Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To Buy or Not to Buy?

We allow Molly to choose one day a week if she would like to buy school lunch.  Today, Molly realized that she hadn't chosen to buy at all this week.  She looked at what is on the menu for tomorrow and wasn't interested and she can't wait for her Dr. Seuss themed lunch on Friday.  This means that we have a full packing lunch week.  We are so proud that Molly chose to pick the healthy homemade lunches.  I guess that she is really learning the importance of good, healthy food.
Our main entree is a cold cheese tortellini salad.  We picked up these tortellini at Trader Joe's last week. We added some light Italian dressing and kept it simple.

Our vegetable side is celery.  Molly requested these because she wants to dip them in the peanut butter that we put in the apple container.

Our fruit side is an apple.  We sliced it so that Molly can dip them in a small container of natural peanut butter.

Finally, dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions orange vanilla Greek yogurt.  This will help Molly with her sweet tooth and to get her protein too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Year Lunch

Today was National Pancake Day and tomorrow is Leap Day, put them both together and we have a super fun, yummy and filling treat for Molly's lunch.  We love it when things work out so nicely and we can play with a theme.  Speaking of themes, keep an eye out for Friday's lunch.  Molly's school is celebrating Dr. Seuss Day and we have a few ideas brewing. ☺
Our main entree is chocolate chip pancakes.  Molly and her siblings always ask for seconds and sometimes thirds when we make these.  Luckily, we usually make a double batch so that we have leftovers for lunch the next day.  All of the kids will eat them cold for lunch. (Who would've thought?)  We added a little frog pick to the pancakes to represent Leap Year.  Super fun!

Our protein side is a hard boiled egg.  Molly's Daddy and I usually have eggs with our "brinner" (breakfast for dinner) and the kids ask for them sometimes.  When we offered hard boiled eggs tonight, we had some very happy kids.

Our fruit side is red grapes.  They are very firm and juicy.  These served as our dessert after dinner tonight.  Molly's little brother decided to dump his out of his bowl and create a Mickey Mouse with several of them.  Oh, the imagination of a 2 year old.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions orange vanilla Greek yogurt.  We added a small container of mini chocolate chips in our main container so that Molly can mix them into the yogurt.  This is one of her favorite things ever.

Monday, February 27, 2012

All Request Lunch

Molly likes to make requests when it comes to her lunch and tomorrow's lunch is no exception.  She requested every item and knew exactly what she wanted.  You have to love the way that kids get excited about the small things in life.
Our main entree is a Buffalo chicken and smoked Gouda cheese sandwich.  Our bread is a 12 grain variety because we are trying to slowly merge into all whole grain instead of any white bread, pasta or rice.

Our vegetable is some baby carrots.  Molly saw these in the refrigerator and was quick to request them to be part of her lunch.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  These only have a few days left before they end up in the compost bin so we are trying to use them quickly.  Molly agreed that they would be a nice addition to her lunch.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions vanilla chocolate chunk.  Again, requested by Miss Molly herself.  ☺

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pizza Pasta Salad

Molly's school serves pizza every Monday.  Usually, we try to make some sort of pizza over the weekend and the leftovers are part of Monday's lunch.  That didn't happen this weekend.  Molly and her sister were treated to a fantastic weekend, courtesy of their Grammy and Papa.  They did their nails, got all dressed up and went to see Beauty and the Beast at our (Mommy and Daddy's) high school alma mater.  The reviews were spectacular.  Gaston, in particular, was a huge hit.  Though, the girls chose the roles of Belle and Mrs. Potts as future characters that they'd like to play.  Thank you, Grammy and Papa, the girls had a blast.

Now, on to Molly's lunch and our pizza alternative.
Our main entree is pizza pasta salad.  We mixed together some extra whole grain rotini, mozzarella cheese and mini turkey pepperoni.  We then added some light Italian dressing to make everything taste extra good.

Our vegetable side is slices of pepper.  Molly's little sister and little brother went to a birthday party today and they had a huge veggie tray.  We were asked if we wanted to take any of the leftovers (there weren't many, good choices Johnson family!) and we were happy to take some of the small peppers to put in Molly's lunch.

