Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Transportation Themed Yumbox Lunches

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For the lunches in this post, I used transportation cutters, food markers, and Yumboxes as part of the 3 Tools, 4 Bloggers series over at Wendolonia. I have enjoyed reading all of the other posts in this series and was happy to have a chance to participate.

I was a little low on produce when packing these lunches, but still pleased with how they turned out. Using the transportation cutters helped me to turn some of the ordinary items I had on hand into something more special.

This lunch in the pink Yumbox was prepared for my daughter. I used the cutter shaped like a ship to cut colby cheese, apple slices, and to make shaped tortilla chips (details on those are at the end of the post). I decorated the cheese slices with food safe markers and paired them with round saltines. I pressed the imprint of the cutter into the apple slices and placed those in a silicone ship-shaped cup along with some grapes in the fruit section of the Yumbox. In the veggie section, I packed carrots, asparagus, and cucumber slices on a pick. The homemade ship-themed tortilla chips were in the grains section and the protein section held ham rollups on nautical picks. The treat section held some colorful fish candies.

I used a blank Lunchbox Love note to write a message that said, "Time to set sail on a fun summer!" to go along with the ship theme. My daughter took this lunch to a birthday party where pizza was being served. She isn't a big pizza fan so she was happy to have this and enjoyed all the ships.

My three year old son also took a transportation-themed lunch in a Yumbox to that party with similar foods, but a granola bar instead of ham.. For his, I used the car-shaped cutter and some cute road sign picks that my friend over at picked up for me on her recent trip to Japan.  He was really intrigued by the cheese decorated to look like cars. He usually isn't a big fan of cheese, but he did try it this day. He did like the crackers, chips, fruits, and veggies. And, all of the star candies were eaten. 

I waited for a long time before buying a Yumbox. After I first used it, it quickly became one of my favorites. It is easy for my kids to open and close and keeps everything separate even if turned upside down. I also love the fact that these boxes lie flat in our new Gabby Kids' Chiller lunch bags by Fit & Fresh with plenty of remaining room for a drink and ice packs.

My daughter has the version of the bag and my son has the glasses version. Both have washed and dryed easily. 

For tips on how I made the shaped tortilla chips, you can continue to read below, or you can click to move on to check out lunches created by the three other bloggers in this week's post of the 3 Tools, 4 Bloggers series over at Wendolonia.

For the tortilla chips, I first I brushed a couple of tortillas with olive oil and lightly salted.

Then, I cut out the shapes using the cutters.

Then, I placed them on a pan and baked for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can faintly see the imprint of the ship and car shape on some of the pieces before baking, but it was more faded after baking as you see below.

For the shaped apples, I first sliced thin sections of apple and then used the cutters.

I soaked the pieces in some a water and Fruit Fresh mixture before packing so they wouldn't brown.

Thanks for visiting my blog and please remember to check out all of the other cute ideas over at Wendolonia in the 3 Tools, 4 Bloggers series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Round-up of Rabbit and Easter Lunches

This post has some recently packed lunches with general bunny or Easter decorations. This first bento was packed in our new Yubo lunchbox. It was for my son's lunch at daycare. He had strawberry bunny-shaped Jello, yellow pepper strips, carrots, celery, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, a piece of rice krispie treat, a fruit punch Oreo, and strawberry yogurt.

The next was a breakfast bento for my son in a two section Sistema box. He has strawberries, slices of yellow pepper, grapes, a piece of rice krispie treat, watermelon, and graham crackers.

The next was a lunch for me packed in a Goodbyn Bynto. I had a salad, string cheese, strawberries, grapes, apple slices, watermelon, and cookie. The small containers held sunflower seeds and balsalmic dressing for the salad.

Next was a lunch for my daughter packed in a pink Yumbox. She had a slice of cheddar cheese, grapes, ham pieces, carrots, celery, red pepper, a grape tomato, "bunny tail" white cheddar cheese balls, strawberry flavored bunny-shaped Jello, and small bunny and carrot shaped sprinkles.

My son's lunch was in a green Yumbox. It was similar, but contained a granola bar in place of ham and had strawberries.

For small morning snack, my daughter had mini pretzels in a bunny-shaped silicone cup, sunflower seeds in the pink polka dotted container, and bunny shaped Jello.

In this plum Baeba tray, my son had a breakfast bento containing watermelon, strawberries, green grapes, sunflower seeds, and pretzels. Along with this he also had a yogurt tube.

The following are matching lunches my husband and I took to work in our Planetbox Rovers. We had Jello, a slice of cheddar, strawberries, grapes, a salad, Sunchips, and bunny sprinkles. The small containers with white lids held a cranberry and walnut mix to add to the salad and the small Sistema tub held salad dressing.

The lunch above was mine and the one below was my husband's.

