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Posts Tagged ‘kids

Miss G’s preschool is reviewing day in English this week, next week in Spanish.  Wednesday’s lunch is leftover dinner.  We had homemade fusilli pasta from Peperonata Pasta, a local company here in Sarasota that makes delicious homemade vegan pasta.  I mixed in butter beans and edamame, vegan pesto and organic cherry tomatoes in the shape of a W for Wednesday.  I used a cookie cutter to stamp a messy W in a large apple piece at the top left and the top right are seedless organic black grapes packed in her Easy Lunchbox container.

For her snack today, Miss G had circles of honeydew melon and watermelon with raspberry flavored So Delicious coconut milk yogurt in the small stainless container packed in her Happy Tiffin stainless bento.

And Miss A (2) had the same smaller portions of the vegan pesto fusilli pasta too packed in her LunchBots Quad.  She also had honeydew circles, pineapple and plum pieces and watermelon circles in her lunch.

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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:

I got caught with my hand in the Play Doh cabinet again.  I found these cute little bread cutters, washed them off and made these mini sandwiches today.  I cut Stretch Island grape fruit leather faces for both of them.  Just above the sandwiches are picks of green and black olives.  At the top left are raspberries and top right are blueberries.

Little Miss 2 year old is my finicky eater.  She had three little birds today for her lunch.  My kids love that Bob Marley song.  A pick of black olives is just above the sandwiches.  Raspberries, blueberries and a cantaloupe bird are at the top.  Both lunches are packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.

And I’m working on a local food story so my husband’s lunch today included foods I purchased at the local farmer’s market.  The base of the salad is baby spinach leaves.  I placed okinawan spinach leaves (purple and green) on top for color and for him to try, organic radishes which I bentoed out with these cute faces, and topped the salad with fresh sunflower sprouts.  I had never seen the okinawan spinach before so we had to try it.  Here’s a link to find out more about okinawa spinach.  Besides adding awesome color, it apparently has cholesterol lowering properties in it.  All of the ingredients came from My Mother’s Garden at the Sarasota, FL Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.  In the top compartments are organic blueberries and organic red quinoa at the top right (cooked in vegetable broth) packed in an Easy Lunchbox container.

Things I used to make this lunch:

I’m not sure if my girls have seen Fantasia, but that would be the closest exposure they’ve had to a wizard. Today Miss G gets a wizard sandwich with vegan cheese stars and a crescent moon on his hat. He has candy eyes, a dried cherry piece for a nose and Daiya vegan shredded cheese for his beard. His wand is a pretzel stick with a strawberry star at the top. At the top right are watermelon stars and the bottom right are crescent sliced peaches packed in an Easy Lunchbox.

Little Miss A has some bad weather for lunch. Because it’s W week they are talking about different types of weather. I made her a cumulonimbus cloud with lightning bolts coming out of the bottom. She also has some Veggy vegan cheese smaller clouds above the sandwich, and at the bottom right of the sandwich are Snyder’s pretzel snaps. At the top right are frozen guacamole pinwheels and at the bottom right are strawberry slices with a Veggy cheese umbrella on top.

Thu hubby also gets another salad to go with his lunch. He has an all spinach salad today with cucumber slices, mini carrots and edamame sprinkled in. (Not shown is a container of ginger dressing). Last night I also made oven roasted chickpeas. They turned out pretty well although some are a bit too soft for my taste. They are like a healthier version of corn nuts if done properly. I rinsed & dried the beans, drizzled a bit of olive oil, placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper & baked at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Then I used sea salt & garlic powder to season once they were done (shown at top right). On the bottom right are mini grape & plum tomatoes from our plants out back. All 3 lunches today are packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.

So I know this isn’t a bento post, but it’s still cute food so I guess I can pass it off.  Last weekend we threw a Pinkalicious birthday party  at the community swimming pool for our 4 year old..  As one of my neighbors said, I “went bento” on the fruit.  It was a fun party once it started, but my note to self is that I shouldn’t have taken most of the preparation on by myself.  I thought the project was manageable until I found myself cutting fruit hearts at 1:30 am the night before the party, and then I realized I must be crazy to think I could do it all alone.  Of course, I owe some credit to the idea which I found on Pinterest.

and a great watermelon on a stick idea from my blogger friend Keeley McGuire Blog

Here’s what I came up with:

GRAPE SKEWERS

HEART SHAPED MELON SKEWERS (HONEYDEW, CANTALOPE AND WATERMELON)

MORE SKEWERS OF HONEYDEW & STRAWBERRIES

AND WATERMELON HEARTS ON POPSICLE STICKS.  IDEA COURTESY OF KEELEY MCGUIRE BLOG.   THANKS AGAIN, KEELEY!  THE WATERMELON DIDN’T STAY ON THE SMALL WOODEN SKEWERS AS WELL AS I HAD HOPED SO I REMEMBERED HER POPSICLE STICK IDEA & VOILA!  PROBLEM SOLVED.

MY FRIEND LIGA AT LIGA’S SWEET CREATIONS MADE THE PINKALICIOUS CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH & HAND DECORATED THEM ALL.  SHE EVEN MADE FONDANT CHERRIES SINCE I DIDN’T WANT ALL THE FOOD DYE FROM THE MARACHINO CHERRIES.  SHE USED ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS AND FOOD BASED, NATURAL FOOD DYES.  SHE IS AMAZING.  THE CUPCAKES WERE THE ONLY THING THAT WEREN’T VEGAN, BUT THEY WERE INCREDIBLE!