Our fruit side is a small "kid sized" Macintosh apple.  We picked these up at Sam's Club and they are the delicious.  Molly's Daddy and I will grab one before or after a run and they are the perfect size.  Also, they really are great for the kids.  No half eaten apples in our fridge anymore.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a Chobani Champions orange vanilla Greek yogurt.  Molly again requested that we put a few (maybe a Tablespoon at best) mini chocolate chips in a small container so that she can add them to the yogurt.  We can't blame her.  Orange and chocolate are so delicious together.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Lunch 1

The season of Lent started yesterday and as Catholics, we restrict certain things during this season.  Every Friday, we abstain from eating meat.  I am not someone who eats a lot of meat but for whatever reason, I crave a hamburger every Friday during Lent.  I guess it is something about not being able to have something that makes you crave it because when Saturday rolls around, I'm no longer craving the hamburger.  Funny how the brain works.

Hopefully Molly will not have the same cravings as her Mommy and be excited to have a Fun Friday lunch.
Our main entree is leftover cheese pizza.  This was part of our take out extravaganza earlier this week.  Dominos delivered and now Molly reaps the benefit of another leftover.

Our vegetable side is a green salad with light ranch dressing on the side.  We added a little extra dressing so that Molly could use it to dip her pizza crust in.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  These strawberries are from Plant City, Florida.  I, Mommy, lived in Florida for a few years and I have to say that the strawberry festival in Plant City is one of the most awesome things I've ever experienced.  From the smell to the sights and finally the taste of those sun ripened, sweet and juicy delicious beauties.  INCREDIBLE!!

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is courtesy of a few Valentine's Day goodies that Molly's classmates gave to her.  There is a small pack of Bottle Caps and a small Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fridge Clean Out Lunch

We're feeling a lot better today, thank goodness!  Our goal is to make sure that we eat what is in the refrigerator since there were a few days of take out.  The less we throw out, the more money we save and the less waste we create.
Our main entree is a peanut and butter sandwich.  We are out of some things so we decided that an old fashioned pb&j would work just fine.

Our vegetable entree is canned green beans.  These were part of our dinner so it was easy to just toss them in Molly's lunch.  She will eat these warm, cold or just out of the can.  (Just like her mother!)

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  These only have a few days left so we needed to use them before they were a lost cause and sent to the compost bin.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions orange vanilla Greek yogurt.  We also added a small container of mini chocolate chips in the strawberry box.  Molly really enjoys mixing these into her yogurt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mom and Dad Are BOTH Sick!

Seriously, Mom and Dad are both sick. It doesn't happen often but when it does, the whole house is in chaos mode. We are not big on take out, fast food or delivery but today has been the exception. This means that Molly will be buying lunch tomorrow because neither of us are feeling well enough to even think about preparing food. We hope that everyone else out in blog-land is doing well and doesn't catch this crazy cold.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Short Week

There was no school today so we stayed in our pajamas, danced around, watched movies and made some crafts.  A great day off.  Now, we're back to the grind.
Our main entree is a salami and smoked Gouda sandwich by request.  Molly has planned out her entire lunch and can't wait to have it tomorrow.

Our vegetable side is carrot and celery sticks.  We added a small container of peanut butter on the side for Molly to dip them in.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  Molly said that these are so sweet and really wants them to be part of her lunch.

Finally, our diary/dessert is Chobani Champions vanilla chocolate chunk yogurt.  At first, Molly wanted the vanilla orange variety but changed her mind last minute.  We were happy to oblige.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fun Friday

We have had a fun week this week.  Valentine's Day was awesome with special treats for the whole family.  Today was silly day at Molly's little sister's preschool so we were all acting silly all day.  Now, we're ready for our long weekend to be here.  We're hoping to get in some play time with the neighbors and maybe make some crafts.  Who knows?  We try to make the most of any extra days off of school, even if it just becomes a pajama day and we veg out and watch movies all day.  Family time is always fun.
Our main entree is a Buffalo chicken sandwich.  We stacked our Castle Wood Buffalo style chicken breast on our bread and added a slice of smoked Gouda cheese.  YUMMY!

