Back to School Time! Creating a Cute Lunch for Your Child (Giveaway)

by Jennifer Sikora

The holidays are over, breaks are ending, and it’s time to send the kids back to school. Over the break, I spoke with a lot of moms who were unhappy with a lot of changes that have been made to school lunches recently. They were asking me what they could do to send their child a good lunch to school without having to break the bank.

We homeschool so we do not have that problem, but I still fix lunch every day for my kids. During the holidays, my daughter and I created some fun and festive lunch creations using Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies.

Kayla loves corndogs, so when we were browsing the cute party animal ideas on the Lil Smokies list, she found the Corn Doggie and wanted to fix them. I will never buy store bought corn dogs again. This is so simple and easy to do and they are cute and festive and would make a great addition to any lunch box.

Ingredients:
1 pkg. Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies®
1 pkg. (8.5 ounces) corn muffin mix
2/3 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Preheat oil to 375°F. Open package of Lit’l Smokies® and drain off any liquid. Insert wooden toothpick into tip of each sausage.
  2. Combine corn muffin mix, flour, egg and milk in a large bowl mixing until combined well. Working quickly, dip 4-5 Lit’l Smokies® in batter.
  3. Fry ‘em in oil 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and batter is cooked in the center.
  4. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining Lit’l Smokies®.

This will make 40 little dogs. What we did was make the whole batch and then we froze them on a cookie sheet. Now, when she wants to have a corn dog, she can pop a couple of these out of the freezer and warm them in the microwave or heat them in the oven.

For lunchboxes, just put a couple wrapped in paper towels and plastic wrap in the lunchbox. By the time they get ready to eat, they will be thawed and will only need a few seconds nuked in the microwave.

Be sure to check out the other Party Animal recipes on the Hillshire Farms website.

Enter to win

We are giving away three coupons so that you can create your own party dogs and lunchbox ideas yourself! Three winners will each get a coupon for a Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies® free product. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent coupons so that I could try and create the party animals recipes from the Hillshire Farms website.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Sikora

Jennifer is the Advertising and Communications contact here at 5 Minutes for Mom. When she is not busy answering emails here, you can find her sharing about her life on her own blog at www.jennifersikora.com. You can also find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennifer_sikora or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jenandherfinelife.

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{ 168 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tabathia B January 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Making sure to make it healthy and including a fruit or veggie

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2 DEBIJOT January 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The challenge is to come up with something different – not the same ole every day.

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3 Patricia Wojnar Crowley January 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I think it’s having everything on hand to make them! I’m always running low on ingredients!

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4 laura ari January 3, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Boredom. Having the same lunch every day is boring!

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5 angie January 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

one of our biggest challenge is time not enough of it

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6 Heather Hayes Panjon January 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Coming Up With A Fresh Healthy Lunch

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7 Jenny January 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Having a variety of options to pack in a lunch.

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8 Michelle January 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm

It’s hard to mix it up and remember what the kids have been eating all week. :)

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9 Jill H. January 4, 2013 at 12:57 am

Making something healthy that tastes good that your kids will eat.

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10 Louis January 4, 2013 at 4:16 am

to bring variety in, and to make sure everything is to their liking that it will be eaten
Thank you for hosting this giveaway

Louis
pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

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11 Crissy D. January 4, 2013 at 6:14 am

I think sometimes its difficult to find things the kids will eat and keep a healthy variety.

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12 Jennifer Rote January 4, 2013 at 8:52 am

I skip lunch, but hard to figure out something easy and healthy that son will like,

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13 Melissa P. January 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

The hardest thing for me is breaking away from the same-old lunches. My son is still in elementary school so he has non access to a microwave. With that said, cold lunches seem to be the only option. I’d like to see that change.

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14 Jeannie January 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

Making sure to make a balance lunch without food spoiling.

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15 Areta January 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

Leftovers that are used for lunch need to still taste great!

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16 Liz January 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

I feel like I’m making the same lunch every day.

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17 Jblanton January 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

variety- not making same thing every day

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18 Idaho Jill January 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm

just figuring out what to have every day and how to make it healthy

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19 Missy January 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Coming up with new ideas

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20 Jessica Z January 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

If my son will like it. One day he’ll love seething and a few days later he wont

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21 meredith January 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Mine is trying to remember to pack the night before to avoid morning chaos

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22 Natalie S January 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm

coming up with different things!

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23 Deborah January 5, 2013 at 10:59 am

Remembering to bring them. :)

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24 Elena Stocco January 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm

thinking of a variety of foods that can be left out of the fridge.

