Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Middle of the week lunch

It's Wednesday, which is sometimes hot lunch day for Faith. Today, I believe it was BBQ sandwich day which I know she will not eat, so we packed a lunch she will eat to take instead.

She has heart shaped sandwiches with turkey & cheese, carrot sticks, goldfish pretzels, mini M&Ms and a small container of fruits (pears, grapes & blueberry). We seem to be in a lunch rut, I need to come up with something else soon ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back to School Monday

After Thanksgiving week, I am especially thankful school has started again! ;o) Faith was so ready to go back and our routine is much better when she has activities to do during the week.

For lunch, she had teddy bear sandwiches, carrots & grapes, goldfish pretzels, a mini Crunch bar, and her HK container filled with Yogos. :o) Yogos get messy if they aren't separate from other foods.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finally Friday Lunch

Today was Faith's last day of school before Thanksgiving break! So one final lunch and we will be on a brief hiatus till the Monday following Thanksgiving. Unless of course I get inspired during the week.

She had cheese, crackers and pepperoni (it's hiding there under the cheese), a yogurt jelly, some carrot sticks and some panda cookies.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bento Thoughts

I wrote this up for one of the girls on the Bargain Board for her MOPS group.

Since we've had a no-bento week (Thanksgiving feast with their book buddies on Monday, hot lunch day on Wednesday), I thought I'd post it so the page doesn't look so empty. :o)

Why Bento?
Less environmental waste (reusable containers versus baggies & paper bags)
Less food waste (smaller portions are eaten quicker/easier than larger ones)
More balanced lunches (creativity seems to involve color, which involves healthier food!)
The "Cute" Factor (presentation really is everything!)

There are probably more reasons, but everything I can think of seems to fit under those 4 for the most part.

Why I Bento?
I used to teach 5th/6th Grade before my kids were born. School lunches, for the most part, leave a lot to be desired. Most have too much processed food, too much fat and really aren't things I would want my child eating on a daily basis. As well, even if the lunches were better quality, it didn't mean the kids ate it. I saw them throw an awful lot of the good food away.

So when my daughter started school, I made it my mission to send her with a good, balanced & nutritious lunch. She is a good eater, but putting a huge plate of food in front of a 5 year old is overwhelming. I wanted to make the portions smaller and more easily manageable and send a meal that would be finished. So I got creative--shaped sandwiches, fruit kebabs, little bits of veggies & dip, all fun food that I was sure would be eaten.

If you think about it, we have a "SuperSized" culture. Portion sizes are out of control and really don't need to be as large as they are. We send kids with adult sized portions of food, especially the junk. They really don't need 3 or 4 cookies and a bag of chips. We do a lot of shopping at the Asian groceries and the difference in portions of sweets is amazing. The cookies my kids like have maybe 7-10 little rounds per bag and the fruit/yogurt jellies are 1/4 the size of a pudding cup. We send those instead for a treat and never have any complaints that there wasn't enough.

What We Put in Bentos (a short list)
"Faux Sushi" - trim the crusts off bread and roll flat with a rolling pin, spread with cream cheese, sliced turkey or ham, and some cheese, roll up and cut into rounds
Shaped Sandwiches - cut with cookie cutters, rolling the bread flat helps as well
Stuffed Muffins - use corn muffin mix as a base, mix according to the package, then add in diced turkey & veggies or diced ham & shredded cheese, etc, bake according to the package directions
Tuna salad - I use the scoopable Tostada chips as a holder and top with a cheese flower
Chef Salads with ranch - lettuce, cucumber, carrot, shredded turkey, cheese, chopped boiled egg
Boiled eggs
Fruit kebabs - melons, grapes & strawberries work well for this
Cheese & crackers - cut into shapes with cookie cutters
Pasta salad - sometimes with extra meat & cheese added for protein
For treats: yogurt jellies, panda or koala cookies, marshmallow jams, mini chocolate bars, Goldfish pretzels
For hot lunches: steamed pork dumplings, meatballs (sweet & sour are a favorite here), steamed rice usually pressed into shapes

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Again

Well, no Wednesday lunch this week, it was hot lunch day. I like hot lunch day, little to no thinking on my part!

Today, she took assorted fruits (grapes, cantelop and honeydew), a ham & cheese muffin, some carrots and some panda cookies. I think this box is probably the best size for her. It holds more than it would appear but there are never leftovers either. Maybe we need another shaped one like this!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Monday Monday ...

OK, now I'm singing that.

Faith had heart shaped sandwiches, a yogurt jelly (note to self, we are low on these), carrots & cucumbers, mixed fruits, and a mini Hershey's bar as a treat.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Another Friday, another lunch

You'd think, since Faith only takes lunch 3 days a week, that I'd be full of new creative ideas for her lunch. Unfortunately, she still eats lunch 7 days a week, the other 4 days just happen to be at home. To make matters worse, Ben expects 7 lunches a week too. And they both expect 7 dinners. It's a lot of pressure. ;o)

Needless to say, we finished out a few things today for lunch. She has a ham & cheese corn muffin (note to self, freeze these immediately next time, everyone is sick of them), panda ocokies, grapes & carrots. Perhaps I'll be back on Monday with a more innovative lunch.

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