Back to School: Lunch Ideas for Every Day of the Week

If your kids’ past school lunches were strictly turkey sandwich territory, the start of a new year is the perfect time to mix things up and get creative. Save them from brown-bag boredom — and save yourself time — with these five easy-to-prep meals, featuring classic recipes with playful twists designed to please even the pickiest eaters. And you can pack everything up in style with colorful, mix-and-match containers and sleek insulated bags from top brands like Goodbyn, Wildkin, and Zak! Designs in our Lunchtime sale, starting tomorrow at noon ET.BTSlunch_newcolor1. Monday: The PB&J Club
> The sandwich standard gets an overhaul by doubling up on breads and spreads, and adding banana slices for a towering lunchtime treat.

2. Tuesday: Zoodles & Meatballs
> Up their veggie intake minus the headache with this super-healthy alternative to the Italian favorite: Just stir fry julienned zucchini for perfectly thin “spaghetti” and top with sausage meatballs and organic marinara.

3. Wednesday: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups
> Nothing like a little finger food to brighten up the mid-week lull: Grilled cheese is even easier in roll-up form, cooked in a buttery skillet and made for dipping in tomato soup on chilly days.

4. Thursday: Veggie Rainbow Wraps
> Whole wheat wraps pack a serious punch with savory cream cheese and a rainbow of fresh produce. Create a full color wheel with chopped carrots, corn, edamame, and more.

5. Friday: Bear Pizza
> Time for a TGIF pizza party: Take traditional ingredients to the next level with these adorable bear faces, crafted with cookie cutter shapes and black olive features.


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Our Newest Arrival: mbaby™ Collection by Munchkin®

Photo c/o Munchkin

As a new parent, we know that your infant’s comfort and safety is your top priority. Putting your little one to sleep on his back, making sure he’s always strapped safely into his stroller, car seat, and bouncer, and removing pillows and blankets from his crib – these are all second nature to you now. Hey, we get it!


So does Munchkin. After recognizing that babies spend a lot of time on their backs, leaving their chests and tummies vulnerable to the cold, the company came up with mbaby, their new line of premium infant apparel. The collection of super-soft cotton Onester™ body suits and Sleepster™ sleep suits have an exclusive, patent-pending, double-layer front to keep the chill off baby’s chest without overheating her back. This extra bit of built-in comfort and safety proves, as Munchkin’s motto says, “it’s the little things®.”


Now that you don’t have to worry about your baby’s belly getting cold when he’s lying on his back, try our suggestions for fun activities that are guaranteed to engage and entertain little ones in the crib, car seat, or stroller, or when they need a break from tummy time (an important playtime activity that strengthens infants’ neck, back, and shoulders):


• Point to, and name, your baby’s nose, tummy, and knees, then tickle each one to begin teaching your infant to identify the different parts of the body.

• Ask, “How big is Baby?” then stretch your little one’s arms wide and say, “This big!”

• Shake a rattle or dangle a fun toy in front of your little one to encourage her to reach out and grab it.

• Lay your baby down, then take his feet in your hands and gently pedal his legs, as if he were riding a bicycle.

• Start up a rousing game of peek-a-boo. Gets ‘em every time!

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Interview: Vanessa Lachey Talks Mommyhood

Feminine. Comfortable. Layered. That’s how TV personality and haute mama Vanessa Lachey describes her maternity style. Her sleek silhouettes stood out from the rest, so we asked her to be part of our Baby on Board event. Here she reveals her favorite bump-chic designers and can’t-live-without staples. Plus, learn how she got her 6-month-old son to sleep for 12 hours a night (yes, you heard us right!).

Gilt Baby & Kids: Your pregnancy style really impressed us! Did finding the right pieces come easily?
Vanessa Lachey:
It was an extremely difficult challenge at first. I’m 32, so for 10-plus years I’ve known what fits. But when my body changed I had to start from scratch. I got depressed when I shopped with my girlfriends — I thought things would fit, and they didn’t. Finding my style and wardrobe again involved a lot of trial and error. I spent a solid day of trying on different styles and fits and found what I loved. The maternity style that I came into was a wearable style for when I was pregnant and for when I wasn’t.


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Molly Sims: Spring Break Packing List

I’ll admit it: Before I had Brooks, I would wait until the last minute to pack for a trip. I would be like a Tasmanian Devil tearing through my closet frantically flinging clothes, shoes, and make-up into a bag, and without fail, I’d forget something — okay, a few things — at home. But that was then. Traveling with Brooks changed everything, because forgetting something for him could make for a bumpy ride. Follow my travel-with-your-baby cheat sheet for a stress-free vacation!


Extra clothes. As much as you try to avoid them, accidents do happen and you don’t want to be caught in a mess with no back-up plan. That’s why I suggest packing two travel outfits for your baby. I like to pack something comfy and easy to get Brooks into —check out Gilt’s baby clothes here.


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