This giveaway brought to you by Fresh Thyme.

This giveaway is closed. Congrats to the winner, Ashley!

Before Fresh Thyme, my Kids Wouldn’t Eat The Lunches I Packed for Them

Packing the lunch. It may be a small thing, but it’s the little things that can add to an already chaotic school morning and feel like the straw that breaks the camel’s (or exhausted parent’s) back.

This year I had resolved to make lunches full of fun and healthy variety. My efforts fell totally flat. I would open the lunch boxes at the end of the day to find most of what I had put in the night before STILL THERE. What in the world was going on?

My 2nd-grader’s answer?

“Mom, it’s not what everyone else eats. They get these little bags of Oreos or Cheetos. I don’t want to take your food out because…it’s kind of embarrassing.”

(I can see peer pressure won’t be a problem with this one, at all.)

How I Got My Kids to Take Charge and Eat their Whole (Mostly Healthy) Lunch

So last week, we found ourselves at Fresh Thyme to try something new. (Spoiler Alert: It worked!!

Instead of ME being the one to choose the lunches, I put matters into their hands –  in the form of Fresh Thyme gift cards. Each kid (mine are ages 7 and 9, plus the 4-year-old got to tag along) got $25 to shop for the week, so they could choose what THEY wanted.

To prep, a few days before we sat down and came up with a weekly lunch plan. I had one rule: make sure each lunch includes a fruit, vegetable, and protein. I could already see them enjoying the process as they took ownership of their menu.

Then it was time to shop. We swung over to Fresh Thyme in East Lansing, located in Trowbridge Plaza just off the Trowbridge exit off of 496. (940 Trowbridge Road, East Lansing) They each grabbed a fun kid-sized shopping cart (one of the only stores in the area that has them!) and set out.  

Bonus: Handing over a calculator and notebook to stay on budget makes for an instant math lesson too.

I was surprised to see how quickly they took to their tasks. It was neat to see them rise to a higher level of responsibility to choose well for themselves

They even helped each other out when one felt stuck on what they should choose or what would fit in the budget – a little different from other shopping trips where I’ve had to ban them to separate sides of the cart!

I love that Fresh Thyme is Kid-Friendly

Fresh Thyme was the perfect place to shop because there’s a good variety, but the amount of choices aren’t overwhelming and the store size is extremely manageable.

I could send kids to separate sections and still have a view of everyone because of the display design and open floor plan.

Once the main shopping was done, none of us could resist stopping by the colorful section of sweets and treats. 


In order to make sure they eat their veggies, I give an incentive – eat all your veggies, get a small treat. Fresh Thyme has a variety of fun candies, like sweet water taffy and individual gummies, that are easy to throw in a bag along with veggies as an incentive (ok, bribe).  

Our Lunches Became a Success

The week after shopping, we put our plan to the test – I packed the items they had chosen and then sent them off into the schoolyard wild. And guess what? When I opened the lunch boxes at the end of the day, they were actually eaten!!

Bringing kids to the store, assigning them a budget, and setting them free to shop for the lunches THEMSELVES! After seeing it in action, I can personally testify that this JUST. MIGHT. WORK.

Next up, getting them to do the food prep and packing too!

7 Reasons Your Kids Will Beg You to Go to Fresh Thyme

My kids LOVE to shop at Fresh Thyme. It could be the: 

01. Free-for-kids fresh fruit and snack stand.

02. Fun kid-sized shopping carts.

03. In-store Story Times offered by the East Lansing Public Library every third Thursday of the month!

04. Tractor hidden around the store for kids to find (free stickers if they do!).

05. Friendly staff that smiles at them and goes out of their way to make sure we are finding everything.

06. The make-your-own peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter machines. 

07. The hope of just one piece of saltwater taffy at the end! 

A Few More Helpful Tips

-Wednesdays are Double Ad days 

-Hours are 7 am-10 pm. Best times to avoid the crowds are earlier mornings or mid to late afternoon. 

-Download the FreshThyme app for instant coupons, to create a shopping list, or redeem rewards. 

See FreshThyme’s website for more info and to download the new mobile app, MyThyme

Fresh Thyme is located in the Trowbridge Plaza at 940 Trowbridge Rd, East Lansing. 

Enter to Win a $75 Gift Card To Fresh Thyme!

An entire menu of lunches (and more) on us!

There are three ways to get entries for a chance to WIN by commenting on THIS article. Facebook comments do not count for entries.

1. For a first entry, leave a comment telling us what lunch items your kids would love to pick out from Fresh Thyme!

2. Get a second entry by liking Fresh Thyme on Facebook or Instagram and leave a separate comment telling us you did so. (Note: Only comments on this article will be counted for this giveaway.)

3. Get a third entry by sharing this giveaway with friends. Leave a third and final comment below telling us how you shared.

If you’re a WINNER, you will be contacted via email. Watch your inbox to ensure you don’t miss out. Winners will have 24 hours to respond.

Good luck, Lansing!


This giveaway will close on November 7, 2019, at midnight and the winners will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond by email accepting the prize. No purchase necessary to enter the contest. Leaving a comment on this blog post is not a requirement of entry. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used to enter the contest and notify winners. Entrants will release Facebook from all liability. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in Michigan. Only one entry per household or IP address. Entrants may also enter the contest by sending an email to win at lansingfamilyfun dot com containing their name, address, phone number and email address along with the words: Fresh Thyme Giveaway in the subject line. Lansing Family Fun’s liability is limited to the value of the prize.