Today is a good day involving the convenient, easy to pack, variety-encouraging.... YUMBOX!!!
That you could win. For FREE.
Also known as A Giveaway! (GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. CONGRATS TO AMELIA MCLAUGHLIN ON YOUR NEW LUNCHBOX!!)
I'm going to be honest.
I don't like packing school lunches.
Buuuut.. I'm a control freak. Bottomline.. leaving Cooper's lunch up to someone else just isn't going to happen. I like to know what he's eating, what it's made of, and most importantly, I want him to eat a healthy variety of protein, meats, dairy, grains and veggies.
Variety.. ugh. It's the worst part about school lunches. But if we are going to be completely honest with ourselves, a turkey sandwich Every. Single. Day. (while convenient, peanut-free and decently nutritious) is not necessarily an ideal situation.
This year, Cooper started Kindergarten (whaaaa ?????) and not only does he need a healthy lunch, buuuuuuttt.. I have to pack a nutritious breakfast too. Face in palm.
In other words...I need 2 lunch boxes for my 1 child on a daily basis.
I recently purchased a 6-Compartment Yumbox as our second lunchbox . You. Need. This. In Your. Life.
(NOTE: I was not compensated to write this post. I tried Yumbox. I loved it. I reached out to them to see if they would be willing to provide one for a GIVEAWAY.. they said YES!!!)
Why YumBox Is Great:
- It's got a pre-portioned section for each food group (which helps me out in the "variety department")
- Food doesn't leak from one section into the other. Aka.. the different foods Do. Not. Touch. Maybe it's just Cooper, but food touching other food, well, let's just say it's a problem.
- No plastic baggies needed (does anybody else ALWAYS leave these off the grocery list)? Also, it's better for the earth to skip em.
- PERSONAL FAVORITE: No multiple containers/lids. FIRST, I have to wash all those things after they have been festering in Cooper's backpack all afternoon. SECOND.. without fail, he always comes home missing one!
Yumbox Inspiration Video:
NOTE: For specific recipes and details about each box shown, keep scrolling down the post:)
Get The Details on each box OR... Scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the GIVEAWAY!!!
Turkey Pinwheel Box:
What's in this Yumbox?
- Turkey/Cheese Pinwheels: Lay a whole-wheat tortilla flat on the counter. Cover with a thin layer of mayo, mustard and/or hummus. Top with a layer of thin deli meat (I recommend Applegate organic) and cheese. Add lettuce or spinach. Starting at one end, roll tortillas tightly until it looks like a log. Use a sharp knife to slice the "turkey cheese log" into ½ inch sections.
- String Cheese: You can't wash it or peel it like produce, so I always recommend organic when possible. Avoid any cheese products that contain "cellulose" aka.. wood pulp. It may be a bit counter-intuitive, but I always purchase full-fat cheese. Simply put, low-fat/reduced calorie versions are more processed.
- Grapes/Red Peppers: Grapes and Red Peppers are included on the EWG's Dirty Dozen List.. for this reason, I recommend purchasing organic when possible.
- Popcorn: Pre-packaged popcorn can contain enormous amounts of additives, especially when you get into funky flavors! It doesn't need it. We purchase Skinny Pop - Original Flavor, which only contains only 3-ingredients. Popcorn, sunflower oil and salt. Can't go wrong with that!
- Trail Mix: Trail Mix is another item that you have to be careful when purchasing. I like to make my own. It's easy. Toss in your favorite nuts, dried fruits and a little dark chocolate. Done. This allows me to control the quantity and quality of the ingredients and Its. So. Good.
Turkey and Cheese "Lunchable" Box:
Turkey: I purchased Applegate Organic Oven Roasted Turkey from the Deli. I asked them to slice it at an "8" so that it would be nice an thick like regular luncahble. I used a little square cookie cutter to make the turkey look like a "Lunchable."
