Review and Giveaway: Weelicious Lunches

by Wendy Copley on October 8, 2013

Weelicious Lunches

This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve followed Catherine McCord’s blog, Weelicious for many years and I get lots of lunch inspiration from her daily lunch photos on Instagram. So when I learned she was writing a book all about lunches, I couldn’t have been more excited! A whole book dedicated to my #1 obsession…er…interest? Sign me up!

A few weeks ago she sent me a copy of  Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals to review and my family has been cooking and eating their way through her recipes since then.

Preschool Bento #498

The book is loaded with kid-friendly recipes in ten categories. There are basics like salads, soups, veggies and sandwiches along with specialized sections providing variations on lunch box favorites like pizza and PB&J. Catherine also introduces the book with lots of solid information on lunch packing basics. Along with suggestions for selecting gear, tips on packing a balanced lunch and strategies for keeping food at safe temperatures she serves up her ideas for encouraging kids to try new foods and reinventing leftovers.

Weelicious Lunches

One feature that I thought was particularly noteworthy was the section about food allergies. Catherine goes over the basics of  schools and food allergies and gives some suggestions for substitutions when you are faced with a change to your lunch packing routine due to your own child’s food sensitivity or that of one of his classmates. She also includes a fantastic chart that lists every recipe in the book and identifies whether it includes one of four common allergens. Brilliant!

But you want to know about the recipes, right?

What we’ve tried so far:

  • Banana Dog Bites — I’ve made these quick roll-ups filled with peanut butter and bananas for breakfast and lunch a few times now. The kids love them and I find myself sneaking them off their plates. (And no — the bananas don’t turn brown in the lunch box.)
  • Apple Cinnamon Muffins — I made these on the spur of the moment one Sunday morning. They were chunky with lots of apples and so good.
  • Whole Grain Fruit-filled bars — Our new favorites! Get the story on these down below.
  • Pizza Quesadillas — Wyatt coincidentally requested these right after I read the pizza chapter in the book, so I made them a few days later. The kids both liked them and I’ve made them for quick dinners in addition to adding them to their lunches.

Pizza Quesadilla

A few recipes I’d like to try:

I have no fewer than 23 pages in this book dog-eared to mark the recipes I’d like to try. Here are the next ones on my list:

  • Shredded Chinese Chicken Salad — this is mostly for me, but maybe the kids will eat it too.
  • Cheesy Waffles — cheddar cheese waffles that can be eaten on their own or used to make sandwiches.
  • Pimento Cheese Sandwich — Have you noticed pimento cheese is everywhere lately? This recipe is inspiring me to finally try it.
  • Mexican Muffins — savory muffins filled with chicken, corn and cheese. These sound like they’ll be great to make ahead and keep in the freezer for busy mornings.
  • Pumpkin Pie “Pop Tarts” — my kids are as pumpkin-crazy as I am and I know they’ll be ecstatic if I pull these out for breakfast as a surprise. (Or maybe we’ll make them together!)

Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars

Of all the recipes I’ve made, the one that has become an instant staple in our house is the Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars. This year Wyatt’s teacher has asked us to send something for a daily mid-morning snack and the vogue choice among his classmates is Trader Joe’s cereal bars. While I don’t mind sending them as an occasional treat, I realize they’re not the healthiest choice and the cost of sending them every day adds up quickly. I gave these bars from Weelicious Lunches a try and they’ve been a big hit with my kids. I make a batch on the weekend, then cut them up and store them in small containers in the fridge. Wyatt can grab one in the morning and put it in his back pack while I’m making lunch. So far I’ve used raspberry jam and apple butter and both were great. Next up: blueberry preserves.

Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars
Recipe from Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3/4 cup fruit preserves or jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the butter and cold water and pulse until the dough holds together when pressed.
  4. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish, line it with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper.
  5. Divide the dough mixture in half and press half into the prepared baking dish, using the back of a spatula to press down evenly.
  6. Spread the preserves evenly on top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly on top of the preserves and gently press down using the back of a spatula.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Cool, cut into 1 1/2 x 4-inch bars, and serve.

Makes 16 bars.

Tip: Bars can be stored at room temperature up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to a week.

To summarize:

  • Weelicious Lunches is filled with 160 recipes and my kids have eaten every single one I’ve tried so far (this is huge).
  • The book has solid info about packing lunches that will set you up for success.
  • The allergy section is terrific.
  • I’ve already discovered a couple recipes that have been added to our regular lunch rotation.

Would you like to win a copy of Weelicious Lunches? Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of Weelicious Lunches for review and there are affiliate links embedded in this post. I have not been paid for this review and I am sharing my honest opinions in the hope that Catherine’s book will inspire you in your lunch-packing endeavors!

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  • bubu

    This looks great – with two kids in school 5 days a week, it is a constant struggle to come up with new lunch ideas

  • Erika Claves

    Always looking for healthy ideas for my picky toddler.

