Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School Lunch Ideas - With a Little Help from Glad

Lunch can be simple, but it never has to be boring!

This week I donned my apron and thinking cap, scanned Pinterest and consulted my book collection on Japanese bentos. With school starting next week here, and either having started or will be starting soon for the rest of the country, it is time to think about how to handle our kids' brown bag days.

This simple turkey, cheddar, avocado and cucumber wrap is much more fun with some candy eyes on the kiwi halves and a few carrot sticks to separate them and add in a pop of color.

I know, I know, brown bags are so out! But I am not ready to invest a lot in my little ones' lunch containers either.

As a child I remember the headaches I gave my Mother when I forgot my lunch box, lost my thermos or forgot to throw away my left overs. My lunchbox usually resurfaced once the contents had grown a thick green fur. Yuck! So I am going to be proactive and use simple reusable Food Storage Products from Glad for our lunch needs. I love that this allows me to be both frugal and creative.

All these lunches are easy to make, and fun to receive after a busy morning at school. My children are both young so cute is always on the menu.

These lady bug rice balls are so easy to make! Just mix rice with ketchup for the desired color and add the black with shapes punched out or cut out of seaweed (nori) sheets. I used fine tipped scissors for the details. Look for nori in the Asian food section of your grocery store. I form my rice balls in a mold, but they can be formed just as easily in plastic wrap with your hands. Form when the rice is cool enough to handle but still warm. The warm and moist rice will help the nori shapes to stick. Then I use some hard seaweed for the antennae.

Slice an "x" into the top of radishes, throw in some other veggies or fruit, pack on a bed of romaine lettuce,  and you are good to go.

The Entree-sized Glad container was perfect to fit this big lunch. Place some lettuce or kale in the bottom of the tray for a very pretty presentation.

Mini bagels, or regular sized for bigger kids, fit well in the entree-size as well. I used a muffin paper to separate the small snack from the other food. You can also find silicone baking cups to use, but I prefer something that can be thrown away for my little ones.

What about an after school snack? Or on-the-go munchies for me? The Glad containers are clear, letting me easily find my veggies in the fridge. The Tall Entree-Size allowed plenty of room to pack in the cut veggies and also hold my pepper bowl for homemade ranch dip.

My little princess enjoyed this open-faced Biscoff and jam crown cut out of whole wheat bread. It was jeweled with craisins and packed with an assortment of little finger foods she enjoys.

The Glad Food Storage Products are the perfect size and shape for most anything! From the small snack containers to the mini rounds my kids can pack fruit, veggies, cookies, mini muffins and I can take my trail mix anywhere. The lids fit tight and securely so I don't have to worry about anything leaking or spilling. I also love the interlocking lids which keep my plastics cupboard  more organized.

Looking to have fun with your child's lunch menu? There are so many great and fun products available online and in stores now. My kit includes molds for the rice balls, face punches, cookie cutters, sandwich cutters, vegetable cutters and small fondant cutters. Just have fun and keep your eyes open for what your child would enjoy. Most of these items I either picked up on Amazon, in Michael's or Walmart.

Don't forget to add variety and color to make lunch more appealing.

Glad has so many solutions to your food container dilemmas. Wash, re-use and don't worry if your child doesn't return them. They are easy and inexpensive to replace. I was sent 4 different sizes and shapes to use for my lunch creations. I found a different use for each of them and am happy to use and reuse oXem for more lunches in the future. Mine washed up beautifully in the top rack of my dishwasher and they can also be used to reheat items in the microwave or store in the freezer.

And my kids? They love getting excited over lunch. I love it when they try everything and ask me to make the same lunches again and again.

Right now you can go over to Glad's Facebook page to share your own Back to School recipes, tips and ideas in the "Mom Made" promotion. Everyone who shares a tip or idea is eligible for a chance to win a Lunch Kit for child's entire class! Now, that would be a lot of bentos! Be sure to head over before August 31st, which this offer ends.

What are your lunch ideas? What would you pack in Glad Food Storage containers?

*Disclaimer - I have partnered with The Glad Products Company through DailyBuzz Moms to help promote their Food Storage products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you GLAD!

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