- 1¼ cup greek yogurt
- 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup no sugar added cinnamon apple sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the greek yogurt and sugar. Then stir in the egg and apple sauce.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, little by little, stirring minimally just until everything is combined and moistened.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray, then fill each cup ¾ full of the batter.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 9-13 minutes or until they are cooked through.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Chocolate Frosted Vegan BrowniesThese brownies are so fluffy, light and not too sweet at all. The frosting really makes them. No one would ever guess they’re vegan — score!Fudgy Vegan Fudge BrowniesAdapted from Southern In Law2 cup whole wheat pastry flour1/3 cup dark cocoa powder1 tbsp baking powder1/3 cup brown sugar (if I make these again, I would use a lot more sugar — probably 3/4 cup)1/2 tsp salt1/3 cup canola oil1 3/4 cup almond milkPreheat oven to 180°C/355°F. Grease and/or line an 8×8 baking dish. In a large bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add in oil and milk and stir until combined. Pour brownie batter into baking dish and bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted removes clean.Eat within 1-2 days — best stored in the fridge in an airtight container.Vegan Chocolate Frosting3 tbsp non-dairy spread3 tbsp cocoa powder1 1/3 cup icing sugar1 tsp vanilla extract1-2 tbsp milkIn a bowl combine spread and cocoa powder, gradually mix in icing sugar, vanilla and add milk as needed to create your desired consistency.
Use a frozen sponge for an easy DIY icepack.
2. Birthday Lunchbox Surprise
Surprise your birthday girl or boy by giving them a surprise lunch they have to unwrap.
Source: Happy Home Fairy
3. Make Your Own Healthier Lunchables
Bento Boxes and Divided Storage Containers are great for making your own Lunchables! You can use muffin tin liners as well for separating some of the food. I love the idea of the homemade pizza lunchable from Momables!
4. Make Snack Butterflies
If you plan on using Ziplock snack bags for their lunches, make them fun but adding a clothespin, paint and pipe cleaners to make your own snack butterfly.
Source: Clicky Chick Creates
5. Make Silly Sandwiches
Add some silly faces to your sandwiches by using this fun idea from I Heart Crafty Things. Or check out this genius tutorial for adding your child’s favorite Disney characters to their snack bags from Pink Stripey Socks. You can even use some cookie cutters or sandwich cutter like these to make your sandwiches into fun shapes and animals.
6. Pre-Sliced Apples + Keeps Them From Turning Brown
Use this genius hack to keep your apples from turning brown! Preslice their apple, reconstruct it, and wrap a rubber band around it to keep in the juices and prevent it from going brown before lunchtime.
Source: A Helicopter Mom
7. Secret Banana Message
Use a toothpick to carve a message on the banana and as the day goes on it appears!
8. Make Your Own Squeeze Pouches
Make your own healthy squeeze fruit pouches by using reusable squeeze pouches like these and filling them with applesauce, smoothies, or yogurt.
9. Make Your Own Homemade Uncrustables
Check out this awesome recipe for DIY Uncrustables using a Sealer n Defroster. Make a bunch of these and freeze them for later!
10. Store Hot Foods In Thermos
Source: Another Lunch
11. Make A Lunch Packing Station
Use a utility cart like this to keep all of your supplies in one spot, so you’re not rushing in the kitchen the night before. You’ll know exactly where everything is.
Source: How Does She
12. Send Little Notes and Jokes
Make your kids smile by sending little notes or jokes in their lunches. Here’s some free printable lunchbox notes you can download.
Source: I Heart Arts n Crafts
13. Organize With Lunch Bins
Organize all of your lunch items by keeping bins in the refrigerator for perishable items, this way everything you need to pack is within arms reach.
Source: Live Simply By Annie
14. Drain The Juice
Use this hack to drain the messy juice from a fruit cup before you pack it.
Source: Your Modern Family
15. DIY Masonables
Use this brilliant idea using fruit cup container and a small mason jar.
