Rocking the lunch box has been so much fun the last few weeks. The same day I posted a few lunch box ideas, I got an email from the Lindsay company asking if I could work on another post for lunch box ideas using their olives. We love olives and I love packing May’s lunch, so it was an easy yes. This time around Lindsay is also sponsoring a contest and my ideas will be entered to win $1000! When it comes to voting time I’ll be sure to tell you more about it because who doesn’t want that kind of prize right before Christmas?!
That contest was just the extra little push that I needed to really bring out my creative skills for this post. I was in bed the night after I got the email and I had a million fun ideas run through my head. Who needs to sleep when you can think about hand-crafting spiders out of olives anyways ;)
Let’s chat about those delicious olives (which I don’t have to write about… they just asked for lunch box ideas). Lindsay is the fancy brand of olive in my opinion. I had a friend who would only buy them (because that’s what her grandma always bought) and she introduced them to me. Their texture and taste is just better than any other brand that I’ve tried. I can’t get them at the little store I shop at normally so when we are in the big city I snatch up a few cans and save them for special occasions. The company sent me three different types of olives from their “naturals” line, which I hadn’t tried before.
You guys, they were so different from other canned olives and SO good. So the green olives come in a can, not in a bottle, and they aren’t brined and salty like a normal green olive. They are ripe green olives which means they taste a lot like a ripe black olive and were equal in saltiness. The green olives had a few little brown dots and the black olives have dark little freckles on them. They looked like real food! I’ve never seen a fresh olive before but when I opened the can I knew that they must look a lot like these. It was crazy how real they looked. And the taste, oh the taste. The advertising on the can called them “rich and buttery” and they were just that. The little boys and I ate two full cans just while I was getting out the rest of the stuff for lunch. And honestly, I didn’t even feel bad about it. The only ingredients on the can are olives, water, and sea salt. I’ll take it! And if you are an olive-hater, I dare you to try these. They’ll make a believer out of you yet!
Now onto those super fun and tasty lunch box ideas.
With all the ideas I had in my head I couldn’t settle on just one lunch, so you get four!
Spider’s Web Lunch
Spider’s Web Lunch: This is one of the lunch box ideas that kept me up at night and my kids loved it! I don’t have time to whip things up like this everyday, but holidays are extra special so why not celebrate even in their lunch. Halloween is just around the corner and your kids will LOVE this lunch box. The brown bottom to the spider web is re-fried beans (mine are homemade black bean re-fried beans, so yours won’t look as dark coming out of a can if that’s what you use). I used a zipper top baggie with a little hole cut in one corner to pipe on the sour cream spider web and then I made the black widows out of black olives. The red spider hourglass is a bell pepper. We also cut fall leaves and pumpkins from bell peppers and served them with extra “spider bodies” (more olives). The meal is rounded out with grapes, chips for dipping, salsa, and a treat of candy corn. May loved having the chips served in a cute Halloween treat bag instead of our usual plastic baggie. It’s the little details that they love.
And here’s a closer look at those spiders so that you can see how they are made:
I used half an olive, cut length-wise, for the body which I set on top of legs made from olive slivers. The head is a half of an olive cut cross-wise with two sour cream eyes. The black widow hour glass is a red bell pepper. Honestly, it wasn’t hard to make. I made it a day in advance and everything kept great in the fridge overnight.
And here are those cute cut out veggies. This is where you can get your kids involved. One afternoon a week (normally a day or two after grocery shopping, so that the fridge has lots to work with in it). I’ll get out fruits and vegetables, my mini metal cookie cutters (mine are Pampered Chef brand that I bought at a thrift store), and I’ll call the kids in. If I get things prepped they will sit and cut out shapes until we have enough for the week. I normally do it after school and they munch on what they are working on, which counts as their snack for that day. I’ll stick all the veggie shapes in one container and all the fruit in another. That way, whenever I’m ready to make a lunch, I have fun things prepped. Plus, the kids love helping and getting to decide what shapes to cut. Here’s how we cut carrots and cucumbers into shapes the other day.
The Pick-n-Poke: The idea behind this lunch box is that you give your kids lots of options of foods that can be poked with a toothpick. Then they pick and poke what they want to eat. Why is eating with a toothpick so much fun? I don’t know, but you have to admit that those cocktail weenies taste a million times better off the end of a toothpick than any other way. This was a favorite of my almost four-year-old. He loved eating his lunch with a toothpick. I had chunky pieces of ham and cheese, black and green olives, and pieces of cucumber to poke. The grapes are perfect too and they taste great dipped in that vanilla yogurt. Not using a standard utensil really makes this lunch fun and novel.
The Gobbler – the perfect name because your kids will gobble this lunch up. This really didn’t take all that long, I promise! The base is a mini whole wheat pita bread that I smeared with some chive and onion cream cheese. The tail feathers are colored bell pepper slices, topped with a turkey body piece of ham, add the olives around the edge, a face, and a cheese tummy and you are good to go! It’s just an open faced sandwich really. I added some grapes and cantaloupe shaped like pumpkins plus some extra bell peppers shaped like fall leaves and olives to round out the meal. A little yogurt, a juice box, and some candy corn for dessert will really make this meal a keeper.
Here’s a closer look so that you can see all those tasty details.
One Dish Wonder
One Dish Wonder: This is a quick and easy lunch because it’s leftovers! I made a quick pasta salad with 1 pound of cooked pasta, 2 cans of olives, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped cucumber, and 8 ounces of mozzarella cubed. I seasoned with a good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. You really can’t mess it up, but I have the recipe coming later in the week! I made the pasta salad to go with dinner but planned on using about half of it for lunches which I set aside before I served dinner. My kids LOVE pasta, so this was a really easy thing to serve that they ate really well. Plus, it’s good warm, cold, or at room temperature, so it’s really convenient to take as a lunch. The pasta salad has lots of goodies in it so just a little fruit and a treat to finish off lunch was all I felt like this meal needed. A little chopped ham or salami would be really good in the pasta too!
There you have it, four awesome lunch boxes that your family will love to eat and you’ll have fun creating together.
Enjoy and thanks so much for stopping in.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lindsay Olives which means they paid me for my time in creating, photographing, and writing the post. All the opinions about those tasty olives are my own though, we really do like them and I had fun telling you all about it.