Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Laptop Lunchbox

Laptop Lunchbox

For quite some time, about 5 years now, I have really wanted to try a Laptop Lunchbox. I first saw them in a parenting magazine when monkey was only about 1 1/2 and I had no real reason to use one...but I remembering looking over and over and the different lunch ideas and combos and all the fun ways to use the box. I knew then that I wanted to be a lunch packing mama...and not just the pb&j with chips, an apple, and milk everyday variety. I wanted to experiment! I wanted to have fun foods, themed foods, and I wanted her to have the lunch that other kids would envy, not because it was a highly processed mess I purchased premade but because I had lovingly put thought into her lunch and it was just that fantastic that it could be healthy and pleasing. 

Fast forward and I am thrilled to have my very own Laptop Lunchbox. I elected for the Garden color variety (pictured above). It just appealed to me most. 

I love the customization of it. That there are tons of options for packing and I like that the inside containers have lids for the ability to pack runnier options with items that don't need closed packages. 

Pros: I was pleased it fit in our conventional lunch box, some inside containers have lids, inside containers easily wash on the top shelf in the dishwasher, appealing aesthetically, allows for customization. 

Cons: Difficult for my 6 year old to open alone, we have to practice. The outer box needs to really be washed by hand for maximum effectiveness. Due to size, drink needs to be packed inside the pink box as it will not fit otherwise (though if you buy one of the boxes for the laptop lunchbox this will likely be different). 

Overall I do really like this product! Since it's difficult for my daughter to open we don't use it as much as I anticipated, she's still practicing getting it to open and close on her own. We will be using it more in the future. I have asked others I know with older children and they do not have problems getting it open and closed. It lives up to the expectations I had of it and I'm very glad that I purchased it. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chobani Champions

Awesome by the Spoonful

Today Being the 5 year Birthday For Chobani I thought it a perfect time to put out my review of this product. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

Product: Chobani Champions [Assorted Flavors] 

Grade: A+

Pros: Cost Effective, Great Taste, Coupons available on website, Easy open for little hands, Natural Ingredients, Hormone Free Cows, No preservatives, No Artificial Colors, No Artificial Sweeteners, Freezable, Kosher, Gluten Free, Free of allergens such as nut, soy, wheat, and shellfish! 

Cons: Flavor Availability nearby.

Would I Reccomend? Unwaveringly, Yes. The product is terrific and unmatched by any other I have tried. It's the only flavored yogurt I use and my daughter loves it too! It's important to me to provide her with healthy [cost effective] food and Chobani has really hit a homerun with the Champions Line. All four flavors: Banana Honey, Orange Vanilla, Very Berry, and Vanilla Chocolate Chunk taste great, and I don't have to worry about artificiality and growth hormones. The Orange Vanilla flavor even has real orange pulp in it! Something I haven't found in any other orange yogurt. If you haven't tried it yet you should! It's hard to find brands you can trust, and Chobani has found it's way into my home, our lunch boxes, and our tummies!


Four Examples: 

You'll definitely be seeing more of them in our lunches! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Organic Valley Individual Milks

Better than the Best!

Product: Organic Valley 1% Milk fat Chocolate Milk.  

Grade: A+!

Pros: Cost effective, coupons available on the website, individually packaged, easy to open, organic, doesn't require refridgeration.

Cons: The product itself, none. My store stopped carrying them, so now actually getting THIS brand is difficult. 

Would I recommend? This product has been in nearly 2/3 of the lunches I have packed my daughter this school year. It's something I can feel really good about her having in her lunch box. It's made with products I can read and understand, by a farmer nearby to me! You can identify your area farm on their website and see directly where the milk is coming from. My daughter loves chocolate milk, like most kids, but there are tons of concerns for me about growth hormones, antibiotics, etc... when it comes to the cows our milk is coming from. Organic Valley has taken the fear out of drinking milk. It's easy to open and since it only needs refrigeration after opening I don't have to worry about keeping it cold in the lunch box (though I would prefer it cold). 


Three Examples: 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ziploc Divided Rectangle

Ziploc Divided Rectangle - The Holy Grail!

Grade: A+ 

Pros: Reusable, Cost Effective, Freezer Safe, Microwave Safe, Dishwasher Safe, Leak Proof, BPA Free.

Cons: I could only find them at Target, I searched all over! Also, didn't fit my daughter's rounded lunch box, needs a rectangular lunch box to fit in.

Where I got it: Target

Would I recommend? I am totally in L-O-V-E with these containers and will recommend them to anyone that will listen. Similar containers either cost too much or were not leak proof, so the separate areas contaminated eachother. Not this one! Each section is individually sealed and keeps liquids away from other items. I hate most of my food touching, so this is really great for me! I am not only using them in K's lunches but mine as well. By far my favorite purchase to date!

Examples of use:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Maranatha All Natural Sunflower Seed Butter

The Need for Seed!

Grade: A+

Pros: Cost, Flavor, Number of Ingredients, Nutrition, Good substitute for people with nut allergies since it's a seed!

Cons: Needs to be kept refrigerated after opening (if that is even a con).  

Nutrition: I selected Sunflower butter because it had fewer ingredients, fewer calories, less fat, far less sodium, more fiber, less sugar, and more protein than my old peanut butter.

Cost: I chose sunflower butter because it was rather comparable to peanut butter in cost. I find almond butter to be too expensive. 

Taste: I found that I prefer the taste of Sunflower Butter over Peanut Butter BAR NONE. I have always been a bit unhappy with the flavor of peanut butter, not much of a fan. When I tried sunflower butter I loved it! It's rich and creamy and doesn't have questionable ingredients. 
The best thing you can do when you are trying to eat healthier is look at the alternatives that are out there and compare them directly. For me it always comes down to nutrition, cost, and taste. I don't have the money to waste as a single mother with a very fixed income. So I felt for my buck, the sunflower butter was a good choice.

Would I Recommend? Yes! In fact I pretty much do to everyone I meet. They always give me the crazy looks but after they have tasted it they have all been hooked! It's a great alternative to peanut butter. Especially if you or your children has a nut allergy or a ''no nut'' policy at school. It's seed butter and fits within those regulations.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Food Movers

Fantastic In Plastic

Grade: A-

Pros: BPA Free, Reusable, Gripping Feet, Dishwasher Safe (top shelf only), Microwave Safe, Leak PRoof, Great sizes, Stackable, Easy to Open for Little Hands.

Cons: The blue container the way it's built always collects water in the dishwasher, so you have to carefully dump it out. Even with the drying cycle on!

Where I got it: Office Depot

I picked these up at my office supply store of all places! They were in the clearance section with all the papers, notebooks, highlighters, etc... I was super excited about them and the claims they made. So far they have been a great addition to the lunch box and are really great. The blue container gets the most use since it is so versatile and easy to fit in. My 5 year old had no trouble opening and closing the boxes either, which is important for anything you are packing for them to use. 

Would I recommend? I would definitely recommend the stacking container (mine is blue but it comes in other colors) and the snack size box. The sandwich box works  but I rarely use it. If you need a sandwich box, it is pretty good but for the same purpose you could get one from the dollar store. The gem is definitely the stacker!