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25 nannypanpan January 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

MY SON WON’T EAT SANDWICHES
nannypanpan@gmail.com

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26 Alison Jones January 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Keeping them from spilling all over-hate it when sauce leaks out of the box & coats the inside of the backpack.

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27 Marianne S. January 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Finding something that my Special Needs son will eat… and like!

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28 Karen Medlin January 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm

keep food fresh, like a salad, it gets wilted..need a variety for sandwiches

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29 Jennifer H January 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm

creative ideas, changing things up

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30 Steve January 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Lil Smokies are the best, not only for lunch, but for football gameday!

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31 Jessica T January 6, 2013 at 12:03 am

Making something healthy that the kids can and will eat in the time allotted!

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32 Tawnya S January 6, 2013 at 2:16 am

The biggest challenge for me is having a variety of healthy options my son will eat. Thanks!

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33 Realia M January 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

the biggest challenge is hoping she’ll be in the mood for what i packed! shes picky

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34 Francine Anchondo January 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

mixing it up , getting new ideas

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35 Jammie January 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

finding the time, and making sure it’s something everyone likes.

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36 LT January 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm

My biggest challenge is providing variety!

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37 christina January 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

My biggest challenge is packing something different everyday. My family needs more variety, but it is hard since they are also picky eaters.

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38 Cheryl W. January 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm

My biggest challenge is keeping other kids from begging my daughter for her food. A lot of time she comes home and says that I make the best lunches and all the other kids beg her for her food. Being kind hearted, she nearly gives her whole lunch away. I have spoke with the teachers and they are helping her tell the other kids no, that she needs to eat as well.

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39 Anne W. January 6, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Keeping lunches cool and not mushy. Also portions can be hard (too much and it goes to waste, too little and I’m still hungry).

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40 RunInBoise January 7, 2013 at 1:58 am

getting bored with my lunches

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41 Laura January 7, 2013 at 2:46 am

Variety! My 6 year old takes his lunch to school each day, and it is so difficult to come up with new and appetizing lunch ideas for him, since 1. It has to be good cold and 2. It has to be something really tasty or he simply won’t eat. I try to balance healthy with kid friendly, but its hard.

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42 Michelle Gregory January 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

The hardest part is making something that everybody likes.

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43 helen January 8, 2013 at 1:00 am

having variety and making sure they like it

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44 Brittany January 8, 2013 at 8:57 am

The biggest problem is making sure their is variety in their lunches.

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45 Lori Alcorn January 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

making them varied new ideas and healthy options

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46 Jennifer H January 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

variety
jenhedger at hotmail dot com

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47 angela m January 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

variety ,changing things up
thanks

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48 Marti Parks January 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Trying to make it healthy and having a nice variety.

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49 Laura January 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Hitting the major food groups without packing a feast. I need my protein, fiber, and of course, a little something sweet!

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50 Hollie Jahnke January 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Coming up with new lunch options is difficult for me.

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51 polly January 9, 2013 at 7:04 am

coming up with different and healthy ideas for my grandson

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52 Amy W. January 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

Finding something quick and nutricious.

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53 Heather! January 9, 2013 at 9:57 am

The biggest hassle I have is satisfying everybody! What one person likes, the others don’t, or they argue over who gets what, etc. Drives me nuts.

h4schaffer at gmail dot com

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54 Evelyn Goettner January 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

Getting them to try new things!

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55 corrie January 9, 2013 at 10:12 am

picky kides is the biggest problem here. nooo i dont like this or that. ugh LOL

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56 Carolyn S January 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

Trying to make sure that is a balenced…healthy enough for me to happy about fixing it and tasty enough that they will eat it

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57 tracey byram January 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

Finding affordable foods that are nutritious and Liz will eat.

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58 Saver Sara January 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm

For us it’s time getting high quality healthy ingredients together.

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59 Jen January 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm

having my kids eat them.

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60 Laurie B January 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Finding healthy snacks and lunches that my daughter will actually eat. She has become very picky lately and I am running out of options.

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61 Wilma P January 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Trying to make them healthy and tasty

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62 Sara Wood January 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

being creative! and keeping it healthy

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63 Kelley F January 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

The hardest part is making something that everybody likes.

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64 Margaret Smith January 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

My biggest challenge is making something that all my family likes.

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65 McKim January 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Coming up with something different to fix.

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66 Caitlin McClure January 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Finding time to make something great

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67 Ann Fantom January 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Coming up with fresh ideas so lunches are boring

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68 kathy f January 9, 2013 at 6:45 pm

MY biggest challenge is getting enough variety for the kids.

