Updated on January 12th, 2015
I love creating fun and healthy lunchboxes around a theme, and there’s no better theme (in my opinion) then a Valentine lunchbox! However, sometimes we tie Valentine’s Day to lots of sweets and sugary foods (insert a conversation hearts box here). It isn’t hard, despite what we sometimes think, to make cute and healthy lunchboxes!
This post is sponsored in partnership with the Rock the Lunchbox partners. I received samples and compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
Healthy + Easy Valentine Lunchbox
Building a better lunchbox is all about making good solid food choices for your kids and being creative with what you put together. I’m going to take a spin to show you how you can swap out what your lunchbox might normally have stuffed inside with some easy alternatives that make the lunchbox healthy, fun, and pull together this really cute theme!
A typical lunchbox with an easy swap!
PB&J – There’s nothing wrong with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but they get boring quick and they don’t do much for the presentation of the lunchbox. Easily swap out the PB&J for a roast beef sandwich or your child’s favorite lunchmeat. I used Applegate Naturals Roast Beef and a slice of provolone cheese for a really delicious sandwich that also let me easily add something fun to the lunchbox. With Rudi’s Organic Bakery bread instead of plain white bread they are getting a good fill of whole grains in every bite and the bread is delicious! We selected their Nut & Oat variety. Since one of my boys will only eat a half a sandwich, I made a two whole sandwiches (one for each boy) and then used the one leftover half and a heart cookie cutter to add color and fun to the lunchbox. I kept the sandwich as it was, and just removed the top layer of bread before cutting so that the white provolone cheese would add a pop of color. They loved the mini heart sandwich bites!
Cookies – Ditch the empty carbs and instead include something sweet that feels like a cookie but is healthier and adds to the presentation like graham crackers. We swapped in Annie’s Homegrown Friends Bunny Grahams in a mix of chocolate, chocolate chip, and honey graham crackers. They look adorable in the lunchbox and the kids think they are fun.
Fruit Snacks or a Fruit Cup – Ditch the artificial flavors and preservatives and go with fresh fruit! Pluck off a sprig from a package of grapes and it’s just as fast and easy and gives a health sweet and juicy addition to the lunchbox.
Crackers or Chips – Instead of the individual wrapped packs of crackers or chips, sub in a fresh vegetable. This is a super easy way to add in color and the crunch of the vegetables will sub in nicely for the chips. We used celery in this lunchbox. Cut off the stalks as you normally would and then cut an additional time at the end of the sticks in a really thin cut to get a bunch of small bite size pieces that you can arrange in the box to look like a rose or flower. If you look at the end of the celery stock you cut off where they all join, you’ll see the pattern I’m talking about.
Juice Box – Skip the juice box options with artificial flavoring and only partial juice content. We swapped for Honest Kids juice that is only sweetened with fruit juice – no added sweeteners! They have an awesome assortment of juice flavors like fruit punch and berry lemonade that are perfect for our easy valentine lunchbox theme.
Annie’s Homegrown, Honest Kids, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, and Applegate have teamed up to encourage families to send kids off to school with better-for-you alternatives with a fun campaign called Rock the Lunchbox. They have a great resource site with tons of lunchbox ideas, including ideas for special diets like vegetarian and gluten free. If you love cute themed lunchboxes and simple lunch packing ideas, you’ve got to check out rockthelunchbox.com for inspiration!