The Week in Bentos: August 19-23, 2013

by Wendy Copley on August 23, 2013

Hello lunch-packers! The Copley boys are officially back to school, so we have a full week of lunches for two kids for the first time in a while. I have been enjoying the extra quiet this week, but I’m sad summer vacation is over because we had a great time these last few months. But seeing old friends and meeting new teachers is fun too, right? And packing lunches the first week is kinda fun too. (Check in with me again at week 10 though — I may not be so enthused at that point.)

Here’s what the boys had this week:

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First Day of Preschool/Pre-K Bento #485

Augie started back to preschool and his Pre-K year on Monday so I made him a fun back to school lunch in the PlanetBox. He had two little school bus PB&J sandwiches, a fig, tomatoes from our garden with some alphabet picks stuck in them, cucumber slices, watermelon chunks and a few yogurt raisins.

I like how the tomatoes were so ripe that they immediately burst when I poked the picks in! Those babies are soooooo sweet and delicious.

First Day of Preschool/Pre-K Bento #485: What came home

And Augie was pretty into this lunch too, apparently because it came home absolutely empty as you can see above. Usually he leaves a little and snacks on it after school, so this was a bit of a surprise.


First Day of 4th Grade Bento #779

Tuesday was Wyatt’s first day of 4th grade! I packed his first day lunch in the PlanetBox too. He had some Sesame-Soy Meatballs that were left over from dinner, diced plum, blueberries and a jelly sandwich that I decorated with cheddar cheese.

I lucked out and found this set of Zoku Social Media alphabet cutters on clearance at my local Sur La Table store and I used that to spell out “4th grade” along with a fun Facebook thumbs up. I paid $6 for the set which includes a funky alphabet, all the numbers and a bunch of social media icons (hashtags, stuff for emoticons, etc.) and I think that was a great price. It will be a great tool to make cool, big-kid-approved lunches for Wyatt this year! But the list price of $20 is pretty crazy, if you ask me!

First Day of 4th Grade Bento #779: What came home

And here’s the sad part of this story….I was in a rush making this lunch and completely spaced out about “gluing” the letters down with mayo or honey or something like that. So when Wyatt opened his lunch it was all jumbled up. My nice surprise didn’t work out so well this time. Soooo sad.


You may also have noticed the personalized fork in the photo of Wyatt’s empty lunch box. (Augie has one too.) These guys were a a gift for my boys from Cyndi of Bella Jackson Studios where she sells hand-stamped vintage spoons and forks with fun sayings. They’re great for lunch boxes, of course, but she also has items that are themed for weddings, babies, birthdays, holidays, coffee and tea and ridiculously cute garden markers. She told me she often does custom work like she did for my boys so if you’re interested in treating your kids (or yourself!) be sure to click through to her store to check it out.

The kids love these forks and have eaten nearly every meal with them since we received them. I’ve mentioned before how hard it is to get personalized stuff for them with their weirdo unique names, so they are extra special to them I think. They’ve been a very happy addition to our lunch gear collection.

Colorful Preschooler Bento #486

Augie’s lunch was packed in the Yubo: blueberries, tomatoes, leftover cooked carrots from dinner, Scrabble Cheez-its, star-shaped pb&j sandwiches, mini dill pickles, and watermelon chunks.

The blue cup is one of the silicone baking cups I’ve had in my collection since I started packing bentos five years ago. They are awesome and still look like they did when they were new. The larger green cup is one I found in the dollar section at Target earlier this week! They are 2 for $1 — a great bargain and worth looking for if you stop by the store in the near future.

Colorful Preschooler Bento #486: What came home

This is what was left in the box when I opened it after school. Thumbs down on the carrots and the tomatoes, I guess.


Pasta and Smoothie Lunch #780

On Wednesday, Wyatt had leftover pasta with meat sauce in our LunchBots Thermal Jar and a mixed berry smoothie.

Pasta and Smoothie Lunch #487

And Augie had the exact same thing — just a smaller portion of pasta packed into the Thermos food jar.

The smoothies were really straight-forward. I threw frozen berries, vanilla yogurt, a few chia seeds and a little milk in the food processor, then spooned them into our new Yummi Pouches and stuck them in the freezer. (Yummi Pouch sent me a set of these guys for review and we’re testing them out. So far, so good.) In the morning I pulled the frozen pouches out of the freezer and stuck them in the lunch bags with the pasta containers. The boys reported that the smoothies had thawed by lunch time and were “just right.”


4th Grader Bento #781

On Thursday, I packed Wyatt’s lunch in a Laptop Lunches box: strawberries, blueberries, a few yogurt raisins (in the little box), the lone meatball leftover from dinner, carrots, hummus with salami mixed in and pita chips.

The salami/hummus mixture was an idea I got from a soon-to-be-released book by J.M. Hirsch, Beating the Lunch Box Blues. I’ll be posting a full review after I’ve put it through it’s paces, but so far I’ve found lots of interesting ideas for freshening up lunches in the book. This combo was a hit with my husband and me, but didn’t go over well with the boys. Surprising, because I thought they’d both love it.

Preschool Hummus Bento #488

Augie had a pared down version of Wyatt’s lunch: carrots, pita chips, hummus and strawberries. It was packed in our Lock&Lock divided bento box.


4th Grader Taquito Bento #782

Today Wyatt had carrots, salsa (in the lidded box), taquitos from the freezer, a plum (with a fork pick for eating), and a few tortilla chips. This was packed in our EasyLunchboxes box.

Preschool Yumbox Bento #489

Augie had a Yumbox lunch: vanilla yogurt with red sprinkles, a nectarine with a kitty fork, salami, carrots, snap peas, hummus and pita chips.

Stumped for ideas for packed-lunches? Check out my lunch box idea list or visit Wendolonia’s Bento Box Gallery for nearly 1500 searchable lunch photos!

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