Back-to-School – Lunch Box Ideas & Contest GIVEAWAY

by kimgerber on 08/21/2011

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Goodbye summer, we’ve had a ball.  We’ve enjoyed your long days, warm nights, delicious fruits and vegetables, and especially the extra time you’ve given us to spend enjoying our children.  We’ll miss you.

But back-to-school we go, and into a new year full of learning, fun and surprises.  With school comes for many of us, the dreaded lunch box planning.  Monotony can (and usually does) become an issue around school lunches at our house.  I am constantly trying to invent new ideas for inspired lunches and find myself in need of new ideas throughout the year.

This week Out of the Box Food will be hosting a Lunch box Idea Share and Giveaway to kick off the school year. Though fresh new lunch box ideas will be a reward for all of us, one lucky reader will receive a prize provided by Applegate Farms, a producer of high quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats and cheese.  I have been a loyal consumer of Applegate products for quite some time.  Their hot dogs and deli meats are “uncured”, meaning they cure them with celery juice and sea salt as opposed to the dangerous sodium nitrites and nitrates.  They are also free of antibiotics, hormones, artificial colors and flavors.  In my humble opinion, they are a great product and I am happy to serve them to my family.  (All opinions stated are strictly opinions of Out of the Box Food and not paid for, or supported by any outside sources)

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THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER.  THANK YOU FOR ENTERING.

THE GIVEAWAY! – But we can never have too many great ideas for our lunch boxes, so by sharing your fun, imaginative lunch box ideas in the comment field below, you will be entered to win an Applegate coupon package consisting of 3 free product coupons (worth up to $30.00) and $10.00 worth of $1.00 off discount coupons…that’s a package totaling $40.00! In addition, many of the lunch box ideas submitted will be posted on our Lunch Box Loop – Healthy Lunch Box Ideas page for parents to reference throughout the school year.

Simply share your healthy lunch box foods or ideas in the comment field below and you’ll be entered to win – Enter as many ideas as you’d like.  Want to earn EVEN MORE entries?  Here’s how:

Please note: You must make a separate comment for every ENTRY

  • “Like” Out of the Box Food on our Facebook Page1 Entry
  • “Like” Applegate on their Facebook Page1 Entry
  • Follow Out of the Box Food on Twitter - 1 Entry
  • Follow Applegate on Twitter - 1 Entry
  • Subscribe to Out of the Box Food (form on our sidebar)1 Entry
  • Re-post this article on your Facebook Page – 1 Entry

That’s seven ways to enter and unlimited chances to win!!  The more you participate, the better your chances!  Don’t forget you must comment a separate time for every entry since each comment will be assigned a number for a chance to win.  Already “liked” us on our Facebook page or are a Subscriber?  That counts too…just let us know in the comment field.  Contest ends Saturday September 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm PST and winner will be selected by Random.org. Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. (By submitting a lunch box idea below, you agree to allow Out of the Box Food to post your idea on the Lunch Box Loop – Healthy Lunch Box Ideas page, with credit given to person submitting.)

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Need some inspiration?

Out of the Box Food collects and creates lunch box ideas to help when we’re all stuck and is proud to share them on our Lunch Box Loop – Healthy Lunch Box Ideas Page.  We’ve also been watching other blogs and websites over the last couple weeks and have found lots of great ideas & products for back-to-school lunches.  I hope some of these ideas inspire fresh ideas in your kitchens:

Parents.com – Healthy School Lunches & Snacks

Blog.ZisBoomBah.com – Lunchbox Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Back-to-School ideas from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Twitter Parties: Beyond the Lunchbag and Bagged Lunches for Back-to-School

The Lunchtaker – My Lunchbox

Easylunchboxes.com

Laptoplunches.com

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I can’t wait to be inspired by all your lunch box ideas for back-to-school!  Get those ideas in! Until next week…

© 2011, kimgerber. All rights reserved.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Towns September 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

I like Applegate Farms on FB!

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Elizabeth Towns September 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

I just liked you on Facebook. I am diligently working at changing the way my family and I eat. My son and daughter both have food allergies, which started us on this path, and now we just feel better because we eat better. Packing lunch is a huge challenge for me and I need all the suggestions I can get.

