avocado Hummus

Easy Avocado Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz Can of Chick Peas
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Tsp of Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley for Garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the Avocado, Chick Peas, Garlic, Salt, and Lime Juice to a food processor. Pulse 3-5 times, then slowly add the EVOO on a full blend until creamy. Sprinkle with Cumin and garnish with Parsley to enjoy!
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http://www.essentiallyerika.com/healthy-summertime-snacks-diy-sun-catcher-craft/

 

Just throw a few ingredients into the food processor and voila! You’ve got a fun summertime snack for the kids and yourself. This was an easy recipe perfect for chomping on while making our fun Summertime Sun Catchers. This craft was perfect for outdoor use since it involved melting plastic and I didn’t want those fumes in the house.

Sun Catchers

You start with clear plastic beads you can find in your local craft store. Add a handful to an aluminum muffin pan so the bottom of the pan is covered. You can create patterns if you like or even all one color. The boys thought it would look best if they put in a bunch of multicolored beads to see how they would all melt together.

We put the muffin pan directly on the hot grill and put the top on for 15 minutes. When I took the lid off they were completely melted down (don’t worry these won’t stick onto the muffin pan). I set them aside and let them cool overnight.

Sun Catchers

Once they were cooled, they were ready to be strung. I used my trusty hot glue gun to attach the bakers twine to the back of the sun catcher.

Once the glue dries, they are ready to be hung outside or in front of your favorite sunny window!

DIY Sun Catchers

The boys loved decorating the tree outside, they were impressed with their new creation as we all sat and snacked on our healthy summertime snacks. Bonus!

Enter the #SnackSnapShare Sweepstakes before 7/11/17 or your chance to win a grand prize of $10,000! There will be eight weekly winners eligible to win a year’s worth of snacks so they can continue to share the love all year-long. OR you could be one of 57 daily winners set to receive a $50 prepaid Visa gift card to stock up on snacks at your favorite retailer.Good Luck!

#SnackSnapShare #Sweepstakes (5/30 to 7/25)

Summer Snacks
If I were to enter, I would use this photo!

Essentially yours,

Erika


Summer Snacks

Gift Ideas for the Conscious Dad

Gift Ideas for the Conscious Dad

Father’s Day is almost here. A day where we can all pitch in and let dad’s know just how special they are to us. Not that we shouldn’t show them each day, but a day where we get to treat them extra special. There are plenty of gift guides for moms, kids, you name it. There are also the usual gift guides with creative Pinterest-worthy ideas on different ways to display tools and chocolate. While these are all fun ways to show you care, I wanted to put together a few items for the conscious dad’s in our lives. The STOP generation dads that are embracing some pretty unconventional methods to parenting. The modern man if you will.

Memories

Harry's Shave Kit

Growing up I used to sit in the bathroom and stare at my dad while he was shaving. I was fascinated by him and how different he looked afterwards. He would always give me a nuzzle with his newly shaven soft skin, and I would continue to stare wondering where my “other daddy” went. My dad is no longer alive and these are the quiet moments with him I treasure. Something as simple as a good clean shave, can open the door to a world of memories. I watch my boys as they gaze at my husband trimming his beard and can’t help but wonder if they will feel the same way. This year we are gifting him with a HARRY’S limited edition shave kit for Father’s Day. I’m hoping that he can keep the tradition going and share the gift of shaving with our boys.

Knowledge is Power

One of the simplest and most effective gifts is education. The conscious dad is breaking the mold, embracing some unconventional ideas and trusting in his gut that what he wants is right for his family. The best way to do this is with some new tools in his toolbox. With these tools, he can parent more effectively, and create a stronger bond. Which is the ultimate gift, really. This amazon bookstore has a list of all the books you could imagine to help dad on his way to better understanding his children, and equipping him with the tools to move forward confidently.

Amazon Bookstore

Past & Present

genetic testing

One of the best ways to find out where you are going, is to learn more about where you come from. While these dads are paving the way and embracing new methods, it’s important to help them understand where they originated. Ancestral ties are strong, and may even provide some insight as to why they are taking the road less-traveled. 23andMe‘s at-home ancestral genetics testing kit is a great gift for the historian in your family looking to broaden the understanding of his roots. The convenient test-kit is simple to use and results are accurate. This year, skip the neck tie, and explore Dad’s family ties. Right now you can qualify for $20 off of your Father’s Day kit.

23andme

ancestry testing

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Another way you can celebrate the modern dad is by throwing him a picture party. Picture Parties allows you to gather friends and family together and enjoy the expertise of a professional photographer. Kids grow quickly, these portraits with dad will last a long time and are a gift the entire family can enjoy!

Essentially yours,

Erika

Modern Dads


 Disclosure: Affiliate links are located in this post, I may receive a portion of the proceeds should you choose to purchase any of the items listed.
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