What is a “Lunchbox Hero”?
If you ask us, lunchbox heroes can come in many different forms– from friendly lunchroom staff to creative moms and dads to talented cafeteria chefs. Essentially, it’s any person who makes a good school lunchtime great.
In the next six weeks here at Martin’s, we are honoring all kinds of lunchbox heroes by giving YOU the opportunity to nominate them at https://mylunchboxhero.com while also fighting childhood hunger—the perfect way to kick off back to school season.
But, before we get into more details about how you can nominate your lunchbox hero, we want to share three creative recipes that we’ve whipped up to celebrate back to school season! Whether you’re a bento box boss or a last-minute legend, we’ve got helpful recipes to make your lunch packing efforts a breeze.
Three Levels of Lunchbox Creativity
We know that while every parent wants their child to enjoy a delicious lunch, not every parent has the time or opportunity to sculpt sandwich art or organize a bento box. In this blog, we’ve outlined three different lunchbox ideas from pro-level to simple—all delicious.
Pro Level: Cat and Mouse Lunchbox Art
If you’re looking for a next-level challenge this back-to-school season, why not try your hand at some sandwich art masterpieces? Paired with some fresh veggies or snacks of your choice, this adorable cat and mouse lunchbox art will make your child’s lunchtime really shine.
What you’ll need: lunchbox, knife, Martin’s Bread of your choice, fresh fruit and veggies, deli meat and cheese, and food-safe marker.
Cat and Mouse Lunchbox Art:
- Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread OR Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread
- Deli Bologna
- White American Cheese
- Yellow American Cheese
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- 3 Round Cucumber Slices
- 12 Slivers of Carrots
- 3 Blueberries
- Cut half circle on top of bread using a knife or cookie cutter to form the cat’s head and ears. Note: This can be made simply as “food art” with just a single layer of bread, or as a sandwich. To form as a sandwich, just layer desired toppings, such as bologna and cheese, between two slices of bread before cutting into the shape.
- Top bread with the following: an oval of cheese for the nose, two triangles of cheese for the ears, two slivers of cucumber for the eyebrows, six slivers of carrot for the whiskers, and a mouth drawn with food-safe marker.
- Toast two slices of bread. Cut toast, bologna, and cheese into a circle.
- Assemble sandwich by placing lettuce, cheese, and bologna on bottom layer of bread. Before adding the top layer of bread, position the ears made of cucumber slices with a piece of yellow cheese at the top of the mouse’s head. Add top slice of bread. Note: This can be made simply as “food art” with just a single layer of bread, or as a sandwich. To form as a sandwich, just layer desired toppings, such as bologna and cheese, between two slices of bread before cutting into the shape.
- Top bread with the following: a blueberry for the nose, two blueberries for the eyes, six slivers of carrot for the whiskers.
Moderate Level: Tuna Salad Bento Box
If you don’t have enough time to carve out tiny mouse ears, but you love the idea of a top-notch lunchbox, try whipping up a Tuna Salad Bento Box. Just as satisfying as masterfully crafted sandwich art is a neatly organized lunchbox filled with your favorite sandwich and snacks!
What you’ll need: compartmentalized lunchbox, Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread, prepared Tuna Salad, and snacks of your choice (like this Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad).
Tuna Salad Sandwich:
- Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread
- 2 Cans Tuna
- 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Stalk of Celery, diced
- ¼ Cup Red Onion, diced
- ¼ Cup Parsley, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Basil, chopped
- ½ Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Drain liquid from tuna cans. Then, add tuna, mayonnaise, celery, red onion, parsley, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl.
- Stir ingredients together until well combined.
- To serve, scoop about 1/3 cup tuna salad onto a slice of Wheat Bread and top with another slice.
Cucumber Salad Recipe: https://potatorolls.com/recipes/watermelon-cucumber-and-feta-salad/
Simple Level: Leftovers for Lunch
Sure, we all want to strive for ultimate lunchbox creativity, but sometimes convenience is the name of the game. If you feel like you’re constantly running from school to practice to piano lessons, etc., this leftovers lunchbox hack is for you.
What you’ll need: lunchbox, muffin tin, wax paper or muffin tin liners, Martin’s Potato Bread, leftover mac and cheese, ham pieces, and two egg.
Ham Mac and Cheese Muffins:
- 2 Cups Prepared Mac and Cheese
- 2 Large Eggs, beaten
- 1 Cup Diced Ham
- 1/3 Cup Martin’s Potato Bread, pulsed into breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine mac and cheese with eggs, ham, and ¼ cup breadcrumbs. Stir until well combined.
- Spray 8 muffin tin cups with nonstick spray. Add ½ cup of mixture to each cup. Press each cup of mixture down with fingers to flatten into cup.
- Sprinkle each cup with remaining bread crumbs. Then, bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from cups to cool on wire rack. Serve warm or refrigerate to serve later.
Introducing: Martin’s Lunchbox Heroes
This year, we’re doing something a little different to celebrate back to school season. To honor the important people in your child’s life (parents, lunch staff, teachers, etc.) AND give back to the community, we’re partnering with Blessings in a Backpack to recognize Lunchbox Heroes.
From now until September 18, submit a Lunchbox Hero for the child in your life at https://mylunchboxhero.com. For each nomination received, Martin’s will donate $5 to Blessings in a Backpack (up to $20,000 in total) to help fight childhood hunger by providing take-home meals to school-aged children in need. And, as a bonus, you’ll receive a free downloadable back-to-school cookbook with delicious recipes, lunchbox hacks, and more!
Will you help us fight childhood hunger? Visit https://mylunchboxhero.com today!
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