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Creative School Lunches: The Peanuts Movie School Lunch Ideas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HorizonLunch #CollectiveBiasThe Peanuts Movie School Lunch Ideas

Nearly 38 years ago, someone brought a stuffed Snoopy to a baby shower.  It might seem like a strange baby gift now, but it was probably the best gift that anyone could have given.  My mom put him in my bassinet when she got home from her baby shower and the Snoopy waited for me until I arrived home from the hospital (2 weeks late!).  We’ve been best buddies ever since since…I actually still have him.

Needless to say, there isn’t a moment of my life that I don’t remember being Snoopy fan.  So when I heard there was a new movie coming out, I knew that I was going.  No doubt about it.  And I was thrilled to be able to share a classic character from my childhood with my own kids, who I can only hope will grow up to be Snoopy fans themselves.  The world needs a little more Snoopy.  And right now, he seems to be everywhere – Snoopy dolls, Peanuts toys, and clothing with Snoopy on it are lining shelves.  I even spotted Peanuts characters on my daughter’s Horizon® milk boxes the other day while I was shopping at Walmart!  Snoopy is back and the whole Peanuts Gang is with him!Horizon Organic on Shelf at Walmart

So this seemed like the perfect time to make this month’s creative school lunch…The Peanuts Movie school lunch!  Staring Snoopy and the entire Peanuts Gang, this lunch is perfect for Peanuts lovers old and new.The Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Ideas

Of all the school lunches I’ve ever made, this one is no doubt my favorite.  When walking around Walmart purchasing the ingredients, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with all the compartments for this school lunch, but I knew there had to be a Snoopy Sandwich.  Created with white bread, turkey, a bit of guiltless brownie, and a raisin for the eye – this Snoopy is a star.  A delicious one.  Best of all, you don’t need any cookie cutters for this if you don’t already have them.  Simply cut an oval out of some bread using a knife and you have the beginnings of a Snoopy face.Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Snoopy Sandwich in ProcessThe Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Ideas Snoopy SandwichI made Snoopy’s trusty dog house (and occasionally his method of flight when fighting the Red Baron) out of strawberries.  This part didn’t come out quite the way I’d hoped, but my daughter assured me it was pretty yummy when I finally let her eat it.Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Strawberry Dog House

From there, I cut a Woodstock silhouette out of a slice of cheese and created hair out of some fruit strip.  I added a raisin for the eye and put him on some blueberries to add a bit more fruit to the lunch.  I was a little nervous about how this was going to come out, but it might just be my favorite part of the whole lunch!Peanuts Movie themed School Lunch Cheese Woodstock

Then it was time to Peanut-ize the Horizon® products that I purchased at Walmart, and I could think of no better characters to feature than Charlie Brown and The Little Red Haired Girl.  A few clicks later I had an adorable printable design for each of them that could be taped on to the container (you can download it here).  I started with the Horizon® milk boxes, mainly because they’re Greenleigh’s favorite.  They have the perfect amount of chocolate for her, and I feel better knowing that they’re flavored with organic cocoa and contain no high fructose corn syrup.Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Milk Box PrintablePeanuts Movie Themed School Lunch Milk Box Charlie Brown PrintableIf you’ve never seen the Horizon® fruit pouches before, that’s because they’re new.  At 5 grams of protein per pouch and a excellent source of calcium, they’re a convenient snack to include in lunch boxes…the printable wrappers make them just a little more fun!Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Ideas Super SqueezeFun fact: I always thought The Little Red-Haired Girl wore pink, but it turns out that she actually wears an aqua dress with a white sash.  I guess even a life-long Peanuts fan learns something from time to time!Peanuts Movie Themed Lunch Tutorial

Right now, you can find specially marked The Peanuts Movie Horizon® products at Walmart, with special demonstrations starting this weekend (November 5 – November 11) at select Walmart locations nationwide.  To find a demonstration at a store near you, check out their website.

So that’s it for November’s creative school lunch!  Will you be seeing The Peanuts Movie when it comes out on Friday, November 6th?  Who will you see it with?

