The Week in Bentos: September 9-12, 2008

by Wendy Copley on September 12, 2008

We’re still doing a lot of berries in the preschool bentos this week. I think I’m going to have to start branching out into different fruits and veggies though because the berries seem to be finishing up at the farmer’s market.

Preschooler Bento #66: September 9, 2008

Tuesday: strawberries and blueberries, an apple cereal bar (cut in half), some tomatoes are hidden below the apple bar to lift it up, and we finish with the ever present salami.

Preschooler Bento #67: September 10, 2008

Wednesday we were flush with fruit, but low on almost everything else. I was tempted to just send fruit in Wyatt’s lunch because I knew he would probably eat it all, but I didn’t think it would fill him up enough for all that hard playing he needed to do at preschool, so I improvised a bit. I toasted a tortilla and then spread it with cream cheese and jam, rolled it up and sliced it into little rolls. If you try this yourself, be sure to cut the tortilla with a serrated knife or the goop in the middle will all squish out. Trust me — I found out the hard way. I also sent a Laughing Cow cheese wedge. Wyatt can’t open these by himself, so I open them for him and then fold the foil back around the cheese before I put it in his lunch box. Like so:

Open the cheese for your kid

Preschooler Bento #68: September 11, 2008

Thursday: Wyatt specifically asked for some stuff in his lunch today, which he never does. He has no problem telling me not to pack things, of course. He asked for the turkey roll-ups and baked tofu. Kind of a protein heavy luncheon, but I think that’s OK. I also sent amazingly sweet grapes from the farmer’s market and some saltines which Wyatt refers to as “Those crackers I like.” Augie slept in this morning, so I had time to cute this up with some tofu stars too.

Preschooler Bento #69: September 12, 2008

I made a couple of loaves of banana bread on Thursday so of course some went into Wyatt’s lunch on Friday. I took a few extra seconds to cut the slice into cat and star shapes. The slices were too thin to come up to the top of the box on their own, so to keep things stable, I put a layer of grapes under the cat and I doubled up the stars. So even though it looks like there are two stars in the box, there are actually four. I also added a garlic chicken sausage cut into chunks and a hand full of strawberries.

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  • I’ve been a lurker for a few months and you have been a great help in getting me ready to pack a daily lunch for my kindergartner! I love your ideas and the simplicity of this whole lunch box style. It’s time I change things up a bit after 4 weeks of lunches and I would love to add tofu. I don’t use tofu much at all and was wondering how you bake? It seems simple but I have not clue! Do you marinate it first and then bake it? I’m hoping to use my toaster oven. Your advice/recipe(s) for tofu would be so greatly appreciated!!!

  • I’ve been a lurker for a few months and you have been a great help in getting me ready to pack a daily lunch for my kindergartner! I love your ideas and the simplicity of this whole lunch box style. It’s time I change things up a bit after 4 weeks of lunches and I would love to add tofu. I don’t use tofu much at all and was wondering how you bake? It seems simple but I have not clue! Do you marinate it first and then bake it? I’m hoping to use my toaster oven. Your advice/recipe(s) for tofu would be so greatly appreciated!!!

  • Hi Claudia — I actually buy the baked tofu I put in my son’s lunches — I’m far too lazy to make it myself and the store bought kind is pretty good. I get it at both Trader Joes and at the regular grocery store (Lucky’s or Safeway). I think the brand I buy at the regular store is Wildwood? (Don’t quote me on that though)

  • Hi Claudia — I actually buy the baked tofu I put in my son’s lunches — I’m far too lazy to make it myself and the store bought kind is pretty good. I get it at both Trader Joes and at the regular grocery store (Lucky’s or Safeway). I think the brand I buy at the regular store is Wildwood? (Don’t quote me on that though)

  • Milo!BadKitty!

    I too have been lurking for a while, and I love looking at your pics! It inspired me to buy some bentos…..we now have 4. One for my daughter, one for my husband, and 2 for me! I just can’t stop myself from getting all the cute accessories that go with them. Thanks for the lunch ideas and inspiration!

  • Milo!BadKitty!

    I too have been lurking for a while, and I love looking at your pics! It inspired me to buy some bentos…..we now have 4. One for my daughter, one for my husband, and 2 for me! I just can’t stop myself from getting all the cute accessories that go with them. Thanks for the lunch ideas and inspiration!

  • On the topic of the tofu: my preschooler won’t touch it but my 14 month old lives on it. The pre-baked like Wendy buys comes in flavors. She likes honey sesame flavor. (Just a tip for people in search of picky toddler solutions!)

  • On the topic of the tofu: my preschooler won’t touch it but my 14 month old lives on it. The pre-baked like Wendy buys comes in flavors. She likes honey sesame flavor. (Just a tip for people in search of picky toddler solutions!)

  • LizbethAnne

    I’ve been lurking on the blog for a while, and I just wanted to say thank you. I’d never heard of bentos before, but you’ve inspired me to look for them. I haven’t been able to get any yet, but I’ve been using tupperware-type boxes of various sizes with a lot of success. Thank you!

  • LizbethAnne

    I’ve been lurking on the blog for a while, and I just wanted to say thank you. I’d never heard of bentos before, but you’ve inspired me to look for them. I haven’t been able to get any yet, but I’ve been using tupperware-type boxes of various sizes with a lot of success. Thank you!

  • I happened to check back here and just realized you had replied to my question about baked tofu. Thanks!!!
    I wanted to let you know that I have now successfully baked my own tofu and it is quite delish!
    I googled “how to bake tofu” and came up with the simple answer of marinating it in soy sauce for 10 minutes and then baking it in the oven at about 350 degrees F–turning over halfway through.

    I marinated my hard tofu (after slicing it into 4 or 5 slices) in soy sauce and sesame oil for 10+ minutes. I then baked it in my toaster oven (400 degrees F) watching for it to “brown” so that I could turn it over. That took about 8-12 minutes. I turned it over and baked it for about 10 minutes more. This was probably more time than it needed but I was busy cooking the rest of our meal while it baked. SOOOOOOOO very simple!!! And, BTW, I have purchased the mango flavored tofu at Safeway in the past and I’m guessing it was baked. 🙂

  • I happened to check back here and just realized you had replied to my question about baked tofu. Thanks!!!
    I wanted to let you know that I have now successfully baked my own tofu and it is quite delish!
    I googled “how to bake tofu” and came up with the simple answer of marinating it in soy sauce for 10 minutes and then baking it in the oven at about 350 degrees F–turning over halfway through.

    I marinated my hard tofu (after slicing it into 4 or 5 slices) in soy sauce and sesame oil for 10+ minutes. I then baked it in my toaster oven (400 degrees F) watching for it to “brown” so that I could turn it over. That took about 8-12 minutes. I turned it over and baked it for about 10 minutes more. This was probably more time than it needed but I was busy cooking the rest of our meal while it baked. SOOOOOOOO very simple!!! And, BTW, I have purchased the mango flavored tofu at Safeway in the past and I’m guessing it was baked. 🙂

  • Claudia — that is so cool that you came up with your own recipe for baked tofu! I’m so going to try that! I bet you could marinate it in other sauces too. Did your kindergartener eat it? I’m not sure if my son will eat home-made baked tofu because it might be too “different”. I guess I’ll just have to try it and find out.

  • Claudia — that is so cool that you came up with your own recipe for baked tofu! I’m so going to try that! I bet you could marinate it in other sauces too. Did your kindergartener eat it? I’m not sure if my son will eat home-made baked tofu because it might be too “different”. I guess I’ll just have to try it and find out.

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