Monday, September 17, 2012

Kindergarten Lunches and Snacks: Days Eighteen to Twenty-Two

For this letter Q lunch, my daughter had two Q-shaped peanut butter sandwiches, two ring gummies, some pretzel Goldfish, and a few sunflower seeds in the blue container. I attempted to arrange the food in the lower layer to look like a quilt for Q. That layer held slices of plum, purple grapes, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber slices, and carrots under the celery. This was packed in our panda bento box which is easy for her to open.

For snack, she had peanut butter and chocolate chips on celery, strawberries and blackberries, a few wagon wheel pretzels, and two butter mints. Most of this was returned untouched.

Rabbits were the theme for the day my daughter was learning the letter R. She had a rabbit-shaped boiled egg with carrots, rabbit-shaped cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, rabbit-shaped cheddar cheese, a rabbit-shaped peanut butter sandwich, rabbit-shaped chocolate graham crackers, blueberries, and a few almonds in the little orange rabbit container. She ate everything except the sandwich, and said she was "afraid to eat it because moving it might cause everything else to fall out"; perhaps a concern from another day when she dropped her lunch. This was packed in our Rabbit Moon box from Jlist. The shaped eggs are simple to make with these molds and always a huge hit with my daughter.

I continued the rabbit theme for snack that day. She had a cheddar cheese letter R, red raspberries, rabbit-shaped nectarine slices, and rabbit-shaped crackers in a rabbit silicone cup.

Sharks were the theme for the day of the letter S. My daughter has loved the movie Shark Tale and The Reef since about the age of two and has several shark toys so I thought she would enjoy this theme. I ordered these shark picks in advance. In a Lock & Lock box, she had two mini shark peanut butter sandwiches, a cheddar cheese letter S, cucumber stars on a shark pick, blueberries on a shark pick, cherry tomatoes on a shark pick, nectarine-shaped stars, red raspberries, celery, carrots, a fish-shaped boiled eggs, and a little chocolate pudding with fish-shaped sprinkles. She saw me packing this lunch and said, "It might be good to pack a spoon for the pudding." Thinking ahead - I like that :) She ate everything in this lunch except a small amount of the egg.

My daughter is also a LONG time fan of dinosaurs so I figured that a T Rex would be perfect for lunch on the day of the letter T. In our blue Sassy box, she had a dinosaur-shaped peanut butter sandwich resting on a bed of sugar snap peas. The sandwich was decorated with yellow pepper spikes, carrot dots, and T Rex spelled from cheddar cheese. I cut the sandwich using a cutter from this Wilton 101 Cookie Cutters set, which is the same set I have been getting all of the large letter cutters from. The right side of the box held tomatoes, cucumber slices, carrots, yellow pepper, blueberries, an Andes mint, and some chocolate pudding with dinosaur sprinkles. She really only ate the peas. She has had a cold and seemed to be sick to her stomach this evening so she didn't really get to enjoy this lunch.

My daughter had requested that we "order tiger picks from Amazon like we did the shark picks", but I couldn't find any tiger to order for the letter T day. So, we made Tigger using our Cricut and placed him in this snack. She had red raspberries, a tiger (resting on a circus peanut) made of cheddar cheese, a few apple slices, and some small pretzels. She ate a few pretzels, but nothing else.

For lunch on the day of the letter U, she will have an umbrella-shaped peanut butter sandwich. It was decorated with food safe markers and a pick that I saved from a Lindt chocolate last Easter. The Sassy box also holds a cheddar cheese letter U, carrots, sugar snap peas on umbrella picks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, blueberries, and red raspberries. Hopefully, she will feel like eating this.

 For snack, she has a Babybel cheese with a teddy bear cutout, heart-shaped nectarine slices, and a few chocolate rabbit graham crackers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catching Up: Kindergarten Lunches and Snacks Days Thirteen-Seventeen

Lizards were the theme for the thirteenth lunch. My daughter's class was covering the letter L that day and she loves lizards so I used a few clip art images of lizards to make some picks for this lunch. On the left side of this Sistema box, I packed an orange pepper, red raspberries, two peanut butter crackers, carrots and some scraps of pepper strips (more about those in a second). The right side held deli turkey rolled up and secured with picks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, ad sugar snap peas.

