60 Lunch Box Foods to Mix and Match!

Following on from my recent Lunch Box Food Ideas series, I thought it would be a good idea to bring all the information together in one blog post to create a useful mix-and-match food ideas resource.  As you may remember, I covered the five main food groups; starchy foods, vegetables, non-dairy proteins, fruit and dairy.  I shared twelve food ideas for each food group, making a total of sixty different lunch box foods.

If you pack one food from every food group in each lunch box that you make, and vary one item each time, there’s (according to my mathematician brother) a total of 248,832 possible food combinations! I think that’s enough to keep anyone going for a school year or two!

Image Map

You can use the lists below to help you create a healthy, balanced lunch box, by choosing one food from each of the five food groups to be included in each lunch that you make.  You can of course include more than one food from any category (I usually try to include at least two vegetables for example).  I created this method for myself based on the UK’s Eatwell Plate recommendations, and I find it helps me enormously when deciding what foods to buy and what foods to pack on any one day.

Having a list of different food ideas also helps me pack a great variety of foods so that I never get stuck in a rut, packing the same things over and over again.  We have our favourites of course, that we pack very regularly (carrots and cucumber feature a lot, and ham!), but when we fancy a change we always have plenty of ideas for substitutions.  Just changing one of the foods that you pack can make all the difference.

Here are the complete lists of lunch box food ideas by food group.  If you click on each picture you’ll be taken to the original blog post for that food group, where you’ll find lots of ideas and suggestions for how to use each individual food in a packed lunch box.

Starchy Foods (Carbohydrates)

Crispbreads
Rice
Crackers
Pretzels
Rice Cakes
Granola
Popcorn
Tortilla Wraps
Oatcakes
Couscous
Potatoes
Pasta

Eats Amazing - Lunch Box Food Ideas - 12 different ideas for starchy foods to include in your bento lunch box

Vegetables

Sweetcorn
Cucumber
Beetroot
Spinach
Tomatoes
Carrots
Mange Tout
Pepper
Sugar Snap Peas
Peas
Baby Sweetcorn
Broccoli

Eats-Amazing-Lunch-Box-Food-Ideas-12-different-ideas-for-vegetables-to-include-in-your-bento-lunch-box-2

Non-Dairy Proteins

Egg
Prawns
Roast Beef
Chicken
Ham
Nuts
Pâté
Seeds
Tuna
Sausages
Chickpeas
Houmous

Eats-Amazing-Lunch-Box-Food-Ideas-12-different-ideas-for-non-dairy-protein-foods-to-include-in-your-bento-lunch-box-2

Fruits

Kiwi
Apricots
Strawberries
Banana
Dried Cranberries
Grapes
Raisins
Blueberries
Apple
Citrus Fruits
Raspberries
Dried Apple Rings

Eats Amazing - Lunch Box Food Ideas - 12 differnt ideas for fruits to include in your bento lunch box

Dairy

Yoghurt
Goats Cheese
Milkshake
Red Leicester Cheese
Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Roulé cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Cheese Triangles
Crème fraîche
Babybel Cheese
Feta Cheese

Eats Amazing - Lunch Box Food Ideas - 12 differnt ideas for dairy foods to include in your bento lunch box 2

So to pack a balanced lunch box you simply choose one item from each of the food groups above (for example crackers, cheddar cheese, rolled ham slices, cucumber and grapes), pop it into a lunch box or bento box and voilà - a yummy, healthy, balanced lunch!

For example menus covering two weeks of packed lunches see the following blog posts: Menu 1 & Menu 2, which both include free downloadable menus for a whole week of healthy, balanced lunches.

If you’d like even more lunch box food ideas, have a look at my printable list of lunch box food ideas – there’s a free sheet to download and stick on your fridge to keep you inspired!

I hope this resource proves to be useful for new and experienced lunch packers alike.  What combinations would you use from the lists above?

Grace

Alphabet Lunch – Letter P

Today I have another alphabet lunch to share with you – this time it is the turn of the letter P.  After this one, I only have 10 more to go!  Thankfully, this letter was an easy one to make – I thought of so many foods beginning with P that I couldn’t include them all.  The stars of this lunch were the Pig and Panda Pancakes – I used some ready-made Pancakes that I had in the freezer (part of a hamper of Warburtons goodies that I won a while back), Popped them in the toaster to defrost and heat through, then cut them into shape using my CuteZcute Animal Friends cutter kit.  It couldn’t have been easier and I think they looked great!

Eats Amazing UK - Alphabet Themed Food and Bento School Lunch Ideas for Children

In this lunch Small Child had a Pile of Pancakes, cut into Pig and Panda shapes using the CuteZcute Animal Friends cutter kit, a boiled egg Panda, shaped using the CuteZcute Animal Palz set, some spaghetti cheese and a cheese string, topped with a Pirate cupcake ring.  On the side he had some Peas, topped with a carrot Plane and P alphabet Picks, all in a Purple silicone cup, some red Pepper strips, and finally some Pineapple, decorated with a Purple crayon Pick, a Plane Pick and a Penguin Pick. I finished the lunch off with a Pink fork, for Small Child to eat his Peas with.

