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!

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

 

The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day!  Well, one can dream, right?  The Jersey Shore seems to have more clouds then sun lately but we know it won’t be long, right?

With the Memorial Day weekend here is just about a week, a picnic is a wonderful way to celebrate!  There will be lots of barbecues and tailgating happening during the holiday weekend and we want to be sure you are prepared.  So here are some tips from Thirty One to help you pack the perfect picnic….

Whether you are picnicking alone or with a group of family or friends, we have a tote or thermal just for you!

For the gang….

When you’ve invited all of your daughter’s soccer pals or each of your son’s camp buddies to join you on a picnic, only Thirty-One’s Large Utility Tote will do!  A best-seller since it was introduced, the Large Utility Tote is big enough to pack everyone’s favorite foods. The wire support around the opening means it holds its shape, and you can see all of the food and drinks you have packed so you don’t forget a thing. Add a Top-A-Tote to keep the contents covered and secure.

For the family..

Create some memories by taking the family dinner outside! The Perfect Party Setreally is perfect – perfect for keeping food either hot or cold in one of its two thermal compartments. Each water-resistant section is large enough to fit a 9×13″ pan, making it a flexible option for any picnic. Place your hot casserole in the bottom compartment, and don’t forget a dozen cupcakes on top!

A picnic for two

Whether you’re picnicking with your bestie or your special someone, the Picnic Thermal Tote is an ideal option. Tall enough to fit your favourite bottled beverage, the tote even has a Leak Lock thermal lining for ice to keep things cold. The zip-around closure makes it easy to load and unload, and the adjustable, detachable strap means you can keep your hands free. Remember to stick a few extra napkins in the exterior front pocket!

A picnic for you

At work or at home, the Lunch Break Thermal is the convenient choice when you need a picnic all to yourself! Throw it in your car, tuck it in your office refrigerator or take it to the beach – the durable fabric will make it your thermal of choice when you want some time alone. The extended handles allow you to throw it over your shoulder in a moment, and the exterior pocket is roomy enough for your keys, phone or wallet. So go ahead: Make your escape!

On the go

Life is busy, and the Around The Clock Thermal is ready to follow you at lunchtime, snack time or anytime! If you’re not quite sure where you’ll be throughout the day, this thermal is one of your most versatile options. The thermal lining means you can be confident your food will stay cool, and (bonus!) it’s water-resistant to make clean-up a breeze. Large enough for lunches or a variety of snacks, the interior mesh pocket and front exterior zipper pocket also are handy options for storage. If you’re on the go from dawn to dusk, this thermal is the one for you!  Need a visual…. it will hold a 6-pack with some room for a few snacks.

Picnics are a blast, so make sure you have some fun with whichever picnic thermal or tote you choose! Don’t forget: A monogram or other personalization adds a special touch to a special meal, all season long.

Thank you ThirtyOne for today’s blog post…  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Apple Pie Fritter Bread

Today’s recipe is courtesy of The Baking Chocola Tess.

Do you like Apple Fritters?  I don’t mean the kind you find in WaWa or any other store bakery.  Have you ever had an apple fritter baked into a fluffy, buttery, white cake loaf with chunks of apples and layers of brown sugar and cinnamon swirled inside and on top?  I mean the moist, delicious and full of home-made goodness from the heart – just like home kind!  I am going to tweak this some so it is gluten free and hopefully it will be just as YUMMY!

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Bread Loaf

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk or almond milk

2 apples, peeled and chopped (any kind), mixed with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Old-Fashioned Creme Glaze

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream- (depending on thickness of glaze wanted)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9×5-inch loaf pan and spray with non-stick spray or line with foil and spray with non-stick spray to get out easily for slicing.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.
  5. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.
  7. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  8. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  10. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.
  12. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed.
  13. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

 

Take these tasty treats to your next party or tailgating event by packing them in a picnic thermal.  They can be warm out of the oven or just room temperature. You will love the picnic thermal for its many uses – the beach, campgrounds, or family picnic with your favorite foods. It has a Leak Lock Thermal Lining to hold ice when you need to keep things cool for a longer time. A removable, adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to carry when you have your hands full, and the zip-around closure ensures everything stays put while you’re transporting it from the car. Holds up to 20 lbs! Key features include: Zip-around closure, Removable, adjustable shoulder strap, exterior front pocket, holds up to 20 lbs., keeps contents cool for up to 1.75 hours and monogramming and personalization options available.  Approx. 13”H x 11”L x 6”D

So who is ready to make some apple fritter bread?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tailgating Season is Back!!!

