This Lil Piglet

Lunchbox Inspiration and a Panini Grill Giveaway CLOSED

Lunchbox MealThe days of easy PB & J sandwiches are over.  For most of us moms, we are about a month back into the new school year and the Super Mom lunchbox meal ideas are starting to dwindle.  Usually you can easily tell the exact point in the school year when this happens.  When your child’s statements go from “Mom, I love your lunches.” to “Mom, how come you don’t send ________ anymore?” or “Mom, how come you keep sending _______?”  you know the lunchbox rut has happened to you.


One of the ways I keep my kids lunchbox meals something the kids look forward to is by including my kids in the planning.  On Thursday evenings I sit down with my 3 kids, ages 12, 10 and 9, to discuss the next week lunchbox meals.  I specifically ask my kids what, if anything specific, they would like to see in their lunchbox that week.  I give them a list of recipe ideas, using some of their favorite ingredients, that we maybe haven’t tried before and that I think they would enjoy.   From there we decide on a menu for the week.  On Sunday’s I do the majority of my grocery shopping for the week; there’s nothing that I dislike more than having to run to the grocery store everyday.  Who has time for that?  It’s not always easy to decide with that many helping to make the decisions, one who is a picky eater to boot, but I do this to teach them the importance of planning ahead and to show them how much work goes into, what seems like, the smallest details.  I think they actually enjoy being part of the process; knowing that they helped create their lunches helps them enjoy their lunches even more the next week.


Without a designated lunch room my kids school does not supply microwave for heated foods, making my lunchtime plan limited to cold meals.  Often the kids come home and tell me how many of their friends come with prepackaged foods; although more time consuming, I try to send fresh unprocessed foods whenever possible.  Obviously doing this is healthier but the main reason is because my picky eater also has a sensitive digestive system and should be fed foods that are naturally processed and high in fiber.  To help me create these fresh recipes I often use my Hamilton-Beach Panini Grill.  The Hamilton-Beach Panini Grill allows me to quickly grill the meats for some of my kids favorite lunchbox recipes, such as grilled chicken caesar pita pockets or grilled steak and rice wraps.  With the removable non-stick grill plates, cleanup is a breeze.


If you’re worried about coming up with new recipes to keep your kids lunchbox something they are eager to open everyday, you’ll be happy to hear about Dempster’s new Lunchbox Inspiration site.  Dempster’s makes it easy for you with new lunchbox recipes and tips brought to you by real moms of school-aged kiddo’s and the Dempster’s Nutrition team.  Join the conversation on the Dempster’s Facebook page and sign up for the weekly newsletter to have these lunchbox inspiration recipes and tips delivered right to your email inbox and you’ll never be stuck in that lunchbox rut again.


Hamilton-Beach Panini Grill

Hamilton-Beach is giving away a Panini Grill to one of my readers.  

  • 85 sq. in grilling surface
  • Floating lid evenly presses thick juicy burgers, tender fish fillets and perfectly pressed panini
  • Removable dishwasher safe grids and drip tray
  • Power & Preheat lights
  • High-speed grilling
  • Grid system drains grease away from food for all your low-fat recipes
  • Lock-Open lid makes bruschetta, pizza, open-faced sandwiches and melting cheese easy
  • Easy-clean cooking surface
  • Cool-touch handle
  • Compact, upright storage design

>> Contest is open to October 5th, 2011 and open to Canadian residents only.


Mandatory entry:  Tell me some of your favorite lunchbox tips to keep your kids excited to eat their lunchbox meal or if you haven’t any kids, tell me what your favorite lunchbox memories as a kid.



Disclosure – I am participating in the Dempster’s Lunch Box Inspirations program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Dempster’s Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

65 comments on “Lunchbox Inspiration and a Panini Grill Giveaway CLOSED”

  1. My favorite lunch box tips is healthy bug creative food. For instance using shaped cookie cutters for sandwiches. Ants on a log ( celery stick filled with peanut buter and raisins on top). Also notes from mom 🙂

  2. I got lucky with the fact that my kids like fresh fruits and vegetables. That along with a turkey sandwich and they are all set 🙂

  3. I let my daughter help out as much as a I can…when she helps she likes the food more.

  4. I really give my daughter praise when she makes healthy choices about her food and I try to mix healthy with something like Apple Slices with PB…

    Amy Hollingsworth

  5. having different themed days like squares (serve square sandwhiches, square crackers, square cake) circles, triangles. Also you can cut out sandwiches and cake with cookie cutters into various fun shapes!