I had traced a pattern of a lizard onto a pepper grown by my daughter's PawPaw. The pepper was red with a little mottled green color remaining and I thought it would be perfect for creating a lizard for this lunch. I painstakingly cut the lizard from the pepper using kitchen shears, then my daughter entered the kitchen. She said, "I smell something alicious" (her way of saying delicious - hence the name of this blog). She then plucked the pepper lizard from my hand and crunched right into it. So much for my perfect edible lizard! At least she enjoyed it. :)

 Snack that day was simple, but pretty. She had a cheddar cheese letter L, red raspberries, and letter L Cheez-Its. Luckily, the L crackers were easier to find than the Ks.

M was the letter for the fourteenth day so I settled on a monkey theme for that day. In the Sistema box, she had a peanut butter sandwich decorated to look like a monkey with candy eyes and mini Vanilla Wafers. She also had Goldfish, sunflower seeds in the yellow container, grapes on picks, blueberries, a small orange pepper, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and a little Andes mint tucked in the back. I made the monkey picks with stickers.

This lunch was packed with a monkey napkin and a lunch note I made from one of my daughter's favorite books: Hug by Jez Alborough.

My daughter's class has been learning about the life cycle of butterflies and I have a new set of butterfly cutters, so butterflies were the theme for this snack. I used the cutters to make butterflies from honeydew and cantaloupe. I also cut butterflies from cheddar cheese. Pretzels were used to hold everything in place and sunflower seeds were in the small green container. These cutters are a great deal in my opinion and I think they will be useful for a lot of different lunches and snacks.

Letter N was the letter of the fifteenth day and I had planned making a lunch focused around nests: baby chicks in nests, pteradactyls in nests, snake eggs in nests, etc., but I unexpectedly had to attend a meeting late into the evening. So, there was no time for making nests.

Instead, she had nectarine slices (hey that starts with the letter N), almonds in the blue container, pretzels, a mini Andes mint, tomatoes, a pepper, carrots, cucumber slices, a slice of cheese, and ham.

I packed a snack even though this was ice cream day because the school has been running out of ice cream and my husband wanted to make sure she would have something on hand just in case there wasn't enough ice cream for her class. I packed an applesauce pouch, a Milano cookie, grapes on bear picks, and "little" Frosted Mini Wheats. They ended up having enough ice cream so she ate this later in the evening.

This week began with the letter O. So, I packed two letter O peanut butter sandwiches (stacked), letter O Cheez-Its, letter O gummies, peanuts in the pink container, and a few Little Honey Graham crackers. The bottom half of the box held mini dill pickles, grapes, blackberries, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery. She had an accident with this lunch and everything in the bottom half ended up on the cafeteria floor. It seemed like she didn't get too worried about it though because another kid helped her pick everything up.

Luckily, I had packed a larger than usual snack on the day of that lunch spill. She had two mini berry muffins, pretzels, blueberries, and almonds.

Finally, on Patriot Day, she had a flag-themed lunch. She had a flag-shaped peanut butter sandwich decorated with food safe markers, a few mini animal crackers, a few pretzel Goldfish, and three white butter mints tucked behind the flag. The bottom tier held another flag made of nectarine slices and blackberries. She also had cheddar cheese on homemade star picks, cucumber slices, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. This was packed in our Lego bento box, which I purchased last year from JList. It is a 2x4 block, but Amazon has a similar 2x2 block for sale. Both are stacking bento boxes and are easy for my daughter to open:

Snack was a little of this and that put together quickly late at night since I had another evening meeting. In a single tier of a small bento box, she had cheddar Goldfish, almonds, a few Apple Jacks, a mini ice cream cone filled with Tom and Jerry gummy snacks, and a Milano cookie decorated with a letter N. As you can tell by the very poor lighting, this was packed and photographed LATE at night. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke to the realization that today's letter is P, not N, and I made a note to pull that N off the cookie before putting the snack in her back pack this morning. But, I forgot to take it off and I expect to hear about it from my daughter soon :).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Food for a Museum Trip

After her first eleven days of kindergarten, my daughter was elated to have three days off for Labor Day weekend. She had very specific plans for what she wanted to do with "three WHOLE days off". Day One was for going to see my aunt and uncle at the lake and going on a boat ride, Day Two was for going to a museum, and Day Three was for staying at home. She helped me search on the internet for a museum that would live up to her expectations (She has been to quite a few considering that she and my husband have often had to find entertainment while I was at meetings in other cities.). We settled on one a couple of hours away for her "Second WHOLE Day Off".

