The Week in Bentos: August 23-27, 2010

by Wendy Copley on August 27, 2010


Family Bento #45: August 23, 2010

Monday was the last day of summer vacation before my big boy started 1st grade and my little guy went back to day care so we ventured out a little farther than we normally do to visit a park with a splash pad.  I packed a picnic lunch for all of us in the big Oots Lunchbox. The Oots box worked perfectly — we all helped ourselves from the different containers and we used the internal box lids for little plates. I packed: blueberries, strawberries, leftover barbecued chicken legs (2 for me, 1 for Wyatt and one chopped up for Augie), whole wheat pretzel sticks and a little tub of edamame hummus to dip the pretzels in. The hummus is a new-ish Trader Joe’s discovery. I’ve liked it for a long time, but the kids are suddenly cuckoo-crazy for it.


And then Tuesday we were officially back to school!

I feel ridiculous telling you this, but Monday night I froze up when it was time to pack the lunches. I went into the kitchen and I just didn’t know where to begin. Deciding what to put in the lunch boxes is always the hardest part for me and I completely blanked. Part of it was exhaustion from a lot of activity on a really hot day, part of it was that I didn’t have as much “lunchy” food in the house as I thought I did, and part of it was that after my “Back to School, Back to Lunch” series of posts last week I felt like I really had to bring it with the first day lunches. Silly? Yes! But I still was stumped.

And then I looked at the lunch box idea list that was stuck to our fridge and I got a bunch of ideas. We eat our own dog food here at Wendolonia!

Toddler Bento #42: August 24, 2010

The toddler lunch had leftover wild rice from dinner, mixed veggies from the freezer, turkey meatballs and blueberries.

1st Grader Bento #339: August 24, 2010

The 1st grader’s lunch was blueberries, a strawberry cereal bar (cut into chunks to fit) and turkey meatballs that I cut into quarters and threaded onto skewers. I also included a little container of catsup for dipping the meatballs in.

1st Grader Snack #138: August 24, 2010

Wyatt has been crazy for dill pickles this week, so for his snack, I cut a couple into chunks and put them into a small box with some pretzel sticks. I was very careful to drain as much liquid off the pickles as I could and put them into a silicone baking cup so that they didn’t make the pretzels soggy.


Toddler Bento #43: August 25, 2010

On Wednesday, Augie’s lunch was soycatash, leftover salmon chunks from dinner, a mini whole wheat hamburger bun and some cantaloupe chunks.

1st Grader Bento #340: August 25, 2010

Wyatt’s lunch and snack were packed into the Laptop lunchbox: a Z-Bar, whole wheat pretzel sticks, cantaloupe chunks, corn, a mini hamburger bun and ham and cheese roll-ups.


1st Grader Bento #341: August 26, 2010

This 1st grader lunch had strawberries, cantaloupe stars, baked tofu, a mini hamburger bun and a box of raisins.

1st Grader Snack #139: August 26, 2010

His snack had cantaloupe, a strawberry star, a few pretzel sticks (a little hard to see) and a cheese stick. I had to cut the ends off the cheese to make it fit in the box, and although I planned to use them to fill those little gaps, I ended up eating them because they looked tasty. Oops! Also, do you see what I did here with the stars? I was planning on using both types of fruit all along, so I just used each one to decorate the other. Easy peasy!


1st Grader Bento #342: August 27, 2010

Wyatt’s lunch was pretty simple today. I packed leftover pulled pork into the thermos, then slipped that into the OOTS Lunchbox along with containers holding a mini hamburger bun to make a sandwich with and some mixed berries. I also threw in a Z bar as a treat for his snack. I cut the package open because either they don’t help the kids with their lunches in 1st grade, or Wyatt is too shy to ask for help yet.

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  • Hi. Do you recall where you got the catsup cup used in the Tuesday lunch? We had a bit of a catsup mess this week — but I'm learning!

  • Hi. Do you recall where you got the catsup cup used in the Tuesday lunch? We had a bit of a catsup mess this week — but I'm learning!

  • I'm pretty sure that came from Daiso.

  • You know I'm taking notes for when I have kids, right Wendy?

  • Super Sarah

    I love your blog, its so inspirational for ideas for lunches for my girls. I am saving up to replace our ratty old lunchboxes with some new bento types, until then I just covet your selection! What I would love to know is how much food actually comes back from your boys, are there days when they eat it all, days when they leave most of it? My daughter is so unpredictable, this week one day she ate all the pineapple chunks and then the next she left them all saying she didn't like them. Sigh.

  • Yes — what you said! How much food comes home is all over the map. Some days the boxes are empty (like today! Yay!) and other days, they barely looked touched (like Wednesday. Boo.). Usually it's in the middle though.I think 75% eaten is pretty good. This post from last year shows before and afters on a pretty typical week.

  • Scamacho1

    Hello! I absolutely am grateful that I stumbled onto your blog. My 2 boys just returned to school and I've shown them your site and said, “That's what I'm going to do!” We'll they are super excited and can't wait to get to their snacks and lunches to see what I've done. Now, I don't have cute boxes but I have been using more color and packing things more interestingly than before. I've used a small measuring cup that come with cough syrups to make “buttons” for my youngest snacks. These buttons are the perfect two bite sandwiches that I make with one slice of bread. Some days it's peanut butter, some days it's jam-but buttons are the perfect space filler and really too cute not to eat. Thank you for all your ideas! I am forever browsing thru your site!

  • It’s not just a good summary but a really good headline. This is the first thing people will be attracted to.

  • Pingback: Family Bento #45: August 23, 2010 | Bento Boxes()

  • Pingback: Toddler Bento #42: August 24, 2010 | Bento Boxes()

  • Pingback: 1st Grader Bento #340: August 25, 2010 | Bento Boxes()

  • Pingback: 1st Grader Bento #339: August 24, 2010 | Bento Boxes()

  • Pingback: 1st Grader Bento #341: August 26, 2010 | Bento Boxes()

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