The kids are back in school! Hooray!
And summer is over. Boooooo!
I am simultaneously happy and sad about the start of school. So many possibilities for a great year are in front of us, but I am truly sorry to say good-bye to summer and all the time we got to spend together. (OK, not the “kids bickering time”. I’m happy to see that go.)
Part of back to school is packing lunches, of course, and that’s what I’m about to share with you.
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The first day of school calls for a special lunch so I packed this little number for Augie: pencil carrots, pickle popcorn, crackers, grapes with a crayon pick and chocolate pudding with sprinkles to help with the transition from the lazy days of summer to the more structured days of school. Seriously — pudding always helps.
Wyatt hadÂ nearly the same thing, but he asked for cheese instead of grapes which is probably more balanced, but whatever. They both vetoed the sandwiches I was going to make at the last second so I was just rolling with it.
Both lunches were packed in Bentology bento boxes.
On Tuesday we used our new OmieBoxes for the first time. The OmieBox is a new lunch box that has an integrated insulated food jar (which most people refer to as a thermos).Â I supported their Kickstarter campaign last year and I finally got my lunch boxes last week after a hecka long wait and a lot of anticipation. You can expect to see my full review of this lunch box in a few weeks. (I’m going to warn you right now that they are back-ordered until January 2016 though.)
Augie had asked me to pack a recipe of his own creation into the thermal jar: “Taco Mountains”. Taco mountains are basically a big pile of taco fillings. I put heated refried beans on the bottom, then added leftover turkey taco meat and a hearty sprinkle of cheese. I packed tortilla chips for dipping, along with some banana bread, sugar snap peas and nectarine chunks.
Wyatt’s lunch was identical, except I swapped the peas out for radishes.Â Mmmmm…taco mountain!
Wednesday Augie wanted the OmieBox again, but I didn’t have anything hot to put in it so I removed the insulated jar and used the big area to pack a cute robot sandwich filled with sunflower seed butter and jelly. He also had cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, Cheez-its and banana bread.
Wyatt was in a chips and salsa mood, so I gave him a hearty serving of Trader Joes mango and pineapple salsa and some chips to eat it with. I don’t think he realized he was eating a full serving of fruit. Shhhhh! He also had deli ham and banana bread. I packed it in our Bentology bento box.
Yesterday the kids were super excited to have leftovers from one of their favorite dinners in their OmieBoxes: mashed potatoes with meatballs in barbecue sauce. Wyatt had a big portion set aside so the meatballs got kind of squished into the potatoes when I put the lid on the thermos. Not terribly pretty but it tasted good at lunch time. He also had strawberries, more chips and tropical salsa and some brownie cookie thingies from Trader Joes.
The dividers that come with the OmieBox are not leak-proof (like, not at all) so I had to find a way to contain the salsa so it wouldn’t get everywhere. After trying several of our sealed containers with no success, I discovered that the small PlanetBox Dipper fit perfectly. Good to know!
Augie also wanted dinner leftovers but he also wanted seconds after dinner and he ate some of the mashed potatoes and all of the meatballs I set aside for his lunch! He still wanted some potatoes though, so I reheated them and put them in the OmieBox’s insulated jar in the morning. He also had hummus, cucumber slices, strawberries, Cheez-its and brownie cookie thingies.
Today the kids packed their own lunches. Wyatt wanted a snacky lunch, so he chose salami, crackers, strawberries and tiny little champagne grapes in the PlanetBox Rover. He even took the lunch photo himself!
Augie followed Wyatt’s lead and made himself a snacky lunch in the Yumbox Panino: grape tomatoes, cukes, champagne grapes, hummus, salami and Ritz crackers.
And he also packed his morning snack without being prompted! Tomatoes and a few Cheerios. His snack was packed in a Fuel Snack-n-go container that I picked up at Target over the weekend.
Interested in packing bento lunches yourself? My book is filled with cute ideas, fun techniques and step-by-step instructions showing how you can make them yourself: