The Week in Bentos: September 4-7, 2012

by Wendy Copley on September 7, 2012

Other than breaking out the thermos for the first time in ages, this was a pretty typical week for the Copley boys’ lunches. I did get a few new toys to play with so those make an appearance. Want to see what I packed? Here we go!


No school! No lunches!


Preschool Bento #322

Augie’s first lunch of the week was packed in the Thermos food jar. I sent leftover “goulash” which is really just macaroni mixed with a jar of spaghetti sauce and a pound of ground turkey. I make this same dinner all the time using spaghetti and the kids usually complain when they see it on the table, but when I switched to the macaroni they went nuts for it. “This is the best dinner ever, Mama!” “Thank you for this delicious dinner, Mom! Will you make it again next week?” I often ask the boys if they want leftovers in the thermos for their lunches and they usually tell me no, but this delightful and innovative dish had Augie asking to have the leftovers for lunch the next day. I rounded out the meal with some cherry tomatoes and crackers packed into our Steeltainer snack-size box.

Third Grader Bento #642

I put Wyatt’s lunch in the PlanetBox: bean dip, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, whole wheat Ritz crackers, goldfish crackers, a ham sandwich and a janky Boba Fett cheese decoration.

I tried making Mr. Fett with one of our Star Wars cookie cutters by cutting him out with the main cutter and pressing down with the detail stamp. I do this all the time with bread and it usually works pretty well, but it didn’t work well at all with this slice of cheddar cheese. The cheese kept getting stuck on the stamp and when I’d try to pull it off it would rip and look all mangled. This slice worked pretty well on the top (but barely stamped the bottom at all) so I decided it was good enough. The mangled cheese bits went right back in the bag and I used them for grilled cheese sandwiches a few days later, in case you were wondering.


Preschool Bento #323

On Wednesday, I broke out a few new goodies I bought online to make Augie’s lunch. He had car and airplane peanut butter sandwiches, carrot and cucumber sticks, strawberries, whole wheat pretzels, and some hummus in a new condiment cup that was decorated with a rainbow. I separated the strawberries from the pretzels with a cute animal food divider (hard to see here) to keep the pretzels from getting soggy.

Third Grader Bento #643

Thermos day 2! We had bbq chicken sandwiches for dinner on Tuesday and Wyatt asked for the leftovers in his lunch. I warmed them in the morning and put them in the preheated thermos (I poured boiling water from the tea kettle in and let it sit while I made the rest of his lunch) and he said it was still nicely warm by the time he ate lunch. I also gave him a bun to put the chicken on and some strawberries (packed in our larger full-size Steeltainer box).

Two other important items I included in his lunch bag: a cloth napkin and a fork. These were there so he could spread the napkin out like a place mat and put the bun on it while he assembled his sandwich and ate it. The fork was for dishing up the chicken, of course.


Preschool Bento #324

On Thursday, Augie had baked teriyaki tofu, carrot sticks, cucumber stars, hummus (in the star box), strawberries and pretzel goldfish. He is learning about shapes at preschool this week, so I had a bit of a star theme going on with this lunch. This meal was packed in our LunchBots Trio.

Third Grader Bento #644

Wyatt had basically the same lunch, just presented differently. I swapped black bean dip for the hummus, added some grape tomatoes and put it all in the Laptop Lunch box. Otherwise, the same meal.


Preschool Boat Bento #325

Today, Augie’s lunch was packed in a single layer of our monbento box. He had boat sandwiches (made from the same cookie cutter set I mentioned above), strawberries, fish pretzels, cucumber “star fish” and nectarine slices. How will the nectarine hold up sitting in his lunch for a few hours? I don’t know!

3rd Grade Bento #645

Wyatt’s lunch had clementine slices, strawberries, crackers with cheese stars (the scraps are not hiding very well underneath), and pretzel sticks wrapped with strips of ham.

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  • tsoniki

    As usual, I love it. LOL How many hours between when Wyatt goes to school and has lunch? I wonder how to send my kids to school w/ a warm lunch, but I first need to buy a thermos too. My daughter has a LONG time until she has lunch (I think 5 hours) and I wonder if anything would stay warm in that time. She has started using her locker though so maybe in there it will stay warm.


    Why do leave the little dessert section empty in your boys’ Planetbox lunches? Just curious.

  • Tanya

    I have a couple of questions about the Thermos food jar. Does the food stay hot until lunch time? I have tried two different food jars I picked up at Target (not Thermos brand) and my daughter said the food was only lukewarm by the time she ate lunch. She leaves for school at 8:00 and eats lunch at 12:30. Lukewarm food is not good, or safe. I would love a food jar that actually keeps the food hot for several hours!

    My other question is, does your son use a lunch bag to carry the Thermos food jar? If in fact I do find a food jar that actually keeps food hot, I would like to have something my daughter could carry it in, preferably with a strap. We use a Laptop Lunchbox and the carrier that holds the lunchbox is not big enough for a food jar.

    Thanks for posting pictures of your kids’ lunches! You always have great ideas and are a great inspiration for me!

  • Wyatt has about 4 hours between leaving the house and sitting down to lunch. Heating the thermos with the boiling water helps *a lot* to keep it warm. I also heat the items inside in the microwave before adding them so they’re super hot as well. Then I pack the thermos in a thermal lunch box. Both boys say their lunch is warm when they eat it, but no longer hot.

  • Usually I just forget to put something in there. I also have a problem that Augie’s preschool really does *not* like me to send desserts. The few times I’ve put something in they won’t let him have it unless he eats everything else in his lunch first. I think that puts too much stress on him at lunch, so I just leave it out for him.

  • Hi Tanya! I just answered a similar question about the thermos food jar down below, but I’ll re-post it here so it’s easy for you to find. Wyatt has about 4 hours between leaving the house and sitting down to
    lunch. Heating the thermos with the boiling water helps *a lot* to keep
    it warm. I also heat the items inside in the microwave before adding
    them so they’re super hot as well. Then I pack the thermos in a thermal
    lunch bag (this one here: Both boys say their lunch is warm when they eat it, but not super hot.

  • And thank you for reading!

  • song

    i was wondering how ur sandwich bread looks so supple. i have to refrigerate my bread and toast them in the morning. when i use the lunch punch, it doesn’t look so pretty. what do u do? and thanks for blogging…

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