Cheese: I used organic Vermont Cheddar sliced at the Deli counter at a thickness of "7."
Whole Wheat Crackers: Triscuits or a similar cracker would be ideal, but my boys won't eat them. I opted for a 100% whole grain cracker that contained only recognizable ingredients.
Peaches: Peaches are on the "dirty dozen" list so organic is recommended when possible. I purchased them frozen. Just pop them in the lunchbox in the AM and they are perfectly thawed by lunch.
Pickles: I know, gross. Buuutt... the boys love them.
Annie's Cheddar Bunnies: These are not "clean." I allow my boys to choose anything that they want for their "dessert well." This keeps them from feeling deprived. We do have a rule that dessert is the last thing that they are allowed to eat. As far as I know... it's working pretty well.
Make Your Own Pizza Box: (Coop's Favorite)
- Shredded Cheese: Cheese that is pre-shredded contains an additive called "cellulose" ( aka.. woodpulp) to keep it from sticking together. For this reason I purchase my cheese in block form and shred it myself using a grater.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is on the "clean fifteen" list. Don't waste your money purchasing organic!
- Pepperoni: I used Applegate Organic Uncured Turkey Pepperoni.
- 100% Whole Wheat Mini Pitas: These are My. Favorite. Thing. Perfect for pizzas, mini sandwiches, etc. The boys love them.
- Tomato Sauce: Tomatoes are listed on the EWG's "dirty dozen" list. For this reason I purchase organic tomato sauce. Check the ingredient list and make sure that everything is pronounceable. You would be surprised at some of the additives that some brands choose to include.
- Dark Chocolate: It's a treat, so no biggie if your kids don't go for the dark stuff. Buuut... it is better for you so if you can sneak it in there, it's a great treat!
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: I like to purchase my cheese in block form to avoid the ingredient "cellulose." Since cheese cannot be washed or peeled I opt for the organic version when possible.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are #1 on the EWG's "dirty dozen" list. In other words, if you buy nothing else organic... strawberries are worth the splurge.
- Shredded Chicken with Taco Seasoning: This is So. Easy. Lightly coat a chicken breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees until no longer pink in the center, about 35 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and shred with 2 forks. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine some olive oil and taco seasoning. I don't measure.. but remember if serving to kids, go easy on the taco seasoning. Whisk with a fork until combined. Pour over chicken and toss to coat (you may not use whole mixture). Chicken for Taco Box .. Done?.
- Tortillas Chips: Select a brand that uses recognizable ingredients. I usually opt for salt-free. With the chicken and cheese, they really don't need it.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Again, tomatoes are on the dirty dozen list. Purchase organic when possible.
- Cashews: Coop LOVES them and for some reason always likes it when I pack them for dessert. I'm not complaining!
(Note: combine the yogurt, berries and granola for a tasty parfait!)
- Yogurt: It is pretty much impossible to purchase pre-flavored yogurt without extra additives and sugar. I purchase Organic (grass-fed when available) whole milk plain yogurt. I mix in honey and berries to sweeten it up. I like controlling the type and amount of sugar used. Plus, it tastes really great!
- Berries: Raspberries and Blueberries are not included on the dirty dozen list. Save your money and purchase conventional.
- Hard Boiled Egg: Organic, pasture-raised eggs OR farm fresh eggs recommended.
- Mini Muffins: I used THIS RECIPE to make Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins.
- Hashbrowns: These were one of my favorite finds! They are delicious (and I didn't make them from scratch). Alexia's Organic Seasoned Hash Browns. Here's a link. Coop says he doesn't mind eating them cold!
- Granola: Granola can be REALLY tricky. Most is loaded with TONS of sugar. I like to make my own. THIS IS MY FAVORITE RECIPE.
ENTER TO WIN A YUMBOX!
The winner of this giveaway will receive 1 6-compartment Yumbox.
You should see a little widget right down here ??.
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Other Whole-Food Lunch Ideas: