Back To School: Lunchbox Kits and Snackable Homemade Energy Bars
We are only one week into school. And I’m obsessed with nutrition and a well-balanced diet again. I should probably relax a little, but it’s a hobby. I’m compelled to fix and arrange food–nutritious, calorie-dense, vegetarian food into my vegetarian school kid’s lunchbox. We use Planet Box as our lunch system. Isn’t it crazy how many lunch kits there are nowadays? Gone are the days of cartoon-inscribed metal boxes and crinkly brown paper sacks and even just plastic no-name branded lidded containers that fit like a jigsaw puzzle. (Just FYI, here’s a short list of just a few lunch-y kits, some useful for adults and kids).
Last year, I began posting on my Facebook page daily photos of my kids’ lunchboxes as I finished assembling them. I got numbers and numbers of inquiries on where I got this particular lunchbox, on my FB page, my blog, and in person. I realized this year, as I continue to get questions like the ones listed below that I didn’t have a real place on my blog that I devoted talking about this metal hinged kit that has transformed our morning routine, reduced our use of plastic (bags and containers), eased my kids’ lunch-opening ordeal, and allowed me to visualize a well-balanced meal in a box. FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t get a thing for mentioning this lunchbox so lovingly here, but I should ha ha! At least, now I feel I can refer readers directly to this page for information and I LOVE to share the knowledge of what makes my life/health easier.
- “Where do you get that kind of lunchbox?”
website linked above or Pottery Barn Kids
- “Do things spill out of there?”
no, occasionally there will be a few crumbs in the case
- “Does the cheese stay cool?”
stays cool (with an ice pack put in the case) but not very cold
- “How do you pack soup?”
i stick a thermos into the outside pocket of the case; it fits snugly
- “What about wet stuff, like applesauce or cottage cheese?”
I can put a very small amount of this in the small dipper, but it’s not enough. So I’d rather use individual plastic applesauces like Mott’s and put in outside pocket or save for snack time.
- “What’s the small dipper useful for?”
I use it for small amounts of dips like herbed cream cheese, honey-mustard sauce, or when I want to try something new
Though our lunches are a breeze now, we still need to pack snacks for morning snacktime, and these need to be portable, healthy, not too messy, and able to be eaten rather quickly. I’d rather not choose gummy fruit snacks, processed energy bars (OMG the sugar content in those make them look like a dessert bar!), or goldfish and fruit all the time. These little energy bars suffice for a morning pick-me-up in combination perhaps with a piece of portable fruit or cheese as a nice little healthful and well-balanced snack.
Here’s the recipe for a good-calorie rich, energizing, nutritious, unprocessed energy bar, that you can easily make at home. I would consider doubling the recipe since they will be GONE, quickly. My daughter and I named them Panther Bars, for her elementary school mascot. Individually wrapping them is not vital, but so darn cute. I’ve tested the bars on a handful of kids and adults. There’s a 100% success rate with the adults and about a 70% success rate with children thus far, which I also consider pretty darn good!
Other Helpful Lunchbox Links: