Friday, October 31, 2008

Buried Treasure Pirate bento (Toddler)

The Monkey is dressing up as a pirate for Halloween today. Arrrrrrrrr!

top: grape tomatoes, orange pepper strips, snap pea chips, orange & strawberry, parrot cracker
bottom: sandwich with pirate ship and island scene (cheese & fruit leather)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Morning bento (Toddler)

top: hard boiled egg, snap pea chips
bottom: banana, raspberries, whole grain corn cake, M&M surprise in bird case

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jack-O-Lantern bento (Toddler)

top: sunbutter & bread bites, Gruyère cheese, raspberries, edamame
forbidden rice with sweet potato pumpkin (fruit leather accents)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Scooby Doo bento (Toddler)

Some of my favorite shows growing up were Hong Kong Phooey, Wonder Woman, and Dukes of Hazzard. But none of these shows could compare to Scooby Doo, there was (is) just something about Scooby that was (is) so entirely lovable. Apparently the Monkey feels the same as he asked to watch Scooby this past weekend. We are still baffled by the request as we have never shown him a Scooby video. But I guess it will be okay, I mean I turned out normal and everything.

top: homemade apple sauce (the Monkey and I made this last night!), roasted sweet potato pumpkins, ketchup in the blue container
bottom: roasted sweet potato, fruit leather Scooby, cheese ghost, with sun butter & jam sandwich

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bats Bento (Toddler)

It has been a busy week and I am really looking forward to a nice weekend with my family. The Monkey has been talking non-stop about Boo at the Zoo and there is a fun event at the Mercantile Grocery on Sunday including kids activities, pulled pork sandwiches and an old fashioned apple press for fresh cider!

left: plum, avocado, sesame sticks
right turkey, jam sandwich with cheddar bats (light brushing of food coloring)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Along Came a Spider Bento (Toddler)

It is Spider Week at school, eeek!
top: 2 strawberries, chocolate animal crackers, prosciutto*, and cheddar cheese
bottom: edamame, polenta, and a nori spider
*Monkey loves prosciutto, I know its weird

Friday, October 10, 2008

T-Rex Bento (Toddler)

The weather has been dreary the past few days and I have not been able to get a good shot! Sorry about the picture quality on the last few posts.

top: avocado, strawberries, mini blueberry muffin, cheese, and animal cracker
bottom: tortilla and cheese T-Rex, multi grain bread, smoked salmon roll ups, broccoli, and red cabbage

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hay Ride Bento

Autumn is my favorite season in Georgia, and October is my favorite month! There is so much to do and the weather is wonderful. This weekend we went apple pickin' in the mountains with some friends. After wandering through the orchard and filling our bags full of apples, we visited the petting farm (baby cows -or as some would say "calves", goats, bunnies, chickens, sheep) and then hopped on a tractor for a hay ride. The entire day was a hit. The Monkey was still talking about it this morning, I heard him excitedly explain to his teacher as he walked into class, "I went to the mountains and rode a tractor, and we picked apples!" I couldn't help but smile.

top: apple bunny, blueberries, cheddar bunnies, sugar snap peas, cherry tomato, and chocolate bunnies
bottom: cheese tractor with fruit leather accents, snap peas, sun butter & jam sandwich

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friendly Skies Bento (Toddler)

I do not have the patience to make my own baby food, that's why I love Jack's Harvest. I was ecstatic when I recently found it in the frozen food section of my local Whole Foods. My 10 month old always gobbles hers down with glee. I usually try some of whatever she is eating and got a inspiring thought when sampling her broccoli & sweet potato dinner. What if I tried using this as a spread for a sandwich that my toddler would eat? He doesn't typically like broccoli, but perhaps....

Guess what, he LOVED it! So for today's lunch we are giving it another go. It would make a nice dip too.

top: chicken apple sausage, manchego cheese plane, whole wheat corn cake with broccoli & sweet potato mash (hee hee), raspberries, blueberries, and green beans
bottom: yogurt with orange and blueberry

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why I Bento

As many of you know I began to pack bento style lunches for my son over a year ago. It was an attempt to get him to try new and healthier foods and to get out of the PB&J sandwiches or Mac N’ Cheese rut. Not that these things are bad, but I feel that they should be eaten in moderation. Sometimes he tries new foods, sometimes he doesn’t. I find that he is more willing to try something new if it is presented to him in a fun way.

It wasn’t until after I began the lunches that I realized the additional benefits of lunch bento style.

  • Environment and Health. I find that I create a lot less waste when I bento. When making a bento lunch I rarely pack anything that needs to be tossed into the trash. I also use more fresh vegetables and fruit rather than prepackaged foods.
  • Portion Control. When I got my first bento box in the mail, I almost returned it. I thought to myself, “This is way too small, how can I get an adequate lunch in here for my son, much less myself”? Well, trust me, you can. Our entire family eats bento lunches, you can find examples of both child and adult lunches I have made for my family on the website.
  • Convenience. Most of us don’t have much time to spend making lunch; frankly you shouldn’t have to spend much time. Aside from some of the more elaborate meals I make for my little Monkey, I typically spend 5-8 minutes throwing together bentos for school, work, the park, or wherever we might be going.
  • Fun. This is my favorite part. I love taking my bento out at the park and opening it to reveal the yummy goodness inside! I know my son feels the same way, at such times he grabs his bento box and opens it while saying, “Ooooohhh, what’s in heeeere.”

Bento lunches resume tomorrow!