3 Tools, 4 Lunches: Yumbox, Transportation Cutters, and Food-Safe Markers

by Wendy Copley on June 11, 2014

3 Tools, 4 Lunches: four moms use the same tool to make cute (and different!) lunches

Three tools! Three bloggy friends! Four kick-butt lunches!

It’s Wednesday again and we are half-way through the 3 Tools, 4 Lunches series! For ten weeks straight, I am challenging some of my favorite bento bloggers to take the same three tools to make lunches. It’s been fascinating to see the different techniques everyone comes up with each week and to note the similarities and differences between the four lunches we create.

What cute things can you do with a Yumbox, stamping vehicle cutters and food-safe markers? See how four moms made four cute lunches for their kids!

Here are the tools we’re using this week:

  • Yumbox — This lunch box has six separate compartments and each one is water-tight when sealed. It’s on the small side, so it’s a good choice for younger kids.
  • Transportation cutter/stamper set — This set of cookie cutters comes in four shapes — car, bus, airplane and boat.  In addition to the outer piece that you use for cutting, there is an inner piece that stamps details onto your food.
  • Food-safe markers — Magic markers? That write on food? Yes and yes! These pens are filled with food coloring and can be used to add fine details or big blocks of color to your bento creations. They can be used on almost any flat surface as long as it’s not too wet — bread, crackers, cheese, icing, etc.

And here are the lunches we made:

Lunch on the Go from The Lucky Lunchbox

This first bento is from Tracy Meier at The Lucky Lunchbox.  Tracy managed to include one car, two boats, a train, a plane and a dump truck in this box. Impressive!

She used the car cutter to make mini car sandwiches filled with natural bologna and cheddar cheese with a bologna car on top. She used a food marker to add the details. The boat was made by freezing yogurt and sprinkles inside the boat cutter. It is floating in blue yogurt “water”. The rest of the lunch is baby carrots, snap peas, a Babybel cheese with “vroom” written on it with food markers, Ritz Bitz, green olives, strawberries, cherries and Craisins in the treat cup.

Tracy says, “I started packing creative bento style lunches for my son 2 years ago when he was in kindergarten. I started up my blog, The Lucky Lunchbox, in September of 2013 at the urging of family and friends as a way to chronicle my son’s lunches and to inspire other moms and dads. I was inspired to pack him this style of lunch after accidentally stumbling on several bento blogs when I googled “creative lunch”. After the first few fun lunches that I made, my son and I were both hooked.”

Ahoy! Hit the high seas with a cute lunch from Licious Lunches.

Ahoy! Next up we have a boat lunch from Rebecca Phillips of Licious Lunches. Here’s what she had to say about this cute meal:

“I brushed a couple of tortillas with olive oil and lightly salted them before cutting out ship shaped pieces. I baked those at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight minutes and let them cool. While the chips were baking, I used the cutter on thin slices of apples and colby cheese. I used food safe markers to decorate the cheese. The cheese was paired in the box with round saltines and grapes went along with the apples. I used a couple of nautical themed picks to spear the ham roll-ups. I filled the veggie compartment with carrots, cucumber slices, and asparagus. The treat section held some colorful fish.”

Find more details about this lunch, plus a similar car-themed lunch she made for her son on her blog. Licious Lunches often shows adult lunches for work, elementary school morning snacks and lunches, as well as breakfasts and lunches for daycare.  Rebecca says she likes packing bentos because they allow her to be creative, to show love for her children and husband, and to accomplish the necessary work of lunch packing in a fun way.

VROOM! Meagan from Meagan Musing made this adorable lunchMeagan Skarbek @ Meagan Musing

Meagan Skarbek at Meagan Musing packed this fun lunch full of cars and trucks. Here’s her run-down of this meal:

“I knew I wanted to use the bus and the car for this little challenge. They’re my favorite of the transportation set. I included two turkey and spicy mustard sandwiches stamped and cut with the bus. The beetle-bug style car was used to cut the cucumbers and the cheddar cheese. I drew windows and wheels on the cheese using a black food safe marker. There are a few graham crackers under the cheese and I spelled out “Vroom” in the cherry tomatoes. I finished it all off with a mix of strawberries and blueberries. ”

Meagan describes her blog as something “that’s evolved as my kids have gotten older. It all started as a photography blog and I still share tips and tricks for getting authentic, in-the-moment photos of your kids in natural light. You’ll find anything from my latest fashion finds to book reviews in addition to my weekly super simple bento inspiration.” For more from Meagan, check her out on Facebook and Instagram.

Cars and trucks lunch from Wendy at Wendolonia.com

This last bento lunch is one I made for my preschooler, Augie. I also went with a road theme, but I used the tools a little differently than my friends. The sandwiches were peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat and I cut the bread into small rectangles to fit in the lunch box. I used a black food marker to color on the stamper and then pressed it into the bread to make a colored impression. I was thrilled that it turned out so well! I also used the car cutter/stamper on a thin slice of watermelon, but it’s a little hard to see that. The rest of the lunch was a stoplight made of bell peppers, cherries with a truck pick and a few wheat thins.

Do you have these tools? How do you like to use them?

Four moms use the same three tools to make four adorable lunches

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