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Hi guys! I’m Shannon with Bunches O Lunches. I’ve been making bento style lunches since my oldest son was 2. I have three boys and a crazy fun husband. I started my blog last July because I love packing lunch and teaching others how to do it as well. I figured if I was making lunch anyway, why not write about it?
I want to thank Toni so much for having me here today!
When I was thinking about what I wanted to do for this Valentine’s Day lunch for kids, I knew that I wanted to show that cute, fun and healthy lunches don’t have to be super complicated or use a ton of tools.
I opted to make a ham and cheese sandwich (it’s my son’s favorite) on Whole Wheat Bread. I used Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and Applegate Farms Ham for the filling.
TIP: To keep costs down on deli meats and cheeses, I buy Tillamook sliced packages at Costco. It’s about $10 but lasts me about a month. The Applegate Farms meat I buy on sale at Target or Whole Foods (don’t forget to use Cartwheel App for you phone! They usually have an extra 5% off). I usually only put one slice of meat per sandwich for the kiddos.
To cut out the sandwich I bought this cookie cutter from Joann’s (40% coupon baby!), but then I found it at Target! Score! So keep an eye out and you can get one too. I love that it is a nice large size for sandwiches (or cookies) and it has interchangeable messages you can imprint on the bread. You can also find it online here, Cookie Cutter with Message
TIP: I try and pack at least 5 colors per lunch in order to hit all the major food groups.
The mini red hearts were cut out using a mini heart cookie cutter and are fruit leather.
I used Annie’s Organic Bunny Crackers for the sweet and carb portion (in addition to the bread). I also packed a pink marshmallow heart. I always try and include one (small) sweet treat.
For the veggies, I packed Organic Broccoli, and Organic Celery. I used the mini heart cutter to cut out Organic Purple Carrots.
I have a lot of fun food picks and rings, but if that’s not your thing, that’s cool. I made my own food pick using a toothpick and a carrot I cut out with the cutter. It’s fast and easy and uses what you already have (keep it age appropriate though- probably not the best idea for a 2 year old lunch…or a kid who likes to poke people…)
For the fruit and nuts (keep in mind school rules for allergies), I packed sliced green apples and a nut mixture. The hearts on top of the apples are extra carrots.
TIP: Silicone (or paper) cups are a great way to keep food separated and add a pop of color.
TIP: Keep in mind what your kids like (a list by your lunch packing station if you don’t want to keep a mental one) and try to add one new thing every so often. It’s good to offer variety so you don’t get bored, and they don’t get bored.
A few extra seconds to cut out the shapes made this lunch super fun and cute without a lot of hassle. Thanks so much for having me. Happy Valentine’s Day! You can find and use Bento Lunch Tools to help make lunches fun to eat!
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