Free lunch (box) Thursday and chocolate-stuffed French toast

Easy lunch ideas: chocolate-stuffed whole-wheat French toast with Nutella for dunking; cucumber; kiwis; deli turkey breast; garlic-dill cheese; and a yogurt

It may be Valentine’s Day, but I still refuse to be cutesy with Parker’s lunch.

I’m so glad some people find the time and energy to shape their children’s foods into hearts and cupids and to carve love notes into blocks of cheese. Seriously. People do this stuff. I’m also glad there’s an abundance of therapists to help them.

I just can’t muster the effort to do that.

But being the (sometimes) good daddy that I am, I also can’t completely ignore this most Hallmark of holidays. So my ever-so-slight nod to the Valentine’s Day machine is… chocolate-stuffed whole-wheat French toast.

OK, I’ll admit it. I wasn’t thinking about Valentine’s Day at all when I made this. I was thinking about the fact that earlier in the week I’d dug out the bread machine and made a not-too-bad loaf of whole wheat. I was thinking about the fact that we had a few slices left that needed using up. I was thinking about the fact that Parker has suddenly decided he likes French toast again. And I was thinking about the fact that adding a little chocolate to the mix would help ensure he didn’t suddenly (yet again) change his mind about that.

By the time I was done feeding him a slab for breakfast and jamming another into a thermos for his lunch (that should be fun for him to get out…), I realized the chocolate actually worked with the holiday theme.

So there we have it… My nod to the holiday.

The rest of the lunch was equally well planned. We’re in a bit of a refrigerator slump at the moment. Not much to pick from, but I’ve been reluctant to grocery shop. Next week we’re making our annual trip to Miami for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. So I don’t want to stock up only to fly away for a week.

So I assembled bits and pieces and called it good enough. But presumably he’s going to want some dinner tonight… So fingers crossed that I come up with something brilliant from the freezer and have leftovers to work with tomorrow.

Meanwhile, today is another free lunch (box) Thursday. Today’s gear giveaway is a very cool set of food containers. They are oval and are divided into four sections. I really liked these because they were good for divvying up all sorts of treats. And the center segment even has a removable cup with a lid for sauces and dips. I think I used these for build-your-own nachos in the book.

The rules are the same as always. Leave a comment here by midnight tonight. Parker will pick a winner in the morning! Good luck!

Free lunch box containers

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37 Responses to “Free lunch (box) Thursday and chocolate-stuffed French toast”

  1. Siobhan says:

    Valentine’s Day is all glitter and paint at our house; but stuffed French toast might have to make an appearance next year. Mmmm.

  2. Jillian Shamberger says:

    You crack me up, ” But presumably he’s going to want some dinner tonight” Any way the chocolate french toast is always a hit at my house, we use nutella and bananas sometimes too. Today my kids got hot cinnamon rolls,a box of candy, a stuffed animal and cards telling them how much I loved them even though they smell funny :p

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Kids do tend to smell funny, don’t they? Good reminder that I should force mine into the shower tonight.

  3. Erin Brenner says:

    We’ll have chocolate ebelskiver pancakes with raspberry jam centers for dessert tonight. It’s special and the boys (ages 9 and 11) can help cook them.

    What made me proud, though, is the 11 year made sugar cookies with chocolate and peanut butter chips for his class today. Who needs paper valentines?

  4. Melanie S says:

    I love those boxes for my triplet boys. Right now we use three different containers for everything!
    I did go a little overboard on decorating out table for today, but only used a heat cookie cutter for their sandwiches.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Ha! Compared to some of the examples I’ve seen, that seems pretty sane. Had I been thinking, I could have done that with his French toast. But then again, it’s obvious I wasn’t really thinking!

  5. Allison says:

    Nacho lunchbox…I’m in

  6. Julie says:

    This is a pretty cool looking container. Lots of different possibilities. Build your own nachos sounds good right about now :)

  7. AllisonA says:

    That looks like a super awesome lunch container! And green!

  8. Mai Hong says:

    Saw this recipe and thought of you guys again –

  9. Beth says:

    Those would be awesome for on-the-go lunches with my daughter. And the perfect way to introduce her to nachos, a treat she has not yet tried in life. Yummy!

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      No nachos? Oh, now that is one deprived child. You must get on that pronto!

      • Beth says:

        Well, she’s not yet 2, so chips are a bit sharp. But she’s definitely close to nacho-ready. :)

        • J.M Hirsch says:

          Aha! Well, that’s fair enough. Doesn’t amount to child neglect quite yet! But you could get her going on the refried beans and salsa!

  10. Elisabeth S. says:

    Sweet container. I’m a college student, and packing lunches for myself can be very uninspiring.

  11. Karin says:

    Happy Valentine Parker!

    Thanks for the link Mai-some of us seam to have a lot of spare time! It would be much healthier to use Agar-Agar instead of the Gelatin though.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      And agar I think would set up faster, too. Need to try it either way. You know, when I have time… some day…

  12. Kristin L. says:

    Very cool container- my 8 year old would love it. And the french toast looked tasty. Happy Valentine’s day!

  13. RuthAnn says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you both!

    Those look like great containers for when i pack my husband a variety of little foods – nuts, crackers, cheese, some sliced sausage or leftover steak mustard or balsamic Glace for dipping….he calls it “the Big Box o’Fun”

  14. T says:

    Dear Parker,

    If you send these containers to my 5 year-old son, I promise not to put any vegetables in them. I started reading your dad’s blog because my son, like you, will eat his body weight in fruit, ham and cheese, but does not care for vegetables, and your dad made me feel like I was still packing a perfectly healthy lunch.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  15. Far says:

    This would be so handy! I love taking dips; I’d use the middle compartment a lot. :)

  16. Nancy P. says:

    happy valentine’s day! great containers – please pick me!

  17. Erin says:

    I hope you have a nice savory dinner prepared after all the sugar that was probably consumed at school today :)

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Parker’s Valentine’s Day party is still to come. His school does it on Friday… But we did steak; arugula-zucchini salad with manchego; sauteed peas with lemon zest, mint and feta; and brown rice. Red velvet rum balls (from our favorite bakery) finished it off! You?

  18. hypersmoochum says:

    happy valitimes day and please pick me i lobe the color lime green and these so cool 😀

  19. Laura says:

    I hope Parker gets to go to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, too!

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Oh, always! In fact, a couple years ago he got to interview Jamie Oliver before I did! I’ll try to post the picture from that.

  20. Mishelle says:

    Awesome post and equally awesome give away! Pls pick me!

  21. Aimee B says:

    That lunch sounds amazing! Much better then heart shaped foods.

    The lunch box is totally awesome, my lunches would be much more fun with better containers.