The Week in Bentos: August 27-31, 2012

by Wendy Copley on August 31, 2012

Howdy! We are settling back into our school routine and I’ve found that it’s getting easier to pack the lunches in the mornings. (Last week was tough.) How is your back to school transition going? Smoothly? Like an earthquake? Somewhere in the middle?

Here’s what I put in the lunch boxes this week.

Monday

3rd Grade Bento #639

On Monday, I packed Wyatt’s lunch in our Laptop Lunches box: green grapes, raisins in a star shaped silicone cup, Sun Chips, blueberries, raspberries and two small turkey sandwiches cut into “W” shapes.

Tuesday

Preschool Bento #318

Augie started back to school for the week on Tuesday and I packed his lunch in our LunchBots Trio: blueberries, grapes, cucumbers cut with a small star cutter, hummus for dipping (the little red box is from a set similar to this one), a pb&j sandwich cut to look like a train and carrot sticks railroad tracks. The train came out so-so but he seemed happy with it, so I left it alone instead of futzing with it.

Third Grader Bento #640

Wyatt’s lunch was packed in our PlanetBox: carrot sticks, bean dip (in the blue tub), pita chips, grapes and leftover bbq chicken from dinner on Monday. I sweated and slaved over the chicken by opening a package from Trader Joes and microwaving it. Hard work, but worth the effort.

Wednesday

Preschooler Bento #319

Wednesday, I broke out a new set of decorative picks that have been sitting in my supply basket for a few months. This set of picks is fun because they’re designed to make food look like something else — tomatoes become balloons, asparagus tips become umbrellas, etc. I used the “bone” picks to make one of Augie’s meatball chunks look like…well…meat on a bone. In addition to the meatballs this lunch had alphabet Cheez-its with Augie’s initials highlighted, grapes, blueberries and cucumber spears.

Normally Augie eats most or all of his lunch but on this day his lunch box came home remarkably full.

Preschooler Bento #319: After

I threw away the meatballs and cukes because of safety concerns, but I decided the rest was OK to eat so he had the crackers and fruit for an after school snack.

Big Kid Bento #641

Wyatt’s lunches have been coming home half-full most days since school started, so I packed him a smaller lunch this day. He had a mini bagel with cream cheese, meatballs (also on bone picks) and blueberries. I also let him take a small bag of chips he bought with his allowance money.

And looky here….

Big Kid Bento #641: After

His lunch box was empty after school!

Thursday

Preschooler Bento #642

Thursday, Augie had strawberries, cucumber slices, a mixture of pretzel and space-themed goldfish crackers, blueberries and soy cheese sandwiches cut to look like a hedgehog and a squirrel. I added the cheese eyes but looking at this photo now, I think it makes the animals look a little creepy. But maybe that’s just me?

Wyatt had school lunch today, so no photo.

Friday

Preschooler Bento #321

Today is Augie’s birthday! Yay! He is a big 4 year old now! I was planning to make him a special lunch with some sort of birthday design, but he told me he wanted tuna and then proceeded to direct me to put every other item you see here in his lunch box as well. He had carrots, blueberries, pretzel goldfish crackers, tuna, strawberries and whole grain Ritz crackers. I guess choosing everything in your lunch is pretty special, right? This was packed in our Yubo Lunchbox, in case you were wondering.

Wyatt had school lunch again.

BONUS: Grown-up Bento Lunch!

Grown up bento #58

My husband, who normally works from home and doesn’t need a packed lunch, has been helping to care for a relative with an illness the past few weeks. While he’s been running around to doctor appointments, buying groceries, making meals and whatnot, he hasn’t been taking great care of himself, so I packed him this lunch one day when I knew he’d be gone for hours to make sure he had good stuff to eat. I gave him a turkey and harvarti cheese sandwich, grapes, low salt “fancy” nuts and some reduced sodium olives.


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  • Love these ideas! Thanks for sharing! đŸ˜‰

  • Corynne Escalante

    i love following your blog for ideas! i feel a little bit like a nerd, but i love seeing what sorts of things you pack for lunches. we’re doing bentos this year and luckily we moved to a city that has Daiso! yay!

    anyway, i thought i would throw a thought out there… would you be interested in doing a little post on your “supply basket” you mentioned? i would just love to see kind of like your set up or whatever. how you store your supplies and what not…

    anyway, keep up the good work. love it!

  • Hi Corynne! I did a post about how I store my bento supplies last year: http://wendolonia.com/blog/2011/09/06/bento-box-basics-supply-storage/ It’s a little different now because I have more stuff, but it’s still basically the same. Also: messier. đŸ™‚

  • Sarah

    Trader joes chicken bbq is awesome!

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for this post! Do you keep the meat-based items cold or heated up and put into a thermos? Was wondering about doing something like that for my daughter but wondered of it was ok to do. Thanks again!

  • All of the lunches you see here were eaten cold. I’m careful to pack the lunch boxes in thermal lunch bags with at least one, but usually two, blue ice packs. I’ll occasionally send my boys with a hot lunch in a thermos, but I try to specifically mention that when I do.

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