Living With a Peanut Allergy

It’s a good thing Erajh and I aren’t hopeless romantics who celebrate Valentine’s Day in a big way, because this year all those plans would have been pushed aside to spend the night in the pediatricians’ office during emergency hours.  It was about 6:35 last Tuesday night when Erajh caught Greenleigh with a Butterfinger candy bar.  Of course, I don’t mind Greenleigh having a little candy every now and again, except Greenleigh is highly allergic to peanuts.  She was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 15 months when a parent at daycare brought in a “fun” peanut snack for the kids to share.  Just in case you have never seen an allergic reaction, this is what it can look like (and no, our carseat straps are never that loose, my husband was trying to move them for the picture).

July 2010

Poor baby.  It took about 4 days for her go back to normal after that episode.

Greenleigh’s allergy is a bit more complicated because she has asthma.  On a normal day, Greenleigh can have problems breathing and an allergic reaction can make it so much worse.  Dangerously so.  In fact, one of the doctors in the ER told us that the second encounter with peanuts can often be worse than the first.  Since the first occurrence in July 2010, we’ve been aware of the situation and carried an EpiPen.  I’ve read labels, intercepted goodie bags from well intentioned hosts at birthday parties, and let daycare know that under no circumstances should she have anything peanut based.

And everything was fine…until last Tuesday night.

The candy bar had come out of her Valentine’s Day goodie bag from daycare, and although I normally intercept and inspect her goodie bags for peanut based contraband, for some reason I didn’t this time.  I suppose I was still getting over the plague, and off my game.  Plus, everyone at daycare knows she can’t have peanuts or anything with peanuts in it.  There’s no way to tell how much of the candy bar she ate, but from the huge mess on the couch, it appeared most of the candy bar was still intact.

Denial set in right away.  “She probably didn’t eat any.  She’ll be fine”.  Then she started to rub her eyes.  She was probably tired I thought.  We just needed to get through dinner and everything would be okay.  She was nibbling on a banana when the repetitious sneezing began.  No, no, no this can’t be happening I thought.  “Just eat your banana, Honey” I said struggling with the idea that we were going through this yet again.  This can’t be happening, I thought.  It’s been over 18 months since her last reaction. I was hoping she would have outgrown it by this point.  Apparently not.  When she started itching her throat, I knew we were in trouble and called the pediatrician’s office.

The reaction spiraled out of control from there – her nose began to run like a faucet, red splotches appeared on her face, and her breathing became labored.  I didn’t know it at the time, Greenleigh’s tongue was swelling, which was making it impossible for her to eat that banana that I was so desperately trying to get her to eat.  This was also around the time that she started to panic.  Struggling to keep her (and myself) calm, we headed to the pediatricians office for emergency hours.  We were whisked in right away, Greenleigh was put on the nebulizer for a breathing treatment and lots of Benadryl was given.  I held them off from giving the epinephrine because she was responding so well, and I knew if they gave it, we would be off to the ER for monitoring.

It’s fair to say that she hadn’t outgrown the allergy.  Far from it.

Valentine's Day 2012

So I guess you could say that although we had no big plans, our Valentine’s Day didn’t really go as planned.  On a positive note, Greenleigh did fully recover in about 2-3 days.

If you had told me that I would have had a child with a peanut allergy, I never would have believed you.  I love peanut butter.  Almost in an unnatural kind of way.  And yet my child is allergic.  How can this be?  The fact that she may never know the simple deliciousness that is peanut butter sandwich, pains me to a certain extent.  But it really isn’t all that rare.  The number of kids with peanut allergies is growing at an alarming rate and no one can pinpoint the exact reason.  One source I found said the number of kids with peanut allergies nearly tripled from 1997 to 2008.  And as much as I wished and hoped in that moment that she had outgrown her allergy to peanuts, apparently it’s one of the allergies that tends to stick with you throughout life.  So much for that.

Now comes the hard part – We need to teach Greenleigh how to be her own advocate.  We are teaching her to say, “Peanuts make me sick” and teach her what foods have peanuts in them, but since she hasn’t had these foods before, it’s really hard to explain.  After all, she wasn’t trying to eat the Butterfinger because she knew it was tasty, she just knew it was candy in her goodie bag.  I guess we have a long road ahead.

Do you have a child with allergies?  How do you teach them to be their own advocate, especially at such a young age?