Monday, April 30, 2012

Chobani Champions Review and Giveaway

Chobani generously sent us a box of their new Chobani Champion flavors to review. We were so excited when the box arrived and the kids could barely wait to taste test the new flavors :)

Chobani Champions' new flavors are Vanilla Chocolate Chunk and Orange Vanilla, yum!

And the best part? Two of you will get a chance to try these new flavors, too! Find out at the end of my post how to enter to win one of two boxes of Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk and Orange Vanilla!

Since I have a son with food dye sensitivities I am always looking for food without artificial color and Chobani Champions are free of processed ingredients including artificial colors, preservatives, flavors and sweeteners. Most of the sugar in their yogurt occurs naturally in the milk and the yogurt is only lightly sweetened with evaporated cane juice, an unrefined form of sweetener sourced from non-GMO sugar cane. The yogurt is also gluten-free and does not contain wheat, nut, soy and shellfish allergens. This yogurt also is high in Protein which is something I look for when packing a healthy lunch.

The first thing we noticed of course was the absence of neon colors found in other kids' yogurts and the amount of creaminess. Yes, you can actually see that!

Overall this yogurt was a big hit with my entire family. My husband and I love Chobani Yogurt, especially the lemon flavored one and my kids therefore were especially excited to try the kids' versions. The Vanilla Chocolate Chunk was of course the favorite but we also loved the Orange Vanilla. My 9 YO loved the creaminess and said it tasted like ice cream whereas my 5 YO kept telling everyone that there were really chocolate pieces in his! My 3 YO fell in love with the Orange Vanilla one and so did I. It reminds me so much of Orange Creamsicles and summer. My 6 YO loved the creamy goodness of both and everyone is requesting Champions for their school lunches now!

So here are the four school lunches for today:

My 9 YO had a french breakfast inspired lunch with chicken, cheese and salad stuffed croissants, blueberries, carrots, organic soy crisps and Chobani Champion Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Yogurt.

My 6 YO is bringing a Swamp Monster made out of German Dark Bread, Whole Wheat Honey Bread for the eyes and mouth and green sprinkles for the pupils. The hair is made out of cucumber peel which made the swamp monster more authentic and my son loves dipping it in ranch dip. He also has carrots with ranch dip (dip not shown), soy crisps and a Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk yogurt.

My 5 YO loves rescue vehicles and I packed a Hook and Ladder Firetruck for him made out of Whole Wheat Honey Bread and German Dark Bread and a carrot siren. He also has a carrot fire with a ranch emergency kit ( the cross is made out of carrot sticks), soy crisps and a Chobani Orange Vanilla Yogurt.

My 3YO picked her own cookie cutter this morning and since she picked the moon, I made a moon and stars lunch with a moon sandwich made with Whole Wheat Honey bread and a sprinkle eye, cucumber stars, Goldfish Adventure Crackers which contain moons and stars (and no artificial colors ;) and she also brought a Chobani Champions Orange Vanilla Yogurt.

So, want to know how you can win one of two awesome boxes of Chobani Champions for yourself?

Here are the rules:

This GiveAway is open to all US residents.
Please leave me your email address or I will not be able to reach you!
GiveAway ends 11:59 Pm EST on May 5th and the winners will be announces on May 6th. I will email the two winners. If I cannot locate an email address or the winner(s) do(es) not email me at luncheswithloveblog(at)gmail(dot)com within 48 hours a new winner is drawn.

Here are how you can enter:

1. Like Chobani Champions on FB (mandatory)
3. Follow me publicly with GFC
4. Follow Lunches with Love on Twitter
5. Follow Chobani on Twitter

Please leave a seperate comment for each of your entries!

So, 5 chances to win! Good Luck!

Chobani send me a box of Chobani Champions for this review. All opinions are my own :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Like a fish...

Lunch today is a Nutella Fish sandwich decorated with Nutella and a white and dark chocolate chip eye :) There are also popcorn and strawberry reefs with an octopus and starfish pick. As always we also packed ice water and yogurt :)

Happy Tuesday!
and stay tuned this week for a Chobani Champions review and giveaway!

Friday, April 20, 2012

French Toast Casserole

When I posted my Earth Day Lunch and mentioned that I make a French Toast Casserole with the bread left overs I have from making my sandwiches, some of you asked for the recipe.
So, here it is :)

French Toast Casserole

5 cups of cubed bread
(= about one gallon sized ziploc bag full)
4 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup of pancake mix
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in your casserole dish.
(just put the casserole dish with the butter into the oven for a couple of minutes :)

In large bowl mix beaten eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt and vanilla together.

Then add 1/3 cup of pancake mix and mix well.

Carefully add bread to mixture and coat well.
(You can also add bread to casserole dish and pour the milk-egg mixture over it. If you do, let the dish stand for a couple of minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. I like tossing the bread - even though it is messy - because it coats the bread faster :)

Add to buttered casserolle dish.