Source: Soup Spice Everything Nice
Diablo Glass School (Mission Hill): Enjoy a glass-blowing demonstration and make your own glass pendants with your family every Sunday from 1-2.
Eliot School (Jamaica Plain): This art school located in Jamaica Plain offers two sets of classes — one for 2-3-year-olds, and the other for 3-5-year-olds — where children and their caregivers get to make art. (In the older class, the children and adults work at separate tables but doing the same project.)
Hill House (Beacon Hill): From art to music, you will find a variety of classes for you and your tot to do together.
Ages: 1 year 7 months – 4 years.
Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) (Fort Point): The last Saturday of the month the ICA offers Play Dates, a full day of creative activities for families, which includes “hands-on art-making, performance, family gallery tours, films, and more.”
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Fenway): In addition to the museum being stroller-friendly, the Gardner offers studio drop-in art activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Ages: All ages
Little Groove Music & Art (Various locations) Infants, toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy enrichment classes with their caregivers. Classes are offered in the South End, South Boston, Charlestown, Brookline, and Newburyport.
Ages: 3 months-4 years
Mama & Me (Jamaica Plain): “By providing children with creative opportunities to explore art, movement and playtime with each other, Mama & Me aims to inspire imagination in both kids and parents a like!” Mama & Me offers both classes well as a drop-in playspace.
Ages: Infant-3.5 years
Museum of Fine Arts (Fenway): The MFA in Boston offers a variety of programs designed specifically for families, including the Family Art Cart, Playdates, Art Connections Cards Family Activity, Family Activity Totes, and Drawing in the Gallery.
Ages: Varies by program
Wheelock Family Theater (Longwood): In addition to family-friendly performances the theater offers family-friendly workshops on Fridays included in the cost of your ticket.
CAMBRIDGE & SOMERVILLE
The Beautiful Stuff Project (East Somerville): This creative reuse center offers free and low cost materials to children and educational settings in Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston. In addition to a drop-in studio space and workshops, families can take materials to enjoy at home.
Duncan Dance (Central Square): This child/caregiver dance class at the Dance Complex offers “a structured sequence of sound and gesture integrated movement activities.”
Harvard Museum of Natural History (Harvard Square): The museum offers family activities for elementary-aged children and their caregivers that encourages families to experiment and learn in a fun and interactive manner.
Imagine: A Center for Community & the Arts (Fresh Pond): In addition to offering a large drop-in playspace, Imagine offers creative classes and Pick ‘N Paint — items you can paint and take home.
Made by Me (Between Porter & Harvard Square): Paint your own pottery in this bright studio located just outside Harvard Square.
Mucky Kids (Between Porter & Harvard Square): Mucky Kids offers developmentally appropriate multi-sensory activities. Children are encouraged to explore through classes and drop-in studio hours. Activities offered through their drop-in classes can be tailored to just about any age.
Ages: 18 months-7 years
Mudflat Studios (Porter Square): Teachers guide parents and child pairs in working with clay in these one-time workshops.
New School of Music (Harvard Square): This music schools offers a variety of classes for kids and caregivers, from group guitar to violin through the Suzuki method to music and movement classes for tots.
Ages: Varies by program
Parts and Crafts (Between Porter and Union Square): This family makerspace “encourage[s] kids to play, think, make, and learn through the exploration of the arts, science, computer programming, and engineering.”
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology (Harvard Square): This Harvard science museum offers a variety of programs for families.
The Playspace (Union Square): In addition to play area, this community space offers an art studio and drop-in classes as well as music & movement casses. The price of admission for the drop-in play includes free coffee & tea and WiFi and access to art materials.
Zoya Designs (Teele Square): Create fun sewing projects together with your child in a 4-week class.
Ages: Depends on your child’s capability, but probably elementary school-aged or older
WEST OF BOSTON
Brookline Arts Center: Thee center offers seasonally-themed weekend classes for adults and children to explore “in a variety of artistic experiences.”