Eats Amazing - Alphabet Themed Kids Bento Lunches - P is for Panda Pig Pancake Pirate Plane Peas Pepper Pinapple Purple Penguin Pink

Small Child LOVED having pancakes for lunch!  I won’t make a regular habit of it, because they aren’t particularly healthy, but I think they make a fun alternative lunch box food for the occasional treat! I must make a special mention of the plane too – which I made using a new 3D cutter set.  It was really easy to make and definitely the most fun way to present a carrot that I’ve ever seen!

Eats Amazing UK - Edible Carrot Plane made using a 3D Cutter - a truly fun and creative way to present vegetables

Items used to make this lunch:

 CuteZcute Animal Palz Set Thumbnail cuteZcute Animal Friends Cutter Thumbnail Pirate Cupcake Rings Thumbnail Square Silicone Cups Thumbnail 3D Cutter Airplane Thumbnail Alphabet Picks Thumbnail Crayon Cupcake Picks Thumbnail Spoon and Fork Set Thumbnail Ocean Friends Food Picks Thumbnail

Disclaimer: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.

Alphabet Lunch – Letter O

Good morning! After a week of exciting giveaway posts, normal service resumes today! I’m back to sharing my alphabet lunches, and this time it’s the turn of letter O.  This one was quite tricky, as I couldn’t think of any O foods apart from Orange, and I found it surprisingly hard to think of many useful words beginning with O either! At the last minute I remembered Oats, and luckily had some Oaty Bakes in the cupboard (mini oat cakes).

Eats Amazing UK - Alphabet Themed Food and Bento School Lunch Ideas for ChildrenIn this lunch, Small Child had an Owl sandwich, filled with houmous and ham, topped with Babybel cheese and blueberry eyes and a carrot beak (see details below), resting on a pile of mini Oaty Bakes, some cucumber slices, topped with O‘s cut from raw carrot and an Orange crayon pick, and an Orange Octopus topped with a fun eye pick (you can see my Orange Octopus instructions in this post).

Eats Amazing - Alphabet Themed Kids Bento Lunches - O is for Owl Octopus Orange Oaty Bites

I also added a frozen Organic yoghurt tube (not shown).  Here’s how I made the Owl sandwich.  I used a Warburtons sandwich thin, filled it with the filling, then sliced two corners off and turned them around to make wings as shown below.  I then sliced a mini Babybel cheese in half, and topped each half with a blueberry to make the eyes.  As this sandwich was going in a lunch box, I added two polka-dot picks to secure them to the sandwich (see lunch picture above).  Finally I finished the Owl off with a slice of raw carrot, which I cut into a triangle to make the beak.

Eats Aamazing - How to make a simple owl sandwich using a Warburtons sandwich thin

In the end I was pleased with how the O lunch turned out, despite my initial lack of ideas! Small Child said he enjoyed his Owl sandwich too, though apparently he needed a little reassembling when it came to lunch time!

Grace

Items used to make this lunch:

  Polka Dot Picks  Thumbnail Crayon Cupcake Picks Thumbnail Eye Picks Thumbnail

Disclaimer: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.

Back to School Giveaway Round-Up

Good morning, I hope you are having a lovely weekend! It’s been a very busy week here on the Eats Amazing blog, and I’ve been delighted with the response to the special daily ‘Back to School’ giveaways this week – I hope it will make 10 people very happy when the winners are announced in just over a week’s time! I thought it would be a good idea to bring all the giveaway’s together in one place in case you missed any, so you can hop over and enter them all if you wish!  I’ve posted a list of all the giveaways below - click on the links or the pictures to be taken to the individual posts where you can enter via the rafflecopter on each post. Thank you to everyone who has entered so far, and good luck to you all!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic lunch gear to be won - enter hereI started the week off with a review of the new Myrtille Blue Yumbox, and a giveaway of one Myrtille Blue Yumbox along with a £20 voucher for the Eats Amazing Shop, so you can accessorise your new Yumbox in style! Head over to this post for the chance to win this fantastic giveaway!

Yumbox UK back to school giveaway plus a voucher for the Eats Amazing UK bento shop - make super cute packed lunchesNext up was a post about our favourite reusable pouches, from Nom-Nom Kids.  There are three prizes to be won for this one, with three exclusive ‘back to school’ pouch kits up for grabs! Head over to this post for the chance to be one of the winners of this fantastic giveaway!

Eats Amazing UK - Nom-Nom Kids Reusable Pouches Review

On Wednesday I reviewed the new Cuddle Palz cutter from CuteZcute! There are two prizes to be won on this giveaway, with all three CuteZcute sets (Cuddle Palz, Animal Friends and Animal Palz) for one lucky winner and a Cuddle Palz set for one lucky runner up.  Head over to this post for the chance to be one of the winners of this fantastic giveaway!

Eats Amazing UK bento shop - Massive CuteZcute cutter set giveaway - all 3 sets for one lucky winnerOn Thursday I reviewed the lovely Bento Mealtime Set from Munchkin UK.  There are two of these lunch boxes up for grabs, so head over to this post for the chance to be one of the winners of this fantastic giveaway!