Cut remaining butter into small pieces and sprinkle of the French Toast Casserole, then
sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon to taste (I add the rest of the sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon).

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.

I serve mine with applesauce or fruit and we never have left overs :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Sunday is Earth Day!
To celebrate we are having an awesome Blog Hop again, so come and join the Earth day fun!

I don't always show everything I pack for the kids but today I wanted to show you that we only pack re-usable lunch containers and utensils. I always pack lunch in a re-usable lunch container like the EasyLunchboxes, the kids also bring a re-usable water bottle with ice water, a spork for yogurt and fruit and since last week a cloth napkin. There is always a yogurt in their lunch, too. I don't make yogurt myself, so that is our only throw away item. However, I do re-use yogurt containers for water coloring, bento pick storage and crafts, so they don't go in the trash either unless they are recycled at school :)

I made a no-waste lunch for today. There is the little boy holding and caring for the Earth sandwich decorated with melted chocolate from a left over chocolate Easter Bunny (re-use and recycle!), mini carrots with Earth bento picks, and yellow peppers with ranch dressing in a re-usable dip container decorated with a pepper heart. Because we heart the Earth. And of course everything is packed in my favorite re-usable EasyLunchboxes container!

If you wonder how I could have made a no-waste lunch with cookie cutter cut sandwiches, here is how:

I do have bread left overs when I cut sandwiches into shapes - obviously. But since I cut my bread before I put the filling in - I can save the rest.

Save the rest? Good question ;)

I save all my bread scraps in a freezer bag in my freezer and once it is full I cut all scraps into cubes and make French Toast Casserole :)

I makes the best French Toast Casserole and I feel good about not throwing away good food :)

Especially if you saw the Food Network Special "Hunger Hits Home" you know why I am especially careful about not wasting food. It is so hard to know that 1 out of 4 children under the age of 5 goes hungry every day here in the United States and I always urge my kids to remember that we should not waste food if others have none!

If you wonder what to do with veggie and other left over scraps, check out this post from BentOnBetterLunches!

Happy Earth Day 2012!

And now please check out Keeley's Earthy lunch here:

Helping with one no-waste lunch at a time!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Breakfast Traffic

Tonight my husband will be back from a business trip and the kids missed him like crazy.
I decided to make the morning fun by whipping up some whole wheat pancakes and make them into fun shapes. I made them hearts, a car and a plane. The heart for Daddy, and the car and plane for the means of traveling home to us :) The kids loved these and it was quick and easy. I just placed a cookie cutter shape into the pancake pan and filled the cookie cutter with pancake batter. Put your pan only on low to medium heat or the cookie cutter will melt if you have a plastic one! Fill only the shape of the cookie cutter - very thinly - and promptly remove the cookie cutter from the pan. Flip and voilĂ  :) 

I topped the pancakes with a little confectioner sugar instead of syrup and the kids loved this breakfast.

Happy Sunday,

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012 #UBP12

Hello Everyone!

I am so excited to be part of the Ultimate Blog Party 2012!
On my blog you will find cute and healthy school lunches that I make for my kids and from time to time a favorite recipe!
I hope you come to stay!

I am a busy Mom or four and a proud Military Wife. I love cooking and making healthy and yummy food for my family.

Beary Happy Day!

Today is the last day before Spring vacation! Yay!
So I made Beary Happy Last Day Before Vacation Lunches :)

They all have peanutbutter and banana sandwiches on Whole Wheat bread cut out with a cookie cutter.
I also packed strawberries, peanuts and No-Bake Energy Bites. As always, they also brought yogurt and ice water and I hope they all have a great day!

I am not sure how much I will blog during Spring Vacation but I will definitely be back after next week :)

Happy Spring Vacation!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

1/2 Birthdays and Baking adventures

We have a rich tradition of celebrating Half Birthdays in our family! The rule is: you have to self-promote the birthday to celebrate. Until recently the kids always forgot and it was mostly an adult tradition. Well, until last month when my 5 year old remembered and in turn got to celebrate his 1/2 birthday. It was such fun! Today is my 9 year old's 1/2 birthday and since he did promote it I wanted to do a little baking and make something fun! I did make vanilla and chocolate cupcakes since he asked for those but had so much dough left over I thought a black and white cake would be fun. Half and Half :)

Well, the baking Gods had something else in mind and this is what I found in the oven after the cake batter rose:

I was crushed at first that the cake did not come out as planned but then went with it. It does look very cool, doesn't it?

The kids all could not wait to cut it and they were rewarded with this:

and then the best thing was that every slice was different:

from round to

Batman and everything in between!

It also helped that the cake was still warm, but the kids thought that my shape changing chocolate and vanilla cake was the best 1/2 birthday cake we have had!