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69 Penny Snyder January 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Keeping it exciting! grammypenny@frontier.com

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70 Tara January 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm

variation! I eat the same lunch all the time!

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71 Jill January 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm

my biggest challenge is poor time management

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72 Elise January 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

A big challenge to me is finding lunch combinations that are not only tasty, healthy, and not always the same, but also remain fresh until it’s time to eat! I always want to pack a salad, but I hate their tendency to wilt or get liquidy. Other things don’t remain cold or hot enough, heating takes up precious lunch time, etc. I just want something that is good, easy to prepare, and can be eaten right out of the lunch box!

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73 Kathy Ross January 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Coming up with different stuff to eat.

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74 Amanda K. January 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Finding something they’ll actually eat without fussing.

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75 Jeanine January 10, 2013 at 12:16 am

My biggest challenge is making more of a variety and also adding more veggies to have a healthier lunch.

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76 debbie January 10, 2013 at 9:12 am

coming up with new ideas, and not the same boring lunches

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77 sandra January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

finding the right balance between healthy and tasty

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78 Tara January 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Keeping them fun but still nutritious and not too fatty!

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79 EMMA L HORTON January 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

HEALTHY VARIETY THAT THEY LIKE AND WILL EAT

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80 Monique Rizzo January 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Finding good variety.
Thanks for the chance.
mogrill12@gmail.com

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81 cheryl January 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

having a variety of healthy options

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82 Charlene S January 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Giving a variety while keeping it healthy and exciting.

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83 Staci A January 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Figuring out healthy options that will actually be eaten!

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84 Jason January 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Packing something that is quick and nutritious that everyone likes

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85 kelly mcgrew January 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

keeping it cold.
thanks for the chance to win

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86 nichol tone January 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm

To find healthy alternatives

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87 Christine January 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

having something quick and healthy

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88 Kyl Neusch January 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm

healthy options for lunch

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89 Sherrie C. January 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Giving my grandkids healthy food options they will actually like!

callawishes(at)hotmail(dot)com

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90 Elena January 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm

the challenge is to create something different for lunch as we tend to stick to the same food most of the time

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91 Jeana O'donnell-Murphy January 10, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Not being able to send something that they can heat up- so it’s challenging to not have the same thing

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92 Denise M January 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

making something healthy, quick and tasty

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93 Jan January 11, 2013 at 4:19 am

Biggest Challenge is to make it different each day yet still healthy and appealing :)

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94 Debra Pauley January 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

The challenge is to come up with something different

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95 Brenda I January 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Having time in the morning to make them.

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96 Sacha Schroeder January 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Coming up with new foods they will eat!

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97 Alicia K January 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm

keeping it interesting

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98 Monica lavoie January 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Coming up with variety.

Thanks!

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99 Candace Butler January 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

Finding something easy and quick but tastes good. I am not a huge sandwich fan but end up having a sandwich just because it is easy.

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100 traci January 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

trying to have more variety is an issue

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101 JJ Caraway January 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Packing something that will be a variety and will be healthy and filling to give them the energy to get throught the day and something that says I love you is always a plus.

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102 dan williams January 12, 2013 at 12:59 pm

keeping enough food to make lunch

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103 Carol W January 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

biggest challenge is packing something that does not have to stay cold. my son like to bring brown bag. thanks

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104 Meghan January 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Keeping him happy with variety!

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105 Ruth chu January 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm

finding variety and time to make what he likes.

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106 dana h January 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm

finding variety in what I eat

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107 Donna L January 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Making something healthy to eat.

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108 Charity L. January 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The biggest challenge is having a variety of food to keep on hand. Also, the cost of fresh fruit each week.

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109 rebeka deleon January 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm

trying to mix it up so it isn’t always sandwiches or salads

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110 nikki krutz January 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm

for me its just coming up with different ideas so that its not always sandwiches

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111 Janna Johnson January 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

finding healthy and fast
Thanks for the giveaway! Janna Johnson jannajanna@hotmail.com Janna@feedyourpig on gfc

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112 Tim January 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

the biggest challenge is packing the kids something they will eat and not just throw away.

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113 Michelle January 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Thinking of new things to make

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114 vickie January 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Hardest thing for me is to get enough energy to make them at night. Always to tired!

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115 Dana Denay January 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Keeping things fresh.

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116 Jennifer Short January 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Something healthy that will be eaten!

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117 Laura Lane January 13, 2013 at 12:46 am

They’re just so daily!

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118 Robin January 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

Making sure it is healthy and the kids like it

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119 Amanda Rauch January 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

trying to make them healthy!

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120 Anthony H January 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Trying to find something new and healthy

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121 PaulA January 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Trying to get some variety. I tend to put the same thing over and over.

