The Week in Bentos: April 21-24, 2009

by Wendy Copley on April 25, 2009

This week we are back to school! We had a nice break, but now it’s time to get back to a steady routine. While we were on our stay-cation, Wyatt and I discovered a new food that he enjoys — mini bagels! I’ve tried these in his lunch before  with no success, but now he loves them. It’s very gratifying to see him adding a food to his repetoire again instead of deciding he doesn’t like something anymore.

Preschooler Bento #167: April 23, 2009

Tuesday, we had some leftover pork tenderloin from dinner the night before, so I cubed that and put it on picks. I also sent strawberries (I can’t wait for some more interesting fruit to come into the markets!), a cheese stick, and a blueberry mini bagel.

Preschooler Bento #168: April 22, 2009

Wednesday’s lunch had another mini bagel, deli ham roll-ups and some cubed watermelon.

Preschooler Bento #169: April 23, 2009

Wyatt was begging for tofu by Thursday, so he got some of that in his lunch, along with some carrot sticks, peaches with sprinkles and some cinnamon apple mini rice cakes for a treat.

I thought I’d show how I cut up the tofu because I think the photo above is a bit of an optical illusion.

Preschooler Bento #169: April 23, 2009

I start off by cutting a thin layer of tofu off the broad side of the block — something between an eighth and a quarter of an inch. I then cut the rest of the block of tofu — which is about 3/4 of an inch thick — into planks so Wyatt can pick them up and eat them easily. I then cut the shapes out of the thin slice and turn them over for contrast. Then I reassemble the thin slice into a single layer, putting the turned over circle back into the square and then the star into the circle. The shapes you choose have to be symmetrical in order for this to work. Circles, hearts, stars, gingerbread men and teddy bears all work well with this technique.

The tofu is brown on the outside and white on the inside and I use that contrast to my advantage when I’m working with it. You could probably do something similar to this with anything that has different colors on each side. Maybe a apple? Or a sandwich if you used white bread on one side and wheat on the other? You could also put a slice of cheese and a slice of lunch meat together and cut through both of those. I’ll have to play around with that a bit.

Preschool Bento #170: April 24, 2009

Friday’s lunch was the now familiar Wyatt’s favorite: salami, strawberries, and a blueberry mini-bagel. There’s also a new addition here, skewers of grapes, or as my weapon obsessed 4-year-old refers to them, grape swords. A reminder about skewers — make sure your kid is completely clear on the two rules. No poking anyone with a skewer/pick/what have you. And always take the food off the skewer before you eat it.

Preschooler Snack Bento #171: April 24, 2009

BONUS: Snack bento! I was going to take Wyatt to the park after preschool, so I packed him a snack bento to enjoy. It had a half banana, some bunny snack mix and a few grapes. He wasn’t feeling so hot, so we ended up skipping the park, but he still enjoyed the snack in the car on the way home.

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