Archive for December, 2013

My Top 13 of 2013: Favorite Healthy Lunches

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

top 13 lunches of 2013 a


We have made it through another year! Wow that one was eventful, wasn’t it? As 2013 closes out the Bento Bloggers and Friends are taking a moment to each reflect on our 13 favorite lunches of 2013. Maybe you will see a lunch or two to inspire a new year of packing healthy lunches for your family! So in no particular order here are my favorites from my blog:

top 13 of 2013 group 1

Above Top Left: One of my favorite lunch containers is made by Easylunchboxes. This lunch box literally gets used daily at my house for something. This lunch featuring pizza rolls was a review and giveaway of those lunch boxes (sorry giveaway is closed). Recipe for Pizza rolls is included in the post. Thanks to some clever photo editing (love to the brilliant Kelly Lester) the lunch almost pops right out of the box in this picture and that is what I love about it.

Above Top Right: I have had the opportunity to work with Crunch a Color on a couple of occasions. This card game, aimed at teaching kids a simple formula to eat right and consume more fruits and veggies, is very much in line with the way that I pack my lunches. The game encourages children (and hey us adults too) to eat from at least 3 color cards and 1 protein card. I got to be honest though it is the combination of colors and flavors that knock my socks off on this one, as a matter of fact this one needs to repeat soon!

Above Bottom Left: As a working mom one of my missions is to try to eat as home as much as we can. It becomes so easy to just order out because we are a busy family and quite frankly I am pooped at the end of the day. Of course we do eat out but when I can make the pizza or whatever at home, I know we will eat better. Odds are small that we’ll order fruit and veggies when calling out for pizza lol. What I love about this lunch is the subtle nod to the italian flag in my stacked veggies and the multipurpose use of the box. After the pizza is eaten, the veggies can be thrown on the lettuce and eaten as a salad.

Above Bottom Right: I pack lunch for a family, adults and kids alike although I don’t often picture each one, each day. I try to show a diverse selection of meals or something I think is particularly cute or clever. I take it as a challenge coming up with simple lunches that will keep my husband and I feeling like we are eating out for lunch everyday even when we are not. This lunch is one of my favorites because it was a simple concept that turned out even better than I hoped. I used up some leftover pita bread and made a very easy cheese pizza. The basil and black pepper were the perfect addition to the taste and really made this picture show how awesome this lunch tasted! Imagine how easy it would be to have a make your own pita pizza night for dinner? Also how can you go wrong with Rainier cherries? This post by the way has the distinction of being one my most “pinned” and features an array of work week lunches!



top 13 of 2013 group 2

Above Top: One of my perpetual goals is to trim down and stay healthy. By counting calories and watching portions I can stick to this goal. However, lunch still has to be good and filling, right? The variety of this lunch really made me content and I felt clever with how I measured my condiments, mayo in a small container and lemon hummus under the veggies. I also love how the color of the lunch jumps off of the white background.

Above Middle: Simplicity is always my favorite and that is what I love about this lunch! I made a caprese salad to serve alongside our BBQ dinner one summer evening. The next day I simply added chicken to the salad leftovers and called it lunch! Easy peasy! I used a variety of heirloom tomato colors in the salad for some fun! Want to know a secret? I struggled reflecting the light off of the balsamic dressing! I put the lunch description there to cover it up! That aside, this is still one of my favorites!

Above Bottom: Although photographed on the angle, this lunch is very appealing in it’s linear display. This lunch was also part of the Crunch a Color challenge and features a cucumber and tuna sandwich as well as a banana split yogurt parfait. Sounds like a dessert right? This lunch appeals to my love of geometric things and dessert for lunch? C’mon that is awesome!


top 13 of 2013 group 3

Above Top: I like to think many of the lunches I pack are beautiful. Most of the time I focus on color, variety and pattern but every now and again I just go a little crazy! This day of the dead lunch satisfied my creative, crazy craving and was a balanced, colorful, healthy lunch! That makes it one of my favorites!