And, below are two more matching work lunches. These were packed in EasyLunchboxes. The bread for the turkey sandwiches was stamped with chick and egg presses. We also had a string cheese, strawberries, grapes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and small bunny containers with sunflower seeds. The fruit was decorated with hatching chick, lamb, and bunny picks.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Make Lunch Not War BBF Blog Hop

My post for the Make Lunch - Not War BBF Blog Hop was inspired by my children in many different ways. For one, neither my daughter nor my son have been drawn exclusively to toys or colors associated with gender "norms". Before attending preschool and kindergarten and experiencing social expectations and pressures of peers, my daughter always said her favorite color was blue and she loved reptiles. She had a strong interest in everything related to dinosaurs, snakes, lizards, etc. She didn't select dolls for toys; instead she preferred Legos, collections of animal related toys, and "scary things" like pirates and snakes. My son on the other hand has enjoyed playing house, caring for dolls, and playing dress up. At age three, pink is his favorite color and Disney Princesses are just as fun to him as construction vehicles (which he calls "mighty machines") and fire trucks.

Another inspiration for this post occurred on a recent afternoon when my children were outside singing to each other. They often watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood together and they were singing a song from an episode which emphasizes the importance of simply liking one another. My daughter had her arm around my son and she was singing, "I like you. I like you just the way you are." My son then repeated the song to her. It was a sweet, genuine moment, and thanks to the convenience of cell phone cameras, I was able to get the quick snapshot above to save the memory.

That evening I packed a fairly ordinary lunch for my daughter in a single tier MyBentoMeal box. It held ham, pretzels, crackers, grapes, orange pepper slices, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, and lettuce. 
Along with the lunch, I included a piece of string cheese and a blank Lunchbox Love note on which I wrote the line she and my son had been singing. 
For the breakfast my son took to daycare the next morning, I tried to convey the same message, but without words since he does not read yet. In a pink Sassy box, he had orange slices, chocolate covered sunflower seeds and spring colored yogurt covered raisins in a pink cherry silicone cup. He also had Frosted Mini Wheats, orange pepper slices, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, and blackberries, with a heart ring nestled in. He loves berries; it is fun to shop for produce with him because he gets so excited!

In honor of the topic for this hop and my pirate loving girl, I packed a pirate themed lunch in a blue Sassy box for my daughter. She has a sealed peanut butter sandwich decorated with food safe markers to look like a pirate map (two hershey kisses in blue wrappers are near the X on the map for her own little "treasure"). Blueberries are placed on blue spears and a pirate hat sits atop her celery, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, peas, and carrots. Apple slices and spinach leaves are also included along with a little alligator pick that is "biting" a cucumber slice.

And, in honor of my preschooler who currently thinks "sparkle shoes" and "princess hats" (crowns) are beautiful and fun, I packed the following lunch in our new pink Yumbox. He has pink yogurt, blueberries on sparklly slipper picks sitting above apple slices, carrots radishes, snap peas, cucumber slices on a crown pick, mini Triscuits, red pepper slices, a small orange pepper piece, and a granola bar with a pink, glittery heart pick.

I included the following LunchBox Joke with my daughter's lunch. It asks "Why is U the happiest letter?" and the answer is "Because it's in the middle of FUN. I think this little joke fits this hop because when children say that they like various topics, things, or colors, they are simply trying to have fun while pursuing an interest and learning about the world. There should be no harm in exploring or enjoying areas outside the gender norms of our particular times and society. 

 After all, as illustrated in this book, Pink is Just a Color and So is Blue.

Thanks for reading. Please click on the button below to visit Bebento-Kids and continue on the Make Lunch - Not War Blog Hop.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Hop 2014

This post contains a small collection of lunches featuring hearts that I packed on dates in January or February of this year. The post is part of a Bento Bloggers and Friends Blog hop so be sure to click the button at the end of the post to visit the next site.

The first lunch is one my daughter had Monday of this week. Packed in a two tier pink bento box, she had cucumber slices on a white heart pick, carrots, cheddar cheese cut in heart shapes, grapes on heart picks, a Milano cookie, a few Cheez-Its in a narrow pink silicone oval, a small container of sunflower seeds, and a peanut butter sandwich stamped with a Love You conversation heart press.

On Tuesday, I used a different two-tier pink box for her lunch. She had carrots, apple slices, Cutie slices, orange pepper cut into hearts, ham pieces in a pink heart silicone container, sunflower seeds in the small white container, a few mint white chocolate chips, strawberry heart-shaped Jello, and Goldfish in a plastic heart container that I saved from a Valentine last year. 


I added a heart die-cut to the lid of the bento box. This was packed with a Valentine's napkin and a small little fork for the ham.

Earlier this year, my husband and I had matching lunches for work packed in Easy Lunchboxes. We had turkey on whole wheat pitas, blueberries on heart picks, a Milano cookie, Cheez-Its and sunflower seeds in the heart-shaped containers, with veggies and fruit in the two side compartments.

The next bento was from earlier in the month. My daughter had cucumber, carrot, and pepper slices along with grapes, blueberries, and cherries on a long red, heart pick in the bottom tier. The top tier held crackers, a small heart-shaped Dove chocolate, almonds in the small container, and a stamped peanut butter sandwich. I included a "Love" decoration on the top of the box.

