Power Your L​unchbox For Lunchtime Success

School starts for my kids in just a week and we’re trying to wrap our brains around it. We’ve had a busy (busy!) summer with a move, swim team, vacations and just fun with family and friends–we’re never quite ready for it to end. I know many of you with kids in school had some of them head back a couple of weeks ago so maybe you’re already looking for new ideas! So even though my kids are getting older, it seems we can never have enough ideas to keep packed lunches interesting AND tasty.

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As some of you may know, I’m a Parents on Produce member for Produce for Kids®. Starting last week and running through September 15th, they kicked off the new Power Your Lunchbox Pledge which encourages parents to pack healthier lunchboxes for their kids this back-to-school season. Visitors to poweryourlunchbox.com can pledge to pack healthier lunchboxes; get dietician-approved, kid-friendly lunchbox ideas and tips; and download coupons from companies supporting the program. Sounds pretty great, huh?

Well, here’s the extra bonus! For every pledge that families or individuals take, participating produce companies will make a 25 cent donation to DonorsChoose to fund health and wellness classroom projects around the country! Additionally, Define Bottle will be providing DonorsChoose.org with 20 percent of each sale during the pledge time frame! (Coincidentally, my kids have been asking for a Define bottle since seeing them on the Shark Tank television program awhile back!)

“There is so much in the news today about what kids are eating during lunch at school,” said Trish James, vice president, Produce for Kids. We’re excited to be encouraging parents to pack healthier lunchboxes this school year and providing them with resources to do so. “In addition, we’re able to raise funds to educate kids in the classroom about making healthier food choices and the importance of nutrition and exercise.”

Produce for Kids’ Instagram and Twitter fans can use the #PowerYourLunchbox hashtag to show off their healthy lunchboxes throughout the program to be automatically entered to win weekly prizes and have their lunchboxes featured on Produce for Kids’ Facebook page. Prizes include bento boxes, fruit-infusing water bottles, grocery store gift cards and more.

Parents looking for even more tips and resources for healthy lunchboxes are invited to join me, Produce for Kids and partner companies at the #PowerYourLunchbox Twitter party on August 20, 2014 at 9 pm ET. Twitter parties are always so much fun and I ALWAYS learn something new (well, usually lots of something new!)
#PowerYourLunchbox sponsored by Produce For Kids

Y’all, they even have a Power Your Lunchbox Pinterest board that you can check out–so many great ideas there!
#PowerYourLunchbox Pledge Pinterest Board ideas

I’ve personally added a few Produce For Kids recipes to our own “must make” list. I think these sound like tasty choices that my kids will enjoy and my teen (especially) will think are “cool” enough to bring to school, too! These are tops on my list:

#PowerYourLunchbox sponsored by Produce For Kids
(pictured clockwise from left)

Easy Lunch Stackers Bento Box

Mac N Cheese Muffins

Pizza Bento Box

Italian Orzo Pasta Salad

Produce for Kids partners supporting Power Your Lunchbox Pledge include: AMC Direct South African Summer Citrus, Define Bottles™, GROW by Organics Unlimited, Laptop Lunches® Bento-ware and Pero Family Farms®. These companies will be making a difference by helping Produce for Kids fund health and wellness classroom projects across the U.S. through DonorsChoose.org.

Have you heard of DonorsChoose ? It’s pretty cool! It is an online charity aimed at helping public and charter schoolteachers across America obtain the supplies needed for their classrooms. To date, 190,000 public and charter schoolteachers have used DonorsChoose to secure $247 million in books, art supplies, technology and other resources to enhance student learning. Even you can give to DonorsChoose. By making a donation online, YOU get to choose which teacher and/or project you want to support. It’s really neat.

Are you are teacher or know one? Teachers across the country are encouraged to begin uploading their health and nutrition-based classroom projects as early as September 1 to receive funding from the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge program. Produce for Kids will be enlisting the help of the public to match donations to all projects that meet these requirements. For more information on teacher eligibility, please visit DonorsChoose.org <http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/viewChallenge.html?id=242936>

It’s SO easy to take the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge! Just CLICK HERE to get started. I hope you’ll join in all these opportunities for tasty lunchbox ideas for you and your kids that ultimately help kids all over, too!

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this post–I am just an excited member of the Parents On Produce board hoping to share the wonderful resources mentioned here!