Eats Amazing UK - Munchkin Click Lock Bento Mealtime Lunch Box Set Review and Giveaway - click here to enterOn Friday I shared my top tips for getting started with bento lunches.  I hope I’ve managed to inspire you to give it a go, and to help one lucky winner get started I’m giving away a fabulous bento starter kit from the Eats Amazing Shop!  Head over to this post for the chance to win this fantastic giveaway!

Eats Amazing UK - Win  a bento box and starter kit including alphabet picks and silicone cups (400x400)Last but not least I talked about one of my favourite bento tools – the ingenius egg moulds! I wanted to share my love of these quirky tools by giving away a complete set of 6 egg moulds to one lucky winner.  Head over to this post for the chance to win this fantastic giveaway!

Eats Amazing Bento Shop UK - Fun egg moulds to shape hard boiled eggs quickly and easily

I hope you’ve enjoyed my special ‘Back to School Giveaway Bonanza’! Normal service will resume on Monday when I’ll get back to sharing some more of my alphabet lunches!

Grace

Moulded Eggs & an Egg Mould Giveaway

Good morning, and welcome to the last day of the Eats Amazing Back to School 2014 Giveaway Bonanza!  Over the course of this week I have been helping you to prepare for the new school year in style with several reviews and some fantastic giveaways (10 prizes in all!) of some of my favourite lunch-making supplies.  Today’s prize is the last of the week and for this one I am offering a complete set of my favourite egg moulds from the Eats Amazing Shop (6 moulds in total!), so be sure to read on to find out how you can enter for a chance to win this super fun prize!  Tomorrow I will write a round-up post of all the giveaways from the week so that you can go back and enter any that you missed – all giveaways currently running will end at midnight on Sunday 24th August, so you have just over a week left to get your entries in!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic bento lunch gear to be won - enter here

One of the very first bento tools that I spotted when I first discovered bento lunches and the amazing accessories that are available to decorate them were egg moulds.  I was absolutely amazed by the concept, and still feel a little buzz of excitement when I open up a mould to see if it has worked (fortunately I haven’t had any disasters so far!). People often ask me how it’s done when I post a lunch containing a moulded egg, they can’t believe that a humble hard-boiled egg can be so transformed!

If you haven’t seen an egg mould before, and you’re not sure how they work, it really couldn’t be simpler.  You peel your hard-boiled egg and place it in an egg mould whilst it’s still hot, pop it into a bowl of cold water to cool, then open it up 10 minutes later to find your egg has been transformed into a car, or a fish, or even a rabbit!  If you’d like a few more details on the process, hop over to my tutorial here, where you’ll find step by step instructions with photos.

Below I’ve shared a few of my recent lunches starring moulded eggs.  I really do love them, I think they add a seriously fun element to the lunches! I think I’ve mentioned before that Small Child thought it would be funny to tell his friends that the eggs were laid like that by special chickens – I wonder what a chicken that lays a car-shaped egg would look like?!

Car themed lunch – this lunch was created in our Yumbox, I moulded the car shaped egg first and created the rest of the lunch based on the car theme, which was very popular with my boy, he’s always loved anything to do with transport!  For full details of this lunch see the blog post here.

Eats Amazing - Car themed lunch in the Yumbox

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt book themed lunch – this lunch was created in the run up to World Book Day, when I made a whole series of book themed lunches.  The bear shaped egg made the perfect bear to finish this lunch! You can see full details of this lunch here.

re Going on a Bear Hunt book themed lunch

Bunny rabbit lunch – this lunch was created in my Laptop Lunches bento box for Wendolonia’s ’3 tools, 4 bloggers’ bento challenge series.  The idea was that we would all use the same 3 tools to create our own lunches, then put them together to compare the results.  The rabbit egg mould was one of the tools allocated for this challenge.  You can find all the details of this lunch in the blog post here, and check out the lunches made by the other three bloggers here – they all used egg moulds from the same set in their lunches, and I thought they were all so creative!

Eats Amazing - Using a boiled egg bunny and hat picks in a laptop lunches bento box as part of the Wendolonia 3 tools 4 bloggers challengeTiddler book themed lunch – Another lunch created in honour of World Book Day, I decorated the fish shaped egg in this lunch with edible marker pen to make the design stand out a little more clearly.  You can see full details of this lunch, including the edible tortilla net that was thrown over the fishes here.

Eats Amazing - Tiddler themed lunch for Wolrd Book Day - without net

Star themed lunch – This simple star themed lunch was created in our Yumbox, and featured a star shaped egg which fitted in perfectly with the theme! For full details of this lunch see the blog post here.

Eats Amazing - Star themed Yumbox lunch

Now it’s time for the giveaway! I love egg moulds so much that I want to share my excitement, so I am giving away a full set of egg moulds (6 different shapes) from the Eats Amazing Shop to one lucky reader.  The set consists of one each of the following shapes: star, heart, rabbit, bear, car and fish, and will be posted free of charge to one lucky winner.