Create a Cook (Newtown): Learn how to make simple dishes with your preschooler in this hour-long cooking workshop designed while they also learn kitchen safety.
Culinary Underground (Southborough): This cooking schools offers hands-on cooking classes for kids where you can learn how to make simple and healthy food as well as baking classes.
deCordova Museum (Lincoln): In addition to having an incredible outdoor sculpture park which kids of all ages will have fun exploring, “DeCordova offers engaging, fun, and informative programming designed for families to see, experience, and learn about art together.” (Their website also has some fantastic tips for families who are planning on visiting the museum.)
Ages: Varies by program
Empow Studios (Lexington): “Empow Studios brings technology, arts, and play together to help young learners discover and build on their creative talents.” In addition to classes, they offer 2-hour drop-in sessions for adults and kids to enjoy exploring together.
Indigo Fire (Belmont): This clay and glass art studio offers drop-in programs for clay building, glass fusing, and pottery painting.
Ages: Varies by program
Jam Time (Maynard & Natick): This large indoor play space also offers classes in music and movement, dance (including Zumba!) and art. (Plus they also have free WiFi and coffee and snacks available for purchase.)
Ages: 3 months-6 years
The Kid’s Place (Needham): This interactive drop-in craft studio offers a variety of creative projects for kids of all ages, including both canvas and plaster painting, ceramics, and candle making.
Ages: All ages
New Art Center (Newton): In addition to offering workshops for kids, teens and adults, New Art Center offers some parent/child classes for younger children.
The Paint Bar (Newton): Instructors guide you step-by-step through a painting (but you’d be amazed how differently each one turns out!) to help you create a beautiful piece of artwork! Some Sunday afternoon are designated specifically as Family Day for children and a caregiver. (There are also locations on Newbury Street and Falmouth.)
Puddlestompers (Newton): Explore nature and “build the foundation for a lifelong enjoyment and love of the outdoors” through hands-on outdoor activities.
Whimsy Arts & Crafts (Framingham): From a Peruvian drum to designing your own t-shirt, this creative environment for families offers a drop-in arts & crafts studio as well as classes.
NORTH OF BOSTON
Arlington Boys & Girls Club (Arlington): In addition to swim and sports classes, the club offers dance, arts & crafts, science and music classes.
Ages: 6 months-5 years
Artbeat (Arlington): This shop and art studio offers drop-in time every day of the week with projects read for you and your kids to make together, from mosaics to painting. Prices vary by project.
Clay Dreams (Arlington): Paint your own pottery at this family-owned business.
Einstein Workshop (Burlington): This drop-in space “is a hands-on learning center where you can explore the creative side of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
Kidcasso (Wakefield): This kid-centered art studio offers “mommy and me” style classes for adults and their tots.
Ages: 12 months-3 years
Peabody Essex Museum (Salem): PEM has a variety of activities to encourage you and your kids to discover art together, including drop-in art making, an art cart, and story trails.
Ages: Varies by program
Ready, Set, Kids! (Arlington): This space is actually three organizations in one: Happy Healthy Kids Fitness Studio (offering fitness classes for kids including some mom & child classes), Yak Academy (offering language classes for children as young as one), and Boston JCC (offering parent/child development classes well as fun programs for younger children).
SOUTH OF BOSTON
Ceramics a la Carte (Canton): Paint your own pottery, design a mosaic or paint a canvas. (You can also bring your baby in and have custom baby print ceramics made!)
South Shore Arts Center (Cohasset): Children and caregivers have the opportunity to work on the same projects at different tables, creating in parallel.
South Shore Pottery (Abington): Paint-your-own pottery (and canvases) in this creative studio. In addition to classes older children and adults can take, they offer a storytime for children 6 and younger listen to a story and then do a painting related to it.
Ages: Varies by program