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122 Fawn Strunk January 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

The hardest thing about lunches is that I have 3 kids that like different things I have a super picky one and then the I have ones that like to try new things

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123 Mary Cloud January 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Finding something that doesn’t require a lot of time in the kitchen
annabella @ centurytel dot net

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124 jennifer lane January 13, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Coming up with new things!

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125 Sadie January 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Our biggest challenge is trying new foods. We are stuck in the same lunch time rut.

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126 Renee G January 14, 2013 at 12:35 am

The biggest challenge is packing something my son will eat.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

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127 Julie Lynn Bickham January 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Finding things that all three of my children will eat but is also healthly at the same time.

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128 Virginia Rowell January 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Keeping things fresh and cool.

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129 Alycia M January 14, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I find it hard to make sure that I’m getting all the food groups.

acartwrightmorell at gmail dot com

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130 Christine January 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Making sure to make it healthy.
Thanks for the chance!

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131 Deb C January 15, 2013 at 5:31 am

The biggest lunch challenge is something healthy but fast.

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132 Marci Cornelius January 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Trying to make healthy meals

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133 Dorothy Deakyne January 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

try to keep lunch exciting yet healthy and not spoil, keep it cold

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134 Erica C. January 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Keeping a variety with our lunches is the hardest.

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135 Susan Chester January 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm

My challenge is to make something besides a sandwich. I get real tired of making them and eating them.

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136 Michelle Tucker January 15, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Keeping it appetizing. Especially take to work lunches. Have such a hard time with it.

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137 ky2here January 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm

finding something that travels well

ky2here at msn dot com

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138 Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Keeping everything fresh!

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139 amber g January 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm

finding variety day after day!

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140 Tina S January 15, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Finding things my picky eater likes to eat and he loves these.

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141 Brittney House January 16, 2013 at 1:09 am

thinking of a good variety everyday

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142 KATHY DALTON January 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

the biggest challenge to creating a perfect lunch is combining all the food groups AND having your choices appealing to your child

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143 laurie brown January 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

my challenge is a picky eater and trying to get things she will eat that are good for her

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144 Mary Beth Elderton January 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

My biggest lunch challenge is to add variety. I tend to stay with a boring formula just because it’s easy.

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145 stephanie January 16, 2013 at 8:29 am

finding something everyone wants to eat

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146 Tracie Trump January 16, 2013 at 8:58 am

My biggest challenge is coming up with creative ways to incorpate fruit and veggies in lunches, tracietrump@yahoo.com

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147 Diana Hatch January 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

I think packing healthy things the kids will eat is the biggest challenge

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148 Teresa Thompson January 16, 2013 at 9:50 am

Healthy lunches is my biggest problem.

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149 crissi mcveay January 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

incorporating veggies into our lunches is difficult.

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150 Pamela Halligan January 16, 2013 at 10:17 am

Trying to prepare lunches that are easy to make, nutritious, tasty, and cost effective.

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151 Jennifer Clay January 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

Finding something that will cook quick but tastes good

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152 Nancy January 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Our challenge is a healthy lunch that everyone likes!

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153 Claire January 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm

picking a healthy lunch that they’ll actually eat.

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154 John Joseph January 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

making them tasty yet kinda healthy

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155 Shawn January 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Packing something that they enjoy, yet is good for them.

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156 Holly S. January 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Convincing them to try something new!

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157 danica January 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

finding something healthy that the kids will eat

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158 Paula Tavernie January 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Keepin it new and interresting for the little ones!
ptavernie at yahoo dot com

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159 Erin R. January 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I think the biggest challenge of packing lunches is having the food ready to pack

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160 Valerie Taylor Mabrey January 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm

getting something everybody likes
vmkids3 at msn dot com

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161 Savannah Miller January 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Making sure I pack enough or that I don’t pack to much :)

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162 Missy L January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Serving a wide variety of foods is my biggest challenge for lunch since time is limited.

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163 jane January 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm

The time that it takes to pack them.

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164 Tami Valentine January 16, 2013 at 10:06 pm

The hardest thing about lunches for me is that I get tired of eating the same old thing. My kids all take hot lunch so I don’t have to worry about making them a lunch.

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165 kathy artis January 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Finding something healthy that the kids like.

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166 Sue Hull January 16, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Trying to think of different healthy food and snacks I know my daughter will eat. I’m a big fan of these little smokies.Thank you for the cool giveaway! :)

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167 sheryl cullum January 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Trying to keep themhealthy and easy to eat

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168 Tanya White January 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm

my biggest challenge is making something quick and easy.

Reply

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