Our vegetable side is cucumber slices.  We used a star shaped micro cookie cutter to take the seeds out of the center.  Molly will get a kick out of that.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  Our kids can't seem to get enough of these lately.  They are very sweet and absolutely huge.  There are only two strawberries in that container.  Crazy!

Our dairy side is Chobani Champions orange vanilla Greek yogurt.  We put a small container of mini chocolate chips in the strawberry container for Molly to add to her yogurt.  She loved it when we did that last time.

Finally, our fun Friday treat is a Lindt white chocolate truffle.  We got all of the kids their favorite chocolates for Valentine's Day and this is Molly's.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

School Lunch

Molly has chosen to buy her lunch tomorrow. The good thing about this is that she is realizing that the school lunch isn't that great so she is cutting her buying from once a week to only 3 times a month. Little by little the kids are realizing that not all food is good for you. Even her little sister has a tummy ache after a sugary snack at preschool and is now looking toward healthier options. A small victory in our world.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Easy Lunch

After a very full and fun Valentine's Day, we were looking for something easy to make for Molly's lunch tomorrow.  Sure, a classic pb&j is always a nice and easy option but we decided to mix it up a bit.  Then we threw in some other classics.
Our main entree is a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich.  We use a 12 grain bread for this because we think that it tastes awesome with any nut butter and since Nutella is a nut butter and so is peanut brainer!

Our vegetable side is cucumbers slices.  We used our crinkle knife to cut these into fun shapes.  Molly said that she really likes them this way because they are more fun to eat.

Our fruit side is a banana.  We cut a small chunk off of the top and then used cookie cutters to press in our special message to Molly.  It will be more visible when she sees it at lunch but it browned up pretty nicely while we were fixing her lunch.  ♥ U, Molly!

Our dairy side is a string cheese.  This is a great option for a little extra protein or a little extra something in case she is still hungry.

Our dessert is vanilla yogurt with mini chocolate chips.  Molly really enjoyed the mini chocolate chips the other day so we thought she'd enjoy them tomorrow.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Lunch

We had a few fun things in mind when deciding what to make for Molly's Valentine's Day lunch.  A little known fact is that Molly's Daddy makes the best chocolate chip pancakes in the world.  This was our stepping off point.  Molly's Daddy surprised the kids with some chocolate chip pancakes and turkey bacon for breakfast yesterday morning.  It was then and there that breakfast for lunch with a Valentine's Day twist was the way to go.
Our main entree is Daddy's Famous Chocolate Chip Pancakes!  We cut them out with two different sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters.  We also added a few "hugs and kisses" for our valentine.

Our protein is turkey bacon and a heart shaped hard boiled egg.  We found the directions on how to make a heart shaped hard boiled egg on the internet.  Our yolk didn't quite look as nice as the one on the internet but we'll take what when can get on our first shot.  If you are interested in trying it for yourself, click here. We added a heart shaped pick to the bacon because we LOVE bacon at our house. (and we LOVE Molly!)

Our fruit side is strawberries that have been cut out using two small heart shaped cookie cutters.  We added a heart shaped pick to this box too.

Our dairy side is Chobani Champions Chocolate Chunk Greek Yogurt (out of the normal container).  We sprinkled it with a mix of Valentine sprinkles.

Finally, our mini-dessert is two Hershey's kisses because everyone needs kisses on Valentine's Day!  One is pink and one is silver, just perfect for our little valentine, Molly.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

And the Winners Are...

We are so excited that we have had the chance to have our first giveaway sponsored by Chobani Champions!  There were so many nice comments about Molly's Lunch Box and Molly loved reading each of them.  Thanks to all who have entered.

We're going to channel American Idol and reveal our winners...."after the" lunch part of our blog post.
Our main entree is a heart shaped sandwich.  We're getting ready for a great Valentine's Day on Tuesday so we figured that we'd get started early.  We have salami and smoked Gouda for tomorrow's selection.  We also added a small ring decoration so that Molly has something fun to remind her of home for the rest of the day.

Our vegetable side is a variety of tomatoes.  There are orange, yellow, your regular red and these brown with green striped ones.  These are all very mild and low on acidity.  Molly usually doesn't like tomatoes that much but she sure likes these.

