Tasty Tuesday: Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

I know it is WAY too early to think about “healthy school lunches”, right?  BUT these are also some great ideas to use for trips to the beach or the park or even those outdoor activities this summer.

I never thought of Belinda as a fussy eater, she just knew what she wanted and it was one battle I did not want to fight.  So for lunch was usually carrots and dip or peanut butter and no jelly.  She wanted nothing to do with anything “green” but she did like “finger foods” for lunch so baby carrots were always good.

I’m sure some of you have a problem getting your kids to eat healthy.  Although I think it is a little easier these days.  Thanks to Thirty One for these yummy ideas!  We’ve searched far and wide to bring you the most delicious snacks you can easily swap out to boost your kids’ nutrition. (And they’re all perfect to pack in our colorful and hard-working insulated lunch bags!)

Swap out PB&J for a PB&B

We all remember pulling a pale, squashed PBJ out of our lunch bags as kids… with that dark purple splotch of jelly seeping through the soggy white bread. (Bleh.)  I loved it BUT Belinda didn’t do jelly.  Why not give your kids a healthy sammie worth celebrating? A peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat or put it in a wrap.  It is packed with 17 g of protein, 7 g of fiber, complex carbs and healthy unsaturated fats. This combo can help kids feel full and energized throughout the afternoon.  Slicing up half a medium banana instead of spreading on two tablespoons of jam adds potassium and cuts out 10 g of sugar! You can even layer in sliced strawberries for a touch of sweetness and a big dose of vitamin C.

Swap out juice boxes for a reusable water bottle

Single-serving drink boxes are convenient and fun, but many also contain artificial color, flavoring and preservatives. Even 100% fruit juices can contain up to 20 g of sugar per pouch!  Instead, try infusing a pitcher of water with citrus slices, torn fresh herbs or muddled berries at home. Combine together herbs and fruits (like strawberry-basil or blueberry-mint) for a refreshing change of pace. Leave your pitcher to infuse overnight in the fridge and pour into a leak-proof water bottle.

Our roomy new Lunch Buddy Thermals feature an elastic-topped mesh side pocket that’s perfect for toting the kids’ water bottles to school and back each day. (And the fun prints are irresistible!)

Swap out applesauce for apple slices

Packing a large, sliced apple instead of a cup of applesauce can double your kids’ fiber intake (5.4 g vs 2.7 g), boost their vitamin C (10.3 mg vs 2.7 mg) and provide them with the beneficial antioxidants contained in the skin of the apple.  Kids love to eat raw apples plain as a healthful snack, or dip slices in a delicious nut or seed butter for added protein and a salty kick. If you want to keep the convenience factor, toss in a whole apple or nab a segmented slicer tool to make quick work of lunch prep.  If you do decide to sometimes opt for applesauce, look for healthier varieties made without added sugar or artificial preservatives. Or make your own unsweetened applesauce, and be sure to leave the skins on!

Swap out chips for nearly anything else

Do your kids crave something salty to go with their meals? (Us too!) Steer clear of the fat, sodium and calorie bombs that are potato chips, which have been scientifically linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   Instead, why not offer your kids one of these tasty (and nutritious) treats?

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Deli turkey-wrapped cucumber slices
  • Nuts (Be sure to check your school’s allergen policy first)
  • Edamame, boiled or shelled and roasted
  • Air-popped popcorn (It’s a whole grain!)
  • Cheese cubes
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Celery sticks with nut or seed butter and raisins, or with cream cheese and dried cranberries
  • Swap out pudding cups for Greek yogurt
  • Kids love spooning up creamy treats at lunchtime. But when you’re packing their lunch bags, think Greek: While the calorie count and amount of calcium are essentially the same, a serving of Greek yogurt can provide as much as 20 times the protein of an individual pudding cup.

Stick to plain Greek yogurt for the least sugar, and add sliced berries or a little honey for sweetness. If the kids want the flavored kind, choose one with sugar near the end of the ingredient list: The first three ingredients should be milk, live and active cultures and fruit.

Keep their yogurt – and the rest of their healthy food swap-outs – cool until lunchtime in a classic Thermal Tote personalized with your child’s name and favorite embroidered Icon-It design. Your kids will be eating healthy and noshing in style!

 

What is your kids’ favorite lunch?  Share it with us…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Blackened Shrimp & Corn Salad

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This YUMMY recipe is from Weight Watchers.  A great salad with a Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 0*

1/8th of recipe (about 1 cup): 141 calories, 1.5g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 404mg sodium, 20.5g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 13g protein

Prep: 20 minutes     Cook: 10 minutes     Makes: 8 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

4 cups frozen sweet corn kernels
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups chopped tomatoes
12 oz. ready-to-eat bay/small shrimp (or chopped large shrimp)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add corn, chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. cumin. Cook and stir until blackened, about 7 minutes.
  2. In a medium-large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients, including remaining 1/2 tsp. cumin. Mix until uniform.
  3. Fold in blackened corn. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It tastes great chilled!)

Have leftovers?  Why not take it for lunch this week?  Use a base of spring mix or spinach, topped with this yummy blackened shrimp and corn salad.  No better way to take lunch to work but in a Thirty One Thermal.  Did you know ThirtyOne had a NEW Crossbody Thermal Tote?