Eats Amazing UK - Egg Mould Giveaway for fun moulded hard boiled eggs - click here to enter

To enter, please use the rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to leave your comment on the blog post. Be sure to check that you have entered all the fantastic giveaways that I am running this week as well, as I mentioned earlier I’ll be posting a round-up post tomorrow so you can see them all.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from the winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Eats Amazing on Facebook or Twitter, the winner must still be following Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Disclaimer: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.

Back to Bento Basics & a Bento Starter Kit Giveaway

Good morning, and welcome to another day of the Eats Amazing Back to School 2014 Giveaway Bonanza! Over the course of this week I have been helping you to prepare for the new school year in style with several reviews and some fantastic giveaways (10 prizes in all!) of some of my favourite lunch-making supplies.  For today’s prize I am offering a special ‘bento starter kit’ from the Eats Amazing Shop, so be sure to read on to find out how you can enter for a chance to win this brilliant prize!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic bento lunch gear to be won - enter here

If you are a new visitor to my blog, you may be wondering what this ‘bento’ that I keep referring to is, so I thought I’d go back to basics with a little explanation.  Bento is a Japanese word, meaning ‘convenient’, and it refers to a meal, packed in a box, most commonly for lunch.  It’s basically the Japanese equivalent of packed lunches.  What makes bento different from the packed lunches that we are used to here in the UK though is that all the food is packed tightly into one box and arranged so as to be pleasing to the eye as well as the taste buds.  There is no need for any excess packaging such as cling film, tin foil or plastic bags, and you can be really flexible with the kinds of foods you pack, which means that packing a healthy lunch couldn’t be easier!

Japanese Mums have been packing bento lunches for their children for years, and in some cases they get incredibly creative, sculpting elaborate designs such as cartoon characters or portraits of famous people from rice!  In recent years the idea of bento has also been taken up in other parts of the world, particularly America and more recently here in the UK, as bento offers an interesting and healthy alternative to our ‘traditional’ sandwich style lunch.  The Japanese tend to fill their bento boxes with the rice and vegetables that comprise the usual Japanese diet, but when it comes to the kind of foods you can put in your own bentos, there are no rules but instead, endless possibilities!

I started making bento lunches myself nearly two years ago when Small Child started school.  I stumbled across the idea entirely by accident, and was instantly attracted to it, as I had already struggled to come up with fresh ideas when I was packing lunches just for the two days a week that he was at pre-school.  Initially I just wanted to pack something healthy for him, but I soon discovered the joy of getting creative with food too.  Bento lunches don’t have to be ‘fancy’ though, and they are a lot easier to make then they may at first appear – just pop some food in a box, it’s that simple!

Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Make a list of foods that your child will eat and pin it to your fridge door for inspiration when you’re out of ideas.  For plenty of food ideas and a downloadable list visit my Lunch Box Food Ideas section.
  • Cut food into bite-size pieces – start with simple cubes or sticks or try fun shapes using mini bento cutters.
  • Use reusable silicone cups to separate different foods and help with portion control, whilst adding a splash of colour to the lunch.  You can use standard cupcake or muffin cases, or specialist bento cups (like these fun animal ones) that come in a range of fun shapes, colours and sizes.
  • Cut sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters or even play-dough cutters! Specialist sandwich cutters like these dinosaur, heart or butterfly cutters are great for avoiding too much bread waste, and cutter sets like the CuteZcute cutters make it easy to make a really fun bento lunch.
  • Use your leftovers! Chop leftover meat or veggies into small pieces and add to leftover rice, pasta or cous-cous to make a simple but tasty salad.
  • If you want to make a plain lunch instantly more fun add some bento food picks or cupcake picks.  They are used both for decoration and as a fun way for your child to pick up their food.

I hope that I have managed to show that making bento lunches doesn’t have to be complicated, and maybe inspired you to try it yourself?  In order to help one lucky Eats Amazing reader get started on their own bento journey, I’ve put together a lovely bento starter kit from the Eats Amazing Shop. The prize consists of one strawberry shaped Japanese bento box, one set of alphabet food picks, one set of crayon cupcake picks and a set of mini flower shaped silicone cups.  All items are brand new and unused and will be posted free of charge to the lucky winner.

Eats Amazing UK - Win  a fun bento box and starter kit including alphabet food picks crayon picks and silicone cups - click here to enter

 To enter, please use the rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to leave your comment on the blog post. Be sure to come back to the blog tomorrow to see what I have for you in my last giveaway of the week too!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from the winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Eats Amazing on Facebook or Twitter, the winner must still be following Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Munchkin Bento Mealtime Set Review & Giveaway

Good morning, and welcome to another day of the Eats Amazing Back to School 2014 Giveaway Bonanza! Over the course of this week I am helping you to prepare for the new school year in style with several reviews and some fantastic giveaways (10 prizes in all!) of some of my favourite lunch-making supplies.  Today I am reviewing the lovely Bento Mealtime Set by Munchkin.  Munchkin UK are also very kindly providing today’s giveaway prize of a Bento Mealtime Set for not one, but two lucky readers, so be sure to read on to find out how you can enter for a chance to win one of your own!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic bento lunch gear to be won - enter here

The Munchkin Bento Mealtime Set is officially designed for toddlers, and I can see that it certainly fits the bill there, but having seen several other bloggers pack their children’s lunches in it I wanted to give it a try for Small Child’s lunches, because it looked like it would be big enough to hold enough food for an older child too.  When it arrived, I was pleased to see that I had judged correctly – whilst it is fairly compact, it does still have plenty of room for a decent amount of food.

