Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tiger, Tiger, Lunching Bright

When you're stumped for ideas or just in a hurry, the CuteZCute Cuddle Palz cutters are a great set of tools to make lunch fun in seconds! And the tiger cutter inspired me to go orange with the rest of the lunch as well! Bonus!

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Tiger Orange
Dye-free GoOrganic fruit chew, GF PB Co Dark Chocolate Dreams sandwich, organic yellow carrots and orange
Tuesday, 9/9/14 - The PB and Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter was perfect for making the "black" tiger details through the bread cut-outs. I chopped up a silicone trivet to make various-sized "liners" to fit in my EasyLunchboxes. These help the sandwich from sliding around inside the box, the imprinted design on the trivet helps keep the bread from getting soggy, and the thickness of the trivet helps push the sandwich closer to the lid to keep it snug and prevent sliding. Plus if you're worried about plastics touching food, it creates a plastic-free protective layer!

The CuteZCute Cuddle Palz set is available at both BentoUSA and Amazon.

Tools of the Trade
CuteZCute Bento Sandwich Cutter Cookie Stamp - Cuddle Palz    

Saturday, June 6, 2015

5 Days of Gluten-Free Nut-Free School Lunches

This was a week of favorite hits! With lunch ideas from MOMables paired with popular dinner leftovers, both my girls were fans of these school (and home) lunches!

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DIY Ham and Cheese Cracker Stackers
Z's lunch: Organic plum and carrots, GF crackers, uncured ham, goat cheese
Monday, 9/15/14 - Build-your-own MOMables Cracker Stackers are always popular with my 1st grader. Ham and cheese are two of her favorite foods, and any lunch designed to let her choose how to eat it is always a surefire hit!

Toddler Basics
E's lunch: GF crackers, hard-boiled egg; organic carrots, tomatoes, plum
My little one wasn't eating ham or cheese very often back then, and never stacked them on the crackers anyway, so she got a hard-boiled egg instead.

Simple Leftovers
Z's lunch: leftover GF noodles with goat cheddar, organic grapes, organic roasted potatoes
Tuesday, 9/16/14 - Dinner the night before was something with noodles, and they usually choose to eat theirs plain or with cheese. So I tossed some goat cheddar and salt on the leftover noodles for lunch. Yum!  

(No packed lunch for E. She and I went out to eat...)

Leftover Pulled Pork
Z's lunch: leftover brown rice and pulled pork, organic carrots and grapes
Wednesday, 9/17/14 - Both my girls love the Kahlua Pork from a nearby Hawaiian place where E and I went to lunch once a week or so after her Little Gym class. So if I managed to hide the leftovers well enough from Dadda, the girls would get some for lunch!

E's lunch: leftover brown rice and pulled pork, organic tomatoes and grapes
Same thing, but in a smaller serving for Little Sis!

Leftover Sausage Cracker Stackers
Z's lunch: leftover pineapple-bacon sausage, GF crackers, organic carrots and grapes
Thursday, 9/18/14 - Both girls love these bacon-pineapple sausages we discovered at Costco a while ago. They could eat these all day long! So when Hubby cooks up a batch for dinner, I have him make an extra for the girls to share for lunch!

E's lunch: leftover pineapple-bacon sausage and brown rice, organic grapes and carrots
I still had some rice left from the pulled pork, so my little one got that instead of the crackers, which she hadn't eaten in Monday's lunch.

Gluten-Free Bagel Pizzable
Z's lunch: toasted GF everything bagel thin, pizza sauce, olives, goat cheddar, organic grapes and carrots
Friday, 9/19/14 -  A MOMables Pizzable is always a hit. Having more control over how they eat their lunch is very empowering for any child! Plus "making a pizza" is fun!
I found these everything-flavor bagel thins at a gluten-free grocery nearby-ish, and they are soooo goooood! Definitely a good call for a DIY Pizzable lunch, especially when toasted up a bit first!

E's lunch: toasted GF everything bagel thin with pizza sauce, GF crackers, goat cheddar, olives, organic carrots and grapes
I didn't trust my toddler with loose pizza sauce, so I pre-spread some on her bagel-thin piece (I ate the other quarter of the bagel! Nom nom!) She had fun decorating her own pizza and crackers.

Tools of the Trade

Since you get to see the lunches she BRINGS to school each day, I figured I'd give you a peek at Z's actual school!
Z goes to a Montessori private school that does preschool through middle school. They have a variety of pets in the different classrooms and some farm animals out in the field to help the students learn compassion and awareness for the needs of something other than themselves, and to use practical life skills to care for the animals.
Z loves to feed the goats, who are quite greedy social when people come to the fence. We save our carrot greens and wilting lettuces and such to feed them after school when we can. Chrissy here is Z's favorite. Z loves the animals (and E loves getting to see them when we pick her sister up in the afternoons,) but she is disappointed that she isn't in the other 1st-3rd classroom with the kitties. Her class pets are a turtle and some beetles (which she is nonetheless delighted by, and makes me come and meet them every time I'm in there!)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Con-Grad-ulations Graduation School Lunch!

Last June when Z graduated from Kindergarten, I made her a special lunch. Since I had my school-related picks and such out, I went ahead and made a schoolery lunch for the toddler as well! I've been sitting on these pics all year just in time for the end of the 2014-15 school year!

Organic snap peas and strawberries, HB cage-free egg, GF Whole O's cereal, dye-free taffy and licorice lace
Since I tried to include a heart in each lunch during her Kindergarten year, I packed the fruit and veggie in a heart baking mold. The ABC chalkboard pick and the little graduating monster ring (got at an end-of-year potluck picnic off a cupcake the year before!) were just for fun. I also added a graduation cap pick in with her hardboiled egg.

For the diploma, I took a white taffy from Trader Joe's and heated it in the microwave for 30-seconds to soften it. I rolled it flat with a rolling pin and used the wrapper in between to prevent it from sticking. I may have had to eat another one to have a second wax paper wrapper to use underneath. *cough cough*
After rolling up the flattened taffy, I took a snip of dye-free/gluten-free Candy Tree licorice lace to tie it up!
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Study Bug
Organic snap peas and strawberries, HB cage-free egg, GF Whole O's cereal
Little Sister's egg yolk is cracked because it was my first attempt to skewer Big Sister's egg. Oops! Still tastes good though!
For fun flair, I added a crayon cupcake pick to her cereal O's and a Study Bug pick in with her strawberries. (It was found by a friend at a cake supply shop with a lot of old discontinued stock! Fun find!)

Tools of the Trade