I packed food for the road trip since I know that she likes to eat bentos in the car. In the Sistema box above, she had a Babybel cheese with a star cutout (this one was eaten), ham on picks, a row of cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas (these have been a huge ht with her lately) all on the left side. The right side held nectarine pieces cut as flowers, Cocoa puffs, Cheez-Its, and Goldfish. She ate this food in two sessions in the car.

For my eighteen-month-old son, I packed yogurt covered raisins, a Mum-Mum pack, Goldfish and Cheez-Its, Cocoa Puffs, and nectarine slices. There were also some Rice Chex below the raisin box. I was a little low on fruit that morning so he ended up with a lot of grains.

The box above held a lot of "Minis". My daughter had mini Club Crackers with peanut butter, a mini ice cream cone filled with sour patch kids, mini animal crackers, sunflower seeds, and Little Frosted Mini Wheats. This food was great for passing the miles in the car.

Right before we went out the door, I remembered that museum food is often overpriced and pretty bad, so I decided to pack something super fast for me and my husband. We each had some Utz party mix, mini animal crackers, a string cheese (I am still trying to finish those off since my daughter stopped eating them.), a turkey and Havarti sandwich on French bread, and a Peppermint Patty. I packed and photographed these in under five minutes and they turned out to be perfect for us to eat in the car right before arriving at the museum.

We went to IKEA after the museum and as we were waiting for my husband to get everything at the warehouse, my daughter asked if I had a snack for her and her brother to share. She remembered doing that on the last trip.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lunches for Work

The day after Labor Day, I took this lunch to work in a LunchBots Trio. I had a turkey roll-up, tomatoes carrots, cucumbers, a sweet orange pepper. sugar snap peas, red raspberries, and blueberries. I really like the colors in this box. We have used a slightly modifies version of the turkey roll-up recipe for several years. We like to make these for party food and they are also great for lunches. I usually omit the lettuce called for by the recipe so that I can make a few of these ahead of time to have on hand for lunch packing for a day or two.

My husband had similar items packed in our PlanetBox.. He also had cheese cracker thins decorated with cheddar cheese. This was supposed to be a play on words and images to spell JetPunk, a site he enjoys playing quizzes on, but he didn't get it. I guess it was a rough start to the week even though it wasn't Monday :).

Friday, September 7, 2012

Twelfth Day of Kindergarten: Lunch and Snack

K was the letter for the twelfth day of school so I made a kite-shaped sandwich decorated with food safe markers and strips cut from sour ribbon candy. The green container held sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese Ks were below that, and a sweet red pepper rounded out the left side. On the right side of the Sassy box, I packed red raspberries, blueberries, carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices with stars cut from the center. This was an idea that I attempted to copy from BentOnBetterLunches, a favorite bento blog of mine. Cristi's cucumber stars looked much better than mine; I needed larger cucumbers to allow the tomatoes to show.

For snack, my daughter had more berries, a large cheddar K, some letter K Cheez-Its, and a Milano cookie with a letter K icing decoration. The letter K is one that she is a little less familiar with so I was trying to emphasize it. We had a brand new box of Scrabble Cheez-Its, but I struggled to find many "K" crackers in it. I finally found six of them after searching through almost the entire box. She liked this snack and ate everything.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Foogo Straw Bottles

We love these Foogo Straw Bottle by Thermos. They do not leak and they are easy for both my five-year-old and eighteen-month-old to use. I have been sending them in my daughter's lunches for school and they have not leaked, even today when one came back inserted in her lunch bag upside down. We have several different styles of this bottle and all of the pieces are interchangeable. Above you can see the plastic and stainless steel versions of one with a flower design.