One of our most popular personal lunch thermals is now a crossbody! Stay on-trend at the office or school with our fashionable and functional Crossbody Thermal Tote cooler bag. Webbed handles plus a long, adjustable strap give you three ways to carry your snacks and drinks in style. Or give it as the perfect teacher’s gift! Choose personalization to make it even more special. AND a steal at just $20

Have a recipe you want to share?  Send me an email and if we use if in the blog, you will receive a FREE gift as a thank you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Pizza-fied Chicken

I don’t know about you but I get tired of chicken!  I love there are “zero” points because I am now eating more protein but it can be boring!  Thank you Hungry Girl for another yummy recipe!

Entire recipe: 272 calories, 8.5g total fat (3.5g sat fat), 633mg sodium, 6g carbs, 1g fiber, 2.5g sugars, 40.5g protein  Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 2*

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 10 minutes   MAKES 1 SERVING

Ingredients

5 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast cutlet

Dash each salt and black pepper

1/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

3 tbsp. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

4 slices turkey pepperoni (optional: roughly chopped)

Optional seasonings: additional salt and black pepper

Optional toppings: crushed red pepper, fresh oregano

Directions

  1. Evenly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook chicken for 3 – 4 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine these ingredients in a small bowl: crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, and onion powder. If you like, add salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. While still in the skillet, top chicken with sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Top with pepperoni.
  5. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until sauce is hot and cheese has melted.

Why not make extra for lunch this week?  Freeze the leftovers and enjoy them heated up with your favorite side salad.  No better way to take lunch to work but in a Thirty One Thermal.  Did you know ThirtyOne had a NEW Crossbody Thermal Tote?

One of our most popular personal lunch thermals is now a crossbody! Stay on-trend at the office or school with our fashionable and functional Crossbody Thermal Tote cooler bag. Webbed handles plus a long, adjustable strap give you three ways to carry your snacks and drinks in style. Or give it as the perfect teacher’s gift! Choose personalization to make it even more special. AND a steal at just $20

Have a recipe you want to share?  Send me an email and if we use if in the blog, you will receive a FREE gift as a thank you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna Stuffed Portabellas

Hungry Girl's Healthy Lasagna Stuffed Portabella Recipe

Thank you Hungry Girl for another YUMMY recipe…

1/2 of recipe (1 stuffed mushroom): 203 calories, 6.5g total fat (3.5g sat fat), 464mg sodium, 15.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 22.5g protein  FreestyleSmartPoints® value 4*

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 20 minutes    MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

2 large portabella mushroom caps (stems removed)
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. light/low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 tsp. chopped garlic
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
Dash ground nutmeg
2 dashes each salt and black pepper
4 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped spinach
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Place mushroom caps in the center, rounded sides down. Top with another large piece of foil. Fold together and seal all four edges of the two foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, ricotta, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and a dash each salt and pepper. Mix until uniform.
  • Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with remaining dash each salt and pepper. Add onion, and cook and crumble until beef is fully cooked and onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium low. Add spinach and tomato/ricotta mixture. Cook and stir until spinach has wilted and mixture is hot, about 1 minute.
  • Cut foil packet to release steam before opening entirely. Remove top foil, and carefully drain excess liquid. Thoroughly blot excess moisture from mushroom caps.
  • Evenly fill mushrooms with filling. Sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake until mushrooms are tender and cheese has melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Top with basil.

What is the best way to enjoy this YUMMY meal again?  Take it for lunch in one of Thirty One’s thermal lunch totes.  How about the Around the Clock Thermal…

Want to know why you’ll love it?  It is great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, poolside, beachfront, golf course, boating, or sporting events. It will fit a 6-pack with a little room for a snack.  The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes clean up easier. A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including cross-body for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids’ teachers, and everyone else on the go! Best part… it holds up to 15 lbs. and can be it monogrammed and personalization.

Have a yummy recipe?  Share it with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Bird Balls

Have I got your attention?  I figured the curious would want to know what this “Bird Ball” think was all about.  This recipe came from the rooms of Weight Watchers but the original recipe can be credited to mud hustler who you can check out on Instagram. The best part is they are only 1 point under the new Weight Watcher Freestyle SmartPoints program.

Cook Time: 20 minutes.     Yields 12 balls.

Ingredients

20 oz. Ground Turkey, 99% Lean
16 oz Ground Chicken Breast, 98% Lean
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs (or 1/2 Cup Almond Flour)
1/2 Cup Grated Romano (or 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast)
2 Eggs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Mix all ingredients.
Form into 12 balls.
Place balls in muffin tin.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Add a salad and some veggies and you have an awesome Weight Watcher friendly dinner with leftovers for lunch.  What better way to carry your lunch then in the Go To Thermal (pictured).  We don’t call it the Go-To Thermal for nothing! When you think of the universal lunch bag, this is it. With clean lines a simple handle and a variety of prints, this tote is perfect for every member of the family. Features a zip closure and an exterior pocket. Ideal for work, school, sporting events, road trips, golf outings, play dates, fishing trips, pool days and a bunch of other places. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch or snack!   The best part is it is machine washable and wipeable lining. Key features: Holds up to 10 lbs. and can be personalized. Available in 5 prints.  Dimensions are: 11”H x 12.5”L at top opening x 8”L at base x 5”D

Give these balls a try and let me know what you think…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!