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Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit Bag O' Gold Giveaway

I am very pleased to announce that Today's Farm has offered one lucky reader a Bag O' Gold which contains a package of each of the four flavors! See my review of Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit for more information.

CONTEST DETAILS...

Contest begins Thursday, August 20 at 12:00pm and ENDS on Thursday, August 27 at 11:59am.

The winner will be posted (in the "GIVEAWAY WINNERS" on the right side of my blog) within in 24 hours.


Winner will also be notified either through blog or e-mail and will have 72 hours to claim their prize. Time begins when I post the winner.

{Please remember, if you are using anonymous to comment, you MUST leave an e-mail address so I can contact you. I do NOT spam or sell your address!}

If the prize is not claimed within this time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Entries will be entered into and chosen by Random.org. I have NOTHING to do with choosing the winner. I just really enjoy reading everyone's comments and tips.love


*An additional note...this giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorrysedih*

HOW TO OBTAIN ENTRIES:

Each item counts as one entry only. Please leave separate comments for each entry.

  • Visit Today's Farm and tell me which flavor you would like.
  • Leave a lunch box tip, recipe, idea...these can be anything pertaining to a lunch box. {You may do this as often as you like!}
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
  • Follow my blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter (EcOnomicalMom)
  • Follow my blog in Facebook followers.
  • Retweet this giveaway. (Just click on retweet at the top of the post.) You can do this as often as you like, just comment for each tweet!
  • Add my button to your blog.
  • Post a link to this giveaway on your blog. ( I will be randomly checking.)
  • OR
  • If you don't have a blog or just want more entries... E-mail your family and friends the link to this giveaway. CC my e-mail address ecOnomicalmom@gmail.com. (If you don't CC my address, I won't know you sent them, and they won't count.)
  • Add this to your Facebook status


Healthy Lunch Box Snacks...Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit (Giveaway)!

I would love to tell you how wonderful these snacks are, but... my son ate all four bags upon receiving them. Okay, to be truthful, he did give me one TINY piece from each bag. What I can tell you from those tiny pieces when I use the word tiny, I mean that he took a huge bit and then gave me what was left between his fingers tiny! is that they were packed with flavor and fabulous. It took Xr less then 5 minutes to finish all four bags! (Strawberry, Cinnamon Apple, Pineapple, and Peach) Needless to say, he had his full servings of fruit that day! The fact that he finished them off in such a short time is testimonial in itself!

Today's Farm Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks are wonderfully light and crispy. When you think of dried fruit, most of you are probably thinking of the leathery, chewy fruit that comes out of a food dehydrator. Not these snacks! Because they are freeze dried they are not exposed to the damaging heat. Instead they are exposed to super cold air that zaps out the moisture, but which leaves all the vitamins and minerals and flavor remaining in the fruit. That's why they print right on the bag has all the goodness of fresh fruit. They really do. One bag provides 1 1/2 to 2 servings of fruit!

Also because these fruit snacks are freeze dried, they are extremely light, virtually weightless. This makes them an outstanding snack to add to your child's lunch box! Since freeze dried fruit is constantly looking for moisture to rehydrate, they are packaged in quick to eat size packages, perfect for kids.

Hungry for some freeze dried fruit?? You can purchase them at Today's Farm or Amazon or enter here for a chance to win a Bag O' Gold.




Healthy Food For Lunch Boxes...Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips

Move over PB&J sandwiches...here comes a new lunch box favorite! Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips are a versatile lunch box addition. They are great as part of the main food or splendid as an added snack.

When my family tried the Guiltless Gourmet Yellow Corn Tortilla chips we were pleased. Although we haven't been wild about baked chips before, we were really pleasantly surprised with these. Most baked chips that we've tried have been bland or completely tasteless, but not the Guiltless Gourmet. They have a nice bold taste and are crisper than others. Not only do they taste good, they are good for you at least as far as chips go. All of their tortilla chips are baked, not fried and they are all natural, no preservatives or artificial ingredients! Click here to see their nutritional facts.

We have only tried the Yellow Corn , but they carry many other bold flavors that we're anxious to try... Black Bean, Mucho Nacho, Chipolte, Chili Verde, Chili Lime. If you child likes colorful food, try their Blue Corn chips.

The Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips were a fabulous addition to my Mexican Skillet Meal. (It's a wonderful, versatile taco type creation I concocted one evening in my kitchen. Ground hamburger, taco seasoning, corn, and black beans are the base of the recipe) My son loves to eat the left overs as a cold dip. The Yellow Corn tortilla chips stood up to his scrutiny, they remained crispy under all that he piled on top. In his lunch box, I know I can safely pack these chips along with the MSM, feel secure that they will be completely devoured, and know that I have provided a healthy and pleasing lunch!

Here's a little more information about the Guiltless Gourmet Company...

Guiltless Gourmet pioneered baked, not fried, tortilla chips 20 years ago. In addition to their chips, Guiltless Gourmet also offers a variety of "better tasting, better for you" dips, frozen wraps, and dessert bowls. For more information about these or any other Guiltless Gourmet product, log onto www.guiltlessgourmet.com. Guiltless Gourmet is a wholly owned subsidary of The Manischewitz Company which offers a diversified line of premium kosher food products that covers over 60 different categories.

Wondering where you can buy these wonderful chips...Shoprite, Wegmans, Kroger, Safeway, Giant Eagle, and Albertsons are a few of the stores nationwide that currently carry them. They retail for $2.79, but if you buy in bulk from Amazon you can get a good deal on them. (Click on the flavors above to see them on Amazon.)

Also happening at Guiltless Gourmet is their "Go Guiltless in Sin City" sweepstakes. Until September 30th each of the eight flavors of Guiltless Gourmet chips will have a unique code that can be redeemed at www.guiltlessgourmet.com. You can win prizes on a daily basis and find out if you have instantly won! Each person that redeems his or her code will then be entered in the drawing for the Grand Prize trip to Las-Vegas (valued @ $5,600) which includes a 4 day/ 3 night stay at a 5 diamond resort, a $1,500 gift certificate to a world class spa, and $1,500 in cash! Check out the site for details, there are more prizes to be won!








Lunch Box Tips


Throughout my online lunch box adventures, I have learned a great deal more than I thought possible about packing a lunch. I have been packing my husband's lunches for years now. After supper I place the left-overs in a rubbermaid lunch container, put it in the fridge, and I'm done. Packing lunch for my son is going to be a completely different ball game!

While packing Xr's lunch, I not only have to find a way to keep it cold or hot until lunch, I have to try to ensure that he eats it! Slight Panic! I can't rely on his kindergarten teacher to make sure he eats. Although she is wonderful, I do NOT expect her to be SUPER-TEACHER...up up and away! Coming back to reality though... I have found quite a few fabulous blogs and websites that have provided me with fabulous tips.

The best tip I have found so far is to include your child when packing his/her lunch. It makes sense, but honestly I hadn't even thought about it! Just like with a vegetable garden, if your kids help with it, they are more likely to eat it. My son loves all kinds of foods, but he is a kid...there are days that he just doesn't like certain foods. Which brings me to the next tip...

Don't pack something your kid has never tried...or doesn't like. No matter how wonderful and nutritious a lunch is, if he/she isn't going to eat it,
there is no point in packing it! Not only will your kid go hungry, but it's also wasteful. Make sure to taste test any packed lunch unless you already know your child likes it. It can take many tries before a kid will like it. The same rule for babies holds true for kids...and some adults too!

Variety may be the spice of life, but not all kids like spice! If your child wants and will eat the same thing packed day after day...pack it. My son has already told me that he just wants cold lemon pepper spaghetti for his lunch. He's the type of kids that likes to eat a certain food for days. However, when he's done with that food, he drops it and moves on to the next.
I will gladly pack him the same thing day after day as long as it's what he wants and he will eat it. What I plan on doing, with his help and cooperation, is pack the same thing a week at a time. Which leads me to the next tip...

Make a lunch chart. I have read in quite a few places that moms make a chart for their kid to choose from. This such a great idea on many levels! You could list his/her favorite lunch and let them choose. Or you could list individual foods in groups and allow them to pick from each group. My personal favorite is Liz Ruff's chart idea on Family Fun. She has her kids list their favorite foods and then she chooses what to pack for the day.

Make sure the food you pack is easy to eat. This holds true especially for kindergartners and younger kids! Big bulky items are difficult for some kids to handle. Cut sandwiches into smaller portions or fun shapes. Cut up fruit into fruit salad sized bites. Don't pack food in difficult to open containers. There are certain times when they will have to have help from the teacher, but you should try to minimize it.
I read where the average eating time is only about 15 minutes and this has to include many, many distractions!