Eats Amazing UK - Munchkin Click Lock Bento Mealtime Lunch Box Set Review and Giveaway - click here to enter

My first impression of the set was of a fairly plain, straightforward divided lunch box.  Once I opened it up, I was impressed with the quality of it.  There has clearly been a lot of thought gone into the design, with great attention to detail.  The box is chunky and sturdy, with lovely rounded edges.  The two clips that hold it shut are a decent size, and 6 year old Small Child found it easy to open (if a little stiff at first – younger children might have a little trouble with it to start with).  Inside, the box has one main compartment, and two smaller ones, all of which are lidded.

On closer inspection, the smaller compartments turned out to be removable containers, which means that the lunch box can be used without them, giving you two sections with room for a little more food if you need it.  The two smaller plastic lids are labelled ‘veggies’ and ‘fruits’ and are subtly engraved with cute designs.  They are easy to remove, and the lids clip firmly on, sealing the containers.

I’m not sure I would put anything too wet in the main compartment, as the inner lid seems to be more of a cover to prevent food from moving around too much than a leakproof lid,  but the smaller containers appear to be leakproof.  I couldn’t find any official information from Munchkin claiming that they are leakproof, but I ran a (very scientific!) experiment, where I put yoghurt in one of the pots, popped it back in the lunch box and gave it a good shake, and it didn’t leak at all, so I would be happy to pack yoghurt or juicy fruits in them.

Inside the main lid of the box is a matching plastic cutlery set (spoon and fork) that easily clips on and off, although again, a younger child might need to practice that bit! The spoon and fork are a little more flexible than they initially appeared, but perfectly adequate for a child’s lunch.  There is a spoon and fork shape etched into the inside of the lid too, which would be helpful for a child when the time comes to put them away after lunch! I like the fact that the inner lids keep food away from the cutlery, so they are still clean when you come to eat.

Eats Amazing UK - Munchkin Bento Mealtime Lunch Box Set Review and Giveaway - click here to enterOnce I’d had a good look at the box, it was time to make a lunch in it! Despite it being the middle of the summer holidays, Small Child was delighted to have the chance to try ‘his’ new lunch box (he lays instant claim to any new lunch boxes that enter the house!).  He was particularly taken with the brand name, having watched the Wizard of Oz recently! I took inspiration from the Munchkin logo, and gave it a heart theme.

In this lunch, Small Child had a pizza quesadilla (a tortilla wrap spread with a little tomato puree, sprinkled with grated cheese and chopped ham before being folded in half and cooked in a dry frying pan until toasty), which I cut into hearts using our heart shaped sandwich cutter.  On the side he had a few Organix Tomato Noughts & Crosses (I thought they looked like kisses!), cucumber slices (under the carrots), raw carrot hearts (cut into shape using a mini bento cutter and decorated with a rabbit pick), sliced strawberries and blueberries, with heart picks and an M alphabet pick (for Munchkin), and finally some red grapes, in a heart shaped silicone cup, topped with a mini heart fork pick.

Eats Amazing - Heart themed lunch in the Munchkin Clock Lock Bento Mealtime Set plus review and giveaway

As you can see above, the mini compartments were pretty full, but there was still room in the main compartment for more food if necessary.  Having packed a meal in the box now, I’d say that whilst the smaller compartments initially looked a bit too small for my liking, once I packed food in them I found they were deeper than I expected, and so held quite a lot.  The main compartment was also bigger than I expected, it has plenty of room to hold the main ‘course’ of a meal.

Overall, I was really impressed with this lunch box.  The only negative I can find is that it is a little bit fiddly, with the separate lidded compartments – you have to take them out of the box to get the lids off them, so there is the potential for losing them in a busy lunch hall, but that is a minor thing really.  The quality of the box is good, and with its rounded corners and smooth plastic it’s a very nice box to handle.  I was particularly impressed with the seemingly leakproof containers, and the fact that the main compartment has an inner lid too, which could potentially be used as a little plate at lunch time. I think this box has been really well thought out, and I will definitely be using it for some of Small Child’s lunches in September!

The Bento Mealtime Set is BPA free, dishwasher safe, microwave safe and freezer safe, comes in three colours – green, pink and blue, and and is available to buy online from Amazon UK.  If you’d like the chance to win a Bento Mealtime set for yourself, read on, because Munchkin UK are have agreed to give away a set each to two lucky Eats Amazing readers!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School Giveaway - Munchkin Bento Mealtime Set - click here for two chances to win

To enter, please use the rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to leave your comment on the blog post. Be sure to come back to the blog tomorrow to see what I have for you in my next fantastic giveaway!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from a winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Munchkin UK/Eats Amazing on Facebook or Twitter, the winner must still be following Munchkin UK/Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Disclaimer; I received a free Munchkin Bento Mealtime Set for the purposes of carrying out this review, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I have no affiliation to Munchkin UK, and was not otherwise compensated for this review.  Munchkin UK also very generously provided the giveaway prizes.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.

