Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WFLW - A Week's Worth of Bento!

Sorry for the busy post, but we did more bento than usual this past week, and I'm proud of each one for various reasons!

Simply Bento
3/8/11 - Monday night Unka Seesee made sweet 'n sour pork for dinner. So I planned ahead and put some aside in my Lock-N-Lock container and popped the whole thing into the fridge for the night. With Seesee around, leftovers don't tend to last long, unless you snag some early!
Pretzels, Snappea Crisps, Mac-n-cheese,
grapes/raspberries/blueberries, celery with PB, sweet-n-sour pork
Since (for once) we got up and ready in plenty of time to pack lunch, get ready and go to gym class, I asked Z what she'd like in her lunch, heavily suggesting her leftover Easy Mac from Sunday night. She, of course, asked for a tuna fish sandwich with pickles (she always specifies the pickles.) I couldn't find any leftover tuna/mayo mix, and I didn't feel like finding another can of tuna and mixing it up when I had perfectly good leftover Easy Mac, so I made an executive decision. 
I found some extra skinny pretzel sticks at Winco, but haven't found something to use them for yet, so decided to put some in here too. Except that they are apparently also extra long. So I scrounged up some of the organic whole wheat pretzel logs from Costco. With them are some Snappea Crisps, which are a fairly recent find. These ones happen to be the Caesar flavor, but I prefer the plain ones. So far I've found them at Trader Joe's, Safeway and Winco (cheapest at Winco) with the produce, since they're designed to go on salads, like croutons. They're very light textured, much like Cheetos Cheese Puffs, which I love. And veggielicious! They're made from basically green peas and rice, and molded into peapod-shapes. [Green Peas, Corn oil, Rice, Salt, Calcium Carbonate (same ingredient as Tums,) and Ascorbic acid (vitamin C.) So simple!] A friend at gym class whose kids usually stay and eat lunch with us has been bringing them, and shared some with Z a few weeks ago, and she loved them. I like that they're addictive like chips, but much healthier! [22 crisps = 120 calories (70 from fat,) 8g total fat (1g saturated fat,) 125mg sodium, 14g carb (2g fiber, <1g sugar,) 5g protein, and 6% daily allowance for vitamin C and calcium, and 4% for iron.] We call them "crunchy peas" since I could never remember the name of them when I first got them.
She didn't seem to mind the main course substitution and ate about half of her leftover macaroni. I made six PB celery sticks, from two celery stalks. Each stalk gave me two large bits, and one skinny small bit up above the leaves. She spooned the peanut butter out of three of the large celery sticks, but ate both of the skinny ones. They aren't as deep, so don't hold the PB as well, but they aren't as stringy either, and not too big for her little gob. I ate the fourth celery stick (with PB) and her rejected sticks.
She graciously shared one grape and one crunchy pea with a little girl from class whose mom had only brought a sandwich and drink for her, who professed she was still hungry. That girl also ate some PB sandwiches from the mom who introduced us to the crunchy peas, that her kids had rejected in favor of cheese sandwiches (all cut into little hearts for them - the first time I've seen her shape their food! My influence is legendary! I'm like a virus!)
After holding my sweet 'n sour pork hostage, Z never ate any, so I just stopped asking if I could eat my food and just started eating it.

