I can tell that the days are starting to cool off because I’ve started packing — and Wyatt has started requesting — warm dishes in the thermos for his lunches. This week, three of the four lunches I packed him used a thermos! And good news — he’s waaaaaay more likely to eat these hot lunches than he is to eat cold or room temperature lunches. Mostly I’ve been giving him leftovers, but everything I made him this week could have been quickly prepped in the morning and would have taken no more time than his usual cold lunches. Read on to see what he had:

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It was a school holiday — no lunches.


Beans and cheese in the thermos

On Tuesday I whipped out our LunchBots thermal jar for this super quick and hella tasty lunch. I mixed leftover beans from Monday’s dinner with a little spoonful of salsa, heated them in the microwave and then sprinkled a little grated cheese on top after I put them in the thermos. I added grapes and some gimMe seaweed snacks on the side.

This lunch was a HUGE hit and Wyatt ate all of it. He even asked for more beans as a snack when he got home from school! The next time I make it, I think I’ll include some chips or tortillas too.

Seaweed and Grapes Snack

Augie had his own pack of seaweed snacks and a some grapes for his mid-morning snack.


Spooooky Halloween Lunch

On Wednesday, Wyatt took his creepy Halloween lunch to school. Get more details here.

Pita chips and grapes snack

Augie had pita chips and grapes with a jack-o-lantern pick for decoration. This was packed in our Steeltainer snack-size box.


Soup and bagel lunch

Thursday, I pulled out the thermal jar again — this time for chicken noodle soup! Wyatt also had a mini bagel with cream cheese and some strawberries. (If you’re wondering — yes, I’m using the inner containers from our Laptop Lunches sets for the side dishes on these lunches.)

Berries, grapes and eyeballs snack for kindergarten

Augie had grapes and strawberries with an eyeball pick for decoration.


Beanie-Weenies and sides lunch

And then there was one more thermos lunch on Friday! Augie and I had beanie-weenies for our lunch on Thursday — baked beans with all-natural, nitrite-free, hippy-dippy hot dogs chopped up and mixed in — so Wyatt had the leftovers for his lunch the next day. I also packed him some strawberries and some kettle corn on the side.

Popcorn and strawberries snack (with bunnies)

Augie also had strawberries and kettle corn in our Steeltainer snack box but I decorated his with a piece of bunny baran (see how he’s also eating a strawberry? Meta!) and a cute little bunny pick.

What do you pack in your kids’ thermos for lunch?

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I think we all know how much I love Halloween lunches. I mean, I really love making Halloween lunches for my kids! I have tons of equipment and there are so many fun ideas around that I love to start cranking them out as soon as October starts.

Still, I sometimes have a bit of a challenge fitting the right lunch to the right kid. My younger son loves Halloween, but only too a point. If things get too creepy or scary he is overwhelmed and it stops being fun for him. I need to keep things cute for him. On the other hand my fifth grader is embarrassed by lunches that are too cutesy. He likes it when I decorate his lunches, but they need to be creepy enough that he can keep his cool reputation at the lunch table. What’s a parent to do?

Here are some ideas for tailoring lunches to kids of different ages or temperaments:

Cute Halloween PlanetBox Lunch for a Kindergartener

Cute Lunches:

My kindergartener and I made this lunch together so we both contributed ideas. I started by pulling our PlanetBox Rover* out and then we filled each compartment with a Halloween food. First up: cucumber bones. I sliced a cuke lengthwise into planks and then used a bone cookie cutter to make the bone shapes. I’ve found that leg bones are OK with him, but skulls are not.  Another safe area for younger kids: happy jack-o-lanterns. We each used a black food marker to draw a face on a peeled clementine, then I made a round pb&j sandwich and he used cutters to “carve” the pumpkin. I filled in the space between the oranges with a handful of grape tomatoes and poked a friendly ghost pick into a few. He’s also OK with spiders, so I packed a silicone cup shaped like a spider with a chocolate rice krispy treat and he added a bunch of icing googly eyes on top. Googly eyes seem to make anything more friendly so if you think the lunch might be veering too far toward scary, throw a few of those in. And finally, we filled the treat compartment with a little green jelly snack with more of those icing eyes to represent a mad scientist’s experiment gone wrong.

(Do you like this lunch box? PlanetBox* is offering an exclusive discount to Wendolonia readers today and tomorrow, Oct. 15-16, 2014. Get 15% off any of their lunch box kits — Shuttle, Rover, and Launch — when you use code Wendolonia2014 at checkout.)

Creepy Halloween Lunch

Creepy Lunches:

My 10-year-old likes things scary. When I asked him for a few ideas for this lunch, he suggested “a guy in a hockey mask with a chain saw.”

What?! Um…that’s a bit too much for me! I don’t think so!

I found these grody a severed finger candies at the craft store a couple weeks ago, so I used those as a jumping off point and went with a death and body parts theme in this PlanetBox* lunch. The pièce de résistance in this lunch is one of those same fingers with a bloody (cookie) butcher knife next to it on a bed of apple slices. (The blood is a bit of red gel icing that I squirted on the candies.) Blech! So gross! I also included skull and bone ham sandwiches on a blood red napkin. Shocking! Grape tomatoes stand in for bloody eyeballs with an eyeball pick to enhance the idea. And finally I added some black bean dip earth with tortilla chip grave stones for dipping.  I made the grave stones by cutting tortillas, spraying them with a little oil and sprinkling with chili powder and baking them at 350 for about 15 minutes.

What other ideas do you have for cute or creepy lunches?  I’d love it if you shared them in the comments so others can be inspired too!

Cute Halloween Lunch? Or Creepy Halloween Lunch?

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The Week in Bentos: October 6-10, 2014

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Hey Lunch Packers! Are you ready? I have another week of real-life lunches for you to peruse. Check it out: This post contains affiliate links. Monday Wyatt started the week off with a back-to-basics Laptop Lunches bento. He had granny smith apple slices, white cheddar popcorn, cherry tomatoes and a sunbutter and jelly sandwich on […]

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The Week in Bentos: September 22-26, 2014

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Five lunches, five snacks! It’s the week in bentos: This post contains affiliate links. Monday On Monday I put together this snacky lunch for Wyatt in one of our Laptop Lunches boxes: Triscuits, salami slices, carrots, bean dip, grapes and white cheddar popcorn. Augie had popcorn, cucumber slices and hummus for his snack at kindergarten. […]

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The Week in Bentos: September 15-19, 2014

September 22, 2014

Honestly, our mornings did not go smoothly last week. We all overslept at one point or another, the kids were obstinate and bickered constantly and I yelled at everyone far too much. Do you know what that means? Boring lunches and snacks.  There is nothing even vaguely cute here, folks. But maybe you’ll still get […]

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