Healthy School Lunches

Looking for a washable, divided, insulated, durable lunch box for kids?  Interested in helping your child eat better by packing a larger variety of food in their school lunch?

I was contacted by Planetbox.com to test out one of their really cool products and share my opinion with you.  They have designed a series of lunch boxes that can be used by children and adults alike, with high quality parts that will hold up for many years.  Their products are designed to address what a lot of us are looking for in a lunch box.

I received one of their best-selling lunch boxes: The Rover.  As soon as it arrived in the mail, my oldest daughter gravitated to it, wanted to look inside, and asked immediately to use it the next day.  I loved how the outside casing has a spot to carry a water bottle, as fitting the water in has been the biggest challenge with the other lunch containers I’ve tried.  I also loved that it is insulated, and has an additional pocket in front where you could place a secret note, an extra cool pack, or utensils.

The main reason I love the PlanetBox is the layout.   Because it has many small sections, I can fill them all with a little bit of a large variety of fruits and veggies.  Such variety in the lunch container makes for a well balanced meal.

I also love the two small containers that come inside the planetbox, which are perfect for yogurt, cereal, soup, or anything else that may not work well in the square openings.

Here are some of the lunches we’ve made in our PlanetBox:

Turkey roll-ups, baby carrots, sliced cucumber, organic yogurt with blueberry eyes, an almond nose, and dried cherries for a mouth.

 

Monster’s Inc themed lunch – blueberry and banana Sully, string cheese, date, and sunflower seed “Boo”, grape, banana, and blueberry Mike, string cheese and carrot Monster’s Inc logo, and a turkey roll.

 

Mini bell peppers, dates and almonds, half turkey sandwich, green grapes.

 

Baby carrots, organic vanilla yogurt, colby jack cheese, turkey roll, and chia energy bites*.

 

Blueberry Veggie Muffin (from Costco), honey turkey breast (from Costco), carrot sticks, and grapes.

 

Dates, carrot sticks, Wisonsin cheese curds, turkey sandwich, red bell peppers and snap peas.

 

Carrot sticks, turkey wrap pinwheels, cheese curds, snap peas, dried cherries, and applesauce.

You can customize your PlanetBox with adorable magnets and other accessories.   We received very cute fairies, which my 7-year old loves.  Next year both of my little girls will be in school all day, so my soon-to-be kindergartener is very much looking forward to using cool lunch boxes like this to bring her own lunch to school!

Give PlanetBox a try, it’s so fun to pack and send with the kids.  This thing will last you for years, and will not disappoint.  Check out their website for tons more meal ideas and browse their great line of products!

More great school lunch ideas:

100 Days of Real Food (the mother-ship of school lunch ideas!)

Bent On Better Lunches (LOVE her – have for years!)

MamaBelly.com

BunchesoLunches.com

BecomingABentoholic.com

FoodFamilyFun.net

Parents.com (roundup of healthy school lunches and snacks)

* Chia Energy Bites Recipe from Super Healthy Kids (we LOVE this recipe and make it often!)

Space Party Food

A friend asked for some creative food ideas to serve at her kids’ space themed birthday party.  It’s actually a NASA themed party, which is very cool for a theme.  Here are some of the best healthy foods to serve at a space themed kids birthday party.

Space Themed Party Food #healthy #birthday party #menu #earth

Rocket Wraps

(Via Creative Kid Snacks)

Serve turkey and cheese wraps for a main course.  This individual plate can be created by following the recipe here.

Alternatively, you can arrange wraps onto a larger platter as shown in the photo below.  You can make as many rockets out of two wraps as desired, and omit the cottage cheese smoke trail and stars.

 (Via Creative Kid Snacks for Build-a-menu)

Fruit Stars and Moon

fruit stars and moons

(via Amy on Pinterest)

I love this idea.  Serve Mango Moons and Kiwi stars dipped in chocolate!  Who can resist?

Planet Kabobs

fruit planets

(Via Amy on Pinterest)

Scoop Melon into balls and add to skewers.  Place in a foam holder and label “Planet Kabobs”.  In addition to melon, you can use red or green grapes, as they are also a great round shape.

Earth Cookies

Earth Cookies

(via Amy on Pinterest)

Nasa is famous for its amazing photography of planets and stars in our galaxy, so make these earth cookies and display on a black plate or platter for a great addition to your party menu.

