Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crunch A Color Healthy Eating Challenge

Healthy meal formula: 1 Protein + 1 Whole Grains + 3 Colors (fruits & veggies) = Yum!
In the Crunch-a-Color Healthy Eating Game, you and your kids "compete" to see who can earn the most points eating a healthy meal based on a "recipe" of 1 Whole Grain, 1 Protein, and (at least) 3 Colors of fruits and vegetables. Bonus points earned for a healthy drink (milk or water instead of juice or soda,) and trying new foods (double points!)

Jennifer, creator of the Crunch-a-Color game and Conversation Starters sets, challenged 15 food bloggers to come up with healthy packed lunches for a Healthy Eating Challenge following the above food guidelines, and featured some of them (including me!) in the Huffington Post and on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution! It was such a hit that she decided to do another round! So stay tuned on her Facebook page to see the entries!

I packed 6 Healthy Eating Challenge lunches over two days for my (almost) 5-year-old and 17-month-old daughters, and I'm-not-telling-you-how-old me in our EasyLunchboxes.
Leftovers On A Stick! Fun ways to use leftover chicken nuggets, sandwiches, and pizza!
[This post contains affiliate links.]
For this day's lunches, I went through the fridge and pulled out a bunch of forlorn leftovers. Not enough of any one thing to make a meal for more than one person, but perfect for me and the girls when used together! 

I got the pizza skewer idea from the MOMables blog, and the leftover chicken skewers idea from my MOMables lunch menu subscription. The sandwich I thought up on my own!

(Note: all fruits and veggies in these lunches are organic)

Top Right, Little Z's (preschooler) Lunch
Protein: leftover Applegate Farms gluten-free chicken nuggets with cheddar cheese on a star skewer
3 Colors: green beans, orange carrot shreds, red raspberries
Plus: Ranch dressing in a Mini Dipper

Bottom Left, Mama's Lunch
Whole Grain: lonely gluten-free sub bun sandwich on heart skewer
Protein: uncured lean ham with creamy Pink Dip spread sandwich, chickpea guacamole (in Mini Dipper
3 (or more) Colors: green lettuce (in sandwich,) red/orange/yellow baby tomatoes, red beets, green and purple broccoli, white cauliflower, dried orange slices
Plus: coconut chips mixed in with orange slices. I think coconut is a seed... so not a fruit or veggie.

Bottom right, Baby E's (toddler) Lunch:  
Whole Grain: Leftover whole-grain pizza
Protein: mozzarella cheese stick, uncured ham (on pizza,) stacked on heart and star skewers 
3 (or more) Colors: red/orange/yellow baby tomatoes, green beans, red strawberries, purple blackberries
Plus: gluten-free sandwich cookies, olives on the pizza skewers (olives count in the Fats group, not veggies)

I think Mama won, as far as total points go, with Baby in close second. But she cheats.

Flowery Family Lunches - for Mama, Preschooler, and Toddler
I kind of went with a flower theme this day, as well as unconventional lunch items. No sandwiches or wraps here! I used nuts instead of meat or nut butter for most of our proteins, and crackers and pretzels instead of bread for our grains.

(Note: all fruits and vegetables in these lunches are organic)

Top Left, Mama's Lunch:
Whole Grain: gluten-free Ener-G Pretzel Rings
Protein: nutty trail mix
3 (or more) Colors: red and green salad mix (red lettuce, savoy cabbage, radicchio, and micro greens,) chopped beets (red, yellow, and red/white striped) and carrots (orange,) red strawberries, white cauliflower
Plus: mini chocolate peanut butter cups and dye-free "MandMs" in the trail mix

Bottom Left, Baby's Lunch:
Whole Grain: gluten-free Ener-G Pretzel Rings, gluten-free crackers
Protein: sharp cheddar cheese
3 (or more) Colors: red/orange/yellow baby tomatoes, green sugar snap peas, red apples, purple grapes

Bottom Right, Z's Lunch:
Whole Grain: Van's Gluten-Free "Everything" Crackers
Protein: NatureBox Lemon Pucker Pistachios
3 Colors: red strawberries, green sugar snap peas, orange carrots

Mama wins again! Because no matter who gets the most points, the winner is always Mama, for having a family of healthy eaters!

Tools of the Trade


  1. Beautiful post! Delicious and lovely lunches, too!!

  2. Coconut is actually a drupe, along the same lines as dates, mangos, olives, pistachios, peaches, plums, etc..

  3. What gorgeous, healthy lunches, Kendra! Great job on your Crunch a Color challenge. You nailed it! :)


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