The Week in Bentos: September 26-30, 2011

by Wendy Copley on September 30, 2011

Phwew! We’ve had a busy week with a sick boy, planning for Wyatt’s birthday party this weekend and a big (positive) change in our lives. I’ve barely been keeping up with everything! The kids still need to eat every day though, so I still need to keep making the lunches.


2nd Grader Bento #488

Wyatt’s lunch had knock-off Ritz crackers, two wedges of Laughing cow cheese, a slice of pumpkin cake made from this incredible recipe, strawberries and salami and cheese Boba Fett sandwiches.


Preschooler Bento #153

On Tuesday, Augie had strawberries and grapes, fake Ritz crackers, soy cheese rockets and low-fat salami.

Wyatt stayed home sick with a cold.


Preschooler Bento #154

Augie’s lunch for preschool was grapes, chicken shu mai dumplings, and leftover pasta.

Wyatt had school lunch. He didn’t have school lunch because we looked at the menu together and decided that it could be his one school lunch of the week. He had school lunch because I gave up. Since school started he has gotten pickier and pickier about his food and it’s really starting to wear on me. I’ve shown you a few pictures of the lunches that come home so you have an idea about how little lunch he is eating, but what you aren’t seeing is breakfast and dinner. You see, I try to only pack things I know he will eat for lunch to increase the odds that he’ll get some calories in the day and I save my efforts to get him to eat a wider variety of food for the meals where he is at home. Those meals at home are going really poorly. As of today, the only vegetable he reliably eats is corn. No peas. No tomatoes. He complains bitterly about spaghetti sauce. Even fruit is a hard sell at the moment. He’ll eat apples, pears, berries and cantaloup, but that’s all. He whines when I serve rice with dinner. It’s incredibly frustrating and it reminds me of how things were when he was 3 or 4 years old.

On Wednesday when I was packing his lunch, I kept asking if he would eat different things we had in the refrigerator and he kept saying, “No. No. No.” Finally I just threw up my hands (literally and metaphorically) and sent him off to school with instructions to buy a crappy, over-processed lunch.

I’m telling you all this because I want you to know that my kids don’t eat everything I give them.  They are picky and though I try not to get worked up, we have food battles sometimes. My feelings get hurt when I make them something I’m sure they’ll like –especially when I go to extra effort to make it cute — and they tell me it’s yucky. Things are not all sunshine and roses around here and I get crazy and extremely frustrated by their behavior just like every other parent! But I keep plugging away, doing the best I can to offer them nutritious, whole foods. I don’t always manage it and I make compromises sometimes, but I’m trying to do right by my kids. I’m just like you.


Anyhoo, I got back my determination (and took a trip to the grocery store for more lunch provisions) and I managed to make some fun lunches on Thursday.

Preschooler Bento #155

Augie had cantaloup chunks, grape tomatoes, pretzels, strawberries and tiny PB&J’s made with this crazy punch. I’ll try to do a whole post about this punch soon, but for now I’ll say that it’s time-consuming, expensive, wastes bread and makes the cutest freaking sandwiches I’ve ever seen.

2nd Grader Bento #489

Wyatt’s lunch had a jelly sandwich made with this slightly more practical sandwich punch, strawberries, whole grain pretzel sticks, cantaloup, tomatoes and leftover, diced pork tenderloin from dinner the night before.


Preschooler Bento #156

Today Augie took this lunch to preschool: yellow tomatoes, strawberries, frozen peas and cubed baked tofu.

2nd Grader Bento #490

Wyatt had raisins, lemon cookies, strawberries, whole grain pretzels, yellow tomatoes and baked tofu. I will bet you one million dollars that those eight tomatoes come home untouched.

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