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Amanda Hightower August 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Something I like to do for snacks while I am out(typically at at birth) is bring soaked baked oatmeal recipe from Kelly the Kitchen Kop-> http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/03/healthy-breakfast-recipe-from-sue-baked-soaked-oatmeal.html
Makes a wonderful dessert( I make a variation with maple syrup and extra apples) and will pack ants on a log + carrots and some good cheese. If needed some extra protein will go into the box as well. water or acv +honey in water

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Amanda Hightower August 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I like you on FB :)

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Amanda Hightower August 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I liked Applegate farms on Fb

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Kristin W. August 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I subscribed

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Kristin W. August 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

We are just starting the lunch thing this year. I am going to make homemade yogurt and swirl it with fresh berry sauce and freeze it in the Lekue Ice Pop Molds. So much better and healthier than the dye/sugar laced gogurt.

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Kristin W. August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I liked Applegate on FB

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Kristin W. August 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I liked you on FB.

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Kristin August 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

Kim, GREAT Lunchable replacement ideas. My daughter would love that. My son wouldn’t touch a vegetable, though, even if it was deep-fried in chocolate sauce!
I “liked” Applegate and I “liked” OBF on my FB page. Plus I posted your article on my wall. Hope I did it all correctly, as I’m FB illiterate.

BTW, you’re the bomb!

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Nancy August 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

Sorry about being an obnoxious poster, but I also started following your site.

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Nancy August 29, 2011 at 9:13 am

Just started following them on twitter

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Nancy August 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

I just “liked” Applegate Farms on FB!

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Nancy August 29, 2011 at 9:10 am

We have been doing the homemade lunch thing for 5 years. This will be the second year that I am packing for 3 kids. What a struggle to find foods they all love. This year we have come up with a different idea for each day of the week: Monday is sandwich day, Tuesday is wrap day, Wednesday is salad day, Thursday is dip day (hummus, corn & bean etc) and Friday is Thermos Day (Soup, baked potato, etc.)
I would really LOVE to win this package from Applegate Farm!

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Amanda September 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I love this idea for day of the week themes for lunch. We sometimes do this for dinner, but I never thought of it for lunch. Thanks for sharing!

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Liz August 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I liked Applegate Farms on facebook :)

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Sara K August 28, 2011 at 7:53 am

I’m excited to find your blog from Super Healthy Kids! At any rate, we’re just starting on the bagged lunch journey at our house but I have found success with “snack tray” type ideas: nuts, fruit, yogurt, cheese, crackers (Triscuit) all in their own special place in the lunch.

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Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 7:33 am

My son and I love to make “trail mix” he can pick all the ingredents that he likes, nuts cereal, dried fruit. Since he doesn’t really eat much this is a nice way to know he’s going to get something into him

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Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 7:30 am

I suscribed to out of the box food

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Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 7:29 am

I followed applegate

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Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 7:29 am

I followed out of the box food

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Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 7:28 am

I liked applegate

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Rebecca August 28, 2011 at 7:27 am

I liked out of the box food

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lisamcgu August 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

My child has turned 5 and still, basically, doesn’t eat. She can go all day on a cracker if I let her. So, while I am not around and she needs to eat something at school, and it must reside in her unrefrigerated backpack for most of the morning, I really need to get creative.

I will put together a little box of peanuts and hide a few m&ms in there, if anything just to get her to open the lid! While she is in there, she has been instructed that the m&ms will disapper unless some peanuts are eaten as well, and that seems to work.

As for liquids, I have pulled back on the juices because they are just too terrible with even natural sugar and they seem to go right thru her. Desperately needing to go during school is not fun for anyone. Instead, I put a little bottle of water in there for her, a fresh one each day, so it seems special, or a fun super insulating thermos, which she has picked out, with whole milk in it.

How is she managing to grow? Before school I load her up. We try and do a half an avocado each day. And I pair that with either Trader Joe’s Greek Style Honey yogurt (preferred because of the whole milk and cream in it) or Cascade Fresh Lemon yogurt because of its short ingredient list and its flavored with juice concentrate and that is the only source of sugar. And no “things” in it. On days she is sick of yogurt, I love making that 2-minute microwave Ralphs brand Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal. I get the Plain Grain with no added sugar. Here is the ingredient list – Organic whole grain rolled oats, organic barley, organic wheat, organic flaxseed, organic quinoa, organic rye, evaporated sea salt. That’s it. I like that there is so much barley in there and it is only around $1 for a box of 5 packets!

