The Week in Bentos: May 12-15, 2009

by Wendy Copley on May 16, 2009

You’ll notice an uptick in the cuteness of  Wyatt’s lunches this week. For a while there, I was just not feeling the whole cute bento thing, but this week I’m on a roll. (If I do say so myself…) And, you know, not feeling the whole cute bento thing — nothing wrong with that. I feel zero mommy guilt when I don’t do anything cutesy with Wyatt’s lunch.  None. Know why? Because I make my kid’s lunch bento-style for a lot of reasons — to encourage healthful eating, for the environment, as a tiny way to show my love for my child — but mostly I do it because I think it’s fun. If he likes it — that’s great. I do enjoy it when Wyatt gets excited about something I make him. But the fact is, I’m not going to beat my brains in — or even inconvenience myself — so a four-year-old can see a bunny in his lunch. If I’m not having fun with this, I’m not going to do it. That’s why you were seeing lots of buns, salami and piles of strawberries for the last couple months. I was going for the easy way to make lunches.

This week I was energized and I was feeling creative again. “Why the change of heart?” you ask. I’ll tell you:

Sleep-training

We sleep-trained Augie this week and he’s been sleeping and sleeping and not waking up a million times. And it was actually not too emotionally wrenching. Wyatt cried for up to two hours every time we put him down when we did this with him and it took 2 weeks before he finally went down with no crying. With Augie, it took two days. All this sleeping for Augie has meant lots more uninterrupted, wonderful, delicious sleep for me and now I’m feeling creative, inspired and energetic. Nothing like months and months of sleep deprivation to kill any creative impulse you have.

OK, enough rambling! Here are this weeks lunches. I hope I haven’t built them up too much. They’re not that exciting.

Preschool Bento #176: May 12, 2009

The main component of Tuesday’s lunch was alphabet noodles with butter and garlic. They went in the thermos. I also sent along a smaller bento box with some peas, grapes and letter cookies. We are working on some sight words to encourage Wyatt to read a bit, so I sent the letters C-A-T. Because I think every 4 year old should know how to spell “act”.

Preschool Bento #177: May 12, 2009

Tuesday night Zach and I went to the gym to work out and the kids went to the child care center. I packed Wyatt this bento for his dinner. He loooves it when I do this. He got a salami “rose” with a cheese stick chopped into chunks used as the center, two gigundo strawberries, the very first cherries of the season (they’re OK, not great), and a lemon ginger scone.

He kept calling the scone a “crust” and I had no idea what he was talking about. For some reason he can never remember the word “scone”. He kept saying, “Mom, I really want a crust in my dinner.” And I was thinking, “What in the heck of the world?? He wants me to pull crusts off bread and put them in? What is he — some kind of Dickensian orphan begging for some tepid water and a crust of bread?” He finally showed me the bag of scones and then it all made sense. Not a Dickensian orphan, but rather the son of yuppie food snobs. Yes, that makes more sense….

Preschool Bento #178: May 13, 2009

Wednesday he got another salami and string cheese rose, a bunch of strawberries (which are sooo good right now), and two little sandwiches made from flatbread and catsup. Yep. I find it gross too. He loves them. I also threw on a salami dude for extra cuteness.

Preschooler Bento #179: May 14, 2009

I sent more cherries on Thursday. They’re doing a unit on ladybugs at school, so I tried to make one of the cherries look like a ladybug. I poked a couple of stems in it for antenae and I tried to draw on spots with a food marker, but the ink kept beading up, so it didn’t really work out. He also got some baked tofu. I cut one of the pieces into a bunny with a knife and then drew a face on it. Bunny snack mix rounds out the meal.

Preschooler Bento #180: May 15, 2009

Friday’s lunch had some grapes and salami. It looks like there’s a ton of salami there, but it’s only 6 or 7 slices. Wyatt gave me explicit instructions not to cut the salami, so each slice is folded up a few times. There is also a cheese stick and a hot dog bun with red robots stamped on it. It’s kind of hard to see the robots in this photo, but you have to believe me when I tell you that they looked cool.

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