9.18.2012

Lunch Box Smoothies




My older daughter just started sixth grade.  That means, not including this year, she has been in school for six years.  At roughly 180 days per school year, that comes out to 1080 days that she has spent in school so far.  And the number of times she has bought her lunch in those 1080 days?

Once.

That's right, I made the other 1079 lunches.  Her sister, who's in second grade, has also bought only one time, bringing her homemade lunch total to 359.

Needless to say, I'm always looking for ideas to spice up their lunches.

So I was intrigued when I happened upon this post from Jessica at Stay at Home-ista:  One Week in Kindergarten Lunches.

I love her lunch ideas and recommend that you go over and check them out.  I was particularly intrigued, however, by her choice of packaging.  She packs many of her daughter's snacks in Ball Freezer Jars, the type of jar one uses when making freezer jam.  



I sent her an email asking about it and this was her reply: "I love the ball jars since they are dishwasher, microwave, freezer safe and they keep things from getting squished."

Well it just so happened that I had some freezer jars tucked away from a little freezer jam experiment of yore.    (Did you know that I have a peach tree?  And that the peaches all tend to ripen within a four week period?  And if you don't pick those peaches they go splat all over your patio?  Well they do.  And thus, my moderately successful attempt at making freezer jam.  But that's a post for another time.)




And those little jars got me thinking.  They're so... cup-like.  And that made me think of drinks.  But these are cups that you can freeze, so that got me thinking about frozen drinks, like smoothies!  (Because my daughters' school really frowns upon Pina Coladas...)

And that's when it hit me:  I could make smoothies, freeze them in the Ball jars, put them in my daughters' lunches in the a.m. and they would likely be defrosted by lunch.

Yesterday was my maiden run.  



My smoothies include Greek yogurt, OJ, frozen berries and bananas.  I would give you measurements if I had them.  I tend to eyeball it.  One Magic Bullet's worth of smoothie fills two 8 oz. Ball jars.  I made two batches and sent each girl to school with a smoothie. 

The verdict when they got home?  An enthusiastic thumbs up.  Both smoothies were perfectly defrosted by noon and my girls were the belles of the lunchroom.  

So--what are your favorite lunch box ideas?  I'd love to hear them.

('Cause by my calculations, I still have over 3000 lunches left to go...)


(I had to include pictures of both lunch boxes.  Fairness is everything...)
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29 comments

  1. That is a great idea! I freeze my kids' water bottles (BPA-free plastic) and they thaw by lunch and also keep everything else cold. I must try this - thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I forgot to mention the the fact that they double as an ice pack!

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  2. You are totally brilliant! I already made my daughter's lunch for tomorrow, but I think this will be making an appearance in her Thursday lunch for sure:)

    Thanks for the quote- and I'd love to hear the jam-making story some time:)

    Jessica

    ps- you are still my PInterest idol, every time I'm on there, your pins pop right up and are always some of my favorites!

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  3. That is a lot of lunches!!! I can't believe the schools wouldn't approve of pina coladas :). I love this idea. I am a huge fan of smoothies. I would have loved this in my lunches. When my time comes to start making lunches, I'll be giving you a call!

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  4. Just made a batch of these 4 my daughter for lunch this week!!! Used frozen strawberries (from the yummy abundance we received this spring) frozen banana and a small vanilla yogurt we had sitting aroundd in the fridge:-) many thanks for a great idea!!!

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    1. I hope she loves them! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know :)
      ~Elena

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    2. E - its me G
      I would make them for the car ride to school as break on the go if we were out late the night before or up late doing homework. AB likes NB not so much :)

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  5. What a fabulous idea!!! I can't wait to try this with my kiddies!

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  6. sounds like a great idea - keeps pack lunch cool too!

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  7. Ooohhh, I think my thirteen year-old daughter would love this. Just found you through the Coastal Charm link up! New follower for you! I would love for you to stop over for a visit~I am hosting a giveaway this week for a Bloomingdale's gift card if you are interested! Angie @Swede Dreams

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  8. My daughter takes her lunch practically everyday too. I love this idea. I also like how it will also help keep her other food nice and cold. I cannot wait to try. I am Pinning now. : )

    Found you from the Mealtime Monday Party. Enjoy your night!! Julie from Stlavonlady – Scatterbrained In St. Louis

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  9. My younger son would LOVE these...I would be the best Mom ever:) Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Great idea, I'm going to try these for my lunch also. Thanks for sharing at my Our Favorite Thing's Link Party

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    1. I featured your smoothies at this weeks link party. http://mylifesatreasure.blogspot.com/2012/09/our-favorite-things-link-party-17.html

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  11. Love this idea for smoothies! Thanks! :)

    xoxo laurie

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  12. What a great idea to bring to lunch! I didn't even know Ball made plastic jar containers. They look so yummy. Definitely going to have to try.

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  13. That is a brilliant idea! My kids never buy their lunch, so they tend to get bored with their food too.

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  14. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing at Pin It Thursday- I featured you here http://www.sweetbellaroos.com/2012/09/29/pin-worthy-featured-links-3/

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  15. This is such a great idea! :]

    www.jbseatsabdtreats.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. Hi Elena,
    What a great idea, I am going to use this idea when we travel. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen
    A New Follower

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  17. Wow, impressive you made all those lunches! And those smoothies look like a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing this at The Fun In Functional!

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  18. This is such a smart idea and I know my son would love to find this in his lucnhbox! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

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  19. Elena,
    This is an AWESOME idea! I love that they can double as a cold pack for the lunch box too. I but your girls loved them. My daughter is hooked on smoothies. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.
    Michelle

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  20. Sounds like a good idea for my own lunch, and I do approve of Pina Coladas!! ;-)

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  21. Sounds like a good idea for my own lunch, and I do approve of Pina Coladas!! ;-)

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  22. I'm going to try your idea for MY lunches!
    Good for you for packing lunches for your children! As best I can remember, my daughter (now a college grad) never bought lunch at school from 1st through 12th grade (kindergarten was half days), and I have no idea how many lunches that was. She literally "brown-bagged" it, and I would rubber stamp fun pictures or write sayings on her bags, which entertained her and her friends no end.
    As for suggestions - If your daughters are peanut butter fans, like mine, try things aside from jelly with it: banana, apple, cheddar or muenster cheese, honey, bacon... or any combinations of them.

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliments and suggestions. I'm intrigued by peanut butter and bacon.... ;)

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  23. This is such a great idea! I am going to give these a go!

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