Sunday, June 30, 2013

May 2013 Preschool Snacks - Week 4

Monday, May 20 through Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crunchmaster GF Multi-Grain crackers w/SunButter, Enjoy Life Mountain Mambo
[This post contains affiliate links.]
The previous Friday, Little Z's afternoon preschool had a "Parent's Night Out," and I had sent a GoPicnic Sunbutter and Crackers Ready-to-Eat Meal as a nut-free option for her dinner, in case she didn't want the fruit and hot dog (no bun) they had on offer. Or in addition to. She had them open everything, but only ate a little of each. So these are some of her leftover Crunchmaster crackers with Sunbutter and leftover Enjoy Life trail mix.

The cupcake box came from Paperchase, in England, so good luck with that. But the little heart box came from Dollar Tree around Valentine's Day.

Organic apples, dried seaweed snack crumbles, dye-free chocolate-covered sunflower seeds w/ salted pumpkin seeds
Z loves dried seaweed, but hasn't been as big a fan of the crumbles. I got these from my May foodie penpal and put them in an EasyLunchboxes Mini Dipper to keep them air-tight and dry.

I tried to trick her into eating plain old salted pumpkin seeds by mixing them in with dye-free chocolate-covered sunflower seeds from Trader Joe's. (Can you tell I really love these little heart treat boxes?)

PopCorners Butter, SunButter ants on a log w/dark chocolate chunks
The PopCorners came in my April box. I put the nut-free Ants on a Log (with dark chocolate chunks instead of raisins - helloooo!) in a yellow divider cup. I love these things.

All in a pink snack bento box.

NatureBox BBQ Sunflower Seeds, organic sugar snap peas and strawberries
I put the NatureBox BBQ Sunflower Seeds (she LOVES them!) in a little baby food freezer jar from a set by Munchkin. Soft-bottomed, and easy for her to open! They don't rest on their bases very well though.

Just for fun, I stuck a purple bunny pick in her strawberries. I put her berries and peas (HA! Wishful thinking on my part!) in a base from a blue pig box but with a lid from a mini squirrel box. If you saw my bento stash, you would understand how hard it is to find matching lids and bases!

Tools of the Trade
   Japanese Microwavable 1 Tier Bento Box Lunch Box Oval Pink   Microwavable Japanese Bento Box Lunch Box set of 2 MINI Squirrel Duck  Microwavable Japanese Bento Box Lunch Box set of 2 MINI 

Food for Thought

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Day at the Park with the NEW PlanetBox Shuttle!

A Day at the Park with the New PlanetBox Shuttle!
I've coveted a PlanetBox Rover for years... years! And I finally went and bought one this January, and we love it! Well, at first Hubby hated it, until I told him it was dishwasher safe! Ha!
Z can open and close the clasp herself, so I feel confident sending it to school, and the dippers are a breeze! Plus all the magnet designs allow it to grow with your child as their likes and tastes change. Win-win-win!

So imagine my excitement when I heard a new design was being released!

[Disclaimer: I was given a PlanetBox Shuttle set to review. All opinions are my own!]
The New PlanetBox Shuttle is the perfect size for snacks or smaller appetites!
Organic strawberries, Ranch dip, GF PBJ bites, Hail Merry Strawberry Macaroons, organic sugar snap peas
The red bag and magnet set are named "Day in the Park," and on this particular day, we happened to be heading off to spend a day at the park! So I went with a froggy pond theme, since it was as park-like as I could do!


  • Easy to clean - dishwasher safe!
  • Very durable! If you treat it right, it could last their entire school career!
  • A lighter, easier to carry lunch box size for my little kiddos
  • Easier than most other lunchboxes for littler, weaker hands to open and close by themselves
  • Small enough to fit on a lap in the car! Woop!
  • Still big enough for a grown-up appetite - holds nearly 3 cups of food!


  • Expensive. But, since it is so durable, and the company has great customer service and problem-solving tips if something does go wrong, you won't be needing to replace it any time soon! (Just make sure your child's lunch routine allows them to keep track of it to and from the lunch room, and that they aren't forgetful about things like bringing their lunch bag home!)

The new PlanetBox Shuttle is $34.95 for the box and dipper, or $39.95 for the box and dipper with bag and matching magnets. With four designs to choose from, I say pay the extra $5 for the bag and magnets!