Our fruit side is a clementine.  We peeled and sectioned it for Molly so that she has more time to eat instead of prep her lunch.  We added a little heart pick to this box too.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is our favorite Chobani Champions Greek Yogurt in the orange vanilla variety.  Molly said that she liked the chocolate chunk variety more but when we offered to put a few mini chocolate chips in her lunch to mix in, she was all for it.  Orange and chocolate is a fantastic combination.

Now, on to the winners!!!

Envelope please.....

We wrote the names or tags of every person that commented on our special blog post and Molly herself picked our winners.

Dana Hune and Lee Fandray!!!!  Congratulations Dana and Lee!!!  Please e-mail your address and e-mail address to us at and we will send them to Chobani Champions.  You should expect and super fun box of awesome deliciousness in about a week or so.  We hope that you enjoy Chobani Champions as much as we do.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

100th Day of School

Tomorrow is the 100th day of school for Molly.  It is such a milestone for these kids because even though school seems to drag on at this time of year because it's a reminder that summer is just around the corner.  They really don't celebrate it much as the kids get older but I've heard some fun things that some of the teachers are doing. My friend told me that her daughter's kindergarten class is dressing up like they are 100 years old.  I begged for pictures.  Molly had to bring in 100 of something when she was in Kindergarten.  She chose fun little glow in the dark beads because she was very into making bracelets with them at that point in time. 

Happy 100th Day of School, Everyone!

Our main entree is a pita pocket sandwich.  We used a new whole wheat half pita and stuffed it with salami and provolone.  We then used one of our food safe markers and wrote a little message for Molly on it.

Our vegetable side is green pepper.  We cut out several 100's with a small cookie cutter.  Molly just loves peppers and we thought it would be a nice compliment to her sandwich.

Our fruit side is natural (no sugar added) applesauce.  Molly has a loose tooth so she asked to have things that wouldn't hurt her tooth.  We added a 100 that we cut out of a whole fruit leather.  We're not sure if this will be swimming in the applesauce by the time Molly gets to lunch, but that might be fun to find too. 

Our dairy side is a cheese stick.  Just in case Molly is still hungry after eating the rest of her lunch.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat and 100th day of School treat is strawberry Jell-O Jigglers cut into a 100 with our trusty cookie cutters. ☺

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

School Lunch

Molly was torn over which day to buy her lunch this week because she liked several of them.  We helped her to decide to buy tomorrow since Friday is the 100th day of school so we'll be doing a fun lunch for that.  She will be dining on quesadillas, which is something that we make a lot here at home.  She's very excited. ☺

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Soup, Salad and Facebook

Today, we started our own Facebook Page so that you, our readers, don't miss a single blog post. I am trying to figure out how to put the "like" box on the blog. HTML can be pretty confusing sometimes. For now, please search for Molly's Lunch Box on Facebook and like our page. ☺

Also, don't forget to comment on yesterday's post in order to be entered into our first giveaway, sponsored by Chobani Champions.  We will choose our winners this weekend and announce them in Sunday's blog post and also on our new Facebook Page.

On to Molly's lunch.  It's getting a bit chilly here in Pittsburgh so we figured that some yummy soup was in order.
Our main entree is Progresso Italian Wedding Soup.  Molly really likes this soup because of the pasta and meatballs.  We like it for the vegetables that she doesn't even notice.  We also added a few mini Club Crackers on the side because Molly likes to dip them in her soup.

Our vegetable side is a green salad with a little bit of French dressing on the side.  We gave Molly the option of another spinach salad but she chose the green salad to mix it up a little bit.

Our fruit side is half of a blood orange.  Our friends at Chobani have a new flavor called blood orange and Molly really liked the taste that I gave her from mine.  We decided to pick up a few extra blood oranges (Molly's Daddy's favorite) so that she could enjoy the real orange too.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is the awesome Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Greek Yogurt.  Molly requested this variety again because she likes it SO much.  We can't blame her.  It is really delicious.  If you want to try it, join our giveaway by commenting on yesterday's post.  ☺

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our First Giveaway!!!

Just over a week ago, I was contacted by the awesome Emily from Chobani Champions because I featured one of their new flavors in Molly's Lunch Box.  The wonderful people at Chobani Champions sent me a fantastic box full of goodies, (the Blogger Box!!) including samples of the new Vanilla Chocolate Chunk and Orange Vanilla flavors for our whole family to enjoy.  It was like Christmas!