  • ThisGirlCanBoard

    Oh my! I love the weelicious website! This book is on my Amazon wish list. So many exciting lunches to make.

  • Rachel Carota

    I need new ideas for lunch!

  • Bridgid

    I have Catherine’s first book and am desperate to add this one to my collection too!

  • Jen

    I follow Weelicious and my son’s teacher says she wants to eat his lunch everyday it looks so yummy! But I can always use more inspiration.

  • Allyson F.

    Just went back to work and would love ideas for preparing yummy and interesting lunches for my twin toddlers… and me! 🙂

  • pam

    would love to win, because weelicious INSPIRES me to think outside the box & TRY NEW foods. loving it!

  • Shelley Donohue

    I got this book from the library and would LOVE to win a copy!

  • Mara W

    I am always looking for ways to change up the lunchbox!

  • Laura

    Ii can’t wait to test out those fruit bars!! They look amazing!!

  • Denise

    I’d love to win the book because of my daughter’s allergies. It’d be so nice to look to see what recipes I could make for her versus my son.

  • Abby

    Yummm, those whole grain bars look delicious! I have been eyeing this cookbook – can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  • Anamika Awasthy

    Looking for ideas for lunches for the whole family!! I love her recipes!!

  • Andrea

    I LOVE it that she gave food allergies positive face time (thank you!) and a chart. A chart!!! I pack 2 lunches every day for my peanut & tree nut allergic boys so I’m always looking for new inspiration that introduces them to different tastes while allowing me a sense of accomplishment that I packed them off with something yummy, nutritious and safe.

  • melanie

    I love her website and I love cookbooks!

  • Lilly Li

    I pack my own lunches and have been only putting stuff like salads and sandwiches into my lunchbox… Really need some inspirations now or else I think I’m gradually giving up with this cooking my own healthy meals idea T T

  • Danielle N

    I’d like to get some ideas for my first grader!

  • Alicia Booth

    I need some inspiration for my kids’ lunches!

  • Latisha

    I’d like to win this book because I am looking for inspiration for my picky eaters! I would like to find alternatives to my current recipes as my kiddies have food allergies!

  • Lauren Janzen

    I’m a big fan of the Weelicious website, and my kids have just started preschool. I’d love to have a book to thumb through.

  • Adelynn Lim

    Catherine is one of my biggest inspirations and even though I’m still fairly young, I aspire to be just like her when I have kids of my own one day. Weelicious Lunches will do me good as a head-start for my passion for making healthy yet delicious food that both kids and adults will love. Not to mention, I also have a slight ‘interest’ (read obsession) with lunchbox ideas and Catherine’s recipes are phenomenal. Who knew you could have sweet treats for lunch on school days? I didn’t!

  • Lindsay K.

    This book looks great. I’m always looking for lunch inspiration!

  • Heather Woyak

    I would love to win this! I make lunches for both my little guys to take to school (and of course on the days they are home). I am running out of ideas. They cannot take peanut buttur to school, so that is out… I have on ethat is now a “Mr. Pickypants” and wont eats his ham./turkey sandwiches. Please pick me!! 🙂

  • Ria

    I have to young girls and I enjoy making them healthy meals everyday. This book would help me tremendously with variety.

  • Shari

    I’ve love to win this book. I feel like I am in a rut, packing a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on wheat every day for my munchkids. I’d love to find some great ideas that don’t involve snack sized convenience foods (that are usually filled with preservatives and ingredients I can’t pronounce).

  • Jessica

    I adore Weelicious!

  • Jenna

    I’m looking for inspiration for my son’s lunches.

  • viktorija

    I love your recipes, make them most of the time for my daughter. Would like to have this book so I don’t have to run to my computer everytime to check the ingrediens and what to do 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    My daughter just started kindergarten. I’d love a copy of this book for lunch box inspiration!

  • Karla

    I have her first cook book and soo want the second! Its going to be on my Christmas list.

  • Shayne Carver

    I would love a copy to share with my boys and continue to widen the span of what they eat =)

  • Eunice

    looks like a great recipe book to have!!

  • Winnie

    I need more lunch ideas for my kids! I’d love to try the recipes from this book.

  • krishnam

    This would be so great for my daughter! she is 16 month and her daycare doesn’t provide lunches. I need inspiration!!

  • Lindsy

    I really need to add some variety to my daughters lunches!

  • Janet

    Just started making lunches for my 2 1/2 year old for preschool, and already running out of ideas! I seriously think your lunches are gorgeous, and I want to do the same for my baby 🙂

  • Jenn C

    I’m going to try the cereal bar recipe–I’ve been wondering about it ever since you posted about them!

  • Amanda B.

    I have followed Catherine for years and am dying to get my hands on this book!

  • Rachel @ Following In My Shoes

    Ha! Sometimes I run out of ideas and need HELP!!!!!

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