Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lunches for a Before School Work Day

This lunch was for my husband packed in a new MyBentoLunch box picked up at TJMaxx. He had a salad, with ranch in the metal KidsKonserve container, and a few goldfish in the bottom tier. The top tier held a turkey sandwich, carrots, tomatoes, orange pepper slices, and a few grapes.

This lunch was for me and was also packed in a new MyBentoLunch container. Both boxes have another white piece that fits just above the salad compartment to hold a fork and spoon. I had salad and goldfish similar to my husband, but I also packed leftover spaghetti which is not pictured.

This lunch was for my daughter. I packed a peanut butter sandwich in the shape of a butterfly that was decorated with sprinkles. She also had goldfish, orange pepper slices, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber slices, and purple grapes. This will be a practice lunch for my daughter. She is going to work with me for the day and will try out her new lunch bag and water bottle. I will have a chance to watch and make sure she knows how to open everything on her own.

Monday, July 30, 2012

This lunch was packed in a new Fit & Fresh box my husband bought for me at TJMaxx. The height is great for fitting the silicone cups I usually use for separating foods and I like the purple color. I packed a turkey wrap, a piece of cheese, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, and mandarin oranges. I opened the oranges for my kids, but neither of them touched them at dinner so I decided to use them in my lunch.

This was a lunch I took to work in a LunchBots Trio. I had carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a little ranch in the yellow container along with turkey wraps, a slice of cheese, grape tomatoes and a few pretzels.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This was a bento to feed/occupy my daughter in the car. Seriously, she is always unusually hungry (bored) on road trips and asks repeatedly for something to eat. I've gotten used to this and learned to pack one bento for every two hours in the car ;). This held goldfish, two flower shaped peanut butter sandwiches, a Kit-Kat bar, grapes and blueberries on a pick, cucumber slices, tomatoes, and celery sticks. I was very surprised to see that she ate everything EXCEPT the Kit-Kat bar. She loves chocolate so I expected her to want to eat it first, but she left it in the box and never even commented on it. Later that night she turned down the hotel chocolates so I suspected that she was getting sick - fortunately it never turned into anything.

This photo insists on being upside down. I have rotated it repeatedly, but after it uploads it is still in this orientation. Anyway, this bento was packed in a LunchBots Duo and held food for my one-year-old. He is still getting used to solids and doesn't eat much of what is offered in most restaurants so I usually try to pack something for him when we travel. He had a few Ritz cracker thins and goldfish, a few raspberries, some blueberries, quartered cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, and celery pieces.

Unfortunately, both photos are blurry. I was using a new camera and trying to hurry so that we could get on the road.

Trying My Hand at a Lunch Bag Review

Let me start by saying that this is a post just to try a few things out. I have a new photo box and a couple of lights (a very thoughtful Mother's Day present) and I am trying to learn how to use it to improve the quality of my photos for this blog. So, I used it to take some pictures of my daughter's new lunch bag and I thought I could also try doing a short review of the bag. So, here goes:

This is the lunch bag I selected for my daughter to take to kindergarten. It is the Mackensie Lavender Owl design from Pottery Barn Kids (we purchased it). I wanted a bag that would allow my daughter to carry her lunches so that they would remain in a horizontal position (as if lying on a counter) rather than being turned on their sides. Finding a bag that allowed that was more difficult than I expected. I also wanted to make sure that I selected a bag that she could easily open and close, and one that would insulate well with room for ice packs and a water bottle. Overall, this bag fits with what I had in mind, although it is slightly larger than I would have liked for my kindergartner.

With the bag, we purchased the matching water bottle and the Spencer Dual Compartment Food Storage container in turquoise. The store was out of stock of the water bottle in the color we wanted, but they offered to ship it to us free of charge and it arrived even earlier than they said it would. Here, you can see the Spencer box and water bottle in the bag:

Here, you can see how a standard two-tiered onigiri box will fit alongside the water bottle in an upright position:

In this photo, you can see how our panda bento box fits. I wanted a bag that would fit this box because I know that my daughter can easily open and close this stacked box. It doesn't have difficult latches like some boxes do so I know that she can handle it without having to ask an adult for help when she has lunch at school.

Our Lego bento box also fits well:

As does our Crayola snack box which is similar to most "sandwich" boxes:

In this picture, you can see that a Foogo Thermos can be placed upright in the bag:

Here, you can see that the LunchBots Duo fits with ample space for a second box and ice packs:

And, the LunchBots Trio, which is slightly wider than the Duo also fits:

Lastly, you can see that the bag accommodates other water bottles too. Our Nalgene bottle fits well and our small SIGG kids water bottle fits with a lot of extra space.

So far, I am happy with the bag. It is very pretty and the material seems more sturdy than the standard bag you might buy at Wal-mart or another local store. I would prefer it to be a bit smaller, but we will see how it works out for my daughter in just a few weeks when school begins.

This was a quick pre-party snack for my daughter. She was headed to a pool and pizza party, but since she doesn't really eat pizza (only pepperoni), I wanted her to have a small lunch before leaving home. In the Sistema box, she had a few Cheez-Its, two tomatoes on balloon picks, a few carrots, mandarin oranges, and some plain rotini noodles. I had to refill this box a few times because she kept eating out of it before I could take a picture :).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I used a LunchBots Duo to pack a bento for my one-year-old son and five-year-old daughter to share. The left side was for my son and it contained quartered cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, chunks of nectarine, yogurt covered raisins and pretzel sticks. My daughter's side had grapes and blueberries on a pick lying on top of a string cheese stick, nectarine flowers, cucumber and tomatoes. This was packed as snack for a trip to a museum/activity center. Both kids enjoyed the trip and the snack really cheered up my son in the car that evening.

This is a lunch I took to work. In the Planetbox, I packed a wrap with turkey and tomato slices. I also had some pasta salad, orange pepper, carrots, and red and yellow tomatoes. Purple grapes, blueberries, and raspberries filled the fruit section, and I had a few M&Ms in the treat section. The big dipper fits well in the box and contains pasta salads and other items that might leak onto other foods.

This was a bento for the road. It contained two star shaped peanut butter sandwiches, pretzels, carrots, celery, tomatoes, as well as purple grapes and blueberries on a pick. My five year old passed some of the time in the car as she enjoyed this lunch. It was packed in a Sistema box purchased from TJMaxx.

This was a lunch I took to work. It contained pasta salad, yellow cherries, orange tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers, blueberries, purple grapes, and a little nectarine. It was packed in a Rabbit Moon box purchased from JList.