5 Lunchbox Hacks for Moms

School lunches getting boring Try these 5 lunchbox hacks for moms to liven things up. happyfitmama.com

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Stonyfield.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

We are almost 3 months into the school year and I’m bored with making lunches.

This isn’t my first time packing lunches.  I’ve been sending my kids with lunches and snacks since the day they went to daycare 7 years ago.  And it’s not just during the school year, I get to send food daily during the summer for camp.

Packing lunches isn’t exciting.  It’s not glamorous.

It’s just something that needs to be done.

I pack my own lunch for work but it’s super easy – leftovers from last night’s dinner. For my kids, leftovers won’t do.  If your kid eats leftovers for lunch, please tell me there is a magical secret.  I doubt there is.  You are just very, very lucky.

5 lunchbox hacks for moms to beat boredom_ happyfitmama.com

Over the years, I’ve learned that simple is best when packing lunches.  I make my kids lunches right after dinner each night.  That way, I don’t have to mess with it in the morning when things are already hectic enough.  I try to make it as streamlined as possible.  At first, I tried to make things super cute with cookie cutter shape sandwiches.  Or one time I tried making a little stickman with a pretzel stick and strawberries.  My kids didn’t notice.  So now, rather than wasting precious time on making it cute, I’m more sensible with packing the basics.

If you are getting bored with the same ol’ same ol, here’s some lunchbox hacks to liven things up a bit.

Freeze yogurt squeezers

My kids love yogurt squeezers.  There’s always a box of Stonyfield YoKids squeezers in our freezer.  Freezing the yogurt makes it a nice alternative to ice cream but also  convenient to toss in a lunchbox as a freeze pack.  By the time lunch rolls around, the squeezer will be unthawed, food is fresh and there’s no worry about your kid tossing an ice pack in the trash.  Did you know that Stonyfield YoKids, now has between 25% – 40% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt?  There’s still the same great tasting organic yogurt with no GMO’s or funky ingredients that you can’t pronounce.

Stonyfield yogurts make a great addition to lunches. Try these 5 lunchbox hacks for moms to liven up your kids lunch. happyfitmama.com

Variety is the spice of lunch

Rather than packing a couple big things, I pack many smaller bites.  A lot of times my kids will come home with food still in their lunchbox.  Why?  It’s because they ran out of time from all the gabbing they do with their friends rather than eating.  Smaller bites makes it easier to gab and eat. Bento style lunchboxes work great for that sort of thing.

Preslice apples

My kids love apples but rarely will finish a whole apple if eating it whole.  There’s a better chance if it’s sliced.  But then the apple will turn brown and no one will touch a brown apple.  Try this trick instead: Slice up an apple and then reassemble it, wrap it in plastic wrap or place a rubber band around it to prevent it from browning.  Works like a charm!

5 lunchbox hacks for moms _ happyfitmama.com

Roll with it

Tortillas are the best thing since sliced bread.  Seriously.  You can put anything in a tortilla, roll it up, and toss it into a lunchbox.  Try the classic PB & J (or sunflower seed butter), or cold cuts, hummus and veggies rolled up.

Bake once, enjoy all week

I try to make one snack on the weekend that can go into lunchboxes all week long.  Some of our favorites are 3 Ingredient Cookie Bites, Morning Glory Muffins, or Coconut Banana Bread. I don’t always have time to do it but when I do, the kids love the homemade goodies.

stealing cookies HappyFitMama.comJust look at that little hand stealing cookies!  So little!

Got a lunchbox hack to share?  Please do!

High Five Friday

High Five Friday November 17 2017 _ happyfitmama.com

Happy High Five Friday!

5 from Instagram – I share more pics on Instagram and Instagram Stories.  Are you following me?  Please do!

1 ) Running in the cold November rain.  Winter is near.

2 ) It’s always nice to get an Edible Arrangement as a thank you from patients.

3 ) New Hampshire runner girls.  It was so nice to catch up with Sandra and Sarah (and all the other girls) last weekend.

4 ) Behind the scenes of this photo:  I stepped in dog poop while taking this pic. Thanks inconsiderate dog owner!

5 ) Next time I’ll be in this spot, there will be snow and I’ll have a snowboard on. Bring on the snow!  And FYI – there’s a few days left to save 15% at prAna.com with discount code FAAN15.  I’ve been living in the prAna Penelope Pullover and Roxanne Legging.  Perfect cozy outfit!

