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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  • gabbe

    oh these are great lunches! & way to go with Augie- that’s gotta be a sleep training record or something!
    i’m so glad you’re getting better rest & the mojo is returning-hope you’ll get more creative time soon!

  • gabbe

    oh these are great lunches! & way to go with Augie- that’s gotta be a sleep training record or something!
    i’m so glad you’re getting better rest & the mojo is returning-hope you’ll get more creative time soon!

  • Lisa G

    yay super Wendy!

  • Lisa G

    yay super Wendy!

  • you’re the coolest lunch mom-ever!!! my almost 9 year for her b-day wants all the bento box stuff to start making snacks and lunches for her little sis and her to take to the pool this summer. thanks for the inspo!!

  • you’re the coolest lunch mom-ever!!! my almost 9 year for her b-day wants all the bento box stuff to start making snacks and lunches for her little sis and her to take to the pool this summer. thanks for the inspo!!

  • oh, is that food-safe ink you stamped robots with? where would I find that? is it an ink pad?

  • oh, is that food-safe ink you stamped robots with? where would I find that? is it an ink pad?

  • Marlena

    I did one bento where I pitted the cherries and skewered them on a chopstick that I split in half. It turned out cute. I think you did something like that and I copied it. Thank you for posting your bentos it gives me ideas for mine.

  • Marlena

    I did one bento where I pitted the cherries and skewered them on a chopstick that I split in half. It turned out cute. I think you did something like that and I copied it. Thank you for posting your bentos it gives me ideas for mine.

  • Karol

    You are truly the best!! Love that ink business. You prove the point daily that you really should “play with your food”!! And a internet high five on the sleeping biz. My now 21 year old slept with us until he was ashamed of it. Will probably put him in therapy at some point of his life. I know it gave me a perpetual back ache from trying to stay in the bed and not get pushed out. My 15 year old daughter still comes and cuddles if the weather is rough.(Hate to admit it , but I like that!). I need to know about your raised beds in your garden. Is that the square foot gardening you were talking about the other day? I want just a few tomato plants, squash plants and some okra plants. Do you think you could plant that in one of those beds? Does cross pollenation happen?

  • You are truly the best!! Love that ink business. You prove the point daily that you really should “play with your food”!! And a internet high five on the sleeping biz. My now 21 year old slept with us until he was ashamed of it. Will probably put him in therapy at some point of his life. I know it gave me a perpetual back ache from trying to stay in the bed and not get pushed out. My 15 year old daughter still comes and cuddles if the weather is rough.(Hate to admit it , but I like that!). I need to know about your raised beds in your garden. Is that the square foot gardening you were talking about the other day? I want just a few tomato plants, squash plants and some okra plants. Do you think you could plant that in one of those beds? Does cross pollenation happen?

  • Karol — I’m going to try to do a post about the garden beds later this week. My husband is out back putting the finishing touches on them as I write this though and then we still have to plant in them. We are using the Square Foot Gardening technique (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/) and I can’t give it a thumbs up yet because it’s a bit of an experiment for us, but we’ve done it before with pretty good success. I think it would be ideal for what you’d like to grow. (We’re going to grow similar plants.)

  • Karol — I’m going to try to do a post about the garden beds later this week. My husband is out back putting the finishing touches on them as I write this though and then we still have to plant in them. We are using the Square Foot Gardening technique (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/) and I can’t give it a thumbs up yet because it’s a bit of an experiment for us, but we’ve done it before with pretty good success. I think it would be ideal for what you’d like to grow. (We’re going to grow similar plants.)

  • Danielle — yes that is food safe ink. I wrote a bit about the food markers I found here: http://wendolonia.com/blog/2009/04/10/the-week-in-bentos-april-7-10-2009/

  • Danielle — yes that is food safe ink. I wrote a bit about the food markers I found here: http://wendolonia.com/blog/2009/04/10/the-week-in-bentos-april-7-10-2009/

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  • Lisa Tulak

    🙂 I dont make my kids the cutesy lunches everyday either, but the presentation still looks appetizing, as do your simple lunches. Its amazing how coloured liners and a pick perk up a lazy mom lunch <3

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