CuteZcute Cuddle Palz Review & Giveaway

Today we are on day three of the Eats Amazing Back to School 2014 Giveaway Bonanza! Over the course of this week I will be helping you to prepare for the new school year in style with some fantastic giveaways (10 prizes in all!) of some of my favourite lunch-making supplies.  Today I am celebrating all things CuteZcute, and one lucky reader will win all three of the CuteZcute sets! There’s a special runner up prize for this one too, so read on to find out how you can enter to win one of these fantastic prizes!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic bento lunch gear to be won - enter here

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the CuteZcute products.  I am very proud to have brought them across the Atlantic to the UK, first the lovely Animal Friends cutter kit, then the amazing Animal Palz set, and most recently the super cute new Cuddle Palz cutter kit, which I have just launched in the Eats Amazing Shop. Every CuteZcute product so far has been brilliantly designed with an incredible eye for detail, and they are all innovative, multi-purpose, easy to use and above all, so much fun!  The new Cuddle Palz Kit is no exception.  I was so excited when I saw the combinations list below – just one set of cutters can be combined in so many different and imaginative ways, and they are all just SO CUTE!

CuteZcute Cuddle Palz Cutter Kit - Over 40 combinations - available in the UK from the Eats Amazing Bento Shop

I was delighted to get my hands on the set when it finally arrived (grrr to the speed of international postage!), and couldn’t wait to try it out.  The set itself was beautifully packed, and once open, proved to be made of the same high quality materials as the other two CuteZcute sets (BPA free plastic, too).  The pieces are chunky, and are very easy to handle for small hands.  As well as the main head cutter and four face plates (tiger, bear, koala and hamster), this set comes with a body cutter - a new addition which would work perfectly with the Animal Friends kit too, expanding the combination possibilities still further. The final piece in the set is the cute koala tool, which has a dual purpose – to help pop the little pieces out from the face plates when you cut them (it’s very useful for mini bento cutters too!) and as a rather unique decorative food pick, which would go perfectly with a koala themed sandwich or lunch made using the koala face plate.

As we’re in the summer holidays at the moment, I haven’t been making lunches regularly, but I wanted to try out the cutters so I used them to help me make some fun food art instead.  I used all four animal designs to make some tasty tortilla crisps (see recipe below), and arranged them with some healthy extras to make simple scenes on each plate. They were very quick and easy to create – having the cutter set made it so simple to make some really cute designs! These plates of food were just snacks, but if you want try something similar and make it more substantial, you could easily replace the tortilla crisps with sandwiches instead.

The extra food I added to each plate was as follows: (clockwise from the top left) 1. ham, sugar snap peas and carrot. 2. ham, broccoli and a sugar snap pea. 3. Mixed raisins and sultanas, carrot flowers (cut out using a mini bento cutter) and half of a Babybel cheese. 4. broccoli, sugar snap peas and a circle cut from cheese using a mini bento cutter.

Eats Amazing UK - Simple food art for children made using the cuteZcute cuddle palz sandwich cutter - click here to buy

They all made very tasty, healthy snacks!  I have loads of other ideas that I want to try with this cutter set, including sandwiches, pastries, mini pizzas, quesadillas and home-made biscuits, so watch this space!

Here’s the recipe for tortilla crisps I mentioned above:

Ingredients:

Olive oil, for brushing
Tortilla wraps
Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4/350°F).  Brush a bakng tray with oil.
Take each wrap and cut fun shapes from it using a cutter.  If using a CuteZcute cutter, cut out the features using the cutting side of the face plate and remove.  Place tortilla shapes on the baking tray in a single layer, and brush with the oil.
Sprinkle with seeds if wanted or leave plain. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the shapes start to brown around the edges and are crispy.  Keep a sharp eye on them, as they are easily overdone – cooking time varies by oven.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Once cool, store in an airtight container.  They will keep well for several days at least.

The CuteZcute Cuddle Palz cutter kit is available here in the UK exclusively from the Eats Amazing Shop, as well as the other two CuteZcute sets: The Animal Palz set and the Animal Friends cutter kit.

CuteZcute Cuddle-Palz Cutter Kit - for sandwiches and cookies etc - available in the UK exclusively from the Eats Amazing Shop - click here to buy    CuteZcute Animal Palz set - for making pocket sandwiches and moulding eggs - available in the UK exclusively from the Eats Amazing Shop - click here to buy    CuteZcute Animal Friends Cutter Kit - for sandwiches and cookies etc - available in the UK exclusively from the Eats Amazing Shop - click here to buy

If you’d like the chance to win all three CuteZcute sets for yourself, read on, because today I am giving away a complete set of the CuteZcute range to one lucky Eats Amazing reader! Furthermore, one runner up will receive the new Cuddle Palz cutter kit too, so you have two chances to win today!

