The Week in Bentos: March 19-23, 2012

by Wendy Copley on March 23, 2012

This was another week of sickness in Wendolonia land and Augie was off preschool much of the time. Someday we’ll all be well, right? Here are the lunches the boys ate when I packed them.


Wyatt had school lunch


Preschool Bento #244

Augie’s lunch had turkey meatballs from the freezer (both kids asked for them in their lunches), Israeli couscous leftover from Monday’s dinner, blueberries and strawberries.

2nd Grade Bento #568

Wyatt also had meatballs, strawberries and blueberries. His lunch (packed in the Laptop Lunch box) was rounded out with Scrabble Cheez-its and carrots. The smaller blue tub had catsup for dipping the meatballs.


2nd Grade Bento #569

On Wednesday, Wyatt’s lunch had a big slice of cinnamon twist bread, blueberries, strawberries, carrot sticks and baked tofu decorated with rocket ship and star cut-outs.

Big Kid Bento #569: After

Wyatt was super excited about this lunch and ate almost all of it as you can see by this photo I took when he got home.


Big Kid Bento #570

Wyatt was also pretty jazzed about Thursday’s lunch (packed in the Easy Lunchbox): home made ranch dip, carrot sticks, jelly sandwiches, Doritos and strawberries.

I knew he was going to like this lunch a lot and I expected it to be completely gone when he came home. The Doritos were a super special treat that I bought on a whim and strawberries are always a favorite. The dip was a new recipe I tried the night before and he couldn’t stop dipping carrots in it so I thought that would also be gone, so I was surprised to see it nearly untouched after school. When I asked him why he didn’t eat it, he told me that his lunch companions asked him if he was dipping his carrots in bird poop.

Oh. That’s why he didn’t eat it.


Preschool Bento #245

Augie was feeling well enough to go back to school today so I packed him a super simple lunch of pb&j, carrots, snap peas and strawberries.

What did you put into lunch boxes this week? I’m looking for a little inspiration.

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  • Sarah Fortin

    No kids here yet, but being pregnant, I pack a lunch and/or lots of snacks. I’ve been packing watermelon and pineapple. Those are pretty firm fruits, so I’m sure some of your cut outs would work to make them into fun shapes. I also love celery with Biscoff spread (made from the Biscoff cookies), which is good if they are in a “no peanut” school. Biscoff is a ginger cookie–delish on apples too! Have your kids ever tried plain greek yogurt with honey on it? Thats a yummy breakfast I usually can pack ahead for the week, plus then I have honey for my tea here at work. Maybe top with some granola for crunch. And I usually dip my carrots in Trader Joe’s spinach and kale greek yogurt dip as a switch up from ranch dressing (and i get my greens in a little).

    Some kids where I used to teach had moms who made pizza “lunchables”. The store bought ones are junk, but the moms just bought the supplies themselves and packed it so the kids got a treat every now and then with pita bread (or garlic nan), sauce, cheese, toppings etc…

    Hope this helps with some inspiration!

  • Sarah Fortin

    And if you are into the real food trend:

    She always has some kind of neat crafty lunch for her kids too!


  • No kids here either, but lots of lunches!  If your boys like apples with PB, you can make apple-and-peanut butter sandwiches by putting a little PB between apple slices.  It’s so delicious!  I’ve also been doing a lot of PB and celery sticks and hummus and chips.  I’m kind of in a rut, too – I need more protein-heavy options or else I end up eating a bunch of fruit and corn chips.

  • Karen

    My son’s current favorite is a nice thick hand-made corn tortilla (store bought — I use WF’s Mi Abuelita Bonita or something like that), spread with canned refried beans, fried in a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray until the tortilla is just a little browned, and then folded in half.  Voila, instant taco!  You could put salsa, and/or cheddar or jack cheese on it too — but my kid hates cheese.  He likes avocado slices on them though.
    I like these too…

  • Sara

    I’m in a rut too but my son loves me to make little “roll-ups.” I spread cream cheese on a tortilla, sometimes I sneak in some shredded carrot or cucumber and roll it up, then slice it into bite sized pieces. It looks really pretty. (I may have originally seen the idea here!)

  • Badmansard

    I have 4 kids for whom I pack lunch.  I look to you to inspire me =)  I’ve been trying to pack more protein and thus a lot of peeled hard boiled eggs.  We are in Missouri where it has been in the 80’s and therefore the kids are getting a lot of fruit and liquid because their school does not have AC.

    My 5th grade daughter loves Israeli couscous although she hates about everything else.  She says it tastes good at room temp or cold.  We saute it in a little olive oil then boil it in chicken broth.

    I can identify with the bird poop comment.  MY kids will shun a lunch box item because some kid has something stupid to say about what I’ve packed.  And usually those classmates are eating lunchables and fruit roll ups for lunch.

  • guest

    I was out of town all week, so it was school lunch for my bento-phile. I love your “after” photos because they make me feel better about the food that comes home from my lunches. (It’s always a little depressing to see a yummy lunch hardly touched!) Unfortunately I find that it’s very unpredictable – some days she’ll eat everything, other days hardly anything. Generally, she likes shrimp (I buy it already cooked at the store and freeze it in small portions) and dollar-sized pancakes in her lunch. I’ll also freeze the pancakes or leftover muffins for later use. 

  • Miles Lawrence

    I love your blog!  I was so sad when I read the bird poop comment.  Why do kids have to say things like that?  My son has asked me not to put some things in his lunch that kids have commented about.  

  • Alice Wootton

    I love your blog!  Kudos for teaching your kids to enjoy healthy eating.  
    Here’s a link to my Husband-Tested Recipes blog. This particular post is for making a Breakfast for Lunch.  When I taught third grade, next to pizza, it was the favorite lunch!

  • Danielle Rivera

    This may be an odd question, but how do you prep the meatballs from the freezer? do you just let them defrost throughout the day, or do you heat them up prior to the kids leaving the house? We are new to the cold lunch game and I am trying to come up with ideas…thanks!

  • Hi Danielle — I heat the meatballs in the microwave, then let them cool down a bit before packing them in the lunches. The kids eat them at room temp (or cooler when I use an ice pack).

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