Food Craft

Solar System Snack

Have the kids create their own Solar System with finger foods!  Teach them the names of each planet as they arrange them on their plates and then allow them to add their own stars!  Solar System Snack directions here.

Party Favors

stars and moon

(via Amy on Pinterest)

Send the kids home with a bag of sugar cookies shaped like a star and a moon.  Be sure to use the right kind of icing, as typical buttercream may stick to the clear baggie!

Hosting a themed birthday and looking for healthy and creative menu ideas?  Leave a comment on today’s post or on our Facebook wall and let us help you plan a delicious and healthy menu!  Be sure to let us know at least 3 weeks before the party to give us time to prepare a post just for you!

Follow my Pinterest board on Kids Party Themes and Ideas

Take It Easy Lunch!

We’ve used sandwiches to make all kinds of lunches here at Creative Kid Snacks.  We’ve thought of lots of ways to turn a sandwich into something creative, such as Noah’s Ark, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Camping Tents, Dragon Fly wings, an Owl, Hello Kitty, and more.

Our latest and greatest idea was to turn our PB and J into a recliner!  Why not, right?  We even added a little man made of baby carrots to enjoy the La-Z-Boy sandwich!

Here’s how we did it.

Step 1: Make a simple PB and J and cut into four squares.

Step 2: Place one square in the center, then stand up one section behind it, and then stand up one on each side for arms.

You’ve made a recliner!  Add your little man and you are ready to serve up a funny little lunch to your little one!  My little girl joked that it looked like Daddy in his La-Z-Boy watching his show!

Take it easy today!  Enjoy these other fun lunches made out of regular old sandwiches!

  Noah’s Ark

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Camping Tents

Dragon Fly wings

 The Friendly Mr. Owl

Hello Kitty

Did you enjoy today’s snack?  Learn more about this blog here.

Elsa Snack from Disney’s Frozen

“Let it Go, Let it Go”, “Do you want to build a snowman?”, “For the first time in Forever” . . . Frozen songs have been playing in our house for months, without either daughter ever getting tired of them!  Frozen characters like Elsa and Anna are among the most popular Halloween costumes, birthday party themes, and clothing, backpack, and lunch bag designs.  I decided to surprise my little Frozen fan with a nutritious and beautiful Elsa snack!

Beautiful Elsa Snack made from Bananas, Greek Yogurt, Cheese, and Fruit.  Love!  Can't wait to try this!

Ingredients:

1 banana

1 1/2 slices white cheese (mozzarella or provolone work well)

3 T greek yogurt

1 each – blueberry, strawberry, grape

Directions:

Slice a curved banana in half lengthwise (use a curved one as opposed to a straighter one).  Set aside.  Trim cheese to an oval shape for Elsa’s face.  Use a knife to cut almond shapes for elsa’s eyes out of the cheese as well.  Place face onto plate.  Slice a blueberry in half, and place atop almond shaped cheese for Elsa’s eyes.  Slice a triangle nose along with a handful of thin lines out of remaining cheese and set aside.  Slice a strawberry in half and then cut the widest part off  of the top of one of the halves for Elsa’s mouth.  Add one banana half to the right of Elsa’s face.  Trim a small amount from the other banana half to place on the top of her head.  Next, take the thin cheese strips and arrange on top of the banana in a criss-cross pattern to look like a braid.  I used a couple of thin banana strips on the top of this Elsa’s head.

Spoon several tablespoons of greek or plain yogurt into a zip bag.  Trim off a tiny corner of the bag.  Pipe the yogurt in a circular pattern at the intersection of the two bananas to cover that and look like a flower.  Next, pipe some simple snowflakes all around the plate to reinforce the winter theme!  Finally, take a couple thin slices of grapes and place next to the yogurt “flower” to resemble little leaves.

My little Frozen fan LOVED this snack!  If you enjoyed this snack, be sure to check out our other Disney snacks as well as our movie inspired creations!

Peach Dream Smoothie

Welcome to our Best Smoothies for Kids series.  These are the most nutritious and tasty smoothies that almost any kid will love.   If you’re just joining us, make sure to see (and pin!) the Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie and the Pineapple Orange Coconut Smoothie.  Today’s smoothie has a rich, smooth, creamy flavor that will make you think you are having dessert as opposed to a healthy and nutritious beverage.  We present the Peach Dream Smoothie.

Peach Dream Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 ripe peach

1 banana

1 orange (peeled)

1/3 c organic greek yogurt (we love Trader Joe’s)

1 T honey

1/2 c ice

Blend all together until smooth.  I decided to add a smiley face to the top of the smoothie for the kids to enjoy.  I simply sliced a green grape into several sections, and then laid a chocolate covered sunflower seed on top of each eye.  I used a strip of the orange peel for the smile.  The girls got a kick out of the face, but it’s very hard to get anything to stay afloat on a smoothie!  (I buy the chocolate covered sunflower nuts at our local grocery store out of the big bins where the nuts and candy are).  Happy faces are optional (but you can’t help but have one yourself after trying this smoothie).  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving PB Apple Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up quickly.  Holidays are such a fun time to make a creative, healthy snack for kids to celebrate the season.  There are tons of amazing ideas out there for Thanksgiving food for kids, and today I’ll add one more to the mix.

Thanksgiving PB Apple Turkey

Kids Thanksgiving Turkey Snack

Ingredients

2 T creamy peanut butter

1 stick celery

1 small apple

1 almond

Directions

Place the peanut butter into a zip top baggie and snip a piece off of the corner of the bag.  Pipe the peanut butter onto the plate as shown for the turkey’s body and legs.  Slice an apple and arrange slices around the turkey’s body to look like feathers.  Add some celery “grass” below the turkey by placing some cut up celery there.  Finally, slice the two ends off of an almond and place into peanut butter for turkey’s eyes.  Use remaining almond to slice a triangle shape and place beneath eyes to look like a beak.

Simple and fun.  The best part is that the kids can dip the celery and apples into the peanut butter to eat.  My girls cleaned their plate!

Alternative serving suggestions:

Almond butter in place of peanut butter

Raisins for eyes and beak

After you serve this guy to your kiddos as a snack, try this turkey for lunch.  Your little turkeys will love it!

Read the preparation instructions for this lunch.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

Welcome to our Best Smoothies for Kids Series.  Today”s featured smoothie is the Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie.  The health and nutritional benefits of this smoothie are almost as impressive as the taste!  Made with POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, blueberries, and bananas, this smoothie is packed with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin K, and more.  POM Wonderful is a great ingredient to use in smoothies because it has no added sugars, has tons of nutritional benefits, and tastes absolutely amazing.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie #smoothie #kids #kids smoothie

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

1 c frozen blueberries

1 fresh banana

1/2 cup Pomegranate juice

1/3 c ice

Blend all together.  Garnish with a slice of a fresh lime.  Enjoy!

Optional Add-Ins for Extra Nutritional Boost

Chia seeds

Flax seeds

Whole Nectar Protein Powder (just a teaspoon would be plenty to mix into this smoothie)

More from our Best Smoothies for Kids Series

Pineapple Orange Coconut Smoothie

Pineapple Orange Coconut Smoothie

Welcome to our Best Smoothies for Kids series.  Here at Creative Kid Snacks, we are as passionate about healthy eating as we are about food art.  Today’s smoothie combines the tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut with the tang of fresh orange.  I think it took my girls about 29 seconds each to finish their entire 10 oz smoothie!

Pineapple Orange Coconut Smoothie by creativekidsnacks.com

Pineapple Orange Coconut Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 cup coconut milk (we buy ours at Trader Joe’s)

1 fresh banana

1 orange (skin removed)

Juice of 1/2 lime (add extra to taste)

Blend all together.  Garnish with a slice of a fresh clementine.  Enjoy!

Optional Add-Ins for Extra Nutritional Boost

Chia seeds

Flax seeds

Whole Nectar Protein Powder

Paleo Kid Friendly Flower Power Snack

Flowers are one of the easiest ways to present whole food in a way that children will love.  Today’s Flower Power snack contains protein-packed egg and raw almond butter, as well as fresh red bell pepper, avocado, and apples for fiber.

You may have noticed the little bit of blue color on our egg – we used up our Easter Eggs to make this snack.  (I know it’s August now, this photo was taken several months ago!)  Use eggs as a healthy and colorful center to any flower.  Then, add sliced veggies all around to build a beautiful plate!

Raw almond butter tastes great!  We buy either Trader Joe’s or Maranatha brand, which are both made of only raw almonds!  No hydrogenated vegetable oils or added sugars like regular peanut butter!

What is Paleo?

