Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Hop 2014

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Welcome to the 2014 Bento Bloggers and Friends Halloween Hop. I am happy to be taking time to post some of the lunches I have packed during the month of October and excited to join another Bento Blogger Hop. Since I have literally hundreds of unshared, never blogged lunch photos, I decided to include quite a few in this post. More shared means there are fewer trapped forever on a camera, phone, or in the cloud! Please be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom so your can find the link to the next stop in the Halloween Hop over at Bentos on the Bayou.

First up is a lunch I packed for myself. It was packed in a LunchBots Trio. I like packing lunches in this box with a little of this and that. This one included pumpkin shaped pretzels, a cheddar cheese stick, almonds, carrots, red pepper strips, peas, grapes, a couple of candy corn gummy candies, and a turkey wrap cut in half and secured with bat and pumpkin picks. The little skeleton girl at the top is a candy icing decoration. My husband and kids bought those for me for my birthday.

Next are lunches packed for my seven year old (in the green Yumbox) and three year old (in the pink Yumbox). These really are high quality lunch boxes and I have been using these multiple times a week as you will see below. My daughter had a slice of cheese, pieces of an orange, apple slices, pickles, Muddy Buddies, veggies, and a few pieces of candy corn in the center treat section. At a fall festival, my daughter won cupcakes decorated with these candy corn themed rings. She said she picked this set specifically because she knew I would be happy to collect those rings. She is sweet!

My son  had peach yogurt and bone shaped snacks in place of the cheese and Muddy Buddies.

The next lunches were packed quickly on a Friday morning in Sassy boxes. My kids had a Cutie, pepper strips, sugar snap peas, carrots, mini cheese balls, and jello in a pumpkin shaped silicone cup. My daughter had cubes of ham and my son had yogurt.

The next lunches for my kids were packed in the new Panino style Yumboxes. My kids had asked to get some of the tiny Cheez-Its in the little bags. Neither one of my children can reliably open packages like that at school, nor do they need to eat a whole pack at a time. So, I had the idea to transfer the little crackers into the clear RIP coffin shaped containers that I had saved. The containers once held sprinkles and had a large enough opening to easily let the crackers in and out.

Sticking with the RIP theme, my daughter had a shaped sandwich and RIP gummy. She also had veggies, green grapes with a black cat crawling on top and an orange with a Boo! pick.

My son's lunch was similar with a granola bar in place of the sandwich and blackberries along with his grapes.

Both kids were happy with the cracker container and my daughter said she had lots of compliments on her lunch. So I reran that idea several days later with slightly different foods and decorations. The second time, my daughter had string cheese, apple slices, a candy corn colored rice cereal treat, peanuts, blueberries, and an eye gummy.

My son's lunch was similar minus the cheese.

A nice lady at a local grocery store bakery gave me a couple of candy corn picks so I themed the following lunches using those as inspiration. My daughter had cucumber slices, carrots, blueberries, pear slices, and grapes in one layer with a candy corn shaped peanut butter sandwich, candy corn, half a Cutie, and a candy corn colored cereal treat in the other layer. Please excuse the crooked, blurry photo taken at five AM :).

My son's candy corn themed lunch included blueberries, grapes, blackberries, pear slices with a pirate candy corn ring, cereal treat, Cheez-It mix, cucumber slices, carrots, and candy corn.

I'll end with a mummy themed lunch I packed for my husband. He had a turkey wrap decorated with food safe marker to look like a mummy. I also cut a green apple, treated it with Fruit Fresh, and topped it with icing eyes to be similar to a mummy. In the fruit section, there were purple grapes and blackberries topped with a mummy candy corn ring. The lower section held pasta salad. The treat section had a gummy mummy and I included Muddy Buddies because I thought they fit the theme and could pass as little mummies.

I found a little clothespin with a mummy on top and used it to hold a Lunchbox Love note as a special surprise in the middle of the day.

Thanks for looking through my Halloween Themed lunches. Please make sure to click the link below so you can visit the next stop on the hop at Bentos on the Bayou.

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.