Top left clockwise to bottom left then center: cheddar cheese, clementine orange slices, chocolate square, raw broccoli, strawberry slices, marcona almonds, boiled egg
Question: Do you plan fun bento meals?
My Reply: I wear many hats, but for me personally, one of them isn’t artist. I also don’t have all the time in the world. My goal in meal planning is functional and fast (to make and eat). I might not make cute dino sandwiches (which my 4rd grader would kill me for sending) or awesome Pokemon style hard boiled eggs, but I offer things like the picture above “Red Day.” This is a great St. Valentine’s Day lunch box or make it on Husker Friday (yep, that’s my alma mater, shout out: Go Big Red!). You can create a color or themed meal for your alma mater or local sports team or college. You can make it red and green close to Christmas; all green on St. Patrick’s Day or Earth Day; red, white, and blue around President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, 9/11, and 4th of July; and orange for Halloween. One of my friends makes an advent calendar for her kids every Christmas, and one of the days each year is “red and green” lunch box day filling their entire lunch with naturally red and green foods. For themed meals do eggs and bunny food (salad or carrots) around Easter, or for Thanksgiving you theme with dried cranberry and a turkey sandwich. Just because you can’t recreate an amazing looking bento from Pinterest doesn’t mean you can find other fun and practical ways to play with food. Have fun!
Top left clockwise to bottom left: Rainier cherries, cheese wheel, strawberry jam atop local fresh bread from Proven in Woodinville (for all our local Seattle readers), shelled pistachio nuts, red bell pepper slices
We’ve had a break in our bento box ideas by Summer. Between the winter break and just me getting back into the swing of things. But she’s been back to work making lunches and snacks for her kids so I’ve got quite a few to share with you guys.
Here is our first one for 2017.
Top left clockwise to bottom left: raw broccoli, cheese stick, raspberries
Bentology Bento Box provided!
It’s Thanksgiving week in the US, which means food, food, and more food! One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten for staying on track with my health goals while enjoying the holidays is to make sure that I keep my normal eating routine prior to a big holiday meal. So here’s a little inspiration for a bento box full of fresh snacks to enjoy while you make that Thanksgiving turkey! This bento contains:
Small salad consisting of iceberg lettuce and a sliced hardboiled egg
Red pepper slices
Side of Ranch dressing
Top left clockwise to bottom left: clementine orange; veggie mix of yellow bell pepper, radish, baby carrots, cherry tomato, and cucumber; leftover pizza; cheese wheel
Question: Do you use leftovers in your lunches?
Yes, I do. Pizza is an easy leftover to peddle to my children, but things like chicken aren’t as easy. I usually reinvent the meal for my kids by making chicken into chicken panini sandwiches with BBQ sauce for dipping, or fried rice with chicken. If I don’t reinvent the meal, I try not to serve last night’s dinner for lunch. I will delay the leftovers by a day.
I have to admit, however, that my husband is the leftovers king. So he mainly gets the leftovers and my kids get other things.
It’s all Finger Food! And has Witches Finger Grapes, cool right?
Top left clockwise to bottom left: raw broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper, and sugar snap peas; witch’s fingers grapes; shelled pistachios; mozzarella stick; pretzel sticks; fruit leather (hidden underneath it all, you can slightly see the wrapper)
Question of the Day: How do you determine the amount of fruits and vegetables to give your children?
My rule is vegetables are a “piece” for each year you are old. Six years old equals six pieces of vegetable, be it baby carrot, celery stick, sugar snap pea, or cucumber slice. For other vegetables such as shelled peas or green beans, I use my bento box as a reference point. I typically store the vegetables in the smallest compartment, and I’ll fill it with small items (shelled peas) to the same height as large vegetables (baby carrots) would fill the compartment.
For fruit, I typically place in the other small spot … since I only have three spots in my box, I’d be the middle sized place. I usually fill it with berries, apple slices, or a clementine orange (for example).
However I just “eyeball it” out of experience when I use the big container or other non-typical vegetables – like chunks of melon, or a whole carrot or celery stalk. I think about what my children would normally eat at any given meal.
I have to admit that my sons eat a lot of food. They’re currently 6 and 9 years old. My sons are also competitive skiers; they eat more during training and their competition season then off seasons. So pack according to your child. My posts are merely ideas and suggests for your family.
Top left clockwise to bottom left: carrots and sugar snap peas, honeycrisp apple slices (1/2 apple), one piece of a chocolate candy bar (wrapped in foil to keep smells, flavors, and fluids out), cheese, half sandwich.
This is a partnered post.
This week, I’ve been having fun cooking with Pasta Lensi. This gluten-free, vegan pasta is made from legume flour, and cooks just like regular pasta. Jai loves garbanzo beans, so for his lunch this week, I decided to pack a fun Bento Box with Pasta Lensi Chickpea Casarecce. Here’s what the lunch included:
Pasta Lensi Chickpea Casarecce tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper, garnished with two green olives
Red pepper slices with Ranch dip
Dark chocolate mint protein bar, cut into pieces
I’m going to be sharing more fun Pasta Lensi recipes with you along with a special giveaway, so stay tuned!
What’s in your Bento Box this week?