Eats Amazing UK bento shop - Massive CuteZcute cutter set giveaway - all 3 sets for one lucky winner - click here to enter

To enter, please use the rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to leave your comment. Be sure to come back to the blog tomorrow to see what I have for you in my next fantastic giveaway!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from a winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Eats Amazing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, the winner must still be following Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only. 

Disclaimer; I received a free CuteZcute Cuddle Palz cutter kit for the purposes of carrying out this review, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.  The giveaway prizes were provided by me, in promotion of the Eats Amazing Shop

Nom-Nom Kids Reusable Pouches Giveaway

Good morning, and welcome to day two of the Eats Amazing Back to School Giveaway Bonanza! Today I have something slightly different for you, in the form of my favourite reusable food pouches by Nom-Nom Kids.  I use these all the time for packing yoghurt, homemade smoothies and homemade milkshakes in Small Child’s lunch box, and I am a big fan!  You can read my original review of the Nom-Nom Kids pouches here, but I have a few extra thoughts on them to share with you today.  I also have some special sets of pouches to give away to three lucky winners, so read on to find out how you can enter for a chance to win a set of your own!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic bento lunch gear to be won - enter here

When I first started using these pouches, Small Baby was very small indeed and nowhere near weaning, so I used them for Small Child’s lunches.  I found that they were absolutely brilliant for carrying yoghurt, particularly, and make a very eco-friendly replacement for single serve yoghurt pots and tubes etc.  They can be frozen too, so I often fill them up with yoghurt that needs using up, then pop them in the freezer until I need them. For this reason, I count them as one of my essential lunch packing supplies.

Eats Amazing UK - Nom-Nom Kids Reusable Pouches Review

Recently though, I experienced something of a revelation.  I had weaned Small Baby onto food using a rough version of Babyled Weaning, which involved starting with finger food and skipping purees altogether, so it never occurred to me to try the pouches on Small Baby, despite that being what they were originally designed for (if you are feeding a baby purees by the way, these pouches would be absolutely invaluable, especially for when you’re out and about, I wish they’d been around when Small Child was a baby!).  Small Baby however, had other ideas.  He had seen his big brother drinking a homemade smoothie from the brightly coloured pouch, and tried desperately to get his hands on it.  This was a light bulb moment for me – why not give him one too and see how he does?

I half-filled one with natural yoghurt and gave it to him, half expecting him to just play with it.  Not when food is involved though – Small Baby was straight in there, wolfing it straight down (he likes his yoghurt!). Better than that though was the fact that he didn’t spill a drop of it – zero mess, what a revelation! He has his yoghurt in the pouches every day now, and he loves them so much that he gets them out of the draw that they are stored in and brings them to me several times a day, begging to have them filled up! We even took them on holiday, they were perfect for both boys for picnics on the beach.

I thought it would be fun to show in pictures just how much difference Nom-Nom Kids pouches have made to our mess levels at meal times.  Here’s a comparison: Nom-Nom Kids pouches vs a bowl and spoon:

Eats Amazing UK - Nom-Nom Kids reusable food pouches vs a bowl and spoon - no contest when it comes to avoiding mess

I think it’s pretty obvious which one wins!

Going back to the pouches as a lunch box accessory though, I think I’m going to have to get myself some more for the new school year - Small Baby has somewhat taken over our current ones!  If you’d like the chance to win some for yourself, read on, because Nom-Nom Kids are very generously offering an extra special ‘back to school pack’ to not one, but three lucky Eats Amazing readers!

Eats Amazing UK - Nom-Nom Kids special back to school giveaway pack - click here to enter

Each pack consists of five Nom-Nom Kids pouches (one for every day of the school week!) plus some spare caps and a non-permanent pen to label them. This is a unique set that has been put together just for this giveaway, you won’t find it anywhere else! You can also buy Nom-Nom Kids pouches on Amazon UK – they are available in packs of three or ten:

   

To enter the giveaway, please use the rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to leave your comment. Be sure to come back to the blog tomorrow to see what I have for you in my next fantastic giveaway!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from a winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Nom-Nom Kids/Eats Amazing on Facebook or Twitter, the winner must still be following Nom-Nom Kids/Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to all, wherever in the world you may be!

Disclaimer; All opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I have no affiliation to Nom-Nom Kids, and was not compensated for this post.  Nom-Nom Kids very generously provided the prizes for this giveaway.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.

Myrtille Blue Yumbox Review & Giveaway!

Today sees the launch of something very exciting that I have been planning for some time now – the massive Eats Amazing Back to School 2014 Giveaway Bonanza! Over the next 6 days I will be helping you to prepare for the new school year in style with some fantastic giveaways (10 prizes in all!) of some of my favourite lunch-making supplies.  Today I’m starting with the gorgeous new ‘Myrtille Blue’ Yumbox, together with a voucher for the Eats Amazing Shop to help one lucky reader get started on their bento journey! Read on to find out how you can enter to win this fantastic prize!