With all of the distractions in the lunch room, we not only need to be concerned about nutrition, we need to make their lunch fun too! Once again, the possibilities for this are endless!! You could cut their sandwiches into fun shapes...make unique lunch recipes...choose a theme lunch...add a note or a Kids Lunch Box Card...add a desert... the list could go on forever, but you get the idea.

Earlier I mentioned the fridge/microwave dilemma. Here are two of the best ideas and the simplest that I have found. Keeping Xr's lunch cold until lunch was a very large concern of mine. It would be HORRIBLE to pack his lunch and then have it go bad because it wasn't kept at a proper temperature. The easiest way to solve the fridge dilemma is to freeze their drink. This will keep their food cold until lunch time and the drink will thaw by that then...hopefully. One idea I read was to freeze half the drink and then in the morning add the other half. Then he/she would be sure to have something to drink. I personally like my ice packs. I'm going to place them on the bottom of his lunch box...just as a little reassurance.

I didn't think it would be possible to pack him a hot lunch. However, I found that using a thermos will provide a hot lunch. This thankfully solves my microwave problem! Just make sure to add boiling water into the thermos to heat it up. Pour the boiling water out and then add the heated food. VOILA a hot lunch!

There are sooo many wonderful tips out there... I hope these help ease any worry you have about packing a lunch for your child! These few tips have really helped me!






Lunch Box Recipes


Getting my son to eat a nutritious lunch at school is a huge concern of mine. Who am I kidding....just getting him TO eat there is a huge concern. So... I have spent hours searching the web for nutritious lunch box recipes. Throughout my journey I've found a few great sites with recipes on how to make lunch box food fun and nutritious along with tips on how to make sure they eat it. In this post, I will be sharing links to some fabulous lunch box recipes. I'll share the tips in a later post!

I've always packed my husband's lunch... but he has access to a fridge and a microwave. This was going to be a dilemma for Xr's lunches, but... some really creative moms have solved this problem for me! In some of these recipes they will share how they've overcome keeping their kid's lunches cold or hot. With these tips, lunch box recipes are as endless as your imagination!

Now onto the recipes...

The first place I looked was AllRecipes.com. Although they don't have a lot of lunch box recipes, they do have some very creative ones. This is where I learned how to pack a lunch without worrying about a fridge or microwave.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Super Hero Sandwich

Chicken Pops...this one has to be my favorite! So creative!

Quiche...the possibilities are endless!

Chili... or any other soups.

Lunch Box Hot Dogs

Lunch Box Special...an updated, unique twist to regular PB&J!

Lunch Box Pizza...topping possibilities are endless!!

Lunch Box 'Handwiches'

Another favorite site is Family Fun...LOVE the magazine too! Instead of giving you individual recipe links there are a plethora of them on this site here is a link to the recipes for back to school page! I will add some of my favs though!

Homemade ABC Noodle Soup and Rainbow Kebobs

Crackers and Fixings with Cream Cheese Glue

Soccer Ball Subs

Sandwich on a Stick

There are millions of recipes out there. Get creative with your kid's lunch! But make sure whatever it is your making, your kids have already taste tested it at home! Check back later for Lunch Box Tips.

If you have a lunch box recipe you would like to share, please use the McLinky below.







EcOnomcial Family's Menu Plan for week 34.

I'mmm baaack!! Have you missed me?? For those of you that have, thank you and I'm sorry for being gone so long. For those that didn't, thank you too! (I don't feel quite so guilty.) Computer problems aren't quite fixed yet, but I'm doing the best I can.

I have greatly missed Menu Plan Monday and am glad to be back! This week is EcOnomical Mom's Heading Off to Kindergarten Event. (Due to computer...I'll call them issues, I haven't been able to do a lot of advertising.) So this is probably news to most.

I will be adding two menu plans this week. My first, this one, is our weekly menu. The second menu plan will consist of wonderful lunch box recipes/ ideas. I will be posting that one tomorrow. So don't forget to check back!! Oh, and if you have any great lunch box recipes, tips, or ideas...PLEASE e-mail me!!

On to this week's menu plan...

Monday
Lunch:
Eating Out
Dinner: Grilled Ham Steaks, Grilled corn on the cob, Grilled cabbage
Tuesday
Dinner: Chinese Meatballs w/ rice noodles
Wednesday
Dinner: Easy Chicken Bake
Thursday
Dinner: Pasta Night.
Friday
Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday
Lunch: Left Over's Lunch
Dinner: Campground get together making Green Beans w/ Ham
Sunday
Lunch: Grilled Ham & Cheese sandwiches
Dinner: Homemade Pizza




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