The Week in Bentos: December 6-10, 2010

by Wendy Copley on December 10, 2010

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you just can’t get your act together? This was one of those weeks for me. I kept forgetting to make the lunches the night before, then staying up too late, then over sleeping in the morning and barely getting Wyatt to school on time. I did that four times this week!

Monday

On Monday morning there was no food in the house — and I mean nothing. No cereal, no fruit, no milk, nothing in the freezer even! I had to give the kids plain bread for breakfast! Needless to say, Wyatt bought school lunch on Monday.

Tuesday

Tuesday was much better because I went to the store Monday afternoon and restocked the larder.

Toddler Bento #75: December 7, 2010

My toddler’s lunch was packed in the Lego bento box, much to his delight. It had leftover potatoes from his Dad’s take-out lunch the day before, frozen mixed veggies, deli turkey and clementine wedges. He ate very little of this lunch, which is unusual for him.

First Grader Bento #396: December 7, 2010

Wyatt’s lunch held a whole wheat dinner roll, turkey pepperoni, pretzel thins, clementine wedges, dried cranberries, raisins and cherries and grapes. He only at the food in the top two boxes.

Wednesday

Toddler Bento #76: December 8, 2010

Augie’s lunch held turkey meatballs cut into chunks, grapes, frozen mixed veggies and a rice ball.

First Grader Bento #397: December 8, 2010

I decided to try to do the build-your-own pizza lunch for Wyatt’s lunch. Last time, I put the cheese in a silicone baking cup and it went everywhere, so today I put it in a container that has a lid. I also included spaghetti sauce (in a container with a lid too), turkey pepperoni and toasted rounds of whole wheat flat bread. The smaller sections of the Easy Lunchbox container held grapes and “canned” peaches that I drained and rinsed (to get the sugar syrup off).

I was feeling pretty proud of myself because I was sure that this time the pizza thing was going to work, but then when I got home from walking Wyatt to school, I found the lids to the containers that held the spaghetti sauce and the cheese sitting on the counter. Oh calamity!! I knew there would be a huge freaking mess in his lunch box when he went to open it at lunch time. I also knew he would never eat it if the food was all mixed together. And finally, I knew that he probably would just go hungry all day rather than saying anything to his teacher. So I called the school and left a message with his teacher asking her to tell him to buy school lunch.

First Grader Bento #397: All hell broke loose!

This is what it looked like when we got it home and opened it. It actually wasn’t too bad, considering, and it’s a credit to the Easy Lunchbox to see that the spaghetti sauce didn’t get into either of the fruit compartments.

Thursday

First Grader Bento #398: December 9, 2010

Thursday, my six-year-old’s lunch had a vague gingerbread man theme. I stuck a gingerbread man cupcake pick in a clementine (it’s by Wilton but I can’t find an online source anywhere) and I also made a couple of gingerbread shaped jam sandwiches. The rest of the lunch was chunks of bacon wrapped chicken strips leftover from dinner the night before and some grapes.

I used these sauce pens to make the decorations on the sandwich and I had a horrible time getting the jam to come out. I kept squeezing and fiddling and finally I realized that there was a big chunk of plum right in the tip! Aargh! That’s the hazard of using home made jam, I guess. Next time I’ll strain the chunks out.

Friday

First Grader Bento #399: December 10, 2010

Today’s lunch was put together in support of Katie Goldman and Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day! As someone whose kid was teased for wearing blue toenail polish his first week of kindergarten and who is often criticized for my own hobby (“She must get up at 4 am to make those lunches!”, “She obviously has too much time on her hands!”), I get really annoyed when one person tells another what she should and shouldn’t like. There is room in this world for all sorts of differences and instead of making snide comments, we should celebrate them and appreciate what makes humanity rich and interesting!

Anyway…So I put today’s lunch in the Lego box (geeky!) and packed it full of grapes, clementines and some Darth Vadar sandwiches. The sandwiches were cut out of whole wheat flat bread and have cheddar and pepperoni on them. Honestly, I can not believe that the Star Wars cookie cutters made the face impression on the flat bread but it worked. Lego snowman and Lego Pirate Buzz Lightyear helped out.

And now, thanks to this lunch, no one will ever make fun of a kid again! Yay!

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  • Whitneymoss

    Gosh Wendy, to reflect on issues and support causes in a creative way, and then to write about them with humor, you really must have too much time on your hands.

  • Plume

    Reading about Katie brought tears to my eyes. My kid is only two and I’m already worried about what school will be like when he goes. very nice of you to support. On a brighter note, I tried the rice balls the other day after forever seing them here, and I have to say, we love! Great for taking when out and about.

  • ChrissiHR

    I make “unlunchables” for my son once in a while, too. (We homeschool, so I rarely get to pack fun lunches for ANYONE. 🙁 ) I have a couple of tips to make it easier and more fun. Instead of regular pepperoni, I buy either the mini pepperoni snack packs or I buy the thin stick pepperoni and slice my own mini slices. Mini pepperoni slices make nice, neat little mini pizzas and miniature ANYTHING is always more fun to eat. I also use a small, flip top spout bottle for the sauce. The bottle holds about three ounces and it came with a travel kit that I bought from eBags years ago. It was originally intended for shampoo or lotion or some such, but it’s food safe. =D It’s less messy than sending a cup and hoping your little one doesn’t finger paint with the sauce instead of eating it. 😉 My little guy likes being able to write and draw with the sauce on his mini pita halves. =D

  • karolien

    I love the idea of the “make your own pizza” ! And I TOTALLY agree on what you said about everyone being different,so true !

  • These are both GREAT ideas, Chrissi! I tried to get the mini-pepperonis, but I couldn’t find them. The slices of pepperoni stick are a fantastic substitution. And I love the squeeze bottle idea too!

  • Sheila

    People sometimes think they are being “funny” when in reality they are being rude. I am in love with the lunches you pack and hope to someday try my hand at it (when my daughter is old enough to need lunch for school). I am also routinely fascinated by people who seem to get so much done in a day or a week. It’s not that you have too much time on your hands, it’s that you appear to be really good at using the time you have. Keep up the awesome work – you are such an inspiration.

  • ChrissiHR

    My son also likes to use the mini pepperoni when he makes English muffin pizzas. Yes, my 8 year old likes to occasionally make dinner for our family. =D (I shouldn’t call him my little guy anymore, I guess. ;))

  • Claudia

    I’ve just discovered your blog, after deciding that I would like to try Bento-style lunches for my first grader. Thanks for the great ideas!!! I’m not sure my little one would like the frozen mixed veggies, though, I guess by lunch they would be thawed and at room temperature, which would work…are they a hit with your kids?

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