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Kelly August 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I like to use whole wheat tortillas or wraps-with hummus, cheese, ham or turkey or chicken salad and make roll ups. The possibilities of what you can put inside are endless.

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Kelly August 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I’m a subscriber

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Kelly August 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I liked Applegate Farms on Facebook

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Kelly August 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I liked Out of the Box Food on Facebook

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Stephanie Sharp August 24, 2011 at 5:38 am

I reposted the article on FB.

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Stephanie Sharp August 24, 2011 at 5:37 am

I subscribed. :)

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Stephanie Sharp August 24, 2011 at 5:37 am

I liked Applegate’s FB page

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Stephanie Sharp August 24, 2011 at 5:37 am

I LIKED Out of the Box’s FB page!

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I’m sure many of you have done this but my kids really like it, use cookie cutters to cut out sandwiches. Also make home made “lunchables”. My kids complain that they want lunchables that you can buy at the store, when I told them we can make healthier versions & they help me make it, they were very pleased!

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

The one thing my kids love that I did last year once in a while was I’d hide a little square of chocolate inside an apple. I cut apple in half, hollow out as much as I need (not too much) then I put apple together & wrap it in saran wrap & put a cute squiggly ribbon on it attached with a little love note. This year I’ll try to be healthier and mush granola bars into a mini heart shaped cookie cutter & stuffing that in the apple.

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I’ve joyously re-posted this article on my FB pages :)

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I now follow Applegate on twitter.

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm

I “Liked” Applegate on FB their food sounds so yummy!

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I follow Out of the Box on Twitter.

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I’ve already “Liked” Out of the Box FB page.

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Thippi August 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I’ve subscribed & I can’t wait to read all the fun ideas! I love Mindy’s idea of a healthier pop tart, it reminds me of making pudgy pies over the campfire, only her recipe is healthier :)

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Jenny August 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

My kids LOVE a chicken salad pita pocket with homemade Honey Mustard dressing.

1 (or 2 in my sons case) whole wheat pita pocket
Mix fresh salad greens, veggies (chopped carrots, onion, tomatoes, etc)
Left-over grilled chicken chopped up
shredded cheese
sunflower seeds
Mix all together and put in pita.
Add a side of your kids favorite homemade dressing!

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Mindy August 23, 2011 at 9:10 am

For a lunchbox idea, I make my own version of a desert that I saw on tv recently.(my kids always beg for a sweet treat in their lunch box but I refuse to go the twinkie route, lol) I take whole wheat/whole grain bread, cut off the crusts, place applesauce and a few fresh berries (I use blueberries, raspberries and have even used peaches-yum!!) inside-in the middle not too close to the edges, and seal the ends all around by pressing ends together with a fork. (You can also make this easier if you have one of those thingys that cuts off the crusts and seals the sandwich) Brush lightly with oil/butter of choice and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until bread is browned and a bit crispy. These are good right out of the oven or at room temp and much healthier than a pop tart or pastry…and simple to make! Enjoy!

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Mindy August 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

I follow Applegate on twitter!

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Mindy August 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

I follow Out of the Box Food on twitter (mochadoo)

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Mindy August 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

I like Out of the box foods on fb!

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Mindy August 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

I like Applegate Farms on fb!

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Jessica Newman August 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I am already a Subscriber.

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Jessica Newman August 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I liked Applegate farms on facebook.

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Jessica Newman August 22, 2011 at 5:20 am

I already Subscribe and am a facebook fan!

I also liked applegate farms on facebook.

Thank you,
jessica newman

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Liz August 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I liked Out Of The Box on Facebook!

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Abhishek Duggal August 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Chocolate-y, kid-pleasing Cocoa-Date Oatmeal is ready in minutes using the microwave. Pack some in a thermos for your kids to eat before classes start.

Source: http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health/_3-foods-should-childs-lunchbox

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