Whoa! I had a major screw-up with my bento photos this last couple of weeks! I took a trip to visit my parents AND I cleared a bunch of stuff off my laptop and in the process I managed to delete most of the lunch photos I took in the last two weeks. [Insert forehead slap here.] And I swear the photos I took featured the most beautiful, artful bento boxes this world has ever seen! [Wink! Wink!]

I do have a FEW photos to share with you today though, so this post isn’t going to be completely empty.

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Week 1

Monday-Wednesday

These were the lunch photos I deleted. Boo hoo! And while they may not have been the most beautiful lunches ever, I did put some effort into making them cute and Christmas-y.

Thursday

Christmas-y Snack

Thursday was the morning I left on my trip and it was utter chaos. I managed to to take a snack for Augie before I left with raspberries, snap peas and hummus. In addition to making the snack red and green, I added a Snoopy ring for decoration.

I also had most of Wyatt’s lunch packed the night before, but his dad finished it in the morning and forgot to take a photo.

Friday

Wyatt's Dad-packed Lunch

This is the lunch my husband packed for Wyatt on Friday: whole wheat crackers, goldfish, raspberries, leftover pizza cut into chunks, corn and dill pickles.

Dad-packed lunch

Augie had goldfish, raspberries, dill pickle, carrots, smoked turkey and his own pizza smorgasborg. This was packed in our LunchBots Cinco.

Week 2

Monday

Zach packed lunches on Monday but forgot to take photos.

Tuesday

Dad-Packed Lunch for Augie

On Tuesday, Zach packed: carrots, snap peas, raspberries, turkey and corn. He packed it in our LunchBots Trio.

Wyatt had school lunch.

Wednesday

Snowflake bento in Yumbox

I was back at it Wednesday and I tried to make up for lost time with this snowflake lunch packed in our 5th Avenue Blue Yumbox. I made a sort of wonky snowflake sunbutter and jelly sandwich using these cutters, then filled in the rest of the main compartment with snowflake Ritz crackers and a little Pirate’s Booty. I also gave him cucumber slices, a mixture of kiwi and blueberries (and a snowflake pick) and a few dried cherries.

5th grader Yumbox

Wyatt used our original Yumbox: ham slices, radishes, kiwi, blueberries, crackers and Pirate’s Booty.

Thursday

School was cancelled because of the big rain storm that hit the Bay Area, so no lunches.

Friday

Chili and sides

Friday the kids had identical lunches so I only took one photo. They each had leftover chili in a thermos, apples, radishes for Wyatt, cukes for Augie and a snack pack of applesauce.


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Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go -- AVAILABLE NOW! Are you looking for more ideas for packed lunches! My book, Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go is packed with ideas for fun, delicious lunches. With 50 brand new bento box lunches and step-by-step photo tutorials showing how to make them it will provide you with loads of inspiration when it’s time to pack lunch. Order today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.

 

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December is finally here and that means it’s a special time here at Wendolonia! What time is it?

It’s time for fun Christmas lunches!

I’ve pulled together twelve ideas for you to put into Christmas bento boxes or to serve up on plates. Most are super simple though a few require some equipment you probably already have tucked in a cupboard for your yearly Christmas baking. None of them will take you more than 5 minutes to pull together. For reals!

12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - cute Christmas crackers 12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - red and green fruit
Fancy Crackers
Let’s start things off really, really easy:

  1. Go to the store.
  2. Buy Christmas-themed crackers.
  3. Put them in a lunch box.

Boom! Done! The crackers up above are Goldfish (you can also buy them in Christmas shapes), Wheat Thins and Ritz Crackers. I found all of these at Target and my neighborhood Lucky supermarket. I also found red and green tortilla chips so keep your eye out for other crackers, chips and stuff like that.