A paleo diet refers to consuming the following kinds of whole foods: lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats from sources like fresh fish, olive oil, avocado, etc.  The word “paleo” is short for “paleolithic“, which refers to early prehistoric time when our ancient ancestors had access to certain foods available in nature as opposed to the Standard American Diet full of food options with lots of ingredients, additives, etc.  Consuming these “basic” foods and avoiding highly processed stuff has been proven to lower blood sugar, increase an individual’s energy level, and provide anti-inflamatory benefits.  Learn all about the paleo diet here.  Although we do not live exclusively by this type of diet in our home, the more meals and snacks I can prepare for my kids using the best kinds of foods available for us, the better!

Fruit and Veggie Ingredient Substitutions for Flowers

celery

sugar snap peas

peaches

strawberries

nectarines

bananas

clementine orange slices

grapes

. . . and the list goes on.  Be creative!

If you liked this snack, check out our other flower snacks, and then take a look at some of our other paleo friendly kid snacks:

Mr. Peacock

Breakfast Made Beautiful (would be paleo sans the cheese in the eggs) :)

Fun Lunches to Teach Kids About Jesus

Easter is coming, and I love the idea of combining meal time with teaching and learning time.  Teaching Bible stories is especially important in our family, and, with Easter coming up, I thought I would put together a post featuring snacks designed to tell the story of Jesus.  I plan on making these snacks for my kids during the month of April this year in order to serve as a time of remembering Jesus’ life and what He came to do on earth.

Fun Snacks to teach the kids about Jesus.  Great to make during the month leading up to Easter.

Note:  Some may find it difficult to wrap their mind around the idea of portraying Bible stories with food.  It may appear irreverent or give the impression that the stories of the scriptures are somehow being reduced to a plate of food.  The reason I have prepared these little plates for my girls in the past is to celebrate the Bible.  We love to talk about Bible stories and use lunch time as an opportunity to learn and re-read them.  It is because I love my Lord Jesus that I include His story in the creative snack time.  His story is the best of all, and these dishes are meant to celebrate it.

Click on each title or picture to read all about how to make each snack.  I will share some ideas of what to do to expand on each story portrayed in each photo.

Jesus’ Birth

Baby Jesus in the Manger

  • Read Jesus’ birth story in Luke 2
  • Sing “Away in a Manger”
  • Set up a nativity scene or act out the story as a family

Angels Announcing Baby Jesus is Born

Angels We Have Heard on High

  • Read the story in Luke 2 (verses 8-14)
  • Sing the song “Angels We Have Heard on High / Gloria”
  • Shine flashlights into a dark room and repeat what the angels sang ““Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The 3 wise Men

The 3 Wise Men

  • Read the story in Matthew 2: 1-12
  • Create pictures or 3-D models of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and learn about why the magi chose to bring those items here.
  • Have the kids pick out the offering they might bring if they were to go and visit the new king, baby Jesus.

5 Loaves and 2 Fishes

5 loaves and 2 fishes

  • Read the story of Jesus performing this miracle in John 6.
  • Talk about how the disciples must have felt, what the miracle showed them about Jesus, and some of the things they think the crowds of people might have said as they watched this happen and ate the food.
  • Pray and thank God for showing us his supernatural power through miracles like this one.

Jesus on the Cross

Easter Snacks to Make with the Kids - snacks to focus on the true meaning of Easter

  •  Read the story in Luke 23
  • Talk about how Jesus felt as he carried his cross up Calvary’s hill to be crucified.
  • Remember the reason that Jesus chose to die (to make a way for our sins to be forgiven and allow us to be able to know and be friends with God and be with Him in heaven when we die).  Pray a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for this incredible act of love Jesus performed for us.

The Empty Tomb Lunch

Resurrection Day Easter Breakfast for kids

  • Read the story in Mark 16.
  • Talk about how Jesus’ resurrection proved that He was who He claimed to be.
  • Have the kids re-tell this story as if they were a guard.  (The guards collapsed with fear when they saw the angels).

Resurrection Day Breakfast

Resurrection Day Easter Breakfast for kids

  • Read the story (same as above)
  • Use the questions provided in the post on Resurrection Day Breakfast to talk through this story with the kids.  (Very interesting questions!)
  • Sing an Easter song about Jesus being alive.

 

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may also like our Resurrection Eggs.  These are 4, super-easy special eggs to make as a family when you are coloring Easter eggs.  There are directions on how to make each of the 4 eggs, as well as how to teach the significance of each egg as it represents part of the Easter story.  Check it out!

Also, check out our other cute Easter Snacks in this collection!

Easter Snacks to Make with the Kids