Eats Amazing UK - Back to School 2014 massive Giveaway Bonanza - 6 days - 10 prizes - fantastic bento lunch gear to be won - enter here

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll no doubt be aware that I am a big fan of the Yumbox.  We have had ours for nearly 6 months, and in that time have used it for countless lunches throughout the school year.  When Yumbox announced that they were releasing some new designs, I was couldn’t wait to see what they had come up with! I wasn’t disappointed – not only have they designed a new Yumbox with larger compartments (the Panino - watch out for my review of it coming soon), but they are also releasing several new colours, and a new extra fun design for the inner tray too, featuring pirates and mermaids.

When Yumbox UK offered me the new Myrtille Blue Yumbox to review, I jumped at the chance! Our green Yumbox is still pretty much as new, despite 6 months of very regular use but I love the blue colour and knew that Small Child would love the new Pirate theme.

This new box has all the features of the original green and pink boxes, but comes in a really nice dark blue with a red clip.  You can read my original Yumbox review here, but I’ll briefly summarise the key features below:

  • Front clasp holds the box firmly closed but is also easy for small hands to open.
  • Removable clear inner tray which could be used alone as a fun compartmented plate too.
  • 5 compartments labelled with the main food groups (plus a dip well) that tie in perfectly with the government recommended Eatwell Plate.
  • The label designs are applied to the bottom of the clear tray, so there’s no danger of them peeling off into the food.
  • Silicone lining built in to the lid, which is moulded to the shape of the compartments, creating a leakproof seal when closed.
  • Two part design makes it very easy to clean and no small pieces to lose either.
  • Compact size means that it fits nicely in most standard lunch bags.
  • Sturdy and well made of great quality materials, I can see ours lasting for years.

Eats Amazing UK Review - New Myrtille Blue Yumbox with Pirate and Mermaid Design

(Please note: the blue didn’t come out very accurately in the pictures above, it’s actually a bit darker.) 

As well as being a new colour, the Myrtille Blue Yumbox also has a really fun new design for the labels in the compartments. The labelled compartments have always been one of my favourite features of the Yumbox; they make packing a balanced lunch really easy and help with controlling portions sizes too.  These new labels have a pirate and mermaid theme, and are really beautifully done! The tray is compatible with the other classic Yumboxes too, so you can swap them around if you like.

Eats Amazing UK Review - Inside view of the new pirate and mermaid themed Yumbox

Even though we’re in the middle of the summer holidays right now, Small Child was desperate to try out his new pirate Yumbox, so I made him a quick lunch in it.  He ate it in the garden, setting up a table and chair for himself with an umbrella to shade him from the sun – he knows how to eat in style!

DSC_0046 (600x600)

I didn’t have a huge amount of food in the house, so I improvised with various bits and pieces from the fridge.  Luckily, the Yumbox is perfect for that kind of meal.  I also tried to give the lunch a bit of an under the sea/pirate theme, to celebrate the new themed tray.

In this lunch Small Child had ham and chicken slices, rolled and skewered on ocean creature picks, a stack of sesame and poppy seed crackers, a cheese triangle and cubed cheddar cheese, raw sugar snap peas (under the lettuce), some lettuce ‘seaweed’ and little pepper fish, cut from a yellow pepper using a mini bento cutter.  On the side he had a clementine octopus, topped with an eye pick (you can see my very brief clementine octopus tutorial here) and a few blueberries, tucked around to octopus.  I added a few more blueberries to the mini dip well, and finished the lunch off with a couple of gold doubloons (chocolate coins) for my little pirate!

Eats Amazing UK - Under the Sea themed lunch in the new Myrtille Blue Yumbox bento box - click here to win a Yumbox for yourself

Small Child thoroughly enjoyed his lunch, the first ‘fancy’ one he’s had for a while, and ate every last bit of it, even the lettuce!

The Myrtille Blue Yumbox is now available for pre-order through the Yumbox UK website.  The classic green and pink Yumboxes are also available from either Yumbox UK or Amazon UK.

yumbox-photo-masks-alt-square-myrtille-closed-01 (175x175)

If you’d like the chance to win a Yumbox for yourself, read on, because I’ve teamed up with Yumbox UK to give away a Myrtille Blue Yumbox to one lucky Eats Amazing reader, and to make the prize even more fun, I’m also offering a voucher for the Eats Amazing Shop to the value of £20 to go with it!

Yumbox UK back to school giveaway plus a voucher for the Eats Amazing UK bento shop - make super cute packed lunches - click here to enterTo enter, please use the rafflecopter below, and don’t forget to leave your comment. Be sure to come back to the blog tomorrow to see what I have for you in my next fantastic giveaway!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the following giveaway terms & conditions:

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.  If no response is received from the winner within 28 days then a new winner will be selected.

If extra entries are earned by following Yumbox/Eats Amazing on Facebook or Twitter, the winner must still be following Yumbox/Eats Amazing when the giveaway ends in order to claim their prize.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only. 

Disclaimer; I received a free Yumbox for the purposes of carrying out this review, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I have no affiliation to Yumbox UK, and was not otherwise compensated for this review.  Yumbox UK also very generously provided the giveaway prize.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.