This is one of the monthly posts where I take a “closer look” at some of the lunchboxes I pack for my kids. I keep my camera handy in the kitchen and make sure to snap a picture before we rush out of the door in the morning. If you would like to see what is going into their lunchboxes every day, make sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest, where I post the pictures on a daily basis.

This post is very special because you also get a chance to win one of these amazing eco-friendly, durable, dishwasher-safe, and portion-conscious PlanetBox lunchboxes to put all the lunch packing tips into practice!  I get asked at least a couple of times every day where I got the lunchboxes from so I guess many of them like them, too. 🙂 To enter our raffle, fill out the form at the bottom of the post.

But first, I would like to share with you the “lunchbox basics” that will make planning and pack lunchboxes easy. Here are the components of a balanced lunchbox:

  • “Filling” food – something with starch and protein in it—a ham sandwich, tuna salad, pasta salad or chicken noodle soup
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable
  • A serving of yogurt or cheese on most days—especially for kids who do not like drinking milk
  • Something sweet to finish the meal with—it does not have to be in the lunchbox every day and it does not have to be full of sugar; raisins or flavored yogurt fit the bill perfectly
  • Dip, such as hummus or ranch dressing to keep kids engaged

You can read more about the anatomy of a balanced lunchbox here.

February lunchboxes

These are a few of the lunchboxes that I packed last month. Under each picture, I describe the components of the lunchbox and also share some preparation and storage tips.

February 4_small

  • Filling food: Wheat berries, sausage and carrot salad. I am working on a post about easy ways to put together a variety of filling grain-based salads for lunches and dinner. In the meanwhile, here is a quick description of this one: cooked wheat berries (I cook them in advance and freeze in batches), boiled sausage and boiled carrots (you can use the same pot to cook both and prepare them in advance). Dressing: olive oil and soy sauce in 3:1 proportion.
  • Fruit: Clementines and cantaloupe.
  • Vegetable: Spinach
  • Dip: Genji ginger miso dressing we bought in Whole Foods. Here is the recipe if you want to prepare your own.
  • Dessert: Leftover whole wheat crepe with some melted chocolate inside

February 7_small

This lunchbox is inspired by Spanish cuisine.

  • Filling food:  Spanish potato omelet and Spanish cured ham (Jamon)
  • Fruit: Cantaloupe
  • Vegetable: Cherry tomatoes and steamed green beans
  • Dessert: Dark chocolate chips (one of our favorite treats)

The omelet and ham taste best at room temperature so they make perfect lunchbox entree. I did not pack an ice pack with this lunchbox as I usually do to prevent the food from getting too cold.

February 14_smallAnd this one was the most adorable food creation of the month – the V-day lunchbox.

  • Filling food: Heart-shaped ham sandwiched made using cookie cutters of different sizes
  • Fruit: Strawberries and cantaloupe
  • Vegetable:  Cucumber hearts made with cookie cutters and cherry tomato hearts I made using a clever technique I found on Pinterest.
  • Dessert – Dark chocolate heart, of course. 🙂

February 26_small

This lunchbox is a follow up from our cheese taste-test. Read more about how we run taste tests for the whole family here.

  • Filling food: Cheddar, brie and feat cheese packed in separate silicone cups to prevent them from squishing into each other and whole wheat crackers.
  • Fruit: Grapes
  • Vegetable: Carrot sticks
  • Dessert: Half a whole grain blueberry muffin.


As you can see, each lunch box has segmented compartments that are just the right size for your little ones who will be delighted to see a colorful array of foods as well as a little treat in a special compartment in the middle. If you want to pack a salad or a dip, it is not a problem, because PlanetBox comes with two leak-proof containers that fit nicely inside the lunchbox.

Here is what you can win by entering the giveaway before Friday, March 15th, 2013 (Value $59.95!!!):

1 Rover lunch box

1 Rover Magnet set (Modern Art)

1 Rover Gig and Little Dipper set

1 Rover carry bag (Awesomely Agua)

To maximize your chances to win, check as many options as possible below. Remember, the more points you get, the more likely it is that this amazing lunch box set will be all YOURS!

This giveaway closes on Friday March 15th 2013.  Entries from US and Canada only are accepted. PlanetBox generously sponsored the giveaway. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Learn about our interactive online age-specific nutrition classes here.