Friday, October 23, 2009

Packed My First Bento Lunch

About a month ago I had a post where I shared about Wendolonia, Wendy Copley, and her wonderful Bento-Box Lunches that she packs for her son Here is a link to the previous post about Wendolonia. I have been watching Wendy's site and playing with the idea of trying it since the beginning of the school year this year. Ethan's lunches have been a lot healthier this year, in part from his willingness to eat more variety and in part from my getting ideas from watching Wendolonia. I've had my eye open for Bento supplies, but haven't found any in local stores. I was getting ready to break down and get one of the more expensive boxes on Amazon... but yesterday I finally found something that would work at H.E.B. (Texas supermarket chain.)

So here is my first try at packing a Bento Style lunch.
Inside the "lunch pod" is Ethan's current favorite sandwich... he is a creature of habit he wants certain things to remain the same. Ethan never would eat the bread in sandwiches until I started making them on a bun or a roll. I used to get these wonderful mini-hoagie rolls but the market quit carrying them so this is an OROWEAT French Roll cut in half, dressed with mayonnaise and spicy mustard (a newly discovered like), then stacked with Italian cold cuts: Mortadella, Genoa Salami, and Turkey Pepperoni, and today I also added a slice of Provalone cheese. In the Muffin cup I have hulled strawberries and a few grapes. Ethan loves Strawberries and doesn't eat grapes, but I thought we'd try to branch out and see if the novelty of the new lunchbox would get him to try them. Below the fruit cup is a banana nut mini-muffin, a second muffin cut in half was packed in the empty spots to try to keep the food from moving around in the box. There are also some smokehouse almonds that I tried to use to fill in space, but they feel down to the bottom and don't show. Ethan very recently discovered that he loves smokehouse almonds. The lunch pod has a lid that goes on top. I placed all inside his regular lunchbox which left just enough room for a Capri Sun and a small cup of Strawberry Cream Cheese Fruit Dip with sprinkles to make it look festive (the container has a lid too.) I had intended to pack the fruit dip in the lunch pod but the container stuck up too high to fit.

Here is the "Lunch POD" it's made by a company called fit&fresh. There is the main box and a lid and an ice pack that clips into place on the underside of the lid. I also found some Silicon cupcake holders these are Jumbo Size... the store only had Jumbo or mini-muffin size and the mini-size was too short. The silicon cups hold things in place while not allowing them to touch other foods and mix flavors. The idea is that the lid of the box fits so closely to the top of the cup that it forms a kind-of seal... I have even seen applesauce packed in a cup like that... I'm not that adventurous yet. The silicon cups were about $6.95 for a set of 6 and the Lunch POD was $6.27 both pretty reasonable especially in comparison to the prices for things I've seen online.

When I showed Robert the Lunch POD he was a little pouty that it wasn't for him, I now am charged with going back to H.E.B. to get him a fit&fresh Salad Shaker. Robert always buys lunch but if a fun container will get him to pack lunch I'm sure that will be much healthier! The website for fit&fresh is My previous post about bentos has links to Wendolonia's site, her FAQ page and her Lunch Box Ideas a great list of ideas of things to pack in a lunch I encourage you to check them out.

Well, Ethan struggled with the fruit dip container, it was too hard to open so he didn't have much time left to eat. He only had time for the strawberries and grapes. WHAT!!! I try to act nonchalant as my grape-hating son tells me that he ate the grapes and they were really good. :)
Now to find a more user friendly way of sending the dip for the fruit...


Sheila Bennett said...

What a great idea to use the silicone baking cup as a little container. Hope Ethan enjoyed his lunch. :)

Wendy said...

Very cute lunch! We've had issues with getting containers open too and it can be very frustrating for the kiddo. I've started testing and re-testing containers to make sure W can open them before I send them in his lunches.

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