5 Good Reads

1 ) How to Start Running at Age 100 – I love this -> “I knew I could run because I’m always in the yard working, and when the phone rings, I go running inside to answer it.”  Repeat after me.  Age is nothing but a number.

2 ) Camille Herron Breaks the 100-MIle World Record at Tunnel Hill 100 – It’s such an exciting time for women’s running right now.  Not only did Camille break the women’s 100 mile world record, she also was first, beating all the men as well. Her average pace was 7:38 for the whole race.  What?!?!

3 ) Nine Running Moments When Your Inner Shalane Slips Out – I think my inner Shalane pops out a lot.  How can it not, it’s such a good adjective.

4 ) The Dollar A Mile Marathon – Race entry fees are ridiculous but you want to run a Boston qualifying marathon?  Here’s your chance on a pancake flat course.  That is if you can handle running a 4 mile loop six times.  This marathon is near me and it is indeed, super flat.  I have no desire to train for a marathon but it’s intriguing.

5 ) People Are Sharing Pics of Boyfriends “Forced” to Take Perfect Pictures of Their Girlfriends – I need to send this to Ron.  He has never gone this length to take a pic for me. Lol!

What would you like to High 5 this week?


Strength Training for Runners

Stregnth training guidelines for runners _ happyfitmama.com

If you are a runner, you know you should be strength training.

Now be honest, do you actually strength train consistently?

I know how easy it is to forget about strength training.  Believe me, I get it.  We are runners, we want to run ALL the miles.  Just look at my workouts from last week.  I was running more so I dropped a day of strength training.

So running all the miles will make you a stronger and faster runner.  That’s a fact.  The more your run, the better you become at it.  But when you run all the miles, you need all the strength to keep your body running injury free.  You may have legs of steel from doing hill repeats or 800s on the track, but your WHOLE body needs strength training to combat the repetitive stress you do with each run.

From my years of working in the fitness industry, there are two things that stand out in the excuse column of why strength training doesn’t happen more often.

Intimidation.  It can be intimidating to go to a gym where there’s lots of machines and “toys” with big buff dudes and ladies flinging heavy stuff around.

Time. I’m already spending a ton of time running, how can I fit it one more thing?

You don’t need fancy gym equipment to strength train.  It most certainly makes it more interesting, but it’s not necessary. Do you know what the best strength training exercises for runners are: planks, deadlift, squats, lunges and push ups.

Notice what all these have in common?  No equipment needed!

You also don’t need hours to devote to strength training.  It should take you 20-30 minutes to bust out some strength.

Easy enough, right?

Strength Training Guidelines for Runners


  • 2-3 full body strength training sessions a week focusing on the major muscle groups of the lower and upper body
  • Use a heavy enough weight so form is not compromised
  • Form is key!  Don’t get sloppy to get through the exercises faster.  Slow and controlled.
  • Exercises that will enhance your running (see below)
  • Plyometrics like squat jumps, bounding and high knees are explosive bodyweight training which a runner needs.  These exercises help with your “spring” when you push off the ground with each foot fall while running.
  • Exercises that move in many planes.  Work to the front, side and the back!
  • Do strength training on your easy run days or cross training days


  • Say you don’t have time
  • Think advanced means better results.  It’s better to do a basic move with good form.
  • Use momentum when performing the exercise.  Think about what muscle you are working to lift the weight in a slow and controlled movement.

Looking for some strength training exercises for runners?  Check out these 7 workouts that are 20-30 minutes and hit all the muscles runners need to strengthen.

FYI – While I am an ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist and RRCA Running Coach, I am not your trainer or coach.  Please consult your physician, trainer or coach for specific guidelines.

Strength trainign guidelines for runners | Bosu Core Workout happyfitmama.com

Strength training guidelines for runners | The 100 Workout happyfitmama.com

Strength training guidelines for runners | Stay injury free or rehab an injury with these glute strengtghening exercises for runners happyfitmama.com

Strength training guidelines for runners | quick 20 minute BOSU strength workout happyfitmama.com

Strength training guidelines for runners | my-favorite-strength-and-running-workout-happyfitmama-com

Strength training guidelines for runners | A strong upper body is an asset that every runner should have. Try this quick upper body workout for runners to get faster and stronger. happyfitmama.com

Strength trainig guidelines for runners | You can workout twice in one day! Get a run in the morning and strength session in the evening. happyfitmama.com

Linking up with Coaches Cornerand Wild Workout Wednesday.

Do you strength train? 

What’s your go to for strength training?