bentoriffic

Posts Tagged ‘fun food

Extra flossing and brushing are what’s going on in our house for some extra dental education.  Thank goodness Miss A’s teacher reminded me it’s Dental Week this week at her school and all month long is Dental Health Awareness.  They’re talking tooth care in the classroom which means I get to break out the molar picks and drill deep for my creative side!  Miss A just came back from a dental visit about a week ago with a clean bill of health and a new toothbrush. She is starting to enjoy her visits so I like to keep it all fun for her while she doesn’t have any stress attached to the visits.

Bentoriffic-Tooth bento for dental week

I don’t own any tooth cookie cutters so I had to think of what I could make.  I went the easy (and lazy route) for pancakes and used Bisquick pancake mix, which is vegan.  I didn’t say healthy, but it was quick.  I also added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  I used EnerG egg replacer and unsweetened almond milk in the mix in place of eggs and cow’s milk & poured it into a pancake bottle like the one below. In the top compartments of her Easy LunchBoxes containers are organic plums, blueberries and a strawberry on a “tooth” pick.  Get it?  I hand drew a toothpaste bottle, a molar and a small toothbrush.  I accented the tooth with 2 vegan (dairy free) chocolate chips and a fruit leather mouth.  Next to her lunchbox is an Easy Lunchboxes Mini Dipper container with organic maple syrup in it.

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Bentoriffic fruit snack bento

Snacktime today will be loads of fruit.  From the top left in her LunchBots Quad are sliced local strawberries, d’anjou pear pieces, pinapple chunks and sliced local Minneolas which are technically tangelos but look like a small orange.

Bentoriffic-Love pancakes bentoAnother flirtatious lunch for my husband today with I heart you pancakes.  The big stack underneath are all heart shaped pancakes and 2 small organic plums propping up the I and the U.  I also included a bunch of grape tomatoes and blueberries in his Easy LunchBoxes container today. Not shown is his Mini Dippers container with maple syrup.

Bentoriffic-dental bento for dental week

My other preschooler has the same lunch as above with dental themed pancakes, plums, blueberries and a strawberry on top in her Easy Lunchboxes.  Happy Lunch Packing!

Things I used to make this lunch:

Face cutters

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I know it’s still snowing & cruddy almost everywhere else but here.  We’ve had some cooler weather for Florida, but we are definitely spoiled with the sunshine and year round produce.  We picked some local strawberries last week so there are still some left that I hadn’t frozen for smoothies yet.

Bentoriffic-Florida Strawberries watermark
Bentoriffic Hippity Hop roll ups

Whenever I’m at a loss for things to make, I often turn to wraps.  You can use dinner leftovers, lunch leftovers and pack it into a tortilla for a new meal.  I used Rudi’s Organic Spelt Tortillas to make vegetable wraps.  I used a homemade sunflower seed spread on the base, julienned carrots and cucumbers and pile on a small heap of steamed edamame and wrapped.  I like to refrigerate them for a few minutes before attempting to cut them.  The picks (bunnies in this lunchbox) help keep them together for little fingers.  In with the mini wraps for Miss A are sugar snap peas and pineapple.  At the top are organic raspberries, blueberries and strawberries in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

Bentoriffic Lego cube snack bento

My favorite bento store, Bento USA by All Things For Sale carries some fabulous and very affordable ways to change up lunchtime.  This new building block snack box is a favorite of ours for quick snacks.  This one has pineapple, strawberries and sugar snap peas in it for a healthy, quick preschool snack.
Bentoriffic- Love veggie wrapsYes, it is possible to flirt even in a packed lunch.  I’m not sure that the letters and hearts stay in place, but I’m hoping he gets the idea.  My husband has the grown up version of the same sunflower spread and veggie wraps.  I made a grape tomato heart on top and the letters are cut out of Stretch Island fruit leather.  He has sugar snap peas and last night’s steamed lemon, shallots and slivered almond brussell sprouts in the top right compartment of his Easy LunchBoxes container.

Only 3 days left to vote for the Circle of Moms Top Vegan and Vegetarian Mom Blogs for 2013!  I would appreciate your vote once per day (24 hours)!  Nothing to sign up for.  Just click and vote:

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Please click on each photo below to find out where to purchase the same lunch supplies:

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Lots of love in these lunches today.   Some leftover love too.  I don’t like to waste food so Miss G has leftover spelt pasta with marinara today.  At the top right is forbidden rice with sweet potatoes and a baked potato heart on top from last night’s dinner.  In the main compartment are mini almond butter heart sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread, strawberry and watermelon hearts and green seedless grapes packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

Miss G started a new preschool this fall, and she’s not allowed to have any characters on her lunchboxes, water bottles, etc.  Luckily we get a ton of use out of our Easy Lunchboxes and LunchBots containers.  I did scour the internet for new bento boxes to have on hand, and I found a company called Happy Tiffin.  They make old school tin lunchbox containers, stackable stainless containers, and they have an adorable line for kids that is perfect for us.  The one we chose is called “Lunch Time”.  They’re a bit more expensive, but from experience my stainless bento boxes stand the test of time.  Since these are going to be passed down to Miss A (2),  I decided it was worth it.

I packed the Lunch Time tiffin for snack with strawberry hearts, large green grapes and coconut milk peach yogurt in the stainless container for dipping.

