Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School Bento Lunches

Today is an exciting day!  My 7-year old is starting Grade 2, my almost 5-year old is in Kindergarten and my almost 3-year old will be in half day preschool!   

I have to get back into the routine of making three lunches again!   Our mornings are busy enough trying to get all three out of bed, dressed, fed and out the door.   To save a bit of time (and headache), I make the kiddies' lunches the night before.  When they are all in bed, that's when I have a bit of fun getting their lunches assembled.

Fresh, beautiful and colourful finger foods in little portions separated by square silicone muffin liners really help focus the children during lunch.  They are at the age where they love their fruits, veggies and sandwiches cut in fun and different shapes.  Cookie cutters of different sizes are great.  Nowadays, I use my cookie cutters more for lunches than making cookies! 

My 7-year old son is growing up.  He doesn't want his sandwich to be cut in cutesy shapes.  Easier for me!  I wanted to establish a positive experience with food. In the mornings, I let him take a peek of what he will enjoy for lunch. 

I am lucky that my older children eat sandwiches now.  They are not big sandwich eaters but I keep trying, as they are easy to make.  Like a "Subway Sandwich Artist", it really helps to ask them what they like!  At first they only wanted ham.  Then they were OK if I added a little mayo with their ham.  Now, they like tomato slices (the wet seeds removed) with their ham and mayo!  I am patient.  In the near future, I plan to add some thinly sliced cucumber or lettuce... and then cheese... and maybe bacon?  For us, the trick is introducing one new food slowly.

Mini-fruit skewers on tooth picks are also a huge hit!  Juicy sweet blueberries, diced strawberries and grape halves were used today.  

Veggies: cucumber slices cut out in stars, red pepper stars

Sandwiches:  ham and tomato with mayo.  The sandwiches were cut out with a sandwich cutter, cake decorating sprinkles were used for the faces, and a candy food pick to keep the ham and tomato from falling out!

My son's lunch is ready to go!  A few whole wheat Triscuit crackers and a tube of yogurt for recess break.  For food safety, an ice pack will keep things nice and cool til lunch.

I was able to find some little ice packs from a different container, so I slipped those into a shelf on their sandwich boxes.  

All packed and ready for school! 

My gorgeous little boy is so excited to see his friends today!

The girls are ready for Montessori Kindergarten and Preschool!

For more great bento lunch ideas, check out Bento Lunch
Have a wonderful day!

[Sept.7, 2012 Edited to add:]  I'm proud to share the news that my article on Back to School Bento Lunches has been featured on!  

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  1. I love the red pepper stars inside the cucumber!

    1. Thanks Kathy! My son told me that the star cheese fits in the cucumber too! :)

  2. I love the idea of toothpicks, It makes it fun. Also, I love how colorful it is. :)

    1. Thanks Lorraine! The kiddies go crazy for the mini-fruit kebabs. :)


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