It’s time once more for 3 Tools, 4 Lunches! Every week for the next few month I’m challenging three bento-ists to make lunches using the same three tools — a lunch box and two tools for decoration.
Here are the tools we used this week:
- PlanetBox Rover — a divided, stainless steel, tray-style lunch box.
- CuteZcute Animal Palz set — this versatile set allows you cut, stamp and seal sandwiches or mold hard-boiled eggs. You can also use it for…gasp!…cookies!
- Alphabet Picks — each pack of these decorative picks has all of the letters from A to Z. I recommend buying multiple sets so it’s easier to spell out names or words.
I have to admit that I kind of messed up when I chose these tools this week because I used two of the same tools for one of our challenges a few weeks ago. But once again the versatility of these materials and the creativity of my lunch packing friends resulted in completely different lunches.
Want to see what we made? Here you go:
Our first lunch this week is a sheep-themed lunch from Amy Masterson of Yummy Bites by Amy. For this lunch, Amy used the Animal Palz set to make sheep shaped ham sandwiches. She also added sweet pepper rings, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, babybell and Archer Farm sweet bbq waffle chips. The alphabet picks were poked in the fruit and used to spell out “Baby Sheep.” Find out more about this lunch on Amy’s blog.
Amy is fairly new to bentos. She started in September 2013 when she was researching options for healthy school lunches. Her favorite thing about bento lunches is seeing the happiness it brings her family. Knowing everyone has a nutritious meal brings a smile to her face.
photo courtesy of Kendra Peterson, Biting the Hand That Feeds You
Argh! Here be a Pirate Batz lunch from Kendra Peterson (aka Ludicrous Mama) of Biting the Hand That Feeds You. Kendra’s PlanetBox holds organic sugar snap peas, carrots, broccoli, and cherries. The Animal Palz were used to make gluten-free sandwiches with peanut butter and blueberry jam. She also included a little treat of organic raw sugar cube “gold nuggets.” Get more details about this lunch at Kendra’s blog.
Kendra and her family avoid all artificial ingredients, including fake food dyes and flavors, as well as following a gluten-free diet. She packs mainly for her kids and herself (when she remembers…) and sometimes for her husband and school teachers. She started packing lunches just to be cute and fun, but it turned out to be a great way to entice her picky eater to try new things. Taking familiar “accepted” foods and serving them in different ways is a great way to avoid food anxiety, by getting your kids comfortable with the idea of change and “different” at mealtimes. She also loves that making lunches fun helps her kids not feel “left out” since they can’t have school lunches or familiar treats and snacks that the other kids all get to eat because of our dietary restrictions.
Next up: Cristi Messersmith of Bent On Better Lunches brings us this batty lunch. Cristi’s lunch holds a hard-cooked egg CuteZcute bat, watermelon hearts cut with a vegetable cutter & decorated with little bat cocktail picks, 2 bats in love cheese sandwiches made with an Evriholder Bat Bytes cutter and decorated with fruit leather hearts, baby carrots embellished with bat rings from last year’s Trick or Treat bags, and kiwi slices with a heart bento fork. She spelled out “Bats Amore” across the top of the lunch with alphabet picks. You can read more about this lunch on Cristi’s blog.
Bent On Better Lunches chronicles Cristi’s attempts to provide nutritious, fun, (mostly) trash-free lunches for her 5 picky sproutlets, and occasionally her sailor husband. She says you won’t find anything exotic or too complicated, just simple foods that most kids will eat, creatively packed with as little fuss as possible! One of Cristi’s favorite pages is her 101 Peanut Butter Sandwiches article. Faced with making the same thing for lunch every day for her son who has autism, she challenged herself to make it 101 different ways.
The last lunch of the week is my homage to the U.S. men’s national soccer team using…er…pandas. The U.S. team was playing Belgium when I made this lunch yesterday. We are not normally a sporty family, but we’ve all been enjoying the World Cup so I was inspired. I used the Animal Palz panda plate to cut and stamp a slice of watermelon and I used the same stamp to make two salami sandwiches. I also tucked a soccer ball pick into one of the sandwiches to make it look like the panda was kicking it. The other two items in this lunch were a sliced Persian cucumber with USA picks poked into it and a field of blueberry “soccer balls” where I spelled out “Futball”.
Do you have these tools? How do you like to use them?
|But wait! There’s more! My book, Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go is packed with ideas for fun, delicious lunches. With 50 brand new bento box lunches and step-by-step photo tutorials showing how to make them it will provide you with loads of inspiration when it’s time to pack lunch. Order today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.|