The last bento for this post was packed in our pink Sassy box. She had carrots, pepper slices, snap peas, Goldfish, a Dove chocolate, sunflower seeds in the small pink container, a Babybel, blueberries on a "so sweet" pick, Cutie slices, and small heart-shaped, sealed  peanut butter sandwiches.

To try to keep the little sandwiches from drying out, I placed them in a small inner container and closed it with a lid. I was glad to find one that fit the sandwiches and allowed the box to close easily. I also tucked a little note under the bento band.

Thanks for viewing my Valentine's lunches. Please click the button below to move to the next lovely lunch blog, Lunches Fit for a Kid, in this hop.

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics Blog Hop

Today's post is part of a Blog Hop featuring lunches related to the 2014 Winter Olympics. I have been excited about preparing for this, especially since we have been out of a regular schedule the last few weeks due to weather-related school cancellations and sickness. But, this week school was open every day, so I was much more motivated to pack fun, tasty lunches.

Speaking of snow days, I recently remembered that I spent quite a few of those watching Winter Olympic events. Ice skating, bobsled, and luge are some of my favorites. I have happy memories of watching those at home and at my babysitter's as a kid.

This first bento was prepared in our blue Sassy box for my daughter's lunch. She had mini peanut butter sandwiches shaped and stamped to resemble three of the Sochi Olympic mascots (polar bear, leopard, and hare) sitting on a bed of "snow" (Pirate's Booty). She also had cucumber slices, carrots, celery, blueberries, grapes, and strawberries with a USA pick. For treats she had a Milano cookie and a gold "medal" chocolate.

For an evening craft, we were making paper dolls from a little book she received at Christmas. I found the three closest to the mascots and created little bronze, silver, and gold medals. I then wrote a little note for my daughter on the back. She was excited about the medals - to her they were "fancy necklaces" :)

The next bento, in a Sistema box, was for my son's breakfast at daycare. In USA-themed colors, he had Frosted Mini Wheats, Cutie slices, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes. This was packed along with a yogurt tube and applesauce.

That day, my husband and I had matching bentos packed in EasyLunchboxes. We had tomatoes and cucumber on long star picks, celery and carrots, a Cutie, grapes, and blueberries in star-shaped silicone cups, Cheez-It Snack Mix with a star-shaped pretzel on top, and curry chicken salad in a red silicone cup with a star pick. I also packed a whole wheat pita to go along with the chicken salad.

I included star (winners) napkins and selected my red and blue EasyLunchbox lids to match the theme of cheering for the USA's Olympians.

My daughter's snack was also packed with a red, white, and blue theme in mind. She had Frosted Mini Wheats, Cutie slices, a string cheese, and grapes and blueberries on a red heart-shaped pick.

On another day this week, my daughter had a USA themed lunch featuring sushi rice shaped into stars, a Babybel cheese, ham cubes with a heart flag pick, Cheez-Its, and grapes on star picks. This was packed in a single layer of our blue Bentgo box.

That same day, I packed lunches for work in our Planetboxes. My husband and I had blueberries and strawberries with a star-flag pick, turkey rollups, raspberries in a blue star-shpaed silicone cup, a gold "medal" chocolate, chipotle-lime cracker chips, and white chocolate covered pretzel rings arranged and colored with food safe markers to resemble the Olympic rings. My husband's lunch had a tiny American flag.

And, mine had a tine little white hare similar to the Sochi hare mascot.

That same day, my son's daycare breakfast included strawberries, blueberries, a piece of granola bar, snowflake-shaped Ritz crackers, and yogurt covered raisins.

On another day of work lunches, I decided to feature the events. I liked the simplicity of the event logos this year so I printed some and made small picks of each event.

 I also replicated the logos for bobsleigh and speed skating using Jello.

These pictures show the complete assembled lunches. We had curried chicken salad on a ciabatta roll with fruits and veggies on the side. Sochi is spelled out in the small cookies.

The last lunches were created with an emphasis on Winter Olympics. In Bynto boxes, we had turkey rollups, snack mix below the large snowflake cutout, berries on snowflake picks, veggies with Sochi spelled in alphabet picks, a Cutie, and strawberries.

My daughter's lunch that day was also Winter themed. She had Pirate's Booty "snow", mini fudge cookies with a flag ring, strawberries, carrots, celery, blueberries on a snowflake pick, ham pieces in a blue star cup, and a Babybel.

Lastly, I used silicone cups in the colors of the Olympic rings one morning for my son's breakfast at daycare and for my daughter's morning snack. My daughter had blueberries in the blue ring, chocolate chips for the black ring, red grapes in the red ring, Goldfish in the yellow ring, and cucumber slices in the green ring. 

My son had grapes in the blue ring, raspberries in the black ring, snowflake crackers in the red ring, yogurt covered raisins in the yellow ring and blueberries in the green ring. He also had yogurt (not pictured).

I had fun packing these Olympic-themed bentos this week and I am looking forward to watching some of the events. Please click on the button below to visit the next stop on the blog hop at Eclectic Lamb. I am sure you will want to see how she has incorporated the Olympics into bentos.