A Lunch at the Improv
3/7/11 - After preschool on Monday, I made a grocery run, despite protests, because we were out of milk and Easy Mac. [She's been asking for it every other day or so now, so I didn't want to be out of it too long! She's not been eating the same dinner as us lately. We eventually make her a sandwich or Easy Mac and some fruit or a carrot so she doesn't go to bed hungry.] But school ends at 11:30, and she needs her nap by 1, since we get up early on school days. If she starts her nap much later than 1, she tends to stay up later. So I made it a quickie grocery run.
We went through the produce section (where I restocked on Snappea Crisps and got the Caesar flavor to try.) I let her choose some fruits and veggies. She asked for a Red Delicious apple, but every time she's had one she rejects it and demands a yummy apple, so I talked her into a Pink Lady. She also chose a Granny Smith. We found exorbitantly priced raspberries and blueberries, so I got a teensy weensy little clamshell of each. She pointed to some kind of lettuce, but I talked her out of it, as we don't really do salads, so I didn't want to just throw my money away on lettuce that would molder in the fridge. She also wanted a green pepper with a reddish blotch on it, until I told her that it was a green pepper and asked if she would actually eat it. (No.) We chose celery and a cucumber instead. She also wanted to try some red grapefruit that was all prepared in a little cuppie. So I'll update when we pop that baby open.
On the way to the milk, I remembered that we needed string cheese too, since we're down to one stick. And my sister has little kiddie yogurt, which Z enjoyed, so I looked to see what Winco had. I was hoping for the Dora kind (Yoplait Kids,) since it's healthier. But all they had were Trix and GoGurts. The Trix yogurt was on sale for $2/6-pack, and there was a coupon for $.55 off 2, so I went ahead and got some. Plus each pack had a free spoon!
As soon as it went into the cart, Z wanted to have one right now. So I promised her one in the car, and decided to put it in the EasyLunchbox that I keep in the car for fast food on-the-go. Since I was doing that, I decided to go ahead and see what I could scrounge up from our shopping trip, to make it more of a whole lunch, so we could go straight to nap when we got home, rather than napping later because the shopping trip delayed us.
Snappea Crisps, String cheese, Raspberries, Trix yogurt.
She only got half a little of the yogurt on her sweater, shirt and carseat buckles and straps. *cringe*

Quick and dirty Sistema lunch
3/3/11 - We were headed out for a day of doctor's appointments and amusing the child between doctor's appointments, but we had to get up early to get to the first one, so we threw this breakfast/snack/lunch together. My husband made the sandwich and I tossed in some shredded cheese (Z's choice) and grapes. I had been looking for carrots, since they can go with very little prep, but I found grapes, and they're good too! He and I went hungry until lunch time at the mall, between appointments. But we're less fussy when underfed than the Princess is!

Another Day in Paradise
3/2/11 - I was watching my two nieces again, and packed lunches for the three girls to eat in the car after picking up the eldest from preschool. Z's is on the left, and Tually and Pilu shared the one on the right. They all ate more of this than they usually do, despite a yummy pancake breakfast by Uncle Rop.
Baby carrots, mini dill pickle (for Z,) green and red grapes,
Muenster (white) and cheddar bunny and star cheese,
PBJ for Z and Pilu, butter on white for Tually.
I hadn't brought anything from home to make these, other than the EasyLunch boxes, which I was delivering to my sister from my recent order. I finally harangued talked her into trying some of this food fun out! I scrounged around in her cookie cutters and found some non-Christmas mini cutters. My sister told me that Tually didn't like the Muenster, so I tried a little bit on Z as I was making the lunches, before wasting a slice if no one would eat it. Not only did Z like it, but Tually snarfed down the 2 stars I made from it, plus most of Z's.
In the past, I had combined Pilu's lunch into Z's box, so they could get started before Tually got in the car, but one time Z wasn't good at sharing, so I switched to combining Pilu's with Tually's, since she's normally great at sharing food in the car with her little sister. Well. Not so much this time! At least not with the star cheese! I left them grappling and snarling like cats over each little cheese star, while reminding them that it was all for sharing and there's more cheese at home, people! Carrots and sandwich had no problem being parcelled out.
I made a half-sandwich for Tually, since last week she only ate a nibble of her butter sandwich, but this time she ate almost all of it. Z and Pilu shared a PBJ, which I cut into half and then each half into thirds, like little stubby fingers. They seemed to enjoy it like that last week, and this way less gets wasted when Pilu decides she's done by throwing the rest of her food. [Which is why she doesn't get her own box. Thank you, no.]
The grapes were such a big hit that when we got home I had to get them more. Twice.

Check out all the bento meals people actually put a little effort into this week! They put mine to shame!
Bento Lunch 

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