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I Took the Walmart Great Lunchbox Challenge {Blogorama Bonanza Back 2 School Hop Sponsor Spotlight}

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My dear daughter starts preschool in a couple of weeks and you want to know what I dread the most? ...making her school lunch everyday.

I am pro at making her lunch at home, which is usually leftover dinner. Ha! Now I have to plan, prepare, and pack a lunchbox five days a week and I am a sweating bullets thinking about it. When I was asked to go shopping at a Walmart store to turn my child's good lunchbox into a great lunchbox, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to get some practice.

I am a stickler about healthy meals at home and I naturally want that to extend to lunch at school, but I won't be there to make sure my daughter eats all her veggies. So the challenge becomes how to make her healthy lunch enticing. The answer is get creative.
  •  Bring in the replacements. Let's take an old favorite- the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is a good lunch, and make it great by giving it in extra healthy update. Switch out the white bread for 100% whole wheat and use almond butter instead of peanut butter.
  • Accessorize. Cold cereal with milk is a good traditional breakfast, but adding fresh fruit slices (bananas, strawberries) make it a great breakfast.
  • Go Natural. Yogurt cups make a good snack, but a better version is the yogurt  made with real fruit and no artificial colors, flavors or sweetners.
  • Watch out for hidden sugars. The last thing you want is your child bouncing off the cafeteria walls and then becoming lethargic in class after a sugar crash. A juice box is a good beverage, but bottled water is a better drink. Add tangerines, grapes, peeled baby carrots to lunchboxes instead of cookies or candy to satisfy their sweet tooth and encourage healthy eating habits away from home.
It's also important to strike a balance. I don't believe in depriving my child of every fun food. I let her have low-sodium/zero preservative tortilla chips served with guacamole. She loves dipping her chips in guac and I love that she is getting so many nutrients from the avocados.

Here's  picture of my shopper's haul from Walmart:

walkmart shopping trip

I bought all of this for $24.68! Pretty amazing, right?! Walmart is proving that you don't have to sacrifice nutrition to get value. On your next shopping trip, look for the Great for You seal available now in the produce section and on additional Great Value and Marketside items starting this fall which will make it easier to identify affordable, healthier food choices. 

Here is a picture of my great lunchbox: 
healthy lunch
Almond butter & jelly on 100% whole wheat toast, peeled baby carrots,
tangerine, almonds snack pack, yogurt with fruit on the bottom, and water

What is your biggest lunchbox challenge during back-to-school? Leave a comment below then come back tomorrow for your chance to win a $25 Walmart gift card in the Blogorama Bonanza Back 2 School Event!
Photobucket

88 comments:

JC said...

I love your lunchbox contents. All are my favorite from Chobani to almonds. My biggest challenge is to be creative so kids won't get bored.

Frugal Mom from California said...

My biggest challenge is to offer variety of meals

elena150980 at yahoo com

Rebecca Shockley said...

My biggest challenge would be not sending the same thing several times
rjwashington2000@yahoo.com

Olivia R said...

that's funny. I remember how much i loved school food because my mom didnt cook, and for field trips i would eat cold BurgerKing hamburger purchased the night before.

I guess my biggest challenge now as an adult is to offer variety, since i am a really picky eater, oh and i dont eat burgerking anymore!

Oliviatheservicedog at hotmail dot com

Janet W. said...

My biggest challenge is to come up with new, healthy ideas. I tend to pack the same things over and over which gets boring!

Kara said...

AWESOME blog ideas. My biggest challenge is having a food allergy daughter and making sure to not include allergen foods in her lunch and also keep it new and not repetitive.

Justice Montgomery said...

Offering a variety that is healthy with home made lunches. My kids qualify for reduced lunches so they mostly eat at school.

Tami Vollenweider said...

My biggest challenge,is to keep coming up with different things!

tamilynn59@yahoo.com

slehan said...

No kids. I like variety in my lunches.

slehan at juno dot com

Melanie said...

My daughter is a very picky eater so I never know what to pack her..

willdebbie said...

my biggest challange is trying to mix it up. I have a hard time finding new and exciting ways to pack a healthy lunch
christal c w

peg42 said...

My biggest challenge is getting my kids to eat different things. They're very picky and often, come home with some of the items, still in their lunch bag.
Thanks so much.
rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

tristatecruisers said...

my biggest challenge is keeping it from getting boring--if my kids get bored--they just wont eat healthy foods.

marci h
tristatecruisers at yahoo dot com

Lisa Brown said...

Biggest challenge is getting them to eat healthy things. I can get away with greek yogurt or fruit every now and then. I will send them with a healthier version of peanut butter or chips.

Peggy Damon said...

my biggest challenge is having variety...feel like the kids eat the same thing everyday!

sweetheart4171(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stephanie H. said...

Having enough variety so that the kids do not feel like they are eating the same think all of the time. I usually switch between bread and tortillas and bread between lunch meat and PB&J Yogurt is always available because it comes in so many flavors. Some times they get to pack soup.

TammyLyne said...

My biggest challenge is my daughter has SID which makes eating certain food textures almost impossible, so I am always having to come up with new healthy ideas for her

wcc said...

The biggest challenge is choosing foods that healthy and from brands that I can trust.

Romapr said...

My biggest challenge is to avoid boredom with healthy veggies. It is tough. I love that there are some great choices out there like Chobani instead of unhealthy candy bar. I remember my school lunches had a peanut butter cup with the meal. My mom never really let me eat their lunches lol. Know I see why. She was a health nut so I only got the junk food at friend's houses. I feel the same way and want my family to eat healthy. Thanks!
Entering the giveaway under Rochelle
romapup at gmail dot com

agatewood1 said...

my greatest challenge is finding something new a different instead of the same thing all the time...thanks for the ideas!

clc408 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clc408 said...

My challenge was to come up with healthy choices that my kids would actually eat.

(Cynthia Conley)

Southern Purple Veggie said...

Variety is the issue with lunches for me.

llinda29 said...

biggest lunchbox challenge during back-to-school is keeping boedom away

polly said...

my biggest challenge was always trying to think up new/exciting and nutritious...a great lunchbox favorite are veggies & ranch dressing. kids love it!

Brittany said...

Biggest challenge would be having a variety of foods that are healthy but taste good.

tia said...

My biggest challenge is finding a variety of healthy foods that the kids will eat.
tmoyer6980 at charter dot net

Marianna said...

Packing creative and healthy lunches my kids will eat
mannasweeps (at) gmail dOT com

CindyWindy2003 said...

biggest challenge is keeping it from getting boring, needing to be creative but still healthy, carawling(at)hotmail(dot)com

Sherry said...

To have a healthy variety and try to fix something that they will enjoy.

LB said...

Definitely to keep it interesting. I eat the same thing for lunch every day, and I don't mind, but I really need to broaden my son's horizons!

Seyma Bennett Shabbir said...

My biggest challenge is both my kids like different things. My youngest loves yogurt but not the older one. Older loves cucumbers and carrots but not the younger, etc.
seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

playswithclay said...

My biggest challenge is making lunches interesting.

16134 at hotmail dot com

Barbara Montag said...

Biggest challenge - having enough variety to keep the kids liking their lunch.
Thank you.

ellen b said...

trying to make different things so they don't get bored
elliebunny at hotmail dot com

Cody Anderson said...

My biggest challenge is making sure the lunch is healthy but still enjoyable for my kids.

jenmalonee said...

my biggest challenge is trying to add variety-my son is picky and I cannot pack peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day!

jennifer marie

lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

momznite said...

Packing something that will actually be eaten.
Jayne G

michele376 said...

The biggest challenge is to provide a healthy lunch that will be eaten and not thrown away.
beh2351@frontier.com

Wendy Kroy said...

Biggest challenge is nutritious yet edible.

Aimee Fontenot said...

My biggest challenge is picky eaters.

crystalf said...

Coming up with a variety of lunches for them. It seems like they always want the same 3 things. thank you!
crystalfaulkner2000 at yahoo dot com

Carly H. said...

My biggest challenge is staying creative so the family doesn't get bored with their lunches.

Alicia said...

staying calm and not anxious!

The Crazy Gengler Boys said...

my biggest challenge is serving a good variety -- Jessica Vaughan Gengler

aggiegrad02@gmail.com

bxcrochet said...

Running out of ideas so I won't eat the same things.

knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

carolwegs said...

My biggest challenge is finding new things to pack. I feel like its always the same. Thanks
carolwegs at gmail dot com

akronugurl said...

My biggest challenge is getting my daughter to eat veggies

Cujo hmb said...

My biggest challenge is getting my son to eat fruit or veggies in his lunch. Cujo

Stephanie Phelps said...

