The Week in Bentos: August 20-24, 2012

by Wendy Copley on August 24, 2012

And we are back in school! Phwew!

The kids both started back to school on their regular schedules today. Wyatt, my THIRD grader (OMG!), goes to school every week day, of course. And Augie, who is now in the pre-K program at his preschool (OMG!), will continue to need a lunch Tuesday-Friday. After two weeks with no camp or school they were both very excited to get back and see their friends and I was excited to have a little bit of quiet and time to myself. Of course I missed them both by pick-up time but so goes the contradictory nature of motherhood.

So here’s what I packed this week:

Monday

Third Grade Bento #634: Back to School!

Sunday night I decided I wanted to make Wyatt a special lunch for his first day of school, so I packed most of this lunch in our PlanetBox in advance and stored it in the fridge over night. He had black bean dip, carrots, strawberries, a turkey sandwich with a back to school message and a fruit leather apple and pita chips (which I waited to add until morning so they wouldn’t get soggy in the fridge).

I cut the bread for the sandwich with the large inner container to ensure a perfect fit in the biggest compartment and then cut the “Back to School” message for the top of his sandwich from cheese with letter cutters and glued them to the bread with tiny little dabs of mayonnaise. (The apple cutter came from this set.)

I rarely take the time to do something this fussy for my kids’ lunches, so I was pretty excited to show it to him in the morning. But then when I did he got a panicked look on his face and told me he was afraid the kids at his lunch table would laugh at him. Oh no! The last thing I want to do is embarrass my kids with my hobby! I’ve really scaled back the cutesy stuff with Wyatt’s lunches in the last few years, because I could kind of sense that this feeling was starting to build but I felt like this was a innocuous message to send in his lunch box. As we picked the letters off his sandwich, I joked that I’d be happy to write “I love you schmoopy-poopy-pants!” instead, but he just rolled his eyes. In the end he agreed that the apple was OK, so that stayed, but otherwise he took a bare sandwich to school.

Tuesday

Preschoole Bento #314

Augie started back to preschool after his break on Tuesday morning and I packed his lunch in the LunchBots Trio: grapes, crackers, an “A” for Augie cut from cheese, salami, carrots and sugar snap peas.

Third Grade Bento #635

Wyatt had raisins, multigrain apple snack sticks (from Trader Joes), carrots, bean dip, applesauce, salami, a cheese “W”, and knock-off Ritz crackers. This was packed in our Laptop Lunches bento box.

Wednesday

Preschoole Bento #315

On Wednesday, I packed Augie’s lunch in the Yubo Lunchbox. He had grapes, carrots, more grapes, and crackers in the big box. Then I made use of the leak- and smell-proof nature of the little containers to add in some applesauce and tuna. Over the summer I refreshed my silicone baking cup collection with some new editions and these square guys have been working nicely to divide this particular container.

Third Grade Bento #636

Wyatt’s lunch had bean dip and carrots, grapes, applesauce and pita chips. This was one of the vegetarian lunches I’ve been trying to rotate in more frequently.

Thursday

Preschoole Bento #316

On Thursday it was Augie’s turn for the PlanetBox (the kids have been fighting over it). I thought it would be a little large for him but he ate everything in it, so I guess I was wrong. He had apple sticks, grapes, a mini bagel with PB&J, blueberries and the broken bits from the bottom of the pita chips bag.

Third Grade Bento #637

Wyatt had the same thing except I swapped goldfish for the pita chips and put cream cheese on his bagel.

Friday

Preschoole Bento #317

Today’s lunch for Augie had meatballs, cukes, naan cut into stars, blue berries, and grapes.

Third Grade Bento #638

Wyatt had the same lunch but I left the cucumbers out of his because he despises them. This lunch marked the inaugural outing for our larger Steeltainer box. So far so good!

Third Grade Bento #638: scrap hiding

I can’t remember if I’ve shown this before, but when I cut the stars from the naan, there were a lot of scraps leftover. I never throw these scraps away — instead I put them in the bottom of the box where you can’t see them and then just layer the pretty pieces on top.


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  • tsoniki

    I love all of these! I got laptop lunch boxes for my kids (6th and 4th grade) and definitely need some non-sandwich/deli meat ideas of what to send them. I do struggle because it is a cold lunch. I mean there are a lot of things that taste fine cold, so I just need to make a list and run with it. My kids haven’t eaten all of their lunch the past two days though I also need to work on that.

  • How much time do they have for lunch? Wyatt ate every bit of his lunch every day when he was at summer camp and had plenty of time but now that he’s back to 15 minute school lunch periods he’s coming back with lunch boxes that are still half full because he didn’t have enough time to eat. He always sits down and finishes it first thing after school because he’s starving when he gets home.

  • Michele Lancaster

    I would hope the kids wouldn’t make fun of those cool lunches. Too bad you can’t make them for every kid, because I know they would love them.

  • Anna Sammelson

    Where did you get the licorice dogs? Every time you post a lunch with one in it, I think my boys would love one of those in their lunches.

  • I bought them at Target on clearance but I haven’t been able to find them for a few weeks now.

  • OK, I just found them at Amazon but they only seem to be available in 5 lb. bags. Who needs that many licorice dogs??

  • Melissa

    Aww, he didn’t like the sandwich?!?! Maybe you could put the letters INSIDE next time and it could be a hidden secret message that only he knows about. You could put some sort of indicator, like the apple, on the outside as code for “look in the sandwich, but don’t let anyone see!”
    I can’t believe they only let kids have 15 minutes to eat these days!

  • Tanya

    I love the sandwich! Funny little story, though. 🙂

    My 6th grader still loves the “cutesy” stuff – maybe it’s because she’s a girl, I don’t know. Her friends always ask to see her lunch. They are constantly asking if they can have a food pick or something. One day she gave away several little duck picks I had ordered from Amazon so I had to tell her that I couldn’t afford to provide picks for all her classmates everyday and to stop giving them away!

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