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The weather was a little crazy the last week on the East Coast!   I actually woke up to snow on the ground BUT I also saw signs that baseball season was starting at the local fields.  First comes outdoor sporting events then it is beach weather…. YEAH!!!  Here are some things to help you be prepared, as well as be the “cool mom”….

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Taking snacks, waters and other beverages with you can save you time and money.  We all like to do both, right?  The added bonus is that it will help you and the kids eat healthier rather than buying things on the go.  Yes, it will require a lithe preparation and the right gear.  Everyone loves with Thirty One’s Picnic Thermal Tote.  It’s just the right size for a few drinks, some sandwiches and some drinks. Not too big and not too small this can easily fit on the floor of the back seat, and hold enough food for your whole family. It’s adorable and comes in lots of fun patterns. It has an adjustable strap so you can carry it out to the soccer field or to a picnic spot. It’s easily wipeable when it gets dirty and it even folds down for easy storage. You can keep groceries cold on their way home from the store!  It will hold up to FOUR bottle of wine or a six pack of beer – perfect for those “adult” getaways.  It even comes in MAN colors so it makes a great gift for dad for Father’s Day!

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Tired of having the soccer ball roll around in the trunk? Or looking for a missing shoe just before you are ready to head out the door?  The Large Utility Tote by Thirty One can come to the rescue.

You’ll be amazed at how much this classic tote can hold. The structured metal frame keeps it open for bulky items and provides strength for durability. Keep it in your closet to help organize your shoes or the “stuff” that seems to gather on the floor.  It is great for carrying or storing toys and easy for the kids to manage on their own.  Hate those plastic bags when you go grocery shopping? Or do you go to stores like Aldi’s where you have to pay for bags?  Here is the perfect alternative – keep it in your truck.  You can use it as a basket as you walk around the store, empty it to check out and then reload it to head home.   It even collapses for easy storage!

Yes, it comes in MAN colors as well as fun prints.  These can be personalized as well for your favorite team or with a catchy phrase.  Want some for the whole team?  Why not Fundraise with Thirty One?  contact me at HopeWs31@gmail.com for more details.

Be the envy of your friends when you show up full stocked with snacks and drinks while looking fashionable and organized.  Isn’t that every mom’s dream?

Click on the product links to order yours today!  Need help, just reach out to me.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tips for the Football Newbie

 

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Who ever thought that I would be a screaming football fan?   You know the kind who yells at the TV as if the players could hear you.  Football was NOT a sport we watched on TV in my house growing up.  Don’t get me wrong high school football games were a BIG thing.  Of course the games in HS were mostly about spending time with friends with an occasional glimpse at the score.  Thanksgiving was always interesting with the rivalry between Neptune and Asbury Park High Schools.  I never watched football on TV until hubby came along.  A die-hard Giants fan – many Sundays were spent glued to the TV watching his favorite team.

Whether you are a fan of high school football or are glued to the television for your favorite NFL team, remember there just may be someone who is a newbie to all of this craziness.

I love a recent blog by Amanda Hunter where she shares her take on being a football newbie.  My favorite quote “Monkey see, monkey do. Clap when everyone else claps. And by that same token, sigh or furrow your brow when everyone else does the same.”  

Here are some more  of her tips:

The game clock is merely a suggestion. When the clock says there are 3 minutes remaining, go ahead and settle in because there are 30 minutes remaining (if you’re lucky).

Your lack of football knowledge can be easily disguised with freshly baked and themed appetizers or treats.  

A typical football game lasts 3 hours, probably more, definitely not less. And if all else fails…

Want to get into the spirit of things… why not plan some tailgating fun.  Even an indoor tailgating party will make you a start.  There was a great blog by Kim of The Celebration Shoppe about the “10 Must Haves for Tailgating & Football Season”. Numbers 7, 8, 9 & 10 involve Thirty One products! WoOHoo!!!

for menNeed to convince the males in your life that Thirty One is NOT just about purses! What better way than using our spirit collection.  Get his favorite team colors – let’s him know you are paying attention. Who knows that impromptu tailgating party could turn into a Thirty One catalog party where you get LOTS of FREE product.

So, are you ready for football? LUT display

Yes, I am a NY JETS fan so game day is interesting on the rare occasion that the JETS play the Giants.  What is YOUR favorite team?  Here is to a great football season….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!