bentoriffic

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Elf hat bentoToday I made black bean wraps for the girls.  I used raw, organic sunflower seed spread on Rudi’s Organic Wraps. I julienned carrots and cucumbers and topped then black beans.  I roll as tightly as I can and I stick them in the refrigerator so they’re cut more easily without falling apart.  It also helps to put a pick through the rolls to hold them together so the kids can easily pick them up.  In the top left are hat shaped watermelon pieces.  And the top right is an apple with the hat cut out and replaced with another watermelon in the middle packed in her Easy Lunchboxes container.

Elf apple hat, hummus & pretzel bento by bentoriffic

Today’s bento snack is a green apple hat with the cutout used from lunch, a peeled clementine, a container of Sabra brand hummus, sesame pretzel sticks and Marcona(Spanish) almonds.

Black bean wrap & elf hat in LunchBotsThe mini version for my 2 year old is the same black bean wraps on Rudi’s Organic wraps, sunflower seed spread, black beans, cucumbers and carrots with holiday hat picks.  One the left are watermelon hat pieces and a silicone pea pod with raspberries, almonds and blueberries packed in her LunchBots Duo.

Packed lunch by bentoriffic

I thought it might be nice to show you how the lunch looks for my 4 year old once it’s ready to go.  She has a pink Easy Lunchboxes lunchbox.  It easily fits two Easy Lunchboxes.  Hers has 2 cooler packs in the bottom, then her lunch, more ice packs and then her CamelBak water bottle, snack bento, napkins with silverware rolled inside, and I pack an oilcloth placemat on top (not shown) before it gets zipped up.  I find that packing it tightly means less shuffling of the food, and the food stays better insulated until lunchtime.

Things I used to make this lunch:

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 8.49.11 AM

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Little Miss 2 year old will be back to school next week so I will be a lunch making fool next Sunday night!  Enjoying a few extra moments until then.  Today I packed Miss G (4) black bean wraps.  I used a Rudi’s Spelt tortilla, spread on some Tofutti brand non-dairy cream cheese in a thin layer.  I added black beans, a tiny bit of shredded purple cabbage, julienned carrot strips and a tiny bit of Daiya cheese shreds.  I rolled it tightly, wrapped it in press & seal wrap whole and refrigerated it overnight.  I cut it into small wheels in the morning so it would be easier to cut and stuck in some cute animal picks to hold them together.  I also included grape tomatoes which she loves, sliced kiwi and strawberries packed in her LunchBots Uno.

For snack time today I packed her a small, double tiered bento box.  In the bottom are papaya flowers and raspberries and the top container has a halved dill pickle, more grape tomatoes and assorted olives.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Things I used to make this lunch:

Happy 4th of July!  How did that sneak up so quickly?  It seems like school just ended, and now summer’s half over!   My lovely blogging buddies decided to do another blog hop to spark some fun ideas for your Independence Day weekend and upcoming celebrations.  So proud to be a part of such a talented group of women!  Be sure to click on the 4th of July button or link at the end of each post to find the next blog’s creations.

My first creation is a lunch for one of the girls.  It’s 3 star shaped sandwiches on Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.  On both sides of the stars are firework picks of blackberries and raspberries and an American flag flying on top of the sandwiches.  I managed to find some fun vintage picks for my holiday lunches and snacks this round.  At the top left is Lady Liberty sitting on a pile of blueberries.  And at the top right are watermelon stars topped with an Old Guard fife and drum corps pick all packed in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.

The next Easy Lunch Boxes is an afternoon snack.  At the top left is So Delicious brand coconut milk mango yogurt topped with pomegranite seeds and topped with a Liberty Bell pick.  At the top right are blackberries with a strawberry star and a firecracker July 4th pick.  In the large compartment is a star shaped homemade cornbread muffin and pinwheel picks of raspberries and blueberries.

Please click on the button below to see what Keitha made over at Keitha’s Chaos:

Tools I used to make this lunch:

What better way to say you love your mother than to win a fun kitchen tool?  Or one that will help kids to make their own meals!  I was introduced to FunBites a few months back when they were kind enough to include me in doing a review for the Luv It cutter.

FunBites wants to celebrate Mother’s Day with my readers by giving away one of their cutters.  The winner may choose which cutter they want.  Please read the end of this post to find out how to win one of these!

I must admit that the first time I got the FunBites Luv It cutter, I played with it for a few minutes.  Then my creative brain took over.  My kids didn’t need any time to decide to play.  They still think it’s a fun toy.  Luckily, it is also seriously durable and washes clean quickly.  I am not afraid to let them have the FunBites cutters to experiment.  Yes, it’s been chucked across the table, accidentally dropped and well used by my 2 and 4 year old, and both cutters still look like new.  NOT that I recommend trying it, but with toddlers anything can happen.  The best part is that once you show them, even the littlest kids can use it to help make their own snacks.  Mine LOVE creating shapes and playing with the pieces of bread, fruit, pitas or anything cut out of these fun food cutters.

One of the most important parts of the piece for me when spending money on my family is the kind of business I support.  If you don’t think about who you’re buying from, you should.  FunBites is a family-owned business started by a mom just like you and me.  Their products are made of safe, BPA-free, non-leaching plastics, and are made in the USA supporting families here.  Please check out their brief story here: FunBites-Our Story.

Here is one of the FunBites lunches I recently did:

FunBites Kite Lunch

For Mother’s Day, I thought it would be great to think of all the things we do.   Without mom’s a house is just a house, but with love and care it becomes the place your heart and home are.  The cantaloupe at the top left was cut with the Cube It FunBites cutter.  At the top right is guacamole in the yellow flower cup.  In the green clover cup are small, square tortilla chips I made with the Cube It FunBites cutter (see how below!)  The sandwich is Justin’s almond butter & strawberry jam on Ezekiel bread all cut with the FunBites Luv It cutter shapes.  The sun’s rays are soy cheese cut with the same cutter, and the hearts are fruit leather cut from the FunBites Luv It cutter too.

So for the homemade tortilla chips, I cut a whole grain tortilla (also pita bread or flatbread is easy for these too) with the Cube It FunBites cutter.  I placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Then I lightly misted grapeseed oil (or any oil, just go easy with it) over the pieces and lightly sprinkled garlic powder over them.  I placed them in the oven on my low broiler setting and placed in the middle of the oven.  As long as you’re watching them, you can do this at 300-350 too.  They take about 5-7 minutes depending on your oven.  Again, just make sure to watch them.  Because they’re small pieces, they brown quickly.  My kids like the garlic chips with guacamole and hummus.  You can do the same thing and use cinnamon instead of the garlic powder.

Here’s how they turned out:

And then I arranged them into a fun flowery snack with some hummus:

Don’t forget to do something special for yourself this weekend if you’re a mom!

Here’s how to win your choice of a Luv It or Cube It cutter from FunBites.  You must submit separate entries for each one of these items to receive separate chances to win.

1. YOU MUST “LIKE” FunBites on Facebook

2. YOU MUST “LIKE” Bentoriffic on Facebook

Optional entries:

3. “SHARE” this post on Facebook

4. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to your blog in my comments

5. Follow me on my blog by subscribing to my wordpress posts.

GOOD LUCK!

This contest will go through midnight on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 10pm.  I will choose a winner by random.org and contact you.  You will have 48 hours to respond, or I will choose a new winner.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!


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