We also have this version with pink and purple in a stainless style

And, we have several of the blue and yellow plastic versions which we purchased on sale through Amazon. I have used these for water, milk, and orange juice in my daughter's lunches. I like sending these in her lunch for school because I know that my daughter will be able to open her drink without assistance. All she has to do is push the button and the cap pops up to reveal the straw:

The straw extends almost completely to the bottom of the bottle so my kids are able to finish their drinks. The bottle is simple to close also. There is nothing to twist or pull up, so I am always confident that she will be able to get it open independently. We have several kid-sized Sigg and Nalgene bottles that we use when we are with our children, but I like the fact that my kids do not need assistance with these Straw Bottles. I also like the fact that I can place orange juice in the plastic versions of the Straw Bottles, which is something that I cannot send in the Sigg water bottles. And, I like that the opening is very wide making it easy to pour into and wash. All of the parts of the bottles are dishwasher safe. Ours have been through the dishwasher numerous times over the last several months and are holding up very well.

So far, the only downside for us is the fact that my eighteen-month-old recently learned to hold these bottles at exactly the right angle to purposefully cause liquid to leak from the tiny air vent in the straw, visible here:

I would recommend these bottles for anyone looking for a leak-proof cup that young kids can easily open and close on their own. These Foogo Straw Bottles are durable, easy to clean, and very useful.

Eleventh Day of Kindergarten: Lunch

Letter J was covered on the eleventh day of school. The day was also "Rainbow Day" so I tried to pack a colorful lunch. In the Spencer box, my daughter had cucumber slices, carrots, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, nectarine slices, ham on elephant picks, a few pretzel wagon wheels, a Babybel cheese with the letter J cut out, and two pieces of rainbow colored candy strands. She ate everything except one piece of candy and the cheese. She said she was waiting to show the cheese to her teacher and that her teacher was busy and she ran out of time. She promised not to do that again if I ever pack another piece of cheese with something cute cut out.

This was ice cream day so I wasn't allowed to pack a snack :). And, I apologize for the poor photo quality. This was packed late at night and the battery was dead on the camera I use that has a flash. So this was taken using lighting from the microwave thus the bad shadows and yellow coloration!

Tenth Day of Kindergarten: Lunch and Snack

The tenth day was designated as white day and was also the day for learning the letter I. So in our white panda box, I packed a peanut butter sandwich decorated to look like an ice cream cone. The cone was made of a triangle piece of sandwich and I covered it with a piece of waffle cone crisp cut to fit. The "ice cream" was decorated with sprinkles and I used a small amount of margarine to stick those to the bread. Pretzel rods were placed on each side of the ice cream cone to hold it in place. The other tier of the panda box held raspberries with a panda pick, sunflower seeds in the mini panda box, cherry tomatoes, space themed Goldfish, and a letter I cut out of cheddar cheese. Most everything was eaten, so I think this was a hit.

I selected white foods for snack since it was white day. She had three white butter mints, a white star shaped marshmallow, some frosted little Mini Wheats, and some plain popcorn. My daughter had requested some white chocolate covered pretzels for this snack, but the few white chocolate chips we had on hand scorched in the microwave as I tried to melt them. She didn't seem to mind at all that the pretzels didn't make it into the box and happily reported that she ate all of her white snack!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ninth Day of Kindergarten: Lunch and Snack

I packed heart-shaped peanut butter sandwiches since letter H was being covered that day. She also had carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, pepper rings, raspberries, and a few of the space-themed Goldfish. This lunch for my daughter was packed in a Fit & Fresh box and turned out to be a little too large (or had too many options) for my daughter because two of the sandwiches, some of the veggies, the peppermint patty, and the waffle cone crisps came home uneaten.

My daughter liked her letter G snack so much that right before falling asleep she requested a similar take on the letter H. I had already packed another snack:

... but since I had invested very little effort into it, I decided to prepare another that matched her request for "a letter H of cheese, two kinds of berries in the middle, some kind of crackers, and a "candy kiss" (her name for a Hershey kiss)."