National Hot Dog Day and WIN an Applegate #Wienervention Kit!

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Today is National Hot Dog Day! Not that we need an excuse to eat hot dogs at our house. I’ll admit, we used to eat a lot more hot dogs when the kids were younger but then I kind of stopped buying them when I realized just what kinds of stuff (and not great!) goes into traditional hot dogs. But about a year ago, I discovered Applegate and their awesome line of meat products that are organic and not filled with a lot of extra junk. Their hot dogs have four simple ingredients AND you can pronounce them all! Just Beef, Water, Salt and Spices. That’s it! Hooray! We can now have hot dogs again and I can have a clear conscious when I serve them.

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Since buying Applegate products more regularly in the last year, whenever we have friends and family over for a backyard barbecue, we serve Applegate All-Natural Beef Hot Dogs. Many have never heard of Applegate, nor tried it. So it’s always a good time for a Wienervention when it comes to learning how to eat a bit more clean! Applegate hot dogs taste a lot more like real meat, too. They don’t have all those extra fillers that can make them seem squishy and weird. Applegate shared with me that a new survey finds that while 92% of Americans bought hot dogs in the last year, 80% agreed that most hot dogs are low quality and unhealthy. It’s worth it to me to spend the extra dollar or so (really, not that much more expensive surprisingly!) for good quality food for my family. We like our hot dogs pretty simple, usually just with ketchup and pickle relish and occastionally cheese. Sometimes I’ll go for a chili dog too! What do you like on your hot dogs?

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So I was super excited to receive a Summer Grilling Wienervention Kit from Applegate recently since we moved and have an awesome big backyard (our old yard was pretty tiny!) to do some grilling. We are looking forward to doing a lot more entertaining in our new yard. And the folks at Applegate want to share the yummy goodness that they shared with me and act as a “Meatiator” and provide one of YOU with a “Wienervention” kit of your own so you and your own family and friends can enjoy cleaner wieners and never look back! So I’m giving away a kit just like what I got (valued at around $100!) It includes:

  • Applegate Naturals Beef Hot Dogs
  • Rudi’s Hot Dog Buns (White and Gluten-Free)
  • Annie’s Organic Ketchup and Mustard
  • Rick’s Pick’s Relish
  • Applegate Apron
  • Grilling tool set
  • Frisbee
  • Mini Applegate Cooler
  • Susty paper straws and napkins

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Entering it easy–just add a comment below that lets us know you or your family’s favorite way enjoy hot dogs. For extra entries, you can choose to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, tweet about this giveaway or follow Applegate on Facebook or Twitter too. I’ll be using Rafflecopter to choose the winner so see the entry form below to get started with your entries (it will help keep track of when you follow on Facebook or Twitter and notify me that way). Winners will be notified via email within 48 hours of the giveaway ending and given 48 hours to respond. If I do not receive a response within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. CONGRATULATIONS TO RACHEL S. FOR BEING THE WINNER!

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you don’t miss future giveaways, recipes and other meal planning organization ideas. Be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly inspiration in you inbox!

Disclaimer: I received a Summer Grilling Kit from Applegate and have been compensated for this post although all opinions are my own!

We Moved–and It’s Been A Little Crazy

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Almost three weeks ago we moved to a new house. So that explains my absence here lately and the number of guest posts I had in the months leading up to our move. It’s been a little crazy but I’m calling a good crazy because we are loving our new house and extra big yard! […]

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#BlogFilmFood - Creating our own little dinner and flick pariring for a fun theme meal! | MealPlanningMagic.com

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Eating A to Z Roundup – Letters I and J #EatAtoZChallenge

Eating A to Z Roundup - Letters I and J #EatAtoZChallenge

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Planning a Perfect Picnic | Meal Planning Magic.com

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Spring Herbed Brie Quiche Recipe {Guest Post}

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Bulk Cooking with the Slow Cooker: Cook Once, Eat Four Times!

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Easy Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls a la Karate Kid for #BlogFilmFood

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Simple Garlic and Green Beans Recipes #EatAtoZChallenge

Simple Garlic Green Beans With Parmesan | #EatAtoZChallenge | MealPlanningMagic.com

In general, my family is not a fan of green beans. Not even in the famous green bean casserole that makes an appearance at holiday tables every year (which is fine with me because that means more for me, right?!) But I like green beans so I wanted to find a recipe that would hopefully […]

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