Not so long ago I wrote a post participating in a healthy lunch campaign with some of my fellow bloggers. We were challenged by Jennifer of Crunch a Color to create healthy lunches using the concept of the Crunch a Color card games. It is simple, 3 color cards, plus 1 protein card, plus 1 healthy grain card and everybody wins! Lunches from this campaign were featured over at the Huffington Post and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I know I feel like I won! I was so inspired by all the healthy lunches that I saw from other bloggers that when the opportunity to participate a second time came up I just had to accept!
Packing a healthy lunch is important to me. I am Mom of 4 beautiful children ranging in ages from 2 years old to 15 years old. I want them to be happy, active and healthy. I know the choices I make and the examples I set are the ones they will follow! This blog, iPackLunch, is my outlet to share the lunches I pack for my family. This is my source of inspiration and I hope in some part to inspire others. I believe in packing healthy lunches using real food. I try to be creative with color, flavor, arrangement and shape. I want my children to be excited when they open their lunch boxes and honestly I want to be excited when I open mine!
For this post I set out to create simple lunches, that anyone can make, using the Crunch a Color concept: 3 colors + 1 protein + 1 healthy grain = WIN! So let’s break it down!
Lunch #1 (pictured above): This lunch features a “banana split parfait” as a “dessert”. It sure sounds like dessert but this parfait has both fresh strawberries and bananas. I used a Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk greek yogurt and tucked in my sliced fruit. Don’t take my word, make this, it tastes just like a banana split. You could even top with nuts! You could also make your own version of chocolate chunk yogurt by grating a small amount of chocolate into the vanilla or plain yogurt of your choice. You could also mix up the parfait, oranges tucked into a blueberry yogurt, pineapple tucked into a coconut yogurt etc. You could also top with granola! Fun, tasty and easy! Most children love and eat yogurt so this is a very easy way to get them to eat fresh fruit!
- 5 for healthy grains (the whole wheat bread for the sandwich)
- 10 for protein (the tuna in the sandwich)
- 10 for greens (the cooked broccoli served cold)
- 10 for greens (there are sliced cucumbers on the sandwich)
- 15 for greens (the leaf lettuce on the sandwich)
- 5 for red (for the sliced strawberries in the yogurt)
- 5 for yellow/orange (for the banana in the yogurt)
- THAT MAKES 60 POINTS! Kids can earn bonus points for setting the table, using good manners, clearing the table or starting a conversation etc!
Double points by adding a “new food”. Perhaps kiwi or passionfruit in the parfait? That would make the score 120 points!!
Lunch #2 (pictured above): This lunch features a simple breakfast sandwich for lunch. Everybody loves breakfast, right? To lighten this one up a bit I used a round sandwich thin in place of a bagel. I spread 1/2 tablespoon of mayo on my bread and then topped with raw spinach and slice tomato. I microwaved my egg by spraying a round shaped bowl with cooking spray, cracking my egg into the bowl, seasoning with pepper and garlic then microwaving for 1 minute. I topped the cooked egg with a thin slice of swiss cheese while still warm and popped it right on top of my veggies. You could also use a pita pocket or an English muffin! Want to push the envelope? Use a vegetable peeler to create carrot and cucumber ribbons to add to your sandwich! Consider adding a slice of ham to make the sandwich more filling for a heartier appetite. Don’t worry this sandwich is excellent served cold! I could have used raw carrot chips in place of pretzels for a crunchy snack adding even more points!
- 5 for healthy grains/card not shown (the whole wheat sandwich thin bread)
- 10 for protein/card not shown (the egg in the sandwich, you could add ham too)
- 15 for greens (the spinach in the sandwich)
- 10 for red (the sliced tomato on the sandwich)
- 10 for greens (the broccoli tucked in by the sandwich)
- 5 for yellow/orange (for the orange slices and my nod to orange juice typical with breakfast)
- THAT MAKES 55 POINTS!
You could double that by adding a “new food”, one never tried before by your child! Perhaps by substituting spinach in place of lettuce? That would double the points to 110!!
Lunch #3 (pictured above): Pizza is a classic kids favorite and just as good eaten cold! Pizza is also a great place to “hide” veggies! Not only can you put veggies on top but you can also puree veggies into your sauce! This bagel pizza has BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, broccoli, tomatoes and green onions! Yum! This lunch also includes a small amount of Naturebox Guacamole Bites nestled besides the pizza in a silicone cup.
- 5 for healthy grains (the bagel)
- 10 for protein (chicken on the bagel pizza)
- 10 for red (tomato on the bagel pizza)
- 10 for greens (broccoli on pizza and tucked in)
- 5 for red (for the strawberry slices)
- 5 for yellow/orange (for the nectarine slices)
- THAT IS 45 POINTS!
Putting a “new food” like broccoli or mushrooms on your pizza double your points to 90!!
All lunches pictured are served in Easylunchboxes containers. Check out the Crunch a Color blog for more ways to try new foods in Jennifer’s 52 new foods campaign!
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