Monday, August 29, 2016

Lunch Box 101

Since Kennedy started Kinder this year, it means lunches away from home started happening. We decided that the girls would be packing their lunch for school. We wanted them to have healthy choices everyday. Brandon is pretty strict about what the girls eat, & I of course want them to be eating healthy as well; so this was the best option for our family!

Picking a lunch box is where we began. I spent hours looking for the right one. But it really came down to esthetics! ha! Getting a matching lunchbox to her backpack. But there was several options. I was between a Planet Box & Yumbox for her bento holder {more on planetbox later} & after looking at dimensions & the needs we wanted we went with the Pottery Barn Kids Cold Pack lunch box.

 



Fast forward to choosing our box..We went with the Yumbox. There was a few options & we went with the 6 compartment box & panino boxes. They fit perfectly in her lunchbox with room for silverware, drink & ice pack when closed. Other factors for choosing Yumbox first was they are much easier for younger children to open & it is leak proof! Score!

 Of course, one would suffice for anyone, I just wanted a opinion for some days when I didn't want to cut up the sandwich. If you want that option but more compartments and only buying one box, you can always use silicone baking cups to divide the larger part on days you aren't sending a full sandwich.

Vanilla yogurt, strawberries, cheese cubes, ham & cheese sandwich, carrots w/ranch, Annies cookie bites

I get that for some parents making lunch isn't a option & thats okay.
I also get that some people think this whole fancy lunch thing is non sense! Which is fine too :)

Here is what I love about it:
First, I get told all the time "I don't have time for that" & I promise you, this does NOT take a lot of time. Honest.
I went ahead & made two lunches & timed myself. One lunch putting each thing in sandwich baggies ect & the other in the yumbox, adding cutting out shapes ect. The yumbox lunch took at extra 68 seconds!  That isn't that bad, & its better for the environment without all the baggies!

yogurt, beef stick bites & cheese cubes, snap peas, sandwich, watermelon & blueberries

The "science" if you will, behind the bento box is to have a variety of things in smaller portions.

Right now we are trying to teach our girls a healthy eating style. & with partial picky eaters it can be a task. Putting smaller portions of food they don't normally like is less imitating. & they are more willing to try it.

adding sprinkles to plain yogurt is a fun treat

& I'll be honest I was skeptical, which is why I waited to post this. I was mostly in it for the cute lunches. {no shame} But we are over 4 weeks in & my child who did not eat ANY veggie {I'm serious} now requests carrots, cucumbers & snap peas, amoung other things as her snacks of choice outside of school; after putting them in her lunch. There has been plenty that come back in her lunch but she at least tried them. Now, she is requesting for MORE carrots to be in her lunch. & doesn't even use the ranch to "help" with taste!




 Sometimes it's hard to come up with things besides sandwiches. It's something I am Struggling with. I have tried meat roll ups, homemade lunch ables & chicken sald as substitutes & need to reel my brain for others.

 
boom chicka pop popcorn, crackers, yogurt, carrots, chicken salad
 
strawberries, apple sauce, home made "lunchables", veggie straws, cucumber, 2 hershey squares for a treat
 
ham roll ups, apple sauce, horizon cheese crackers, babybell cheese, oranges {this is the in full sandwich box!}

If you have a picky eater despite trying veggie for a week or so, think of muffin recpies with veggies in them! Here I sent zucchini bread!



The initial investment for your lunch box, bento & any accessories can be a little intimidating but in the long run is it is worth it & they last.

There is also so many budget friendly lunchbox options. If you go to your local grocery head to the lunchbox & Tupperware section. There is tons of bento style boxes or even just separate into smaller containers! You can get cookie cutters cheap & fun picks in the cake isle!



I labeled under some photo the food in our lunches to help if anyone needs ideas!

Have fun , remember everyday it doesn't have to be fun & pretty!

*this post contains affiliate links*









Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back to school pictures

I took some pictures of the girls for a bit of back-to-school photoshoot!
I wanted to capture them at this age, so excited & ready to learn.
As I cry Celine Dion ala all by myself & sulk fro, 830-1130 while kensley is at pre-k.
I am not sure how I will survive next year when they are both gone, ALL day.


Kensleys outfit:
Dress: Eleanor Rose
Shoes: Livie Luca



Kennedys outfit:
Shirt: Walmart with custom monogram
Suspender Dress: Kelly Kids
Shoes: Converse

How's everyone doing with their kids being back to school?

Zucchini Budnt Cake

Who else has a surplus of zucchini sitting around during the gardening season?
& who doesn't love a Bundt cake? I am not sure why they are so "in" right now, but I don't hate it.
It also is allllmost fall. I am just itching for all things fall, & the taste of this cake with the cream cheese has the flavor of fall packed in it.

Lets get to it.

Preheat your over to 350.
Butter & flour your bundt pan.

In a medium size bowl mix your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cinnamon. Don't be shy with the cinnamon. You can never have too much. add a extra shake if that's your thing.
 
Next in your mixer, cream the cream cheese, and sugar until its well mixed. Then, add in your eggs one at a time. *extra flavor, if you like banana bread, only add 2 eggs & a half of a ripe banana mashed up, gives the best hint of a banana in this cake. If you don't like banana stick with the 3 eggs* Mix vanilla & pour in melted butter. Speed up your mixer for about 3 mins or when it all nice & mixed in.



Reduce the speed & add in all the flour til it's juuuuuuuuuust mixed. Then take it from the mixer & with a spatula fold in the shredded zucchini. It will be real thick, don't worry! Add the batter into the prepared pan & bake for 45 mins or until a toothpick comes out nice & clean.
 

 


Let it cool down & top with cream cheese frosting!!
Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
-3 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-8 ox cream cheese, softened
-2 cups sugar
-3 eggs *or optional 2 eggs +  half ripened mash banana*
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup melted butter
-2 cups shredded zucchini {do not worry about draining}

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