  6. I don’t have little kids only a niece and nephew and they both like healthy food but when they stay with me I buy Yop which they love and good for them and make a fruit tray with dip (not fattening) and they love it.

  7. I let my kids help pack their lunches every morning. OK. More accurately, they pack their own lunches each morning WITH SUPERVISION. If they choose the food themselves, they’re much more likely to eat it. But I try to encourage healthier choices, and I insist they have something from each food group.

  8. I like to give kids choices when I make their lunch. Yellow cheese or white cheese? Apple or banana? Which flavor of yogurt? Hummus or dip? Carrots or celery?

  9. I let my kids give input onto their lunch. If they feel like something in particular or want to try something new, I try to accomodate them. I also change up what they get. SOme moms have told me they pack the same thing everyday, how boring would that be!

  10. I always had my kids make their lunches with me! It got them more involved and they were excited about making nutricious choices


    nancyrobster at gmail dot com

  11. I like to make sandwiches and cut them out with cookie cutters. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches work great for this

  12. My lunchbox tip is packing my daughter’s lunch with snacks that she loves, I have been blessed with children that love veggies so packing their lunch snacks are easy.

  13. A lunchbox memory I have is a friend of mine from K – 7 had the same lunch every day!! Peanut butter sandwich, 2 chocolate chip cookies and an apple.

  14. I try to mix up the lunches & not have the same thing over and over.

  15. I like to get my childen to eat vegetables by puting baby carrots in a baggie with a JIF peanut butter to go cup. I also will freeze their juice box and Go-Gurt

  16. I send little pitas and babble cheeses in a baggie

  17. typo: That was meant to say Babybel cheeses

  18. I dont have any lunch box tips because this yr is the 1st yr i have had a child in school,but we are looking for lunch box ideas because our son dont like half of the things they have for lunch so we are going to have to start packing his lunch.

  19. I always like to switch it up. Make it interesting. Then she’ll continue to eat it.

  20. I dont really have any son loves his cheese and bologna try to sneak in some fruit and veggies when I can! Grapes are a good choice.
    ksceviour at hotmail dot com

  21. I try to be creative in menu plan and use color and shape to help lunch box setting.

  22. I have some cute fabric bags with their favourite characters on them and also some candy tins that I’m reusing for putting snacks in. Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. I take the kids grocery shopping with me, and get them involved in the lunch preparation.

  24. Each week, when I make my grocery list, I let him pick his sandwich, sides and drink; the only catch is that they have to be healthy! No problem since he loves raw veggies and even likes taking cherry tomatoes.

  25. My favorite lunch box memory is opening my lunch box up and having a dime tied up in a hanky to pay for my milk.

  26. I love mixing up their snacks, mainly homemade cookies or yogurt

  27. My all time favorite lunch box food is chocolate pudding cups! I don’t know why, I just remember getting so excited whenever I saw those pudding cups in my lunchbox! Now I put them in my kids’ lunchboxes and I hope that this becomes a special memory for them, too:)

  28. My favorite memory is grilled cheese and tomato soup with crackers in it

    ontariohappychick at gmail dot com

  29. my daughter loves it when i give her cool shaped cheeses and vegies with some kind of dip she is into vegies and fruit and if they are cut a certain way or if they are colorful she will eat them..

  30. My son just started JK so no amazing tips yet, but for me it was always to make a variety of soups and salads.

  31. When my kids were younger, I would give them a sandwich, maybe some chips, fresh fruit, maybe yogurt and milk. They were happy and ate it all.

  32. I don’t have any kids, but I always loved it when I had string cheese in my lunch box. It was a coveted treat.

  33. I have kids, but they don’t take packed lunches. They are in high school so you know they don’t eat healthy at school. But, I make sure they get plenty of fruits and veggies here at home.

