The Week in Bentos: September 13-17, 2010

by Wendy Copley on September 17, 2010


Wyatt was home sick from school on Monday, so no lunch to pack.


Toddler Bento #48: September 14, 2010

On Tuesday my two-year-old’s lunch had leftover pork tenderloin, peas, strawberries, and a corn and basil pancake that I chopped up into bite-sized pieces. The pancake was a new recipe I tried at lunch on Sunday and Augie loved them.

1st Grade Bento #350: September 14, 2010

My 1st grader’s lunch and snacks were packed in the Laptop lunchbox: a packaged strawberry cereal bar, crackers, harvarti cheese men, strawberries, leftover pork tenderloin, a half a banana (you can just barely make out the robot I drew on it with food markers) and a long, thin garlic naan and catsup sandwich that I cut specifically to fill that last bit of space in the lunch box.

So here’s a picture of his lunch box when it came home:

1st Grade Bento #350: What Came Home

This was a particularly bad day for lunch consumption. As you can see, he left the cheese and crackers nearly untouched and I suspect he didn’t even open the red container (which is the only inner container with a lid). I kind of like how the banana peel turned brown where I drew the robot though.


Toddler Bento #49: September 15, 2010

Augie’s lunch today featured chicken shu mai that I pulled from the freezer, heated, then cooled down. I also packed peas, the last corn and basil pancake (chopped up) and some diced heirloom tomato which was out-of-this-world delicious.

As usual, Augie ate his whole lunch.

Toddler Bento #49: The Aftermath

1st Grade Bento #351: September 15, 2010

My 1st grader’s lunch also had some chicken shu mai dumpling, strawberries, and flower-shaped naan cut-outs. This lunch was packed in a police car bento box.

1st grade snack #143: September 15, 2010

His snack was whole wheat pretzel sticks and fruit leather strips. The fruit leather strips are a new product I found at Trader Joe’s. They take the trimmings from their regular fruit leathers and package them in a bag with all different flavors jumbled together. I’ve chosen to believe that by buying this product I’m supporting Trader Joe’s in their quest to eliminate waste, rather than that I’m paying for garbage. Heh.

And here’s what came home:

First Grade Bento #351: The Aftermath

He ate all but one shu mai, all the strawberries, and none of the bread in his lunch. There were only a few pretzels left from the snack.


First Grade Bento #352

I got a set of the Star Wars cookie cutters I’ve been coveting for my birthday on Tuesday, so I used them to make sandwiches for my 1st grader’s lunch on Thursday. And yes, I ask for things like Star Wars cookie cutters for my birthday. I got the Star Wars pancake molds too. Have I ever told you I make kick-ass pancakes? I do.

But I digress….

All righty then, I made salami and catsup sandwiches shaped like Darth Vader and Yoda. Gag. He loves them though and it’s his lunch, so who am I to judge? The sandwiches took a bit more time than I usually spend, so I kept the rest of the lunch super simple: strawberries, pretzel thins, grapes, and a yogurt tube.

(This lunch/snack was packed in a Laptop lunchbox.)

And here’s what came home:

First Grade Bento #352: The Aftermath

Boo-YAH! Mom knocks it out of the park and scores the touchdown basket! We will, we will rock you!

You know, I really shouldn’t try to do sportsball cliches — I just can’t pull it off.

In any case, he left the yogurt. He said he couldn’t open it so we’ll have to practice that a bit.


First Grade Bento #353

Today Wyatt’s lunch was sent in an Easy Lunchbox. This was our first time taking one out for a spin, so I’m going to play with it a bit more and then do a review. I packed it with a Z bar, grapes, more salami and catsup Star Wars sandwiched (Boba Fett and a Storm Trooper this time), strawberries, and carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing (in the blue container). I was shocked — shocked! — when Wyatt specifically asked me for the veggies and dip the other day, because I’ve tried them on him more times than I can count with zero success. Apparently he ate them at his after school program and liked them so we’re going to give them a try. I’m curious to see how they go over.

The sandwiches, by the way, are packed into a very large silicone cup that I bought on a trip to Daiso yesterday. I’ve never seen one this large before and I think it’s going to be an excellent addition to our lunch supplies.

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  • Anne

    When my now 13yo (how did THAT happen) son was Wyatt’s age I always packed a pair of primary scissors in his lunchbox. That way he could open yogurt tubes and ketchup packets without help.

  • Anonymous

    What a victory on that empty lunchbox from Wyatt. I would have totally been jumping up and down!

  • Anne! That’s BRILLIANT! I’m going to have to try that.

  • I know! I’ve decided to take credit, even though I know I shouldn’t. How much he eats is really about how hungry he is/how much time he has to eat/how much he goofs around with his friends and has very little to do with what I pack, but if he decided to eat it all it must have been pretty good, right?

  • Hi, I love your blog. I know you are looking for a birthday plate and saw this link on etsy and thought you might like to know where you can buy one. These are pretty cute and not too too expensive!

    That’s the girls one, here is the boy one

    You can also personalize them. I have never bought anything from etsy but have heard good things.

    Keep up the great blog!



  • Jessi

    Walmart and Target sell something similar to the Easy LunchBox. I think its made by Glad, but it set up exactly the same (one big container and then two smaller ones, divided). It was roughly $3 for a set of two.

  • I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that gets excited when my kids bring home empty bentos! I started with the bentos because my son was such a social butterfly that he couldn’t open anything more than 1 box. So, now, he doesn’t say “I didn’t have time” to eat! Thanks for all the great inspiration!

  • Kknowles3223

    You are the team captain of Bento Making!! You rock!!

  • I’m pretty sure I got the Star War’s cutters on my birthday too! LOL!

    I packed little scissors in Ethan’s lunchbox in Kindy. 🙂 By the end the of the year he didn’t need them anymore and it worked really well for him. He used to not be able to open the cereal bars without squashing them, which made him very cross. 😉

    I’m curious to read your review of EasyLunchboxes. I love them.

  • Oh! And I’ve been meaning to ask you for your pancake recipe! I know you posted it on FB a long time ago and I never wrote it down. My pancakes need work!

  • Amy

    I love the before and after shots!!!

  • while I LOVE clif bars, they aren’t always budget friendly (especially when my oldest feeds it to the dog instead of eating it). i found this recipe:

    which are PHENOMENAL! they’re perfect for bento if you roll them in little balls instead of cutting into bars too. i’ve made the almond butter/light agave syrup (instead of rice syrup)/tart dried cherries/pumpkin seen variation and homemade pecan butter/agave/raisins/pumpkin seed variety. all have been great, but i won’t make them with raisins again, i think i’m going to try apricot next time. super budget friendly and no packages to send to school 🙂

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  • Annamaria Settanni McDonald

    Could you tell me where you got the little container for the dressing? I need one for the Ranch dressing for my daughter’s celery. I would really appreciate it. My blog is Hope to see you there! Your lunches are wonderful. My daughter no longer wants to buy her lunch at school the next year and I agree. They are just awful what they get away with feeding kids. It’s nothing like when I was in school. Now everything is so processed! Thank you for the review on these boxes as well because I think they will work perfect for my daughter’s lunches. Since she’s a gymnast, she needs to eat healthy. I love how there is separate compartments in this container. Please email me the info for the dressing container. Thank You!

    Warmest Regards!

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