Bento Catch-up: March 10-11 & 19-20, 2009

by Wendy Copley on March 24, 2009

Wow! I’m so late with this post. Our trip to Austin was fun, but it’s amazing how a change in routine can upset the balance ofย  our household. Sheesh! Anyway, let’s do some catch-up:

Preschooler Bento #154:  March 10, 2009

The Tuesday before we left I made this wonderfully beige lunch. This is a good example of how not to make a lunch colorful and exciting. I did the best I could with the shades of brown at my disposal though. This lunch had pita crackers from Trader Joe’s (my new favorite cracker), baked tofu and a half banana.

Preschooler Bento #155:  March 11, 2009

OK, Wednesday’s lunch was a little better: Deli ham roll-ups, canned peaches with sprinkles, and garlic toast bunnies.

Preschooler Bento #156:  March 19, 2009

We made a quick run to the grocery store the night we got back from our trip, so I had some fresh foods to offer Wyatt in his lunch that Thursday. Here we have baked tofu cut up and arranged in a checkerboard pattern, strawberries, and frozen peas.

Preschooler Bento #157: March 20, 2009

Friday’s lunch had a hot dog, canned peaches, catsup and a mini blueberry muffin I pulled out of the freezer. I also added a little fruit leather star for decoration.

I’ve had a few requests in the past couple of months to see how the bento boxes I make are assembled, what they look like when they’re closed up and about how big they are, so I took a few pictures to demonstrate those things. I will have a few more photos to share at the end of the week using a different style of box.

How a bento box is put together

This box is one of the stacking style boxes I use regularly. It comes with enough pieces to make a double layer, but I’ve found that’s way to much food for Wyatt, so I just use the biggest, bottom layer. Here you see the lid, the silverware tray and the food container.

How a bento box is put together

The silverware tray goes on top of the food container.

How a bento box is put together

It provides a snug fit but it doesn’t seal.

How a bento box is put together

Here it is next to my hand for size reference. The boxes are pretty small, but that allows the food to be packed tightly together which allows it to arrive at school without being jumbled together.

How a bento box is put together

The lid goes on top of the silverware tray.

How a bento box is put together

Next, the bento “belt” goes on. The belt is a strip of elastic. Sometimes it’s decorated like this one is, but sometimes it’s plain. I use both kinds regularly. Remember, the boxes aren’t self-sealing like a Rubbermaid or Tupperware box is so you need a belt to keep the box closed.

How a bento box is put together

Here is the bento box next to Wyatt’s lunch “box”. It’s really a thermal bag meant for a six-pack. Wyatt doesn’t like this because it’s boring and doesn’t have any pictures of trucks or superheroes on it, but I won’t buy him a new one because this is perfectly functional. Mean mom!

How a bento box is put together

Here’s the bento inside the lunch box.

How a bento box is put together

And here’s the lunchbox after I’ve crammed in a freezer pack and a water bottle. This isn’t how I typically pack his lunch, so this isn’t the best photo to show. This was the first time I’ve ever put that particular water bottle in there. Usually I send Wyatt’s drink (almost always juice cut with water) in a Rubbermaid Litterless Juice Box, but he just got this new water bottle and was dying to take it to school because, you know — robots. I won’t be sending this again though. Wyatt couldn’t open and close it by himself and the teacher didn’t seal it back up tightly so it leaked all over his lunch box and soaked through to his back pack. (It was dumb of me not to check to see if he could do it himself without asking for help.) Needless to say, we are back to our old stand-by plastic boxes.

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  • i so love your bento posts-so much so that i’ve purchased a couple of boxes & some cute cutters! for now, we just take our bentos with us to the park for lunch, but in another year or so, it will be for our school lunches too!

  • i so love your bento posts-so much so that i’ve purchased a couple of boxes & some cute cutters! for now, we just take our bentos with us to the park for lunch, but in another year or so, it will be for our school lunches too!

  • Aunt Linda

    I am horribly out of date but remember vividly packing all of those lunches. I also used the Rubbermaid juice box because it didn’t leak! Thermal bags, etc…. wow, I think I might have been a pre Bento Mom! Love your stuff, Honey, keep it up.

  • Aunt Linda

    I am horribly out of date but remember vividly packing all of those lunches. I also used the Rubbermaid juice box because it didn’t leak! Thermal bags, etc…. wow, I think I might have been a pre Bento Mom! Love your stuff, Honey, keep it up.

  • Riss

    thank you so much for posting the photos of the complete box. Now i really need to get to Diaso to do some shopping.
    I love your photos – i can’t wait to start packing my son’s lunches just like that.

  • Riss

    thank you so much for posting the photos of the complete box. Now i really need to get to Diaso to do some shopping.
    I love your photos – i can’t wait to start packing my son’s lunches just like that.

  • Cute water bottle! We have several stainless steel ones too, but I only let my 7yo take them to school for the same reasons you experienced! My 5yo just can’t manage them independently yet.

    The first “boring bento” made me laugh! I don’t imagine you watch much tv, but on playhouse Disney there is a show called Imagination Movers and one character (my favorite one!) is boring Mr. KnitKnots. He’s have mightly approved of that unexciting bento. You need to know the show to know how silly that reference is. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you had a nice trip and glad to see you posting again!

  • Cute water bottle! We have several stainless steel ones too, but I only let my 7yo take them to school for the same reasons you experienced! My 5yo just can’t manage them independently yet.

    The first “boring bento” made me laugh! I don’t imagine you watch much tv, but on playhouse Disney there is a show called Imagination Movers and one character (my favorite one!) is boring Mr. KnitKnots. He’s have mightly approved of that unexciting bento. You need to know the show to know how silly that reference is. ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you had a nice trip and glad to see you posting again!

  • Maggie

    TJ’s pita crackers are also my favorite. I could go ON and ON and ON and ON about how they’re the best thing ever, but I’ll spare everyone! Suffice to say, I rarely allow myself to buy them, ’cause the whole bag vanishes in minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Maggie

    TJ’s pita crackers are also my favorite. I could go ON and ON and ON and ON about how they’re the best thing ever, but I’ll spare everyone! Suffice to say, I rarely allow myself to buy them, ’cause the whole bag vanishes in minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kristen

    Thank you! I love love love your blog. I was laughing because I knew you were an East Bay product as soon as I read “hella cute”, sooo Oakland! Then I saw that you went to the Daiso in Union City and I knew. You have totally inspired me to get into the whole bento thing, go to Daiso, be a better mom and make better lunches. My son just started preschool and I have been totally freaked out about making lunches. (He is a really picky eater.) Maybe if I make it more fun? One constructive criticism; if you can spend $25 at Daiso on excess bentos and accessories, buy the boy a fun lunchbox Mom!

  • Kristen

    Thank you! I love love love your blog. I was laughing because I knew you were an East Bay product as soon as I read “hella cute”, sooo Oakland! Then I saw that you went to the Daiso in Union City and I knew. You have totally inspired me to get into the whole bento thing, go to Daiso, be a better mom and make better lunches. My son just started preschool and I have been totally freaked out about making lunches. (He is a really picky eater.) Maybe if I make it more fun? One constructive criticism; if you can spend $25 at Daiso on excess bentos and accessories, buy the boy a fun lunchbox Mom!

  • Kristen — you totally nailed me on the lunch box thing! Ha ha! I said I was a mean mom though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck with the bentos — I’ve found them to be really helpful with our picky eater.

  • Kristen — you totally nailed me on the lunch box thing! Ha ha! I said I was a mean mom though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck with the bentos — I’ve found them to be really helpful with our picky eater.

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