I was determined to keep the party as healthy as possible but still fun for the kids.  I had 3 trays of skewers and about 20 kids there.  There were only 7 skewers left at the end of the party!  I was so glad I spent all that time cutting those hearts when I knew my friends’ kids were all going home not filled with junk.  There was also a basket of clementine oranges and pretzels with hummus.  I wanted to use natural food dye to make the hummus pink, but I decided against my plan so that I could do the individual hummus packs & keep them cool.  It was about 87 degrees here on Saturday which is always tricky keeping fresh fruit and other foods safe AND fresh.  We had organic tea, raspberry lemonade and ice waters for everyone to drink.

Again, because the party was outside, I kept decorations pretty simple but VERY pink.  We had pink tissue paper flowers, hot pink lanterns, pink baskets for all the Pinkalicious plates, cups & napkins and I was able to use some of my spring pink baskets that I have to put things in.  I bought two glass vases from the dollar store, filled them with pink Peeps (not for eating), shredded pink recycled paper on top and used them to hold some of the party favors for the girls which doubled as the centerpieces.  They had pink and purple flower wands in one and pearl wands or pinwheels for the smaller siblings who attended.

The treat bags that went home had some Pinkalicious stickers & temporary tattoos for the girls and prince/knight themed ones for the boys.  Each child also got a cookie cutter of a crown, a unicorn (for Goldilicious, Pinkalicious’ imaginary unicorn friend) or a frog for the boys.  It was tough to figure the boy part out, but they all had fun.

A big thanks to all Miss G’s friends who were there, and we missed all those who couldn’t make it.  Happy Friday!

We celebrate Easter in our house.  Like many parents, I think candy is ok in very small doses.  I am not a fan of filling up a giant basket of junk that sends my kids spinning like tops for hours afterwards.  We chose pretty woven baskets to be reused every year.  I happened to pick these up at Michael’s.   We leave our baskets and our eggs out every year to be hidden, and in the morning the hunt for them.  This way we re-use the same things every year, and it’s more of a fun game than about the candy.

As of the first of the year, we are also not eating eggs any more on our plant-based diet.  We had some decorative eggs that we use every year that will be hidden, and this year we will hide non-toxtic painted wooden eggs that can be re-used each year.  There are a lot of choices now to be able to avoid buying more junky plastic each year, and we like that they can play with them year-round.  Here are the eggs I like that I found on Etsy sold by applenamos:

Wooden Easter Eggs

If you’re still a fan of the plastic eggs, why not try something new?  These eggs are made from corn, are biodegradable and compostable.  These options may seem a bit pricey, but if you never have to buy them again it may actually save money over time.  At least you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals in your little one’s mouths.

Eco Eggs

All that being said, I am still realistic.  My kids want to get fun Easter things.

This year I decided to put new bath towels as their bigger gift from the Bunny.  They were in need of new towels, so why not make it a gift?  My kids will be getting new bath towels and matching wash cloths Kohl’s, Target and Cost Plus World Market all have cute kid towels that you can find for girls and boys.  I also chose some small toys, stickers and books to fill their baskets.  We feel like our kids have WAY too much stuff as it is so we try to keep it pretty simple.

Miss G’s basket (just turned 4) contains a panda bath towel & wash cloth (Kohl’s), a new Pinkalicious book, a Hello Kitty pencil, a Hello Kitty hair bow (attached to wash cloth panda’s ear),  Pinkalicious matching game, stacking crayons and duck necklace bubbles (both found in Target dollar bin), Max & Ruby stickers  (not shown but also from Target dollar bin),  and a Hello Kitty utensil set.

And Miss A’s basket (just turned 2) has an elephant towel & matching wash cloth (from Kohl’s, Hello Kitty hair barrette, stacking crayons, Max & Ruby stickers and duck bubbles (again, Target dollar bin) and a fun Easter book.

Try your local Dollar store too for fun, non-food spring gifts.  I also saw some great ideas for egg stuffers if you want snacks in them like homemade mini muffins, bite size granola, small fruit bars (LaraBar makes healthy ones with no additives!)  organic gummies and even dried fruits.  That way your kids won’t be overloaded with unhealthy candy.   I hope that this spurs some healthy ideas for spring baskets.  Happy Spring everyone!

Miss G wanted to learn about what state we live in so she got a new 50 states map puzzle for her birthday.  Since it’s still “S” week at school, I decided to make her a Sarasota, Florida lunch.  I rolled out whole grain bread with a rolling pin & hand cut the Florida shapes.  Inside is almond butter, agave nectar and sliced strawberries.  I decided to just make a small fruit leather star to show her “You are here.” in Sarasota.  For fun I added dried cherries in an orange blossom cup for the state flower some watermelon chunks in a pretty cup and on top are flamingo picks of edamame and carrot suns on top.  She’s also having a dapple dandy plum half at the bottom right with a strawberry heart on top.

Little sister got a space themed lunch today with a space shuttle and an S sandwich with the same whole grain bread, almond butter, agave nectar and sliced strawberries. The sandwich is surrounded by watermelon shuttles, a watermelon star and dried apricot crescent moon and a star.  In the pink sheep are dried cherries topped with a watermelon sun & stars and on the bottom left are watermelon chunks topped with a space shuttle strawberry and shuttle picks with edamame on them.  Both girls had ice water in their CamelBak kids bottles.


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