*Please note that I only applied the magnets to the inside of the box for the photos. I do not recommend using them on the inside when closed. They are wipe-clean, but too much exposure to food and liquid and the designs could start to wear and peel.

Tools of the Trade
[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links
...And I wish they had sent me the purple butterfly set. I'd better make sure my purple-loving little girls never see it!]

Foodie Penpals - June 2013 #foodiepenpals

I am so loving being a part of the Foodie Penpals program each month! I get to try all kinds of things I might never have considered before!

Here's what Shelly at South North South sent me this month!
[This post contains affiliate links.]
Gluten-Free Cafe Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix - I'm a crap baker, so like having mixes on-hand. Plus, you know. I'm lazy! But because I'm lazy, I haven't tried making these yet. It would involve unearthing the KitchenAid. *shudder* Sounds like a great Daddy-Daughter Day activity...
Road's End Organics Mac and Chreese Alfredo Style - I had heard negative things about this product, and it gets fairly bad reviews online, but I was still interested in trying it. I mean, some people love Durian fruit, right?
Well, it was easy-ish to make, which is a plus, and it got a B for nutritional value at Fooducate and uses only whole grains (for all the grain ingredients,) so another plus! And - drum roll - my kids liked it! So a definite win! And an additional pantry staple, next to the boxed cheddar mac-n-cheese, for when I want to change it up but am feeling lazy.
Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves - This is my sister's favorite store-bought brand, and she makes and cans her own jams, so that's high praise indeed! I can't wait to eat through the jar of jelly I had just opened before my package arrived, so we can try it!
Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal - I'm on the fence about this one. Taste-wise, it's okay, and a nice option to change-it-up in an endless sea of oatmeal and cold cereal breakfasts, which are my specialty! But the directions on it involve a saucepan and a ton of time, which won't work for me. I barely have time to get the kids fed and dressed and to the corner on time for the bus with just cold cereal, leftover French Toast Casserole, or, in a pinch, chewy bars. I ain't got time for complicated stove top cooking!
But - I was able to find microwave directions online, so hurray! It's a bit gritty, which I personally don't mind, and it congeals pretty quickly, which again I'm fine with (and am already plotting out fun ways to mold it into shapes for kid appeal!) But neither kid was a fan. I can con Baby into eating a few bites, if I spoon-feed her, but that's a little labor intensive, and doesn't help me squeeze in a shower while they eat. So it's a Mama breakfast option, for now!
Glutino Tortilla Dippers - Tortilla chips. Shaped for ideal salsa or guacamole scooping. 'Nuff said!


The Lean Green Bean
Here’s a detailed explanation of the Foodie Penpals program:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm A Pepper... Salads

I hate sweet peppers, actually. Anything with the word "pepper" in the name. But of them all, sweet peppers are the least gaggeriffic for me, and I keep trying to trick my kids into liking them. Since they're healthy and all. But so far, no dice.

[This post contains affiliate links.]
Tuesday, 4/9/13 -
Organic salad w/lettuce, beets, carrots, sweet peppers, leftover rice, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, raisins, raspberry vinaigrette; NatureBox Kettle Corn Kernels with TJ's Coconut Chips, organic apple scraps w/SunButter
I had a little bit of cooked rice left over from something, but not enough for anything. So I mixed it into my salad. Meh. It was okay.

Normally I prefer dipping nasty veggies sweet peppers in Ranch dressing, but I didn't have room for them plus a dressing cup. But they needed to get used up. So into the salad they went!

I love the NatureBox Kettle Corn Kernels, and I love Trader Joe's Coconut Chips, but I get tired of a huge pile of either. But mixed together? Perfect! And the apple was something half-chewed by one of my darling progeny, salvaged by chopping off the squicky parts. Yum!

Thursday, 4/18/13 -
Cheese curds, Naturebox Cranberry Almond Bites; organic salad w/ Romaine lettuce, red Savoy cabbage,
carrot and beet scraps, strawberries, sweet peppers, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, mixed raisins, raspberry vinaigrette
For this salad, I just had one sweet pepper left (yay!) so I chopped it into rings to see if I'd like it mixed in. Newp. Still blechy. But I had some NatureBox Cranberry Almond Bites as my reward!

Tools of the Trade