My husband had leftovers today too with a giant bento of leftover pasta (not shown).  He has a mixed green salad with purple cabbage and carrot hearts.  At the top left are seedless green grapes and top right are jicama slices sprinkled with chili powder and lime for squeezing on top packed in his Easy LunchBoxes container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Miss G’s first day in pre-Kindergarten was yesterday.  I definitely had a proud mom moment realizing she was excited to go and well socialized enough to look at the positives of new friends and a fun new classroom.  I also had my sad moment where I felt like I was saying goodbye to my oldest baby.  She is definitely all girl now and ready to go out & meet new friends.  It’s hard to let go sometimes.  After all, it seems like only months ago when I was staring down at a new baby wondering, “What do I DO with her?”.  There is no manual.   As parents, we just do our best one day at a time.  Off to school she goes.

She will be in school until mid-afternoon which means she needs lunch AND snacks daily that I pack for her.  She wanted her trusty almond butter and jam today, but I told her we’re working on more variety from now on.  For today, the apple sandwiches are on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread with Justin’s Maple Almond butter and strawberry jam.  Along with the sandwiches are an apple pick of red seedless grapes, a silicone apple container with small Apple Cinnamon Larabar bites (I cut them into small pieces) and grape tomatoes.  She also LOVES Israeli cous cous (top left) so I mixed it with quinoa and edamame which were cooked in vegetable broth.  At the top right are blackberries and raspberries packed in her Easy LunchBox container.

For her snack I used a small 2 tiered bento box. The top compartment is mini carrots and sugar snap peas.  In the green sauce container is Tofutti sour cream for dipping and below that is a mini vegan apple cinnamon muffin.  At the bottom are dried cranberries on the left and the right has sprouted pumpkin seeds and cashews.

The hubby has a salad again.  His mixed baby greens are arugula, tat soi, baby green and red chard, and baby bok choi.  On top is a piece of teriyaki marinaded tofu, a yellow roma tomato, a green heirloom tomato and sprouted pumpkin seeds on the sides.  At the top left are blueberries and raspberries and the top right is a wild rice salad with red & green peppers and pecans packed in his Easy LunchBox container.

Wishing all of my readers’ families a smooth transition during this back to school time!

My kids LOVE to go to the market.  I can’t handle all the grocery shopping with both of them so I get the basics by myself.  I do find it EXTREMELY important to take them to the local farmer’s markets, farms and organic stands in our area. I save my fruit and vegetable shopping just for them on the weekends.  If THEY pick it out, they will normally eat it.  I’m not sure who taught me this trick, but I am forever grateful.  Our rule is that they girls do not have to eat the whole thing, but they do have to try it when something new is introduced.  It helps to say things like, “Carrots give you x-ray vision.” or tell them that they’re very brave for trying new things. Experts even suggest stickers as a reward for eating fruits and vegetables.   I always make a big deal about them trying a new fruit or vegetable because for them it IS a big deal.  Remember it can take up to 15-20 tries before a child adapts to a new food.  I keep reintroducing things each week even if I know they haven’t eaten it the past 10 times.  Persistence does pay off.

Many moms and bloggers that I know have used the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit with great success.  You children get to reward themselves with different magnets for trying different colored foods each day.  It’s a fantastic way to make sure they’re getting their fruits and vegetables in too.

I had forgotten  I had these cute little bear cups for bentos so when I found them buried at the bottom of the bin, it was a must.  I made some small sandwiches with another little bear pastry plunger that I found at a local baking store.  In the bottom compartment are sugar snap peas and raspberries packed in our Easy LunchBoxes.

Little Miss 2 year old had a much smaller lunch.  She has strawberry sandwiches made with a pastry plunger as well.  Above the sandwiches are strawberry picks of blueberries and raspberries and on the right are sugar snap peas and strawberry hearts packed in her Gel-Cool brand Polar Bear bento.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Thursday I was in a rush so both girls had a hodge podge of things in their lunches.  The main theme was elephants.  I just got a new Lunch Punch that I used for Miss G’s bigger sandwich that has a mother & baby huddling underneath.  I included a BabyBel cheese with a heart cut out.

The heart bento has peaches on the right side and on the left are dried cherries and Funky Monkey brand dried crunchy pineapple pieces.  She also had an applesauce pouch and an Orange Lifeway Kefir pouch.

Little Miss A is still very excited about school, and it’s a bit new for her so finding what she will eat is a bit tricky.  She hasn’t been much into the sandwiches, but I included 2 very small elephants PB & Js for her on whole grain.

The heart bento for Miss An included Annie’s Organic macaroni shells on the right with colby jack butterflies on top.  The left side had halved grapes on the bottom, dried cherries mixed in with watermelon butterflies.  She also had an Orange Lifeaway Kefir and an ice water.

Miss G asked for a cow last night that looks like her Pillow Pet.  I used a kitchen glass to make 2 circles and then cut off the sides to make the shape for the face.  I used the scraps to make the horns, ears and eyes.  I used the heel of the bread for the nose and spot on its head.  I just punched some holes for the nostrils which can be done with a straw.  I used Nutella to stick on the nose, and the ears & horns are just wedged under the bread.  The edamame/soy beans are on decorative pics along with green grapes, a couple of carrots and Rainier cherries.  I’m including a picture of the Kefir pouches I send with her each day.  They are like a tart flavored yogurt which she likes, and it gets in her daily probiotics.


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