Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Applegate HALF TIME Lunch Kit Review

Pin It

Here at The Lucky Lunchbox, I have a goal to provide nutritious and healthy lunches for my son that are packed with a little creative flair. I make his lunches with a variety of fruit (which he eats heartily) and veggies (which he eats not so heartily), and I prefer organic products, although that's not always possible for my budget. I try to make his lunches nutritionally balanced. I miss the mark with this quite often, I admit, but when it comes to deli meats, hotdogs, and such, I always choose products that are of a healthier variety.....meaning they are nitrate free, preservative free, with no hormones or artificial ingredients. 

So often, I think, as parents, we are in such a hurry to come up with lunches for our children that we forego nutrition for convenience. I am definitely guilty of this. But, as a busy parent, I love convenience foods. So, I was very excited to see that Applegate has just launched the first nationally available pre-packed lunch kit, HALF TIME, that features natural and organic ingredients. Let's all say it together....YAY FOR CONVENIENCE!! And, I was even more excited to have the opportunity to review the HALF TIME kit. Look for a fun Applegate HALF TIME kit giveaway soon. 

What is HALF TIME?
HALF TIME is similar in concept to the Lunchables product line. You know.....that meat, cheese, cracker product loaded with nitrates, fillers, and artificial stuff that is packaged in a box. Kids clamor for these, don't they? Well, Applegate HALF TIME combines three of the leading brands in the natural and organic circle...Applegate, Stonyfield, and Annie’s...into one convenient kit. I really like this idea. While I choose to pack my son's lunch every day so that I have control over the quality of the ingredients, there are times that I’d just like to grab a box out of the refrigerator, toss it in his lunch box, and send him on his way. We love Applegate and Annie's products! And I use both of these brands in Z's lunches all the time. Stonyfield is new to us, but, as I expected, very well received by the little guy. 

HALF TIME is designed with kids in mind. There are jokes and games for kids to play on the inside and outside of the box. All of the little plastic packages peel open easily so you do not need scissors or a knife to open them. This is great for older kids that get their lunch ready on their own. Also, the box opens in such a way that it can serve as a makeshift plate. 

The Applegate HALF TIME kit comes in three varieties: Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, and Bologna & Cheese (see above). All three kits include: Applegate Naturals meats, which have no artificial ingredients or preservatives and are antibiotic free; Applegate American cheese made with no added hormones; Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers Strawberry Organic Lowfat Yogurt, and Annie’s Homegrown Buttery Rich Crackers. Each kit also includes either Annie’s Bunny Graham Friends or Annie's Organic Berry Patch Fruit Snacks.
Bologna is Z's favorite deli meat, so I chose the bologna kit to try first. The HALF TIME kit contained 5 slices of bologna, 5 slices of American cheese, 5 buttery crackers, a pack of fruit snacks, and a strawberry YoKids yogurt tube each in its own individual package. Yes, there is a lot of packaging with these kits. Here are all of the contents of the kit laid out (below) and ready for me to assemble Z's lunch. 

Here is the lunch that I made for Z. I included the additional carrots (with ranch dip in the small box), apples, blueberries, and olives to round out his lunch as Z has a very hearty appetite at lunchtime, and the HALF TIME kit was not quite enough food for him. I only gave him half of the Annie's fruit snacks as I limit the amount of sweet treat in his lunch. This kit could easily be tossed into a lunch box unopened though...add an apple and a veggie juice drink with it and you have a nice well-rounded lunch. Z gobbled this lunch up!!! There was one cracker and half a piece of the cheese left. While he ate all of the Stonyfield yogurt Squeezers and said it tasted good, Z told me that he thought it was a bit runny (he is used to Yoplait yogurts that are a much thicker consistency).

Pin It

We really like the Applegate HALF TIME kit. As a parent, I appreciate that I don’t have to compromise between convenience and quality because this kit combines trusted brands that are that are already in my refrigerator and pantry. While I would not send this lunch kit with my son to school every day, I think it's a great option for a field trip day, a day at the zoo, or a day when Mama isn't feeling the lunch packing thing. I think we've all been there.

Here is an overview of the things we like about the Applegate HALF TIME kit and some of the points to keep in mind before purchasing: 

Things we like:
  • The HALF TIME kit contains foods that are organic, and are hormone, nitrate, and preservative free.
  • The HALF TIME kit has no artificial colors or flavors.
  • The HALF TIME kit is fun to eat.
  • The HALF TIME box and individual packages are easily opened.
  • The HALF TIME kit is healthy and delicious.
  • The HALF TIME kit is a convenient and healthy lunch option for parents.

Things to consider before purchasing:
  • Price- The HALF TIME kit has a suggested retail price of $4.99....quite pricey for those more budget minded. I found them at my local Target for $4.39. There are many Applegate coupons available on the web, so these would make the kit more affordable.
  • Packaging waste- The HALF TIME kit has a lot of packaging waste.....the box, the individual plastic wrappers, the yogurt tube. I pack my son's lunches in reusable containers so as to eliminate packaging waste, so this was a consideration for me. I did, however, recycle the HALF TIME box and all the wrappers. 
  • Portions- The HALF TIME kit may not be enough food on its own for older kids or kids with larger appetites. More food may need to be included for lunch. I had to include veggies and fruit to round out Z's lunch.

Thank you to Applegate for providing me free samples of the products mentioned in this post. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by any form of compensation.

No comments:

Post a Comment