They also sent me some great magnets that show off all of the Chobani Champions flavors!
They also sent me a LUNCH BOX!!!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it right, a LUNCH BOX!
Now, I'd like to share the new Chobani Champions experience with YOU, yes YOU!!  All that you have to do is comment on this blog post to be entered into our little contest.  We'll have Molly pick two lucky readers to receive samples from Chobani Champions!  (US residents only, please)
If you are on Facebook, Like Chobani Champions!  They have great contests and ideas for different ways to enjoy Chobani Champions.

Now on to Molly's Lunch!
Our main entree is a yummy pasta salad.  We cooked a whole box of whole wheat rotini as part of our dinner last night but we saved some for leftovers.  To our whole wheat pasta, we added mini turkey pepperoni, black olives, a little bit of cheese and light Italian dressing.

Our vegetable side is a plain spinach salad.  Molly enjoyed her salad today so much that she requested another for her lunch tomorrow.  We have her recent favorite, French dressing on the side, but just a little bit.

Our fruit side is red grapes.  We had these for our dessert tonight and immediately Molly asked if there was enough left to put some in her lunch tomorrow. 

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Greek Yogurt!!!  This is one of our samples from the incredible peeps at Chobani!  Molly asked for the chocolate since she had the vanilla orange today.  THANK YOU CHOBANI CHAMPIONS!

*At CCD tonight, Molly received a small Nestles Crunch Chocolate Heart and asked to add it to her lunch even though it is not Fun Friday.  We were happy to add it for her. ☺

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leftover Monday

We are doing our best to eat healthy, incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our meals and not waste things that we buy.  We're trying to figure out how to list all of the things that are in the fridge or freezer so that they don't spoil before we get a chance to eat them.  We are also trying to do more menu planning, or better menu planning.  It goes well for a few weeks, then life's little chaotic episodes take over and the plan drops.  I guess it's a constant battle but it's one that we're willing to fight so that we can keep our food fresh and healthy and produce less waste.
Our main/vegetable entree is a large spinach salad.  We added some meat from leftover chicken legs that we had for our dinner tonight.  Also included are yellow peppers and some French dressing on the side.  Molly is a fan of French dressing lately and while it is not the healthiest, she doesn't use it often so once in a while, it's fine.

Our fruit side is mixed fresh berries.  Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries to be exact.  We had this mix in our dessert this evening.  We made some sugar free lemon pudding and topped it with the berries.  Everyone was very pleased.

Our dairy side is a Frigo Cheese Head cheese stick.  Sometimes a salad can be filling and sometimes it can leave you hungry, so we added this as an option in case Molly is still hungry.

Finally, our dessert is a Chobani Champions Orange Vanilla Greek Yogurt.  Molly said that it tastes like a creamsicle so it's a perfect dessert for her.  It's also a great size for kids and adults alike because it is not too much, just a perfect sweet note for the end of a meal.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fun Friday Lunch

I'm keeping it short tonight because it is late.  Molly's Daddy and I have been busy making things for a bake sale on Saturday morning that benefits a little boy in Molly's school district who has cancer.  We don't know him or his family but we believe that it's important to help those in our community and we try to instill that in our kids.
Our main entree is a croissant sandwich.  We layered Castle Wood Buffalo Style Chicken Breast and some hot pepper cheese on a mini croissant.  Molly requested this sandwich because she likes extra spicy things.

Our vegetable side is sliced peppers.  We have yellow, orange and red peppers that are sliced in small pieces so that they are easy to pop in her mouth.

Our fruit side is mixed berries.  Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are some of our favorites and Molly really enjoys them in her lunch.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is vanilla and raspberry yogurt covered pretzels.  Molly's little brother picked these out at a recent shopping trip and Molly's eyes lit up when she saw them.  YUM!

*Huge thanks to Molly's Daddy for actually making Molly's lunch while I was cutting out sugar cookies.  It's wonderful being part of such a great team! ♥

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

School Lunch

Molly has chosen tomorrow to buy her lunch this week. We're happy about it because we're still in recovery mode from all of our illnesses.