This is a sponsored post by Nature’s Harvest®. All opinions are my own.
It’s Back to School time again. That means school supplies, homework, schedules, morning routines and picky eaters. Well, our kid is a picky eater all the time, so back to school brings the extra trauma of figuring out if she is eating the lunch we pack or eating the “snack pack” at school. So this year we are experimenting with something a little different for school lunches. Don’t get me wrong, the old standby sandwiches will be in the rotation, but we need to add some spice into the mix. Metaphorically, she is not a fan of spicy stuff and we don’t want her screaming about “toooo spicy” during lunch at school. So we are giving toasted cups a whirl.
Let me tell you how this came about. We were standing around in the kitchen one day (well, yesterday really) looking at the disaster my daughter had created. She had all our silicone baking cups out, and filled with playdoh on a couple baking sheets; she likes to do that. We were talking about sandwich ideas, talking about different kinds of sandwiches, could we do rollups (we like to do this French toast rollup thingy for breakfast sometimes, but adapted for lunch), etc, etc. We were talking and the hubby was staring at the mess and said could we do something with the baking cups? I stared at him for a minute and said “ooh, peanut butter and jelly” and so the idea was born. We did some experimenting to see how it would go and here are the results.
First things first, we have to select the right bread and for us, that’s Nature’s Harvest® Bread. As the parent of a picky eater, we always attempt “double duty” with our food selections; think nutritious and delicious. In addition to being “yummy good” (her words), Nature’s Harvest Bread is baked with at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving and it does not contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors or colors. Select your favorite flavor, there are ten to choose from, and cut the bread into circles and then roll the circles kind of thin using a rolling pin. Then, press the thin circles into a silicone baking cup (or paper) in a muffin tin. Slide the tin into the oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees. This is important because bread being bread, it wants to be flat, and if you don’t “toast” it a bit it just kind of flattens out and makes a mess when you try to eat it. We found that out during our experiment phase. Once you have your cup, the sky is the limit when it comes to filling! Pick your little ones favorites and go wild. This is the perfect “all hands on deck” project that will get your littles in the kitchen as well.
Here are just a few of the flavor combinations that we tried:
Peanut butter and jelly
Peanut butter and raspberries
Peanut butter and strawberries
Humus and peppers
Rotisserie chick and shredded cheese (our daughter loves to just eat shredded cheese so this one was a no brainer and a great way to add protein)
Ham and cheese
Turkey and cheese
The possibilities are endless which is what makes this so much fun! Think tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts, banana, blueberries, blackberries, tuna, roast beef, and much, much more!
For packing them up, we have bento boxes on hand that are perfect but some simple plastic wrap would suffice.
To go with our toasted cups we like to pair some of our daughter’s favorites. Our quick go-to choices normally consist of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, pretzels, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and/or yogurt. We also like to surprise her with a package of Entenmann’s® Little Bites™ Snacks. Her absolute favorite are the little Chocolate Chip Muffins!
For us, it is all about finding a balance between nutritious and sensible choices. Our goal is to pack a lunch that she will eat and one that we feel good about giving her. Plus, by working together, and allowing her to pick and choose what goes into her toasted cups, we are adding fun to her lunchbox. Together, Nature’s Harvest® Bread and Little Bites™ Snacks are the “Life of the Lunchbox™”!
Leave us a comment below: What is your favorite lunchbox addition to fun to your little one(s) lunch?
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