And my son of course got a birthday lunch. He wanted simple and not a birthday bento, so he got a simple lunchbox for today.

He has a salami roll with lettuce, veggie sticks, grapes and a vanilla cupcake with melted chocolate decorations.

Happy 9 1/2 Birthday!

Have a great day and Happy Half Birthday to you - if it is your 1/2 birthday today ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ruff Ruff

We all had a late start this morning and I was short on time for making lunches.
I got out my trusted cookie cutter box and let my 5 year old pick the theme. He wanted a dog themed lunch and he got it :) I made all the kids dog shaped Nutella sandwiches (can you tell we are having a Nutella phase?). The ear and eye are made of bread crust. I also packed pretzels, cinnamon cookies spelling DOG and an applesauce. They always have ice water and a yogurt in their lunchbox, too :)

Have a nice Tuesday Everyone!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Monday

Easter Monday in Germany is still a holiday and a big part of the Easter Celebration. So, even though we had to be back to school and work today here in the US, our lunches will have the Bunny and Easter theme one more day :)

My daughter has an Easter egg sandwich decorated with Nutella and sprinkles. She also has strawberries and some traditional German Easter candy. I packed her ice water and yogurt, too.

My son has a bunny sandwich decorated with Nutella, popcorn, a half an apple with a bunny face (I just carved the bunny face with a knife - spare the eyes and lifted the peel off ) and carrots with peanut butter dip. He also has a small German Easter Bunny chocolate. In his lunchbox is also ice water and a yogurt.

My youngest son has a bunny sandwich decorated with Nutella, Goldfish crackers, cold brown rise and left over Roast beef from yesterday. He also has a little German Easter Bunny candy, ice water and yogurt.

Well, even the adults and my oldest son had delicious Roast Beef left over wraps today, mhmm. No decorated lunches but everyone had a little treat in their lunch box. I made the wraps with whole Wheat wraps, salad, shredded carrots and Roast Beef.

(I apologize for the light quality. I took the picture last night since some of us had a very early start :)

Happy Easter Monday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hoppy Easter!

I am part of the Easter Blog Hop from Bento Bloggers & Friends!
Come and join the fun!

I made two lunches. One regular one and one that is completely food dye free.

The first lunch has a Pepperoni Calzone in EGG shape, a BUNNY breadstick and I also packed red grapes with an almond-grape BUNNY, strawberries and a plastic Easter EGG with food dye free fruit snacks. There is also a little gummy Easter BUNNY on top of the Easter egg (also food dye free). For the egg decorations and the eye of the bunny I used round and star shaped sprinkles.
I made the calzones by rolling out pizza dough and cutting the egg shape out with a cookie cutter. I then filled the calzones with sauce, cheese and pepperoni and baked them for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees. The breadsticks are also made out of pizza dough with a cookie cutter my Mother-in-Law generously gave to me :) I made the grape bunnies by simply inserting two Almond slivers as ears and two very small pieces as eyes.
The kids also had a small leak proof container with pizza sauce for dipping, a yoghurt and ice water.

This one is my food dye free lunch. My son still has the EGG shape pepperoni calzone and the BUNNY breadstick but instead of sprinkles I used cheese cut into shapes to decorate the egg and to make the eye of the bunny :) He also has the red grapes with the almond-grape BUNNY, strawberries and a plastic Easter EGG with food dye free fruit snacks. The pink BUNNY gummy is from Trader Joe's and also food dye free :) He also had pizza sauce in a leak proof container, a yoghurt and ice water.

To see more wonderful and creative lunches join our Blog Hop and please start by hopping over to Lise's awesome blog !

Just click the bunny and get hopping :)

Happy Hopping!

Lunch Snack

I did not pack any lunches today but my daughter wanted to have a snack on her new Healthy Habit Plate from Super Healthy Kids that I won from BentOnBetterLunches a while back :)

I am working on some ideas for tomorow's blog hop ~ so be sure to come back to check out some fabulous Easter/ Spring Lunch Ideas ;)

Back to the snack :) My daughter wanted pizza so I made her a mini pizza, a bunny breadstick and a plate of cucumbers, radishes, and grape tomatoes.

I had some pizza dough in the fridge and just made her the mini pizza with the pizza dough, tomato sauce, cheese and one piece of pepperoni. For the breadstick I used a cookie cutter to cut out the pizza dough and baked it for 5 min at 425 degrees :)

She loved her lunch snack!

Happy Tuesday and don't forget to check back for tomorrow's Blog Hop :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Say it in Blue

I made a blue lunch today in honor of World Autism day!
1 in 88 children in the US are affected by Autism.
Learn more about Autism and how to detect the signs here.

Today's lunch are BLUEberries, BLUE grapes, a BLUE Peeps Bunny and two little kids holding hands and raising awareness for Autism with BLUEberry Jelly.


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