  34. My kids pack their lunches, but I always sneak in a surprise treat!

  35. I have always been the weird kid eating things like odd stinky cheeses, exotic fruits, complex soups, and things like that. My mom was awesome and found interesting ways to keep me interested in lunches. Her best investment she always sad was a super duty thermos so whatever warm soups she packed were always pipping hot for me. 🙂 Oddly enough my niece is the same way, and it still makes me laugh.

  36. the only trick i have is if i let the kids help choose the food and help make the lunch they are way more likely to eat it
    staceyx at telus dot net

  37. i let em pick 1 thing of there own choice to add to there box and tell em they must eat everything else 1st

  38. I was home-schooled for elementary school, so I don’t really have any lunch-box memories. When I have my own kids though, I would love to be the kind of mom who has time to make those cute bento style lunches with cutouts and lunch artscapes. There are some neat blogs where you can find inspiration and tips for neat lunches.

  39. Pingback: Kids Fashion Has Gained Global Attention |

  40. my favorite lunchbox memory is banana peanut butter sandwich

  41. My favourite lunchbox memories as a kid was having sandwich with Nutella on it, that’s it, very simple but to me as a kid, that’s the most delicious thing and my mom would just make this occasionally

  42. I love leaving notes and mid-day pick me up phrases in their lunches!
    ourtipsforsaving at gmx dot com

  43. I try to cut the sandwiches into cute shapes.

  44. I think variety is important – lots of small containers of yummy options – cheese, fruit. veggies etc.
    Also letting them help pack the lunch helps them get excite about eating it later

  45. As a kid, I loved getting toast with cinnamon sugar!

  46. I always let my daughter and step-daughter make their own lunches…once they were old enough. Prior to that, I let them decide what to have in their lunches. Finger foods are always a favourite and they both like(d) to take left overs.

  47. I take the kids out grocery shopping with me and they help make healthy choices that also fit within our budget!!

  48. Make lunch the night before so it is already the next morning.

  49. When making my kids lunches I use cookie cutters to cut their sandwiches into shapes and I leave then little notes in their boxes.

    Kimmie Barnes

  50. My kids like to help bake stuff to put in their lunches. They also help to pick out the fruits and vegetables that they like to eat.

  51. As a kid I always loved having surprise snacks!
    hisprincess886 at yahoo dot com

  52. I put little notes in their lunches – something to keep them guesing. Not all the time, but about once or twice a week. I say I love you or leave a joke, or tell them we miss them, on little notes with stickers. They enjoy them!

  53. My mom always cut our sandwiches with cookie cutters- I loved that. I am loving all the lunch box tips too- I have an 11 month old so don’t have any tips of my own. i need to learn!

  54. I like to leave little notes and treats to let her know I”m thinking of her. I do that with her daddy too. Lol.

  55. I’m pretty lucky my kids are fairly easy to feed to they eat whatever I put in their bag, and they love fresh fruit and veggies so I load them up on those 🙂

  56. I cut little shapes into their sandwiches. They love it!

  57. Cute sandwich cutters help make the meal nore fun and appetizing for little ones.

  58. when my son took his lunch, i would let him pick from several choices and then he would eat the lunch

  59. I haven’t had a whole lot of success yet this year…I try to let my 5 yr. old make choices of what he’d like in his lunch and try to make things that we give “exciting names” to make them more exciting, but we’ve had lots of lunches come home uneaten so far this year…

  60. I takes my kids lunch food only shopping and let them help in the decision making in selecting food they want to try and think that they would like, so when it is time to pack their lunches…there are surprises – (emscout9 at Hotmail dot com)

  61. We let the kids have some input on what’s being bought for lunches. This way they have no excuse not to eat it and they compromise for all the healthy things we add in after.

  62. My son is very picky when it comes to his lunchbox meal.I try to put things in that I know he likes. He is hooked on pudding snacks and cheese strings and I try to put each one in a few times a week


  63. My son has a few words that he reads really well. I’ll write him a note making sure that I use at least two or three of those words, and I pack it in his lunch. 🙂

  64. My favorite memory is of bringing liverwurst sandwiches to school! That got a lot of comments!

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