I mentioned last week that I had started getting a little more creative with packing The Toddlers meals for daycare, but I didn’t elaborate much. Now that I’m fully committed to the whole bento process (and I’ve worked out some of the “uhhh….duhhhhh” moments), I’m ready to share.
Here are a few of the lunches that I packed for her over the past couple of weeks:
See the bunny??!! That’s seriously her favorite part.
This lunch was Week 37’s Skillet Enchiladas with a dollop of sour cream, roasted broccoli, oranges, sliced cheese, peaches, and a little square of sugar cookie biscotti that I got from Kupcakes & Co. (yummy bakery! They make Buckeyes!!), and threw in as a special treat.
This one was also from Week 37’s menu, and very simple. Grilled cheese cut into little hearts, strawberries, pepper slices, oranges, and Annie’s Cheddar Bunny Snack Mix (that’s always a fave).
This one is a blast from the past. The menu is just from this past week, but that’s part of a leftover Sausage and Rice Stuffed Pepper from a few weeks ago that I popped in the freezer when I realized it wasn’t going to get eaten during the week. The rest is pretty obvious–grapes, steamed mixed veggies, cheese, oranges, and steamed broccoli.
Since she’s still eating little girl portions, I am able to fit both her lunch and afternoon snack in this 3-compartment Bento made by Goodbyn, which I happened to find at Target on accident. I was thinking the other day how handy it would be to have a second, but when I went back to Target, they were all gone! I just did a ‘needle in a haystack’ Google search, since I don’t have the Bento here at the moment, and couldn’t remember the brand. I’m glad I found it…now I can order another online. Hooray for convenience!
For breakfast, I found this very girly Hello Kitty Bento box on Amazon. Of course it’s not pictured on the Amazon listing, but when you open up the Kitty’s face (ummm…creepy), there’s a little removable tray that takes up 1/2 of the space inside, so it’s good for when one thing inside needs to be heated up and the other doesn’t.
Personally, I am overly-careful about heating up plastic containers in the microwave. In fact, I don’t even OWN a microwave because I just don’t see the point. However, at the babysitters, the convenience of popping everything into the microwave wins over my (possibly ridiculous) fear of heating up plastic. Needless to say, the process of getting the right stuff to fit inside the Goodbyn Bento has been a little challenging for me. I’ve come up with a plan wherein I only put the food that needs to be heated inside of glass containers, or in paper cupcake wrappers.The exception to this was the grilled cheese in the picture above, which she ate cold anyway…because that’s how she likes to eat it.
I know it’s weird, but she’s my kid after all.
Even though the wells in it are pretty deep, it was still tricky to find glass containers that fit inside of it, since the wells are oblong and not circular. I finally came across Wean Green, and they make those little oval-shaped containers that you see in the pictures. They fit very nicely inside. I also bought a few other sizes and shapes, but they don’t fit as well (or at all). I’m not worried about them not getting used though, since I’m always in need of some type of glass receptacle for food storage. The only thing that bummed me out about the Wean Green containers is that you can’t put them in the oven…which totally sucks for someone who is constantly heating up food, but doesn’t have a microwave.
Win some, lose some.
I know it’ll be a work in progress, but I’m enjoying the current setup, and I do strangely like packing her fun little meals each day. Well…as much as one can enjoy doing ANYTHING besides watching trashy TV on the sofa after putting in a full day of work, followed by 3 hours of chasing/feeding/bathing a toddler. While 8.5 months pregnant. So yeah. It’s not like my favorite thing, but it’s more enjoyable now that I’ve made it a little more fun.
And, I know that she enjoys it, so that takes some of the “blah/yuck/eew” out of it.
I’m slowly filling up my Bento Stuff board on Pinterest, so check that out too for some ideas. If you have any ideas, email them to me or comment!