Above Middle: Getting to try new products and share them with my readers are one of my favorite things which is why I must include this lunch in my top 13 of 2013. Fun to Eat Fruit is a local New Hampshire company spreading the word about healthy eating with fruit that is well… FUN! Look at that smiling apple, it really adds something to this otherwise simple kid lunch! Don’t you think?

Above Bottom: The same lunch box is featured in all 3 photos above yet it looks different every time! That is the beauty of the colorful Laptop Lunches container! This Pesto Pizza was one of the first lunches I created in a Laptop Lunches Box and the color effect blew me away! My family also has a weakness for pizza! ;)


top 13 of 2013 group 4

Above Top: Participating in blog hops and link ups with my fellow Bento Bloggers and Friends is one of my favorite things! My peers fuel my creativity even when I am not feeling it. Like with this lunch, at it’s heart this is a simple sandwich, fruit and pretzel lunch! Healthy but not visually impressive per se, right? The addition of some cheese cut with cookie cutters and cupcake picks made this Halloween and Bento Bloggers and Friends worthy! Bonus – Cheese scraps are inside the sandwich!

Above Bottom: This lunch has the distinction of being part of the most “pinned” post on my blog, that alone could make it my favorite! A strawberry spinach salad is a tried and true favorite of many people in the world and surely no secret of mine. I jazzed mine up a bit by adding crumbled feta cheese, cooked chicken slices, lots of black pepper (because I love it) and cucumber scraps. You see I cut cucumber stars out for a lunch for one of my littles but I did not waste the scraps! I tossed the scraps into this salad and I think it almost looks decorative in a non-wasteful, accidental sort of way! ;)



Above: My son Trevor (who is now age 4) is the perpetual entertainer with an endless smile! It’s true, Trevor will smile and invoke smiles every day and every where he goes. He’s kind of like Elmo, right? Actually he’s better but you still have to love a happy Elmo face shining out of your lunch box? This lunch was created for Trevor during a chaotic time period and gave me a sense of doing something normal! This was also meant to keep my boy smiling! What, making Elmo lunches isn’t normal? ;)


If you are kicking off 2014 with a resolution of packing lunch go explore ideas from my peers at Bento Bloggers and Friends! Dozens of lunch and bento bloggers like me have consolidated their favorite 13 lunches of 2013 and we have all linked up on the same post for your viewing pleasure! :) You will surely find more inspiration there! You can also click on the button below! Happy New Year!



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Baby It’s Cold Outside

Monday, December 9th, 2013

cold outside themed lunch

Focusing on small fun details while trying to provide an interesting and nutritious lunch is what I try to do best, but every now and again I just can’t resist joining in with the Bento Bloggers and Friends for a themed blog hop. My bento peers are such an inspiration to me! Today’s Winter Wonderlunch hop showcases lunches with winterscapes, snow flakes, snowmen and even more winter fun! I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with. I had many ideas bouncing in my head when this theme was first chosen. Honestly I only nailed myself down to this one the day before this hop! Ironically in the end I actually drew inspiration from my very own blog!

Last year I did a small portioned lunch for my son Brendan (now a big 6th grader who doesn’t appreciate themed lunches as much anymore). I called the post Home for the Holidays. That lunch featured a cute little house set in a winterscape. I decided to recreate that lunch in a larger scaled version in my EasyLunchboxes container. Looking back I still love that lunchbox I created BUT I am very happy with the updated version I made this year. Tell me, what do you think? Although my house is nestled in red and green I like to think of the blueberries above as a dark, cold sky hence this year’s Baby it’s Cold Outside theme.

This lunch includes:

  • Blueberries
  • Yogurt pretzels
  • Sugar Snap peas & Red peppers
  • A PB&J sandwich
  • Cheese star and moon

Now for more frosty fun, be sure to go visit Grace my amazing friend in the UK to see what she’s got cooking on her blog Eats Amazing! Now hop along and keep warm! :) Happy Holidays!




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