My biggest challenge is making sure what I send them I know they will eat and not throw away.
(Stephanie Phelps)
my4boysand1@gmail.com

ellen_levickis said...

My biggest lunchbox challenge occurs when at the last minute sonny boy advises me that he doesn't want to eat what is offered for hot lunch and wants to take a lunch.

Jenny OSU said...

The biggest challenge is keeping variety. jennifer.b.orr(at)gmail(dot)com

PR4GatheringRoses said...

What is your biggest lunchbox challenge during back-to-school?

The picky eater that is my child HAD to have MEAT daily. Finding new ways to serve it up and keep her eating weren't easy. Getting her to eat veggies was tough, too. So... we just shredded everything and told her it was brain salad.


Terri P
pr4gatheringroses AT gmail DOT com

Tracy said...

finding something different for each day that the kids won't complain about

Emmy Coffee said...

Making sure the kids will actually eat it

susan1215 said...

My challenge was to come up with healthy choices that my kids would actually eat and finding a variety of foods so they don't get bored

s2s2 at comcast dot net

mrsguido187 said...

Trying to find different foods that he will like.

Barrie Latin Community Centre said...

My biggest challenge is variety and avoiding monotony

Carmen Q

jlafount said...

Keep it healthy but affordable

Gianna said...

FInding things for my picky eaters.

Karen said...

Including foods they'll actually eat.

President(dot)peaches(at)hotmail(dot)com

candy said...

finding a variety of healthy foods that my picky eaters will actually eat wilcarvic
[at]gmail[dot[com]]

Brad Merrell said...

My biggest challenge is figuring out what will fit in the lunchbox.

Sherry Conrad said...

Mine was getting everything together in the mornings and boredom- now we make bento and get the components ready the night before. :)

Katharina said...

My biggest lunchbox challenge is to find enough variety but so that it's still healthy choices. A boring lunchbox is *not* a good thing! :-)
Katharina angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

Mom's Freebies said...

My daughter is a very picky eater so I never know what to pack her

Kristie Betts
Momsfreebies17@yahoo.com

pinktaz60 said...

Betsy Rubendall Barnes
pinktaz60@hotmail.com

My biggest lunchbox challenge during back-to-school is being creative in ways for my son to eat veggies :)

amy16323 said...

offering a different variety
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

AEKZ2 said...

My biggest challenge is getting my children to eat the healthy foods that I put in their lunch boxes.

susansmoaks said...

i have a hard time getting up early in the am to pack the lunch boxes so i do it the night before
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

lilyk said...

My biggest lunchbox challenge is making tasty lunches on a budget.

lyndseyluvsjj said...

Keeping the food cool..

lyndsey.rullman at hotmail dot com

ladyvon5845 said...

Packing something they will eat and not trade with another student.

Carolyn Daley said...

Our biggest challenge is coming up with a variety of healthy lunches. Sandwiches tend to get old very quickly.

Lisa & Fernie said...

My biggest challenge is deciding what to put in there.

lisando at hotmail.com

Kelly N. said...

when i was a kid(i have none)it was too much peanut butter and jelly..ha ha

brich2222 said...

biggest challenge is finding something they like to eat and what is healthy. Plus finding variety from day to day is challenging


brich22 at earthlink dot net

ruthhill74 said...

finding the time to pack a healthy lunch!

Tanya White said...

My biggest challenge is making sure my children get a variety of healthy food in their lunch. thank you

ThriftyAnnabella said...

To find great tasting healthy snacks to pack in their lunchbox

annabella @ centurytel dot net

Trisha McKee said...

My biggest challenge is to keep my daughter satisfied and excited about her lunches while keeping within my own budget!

tridingermckee at gmail dot com

ladyt64 said...

My biggest challenge is variety. (Roxann)

Brian E. said...

Thanks for the giveaway...our kids sometimes not finishing their lunch i.e. too much time socializing & not enough eating !

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

BRYAN E.

Sumer Blaker said...

My biggest challenge is variety. My daughter is a picky eater and I always end up sending the same things.
sumer84@live.com

Paul T / Pauline T said...

providing enough varieties for my kids so they won get bored with their lunches - - - Paul T/Pauline T aka Paul Tran..... emscout9 at Hotmail dot com

Liz N. said...

Just being able to be creative with lunch.

Liz N.

marcsgirl61 at gmail dot com

Julieh said...

my biggest challenge is staying organized and on time
honeypie411 at yahoo dot com

Marlene Breakfield said...

finding healthy food kids like

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