Red and Green Fruit (or Veggies)
Cut up one fruit that’s green and another fruit that’s red and mix them together. I used strawberries and kiwis up above. Other ideas for green fruit: grapes, green apples, or honeydew melon. Other ideas for red fruit: raspberries, pomegranate seeds (SO pretty!), red grapes or dried cranberries.You can also do this with veggies. Try peas, green beans or cucumbers for the green. Kid-friendly options for red veggies: cherry tomatoes, red pepper or radishes.
12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - yogurt with Christmas sprinkles 12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - "candy cane" apple
Yogurt with Sprinkles
Spoon some yogurt into a leak-proof container and then top it with Christmas-y sprinkles. I used holly leaves and berries on this one, but you could also use other fancy sprinkles like snowflakes, candy canes or gingerbread men. Or just keep it simple with red and green jimmies.
“Candy Cane” Apples
Cut a chunk of red-skinned apple into quarter inch slices, then turn every other slice over so that the pieces alternate in red and white stripes. You can also do this with alternating slices of red and green-skinned apples for an equally cool effect.
12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - decorative cupcake picks 12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - DIY decorative picks
Decorative Christmas Picks
Christmas-themed picks made for decorating cupcakes are very  easy to find right now. Check grocery stores, Target, and cooking supply stores for Santas, elves, gingerbread men and other festive characters then poke them into fruits, veggies, cheese or sandwiches in your lunch box.
DIY Christmas Picks
Can’t find any cupcake picks in the stores? Make your own! I busted these babies out in just a couple minutes using stickers from the kids’ craft supply stash and toothpicks. I pulled identical stickers from a big sticker pad (symmetrical stickers or two mirror images work best), then lined them up and pressed them together on the end of a toothpick. I like making these because I can use them for any theme I like.
12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - sprinkle sandwich 12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - red and white roll-ups
Sprinkle Sandwich
This is a cute way to use up more sprinkles and liven up a lunch box mainstay. Cut a hole in the middle of a slice of bread using a cookie cutter in a Christmas shape. Spread an uncut slice of bread with peanut butter and jelly (use sunflower seed butter or cream cheese if your school is nut-free). Place the cut slice of bread on top and fill in the hole with Christmas sprinkles.
Red and White Salami Roll-ups
These savory roll-ups look like the ubiquitous peppermint candies that are everywhere this time of year. Well, sort of. I admit my execution suffered a little here because my cheese cracked when I rolled them up, but I’m hoping you get the idea. (There’s an example on page 90 in my book that worked out fine so you can tell I’m not just making things up.) To make them, fold a slice of salami in half, put a strip of white cheese on top and roll them up jellyroll style. Secure the rolls by tucking them into a silicone cup or by spearing them with some of those cute picks I mentioned up above.
12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - "gingerbread man" sandwich 12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - stamped sandwiches
“Gingerbread Man” Sandwich
Another sandwich idea because sandwiches are simple and most kids like them. Use a gingerbread man cutter to make a sandwich, then decorate it with little pieces of cheese. If you have a tiny circle cutter you can use that for the eyes and buttons, but if you don’t, use the end of a drinking straw. Cut the smiley face out of the cheese with a knife. This looks good with whole wheat bread and even better with darker rye bread because it more closely resembles actual gingerbread.
Stamped Christmas Sandwiches
Stamping cookie cutters take all of the work out of making cute sandwiches and they are pretty easy to find this time of year. Cut two pieces of bread with a shape cutter, then stamp one of them with the included imprint plate to add a design. Assemble the sandwich with whatever fillings you would normally use. If you are looking for stamping cutters, Target has some cute ones this year and I also found these, these, and these on Amazon. For more tips on stamping sandwiches, check out this tutorial.
12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - snap pea Christmas tree 12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - tomato and cheese Santa hat
Snap Pea Christmas Tree
Healthy and adorable! Thread sugar snap peas on a wooden shish kebab skewer, trim the skewer to fit in the space you have and then cut the edges of the snap peas at an angle to mimic a fir tree. Top the tree with a cheese star (a cherry tomato also looks good) and decorate it with tiny circles or stars cut from cheese, red pepper, or thin slices of carrots.
Tomato and Cheese Santa Hats
If you are a Pinterest user, I’m sure you have seen three million variations of the Santa hats made from strawberries and marshmallows by now. They are adorable and would make a fantastic addition to your child’s lunch box, but if you are looking for something slightly healthier or for a way to trick your kid into eating a vegetable, try making this tomato version. Slice a cherry tomato in half and then cut a 1/4 slice from a bocconcini (those are the fresh mozzarella balls that are about an inch in diameter). Cut another small ball from the mozzarella for the hat’s pompom, then thread them all on a toothpick or one of those decorative picks I like so much.

 Do you have something special you like to do for Christmas lunches? Have you already made a special Christmas lunch? Feel free to add it to the link-up down below!

12 Ideas for Fun Christmas Lunches - good for a bento box or for just putting on a plate. Healthy too!


 

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The Week in Bentos: November 24-25, 2014

November 26, 2014

I’ve got a short and sweet little lunch round-up for you today. The kids are off school for the rest of the week, so I’m going to share Monday and Tuesday’s lunches for you today and spend the rest of the week relaxing with the family. But stay tuned: I’ve got a fun post coming […]

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The Week in Bento: November 17-21, 2014

November 24, 2014

November continues and I’ve still got kids home from school! Wyatt was sick last week, so he missed a few days of school, but I tried to step up my game a bit with Augie’s lunch, so even though it’s a bit of a light week, I have some cute lunches and snacks to share. […]

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Two Weeks in Bento: November 3-14, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hi lunch packers! The kids have about a million days off school this month (actually six, but it feels like a million), and three of those days happened in the last two weeks. For that reason, I decided to roll two partial weeks of lunches into one big lunch post today. Read on to see […]

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Share Local Recommendations with the GemShare App

November 14, 2014

This post was sponsored by GemShare, but I’m sharing my own opinions and experiences with their product. GemShare is an app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to share local recommendations with your friends and friends of friends — basically people who’s opinions you trust. You can submit quick endorsements of businesses or services […]

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