The Week in Bentos: September 30-October 4, 2013

by Wendy Copley on October 4, 2013

We are deeply into Autumn now and this weeks lunches are reflecting that. I’ve got pumpkin, leaves and the first Halloween bentos of the year!

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Monday

4th Grade Bento #803

On Monday, I packed Wyatt’s bento in our Yumbox: strawberries, grapes, carrot sticks, bean dip, a whole wheat cereal bar (recipe from Weelicious Lunches), and baked teriyaki tofu. It’s been a while since I included tofu in the boys’ lunches and they asked me about it last week so I picked some up at Trader Joes. The tofu was packed in there pretty tightly and I was afraid Wyatt wouldn’t be able to get it out with his fingers, so I also included a robot pick he could use to pull it out.

Preschool Autumn Bento #514

Augie had an autumn-themed lunch. This was packed in a new bento box I am trying out, the Bentgo. This box is actually a two-tier box, but if I had used both layers it would have been waaaaay too much food for a preschooler, so I just used a single layer. I do this with two tier bentos fairly often and I really appreciate the flexibility of being able to choose to use one or two layers. This particular lunch held strawberries, an apple muffin (also from Weelicious Lunches), carrot sticks, grapes and a block of tofu that I cut with leaf cutters and then decorated with food-safe markers. (You can find instructions for this technique here.)

Tuesday

4th Grade Bento #804

Tuesday was a rushed morning, so I kept Wyatt’s lunch really simple: carrots and black bean dip, parmesan goldfish crackers, deli ham roll-ups and apple chunks. This was packed in our Lock and Lock bento box.

Preschool Animals Bento #515

Augie’s lunch was packed in the PlanetBox: a container of hummus, the last meatball from the freezer, carrots, cucumber slices, a cereal bar, grapes and triscuits. I thought this lunch looked a little boring when I was done, so I just stuck a whole bunch of animal picks in it and added a cute food divider between the grapes and the crackers. It worked! Augie was thrilled.

Wednesday

4th Grade Thermos Bento #805

Wednesday was Wyatt’s birthday so I packed him a special lunch with some of his favorite foods. I made one of his favorite dinners on Tuesday — buffalo chicken thighs and mashed potatoes — so as soon as I was done cooking, I set some aside for his lunch. In the morning, I heated it up and packed it in our Lunchbots thermal jar. His side car held a cup of jello and grapes and some strawberries.

I have never had a problem packing jello in the kids lunches before, but when I went to unpack his lunch box it was completely melted! He hadn’t even opened the side car because he said it was like that at lunch time. My guess? Even though I included an ice pack in his lunch bag, I think the heat of the thermos melted the jello. I won’t be doing that again!

Preschool Halloween Bento #516

I got all my Halloween supplies out on Tuesday, so Augie was super excited to have a Halloween lunch on Wednesday. In fact, he was so excited he provided art direction and helped make this lunch! First up, we had a peanut butter and jelly ghost sandwich. He decided it needed three icing googly eyes so it would be “extra scary, Mom.” The ghost was surrounded by chopped strawberries (“BLOOD, Mom!”) and bone sprinkles. He also had jello with grapes/eyeballs made right in our EasyLunchboxes box, and cucumber slices (“more eyes, Mom!”) that we jabbed with — what else? — eyeball cupcake picks!

Thursday

Wyatt was home sick on Thursday so no lunch for him.

Preschool Basics Bento #517

I kept Augie’s really simple because I wasn’t feeling good either: cucumber and carrot slices, whale crackers, deli ham roll-ups and grapes with a whale pick.

Friday

4th Grade Halloween Bento #806

Today, Wyatt got his first Halloween lunch of the year! He had black bean dip, carrots, creepy jello with grapes, leftover steak on skull picks and strawberries with an eyeball pick. This was packed in our green and black Laptop Lunches box which is perfect for Halloween!

Preschool Halloween Bento #518

Augie also had a Halloween-y bento in one of our EasyLunchboxes: crackers, carrots, leftover steak on a jack-o-lantern cupcake pick, strawberries, jello with grapes and popcorn with Halloween sprinkles.


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  • Yee-teng Davis

    Love the idea of using tofu in the lunch box! Do you need to cook them first or heat it up or do you just use it straight from the package?

  • I buy a package of marinated and baked tofu and put it straight into the box from the package. Super fast and easy!

  • Anne

    It’s good to see Wyatt is getting fun lunches too! Does that mean he’s not bothered by the other kids that much anymore? I was so sad when you wrote you had to turn it down because he was getting comments..!

  • He’s less bothered, but I still have to be careful. I went in to talk to his class about bentos and writing my book last year and that made a big difference. Kids went from thinking it was weird to thinking it was cool. But I do still ask. Skulls are definitely “cool” though, so I can go a little crazy with those.

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