Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tangram Puzzle Face Bento

I can't, for the life of me, figure out why I felt I had to pack a lunch this day. As far as I can tell we didn't have anything going on that morning. We had preschool after lunch, then swim, and then an art class playdate. And I ate my lunch at school (at the co-op preschool she likes me to sit in the "Mommy Room" while she has class.) Maybe it was easier to eat on the way, and then have food left over for an after school snack? Anyway...
Tangram Puzzle Face
Peach and apple puree pouch, PBHoney sandwich, spinach w/Ranch,
assorted American, string cheese and ColbyJack cheese shapes
P-p-p-puzzle Face: Due to a recent snowstorm and power outage, we were running low on bread. So I used a little trick to disguise the heels. I put the spreads on the brown sides, leaving the regular-looking-sides facing out! I used a sandwich cutter to cut off the edges, since they tend to curl out and give the game away.
A tip in case you try this - don't use two heels at once. It was soooooo hard to cut through! And I happened to have the more-exposed top-heel on the top, so it split a lot when the cutter pushed through (you can kind of see it in the photo below.) You want to use the moister, most flexible slice on top to help prevent breakage. Ah well. Luckily these shapes were okay with being flipped broken-side-down!
Heel-sides in!
I chose a puzzle cutter by Munchkin (found in the baby section at Wal-Mart. Not finding them anywhere online. They also make penguin and elephant cutters.)

Tangram Cheese: I used an assortment of cheeses, just for fun. I used my FunBites Luv It! cutter on the American cheese to make hearts and triangles, and I used the Cube It! on the Colby Jack to make squares. And I made circle-y nibblets from a stick of string cheese. The idea was for her to use the shapes to make pictures, either on the lid of her EasyLunchbox, or in the main compartment after eating her sandwich.

She's never had American cheese before, or at least not the kind that looks and feels like plastic. She happened to come into the kitchen looking to graze while I was making her lunch, so I fed her the scraps. She kept coming back for more. She ended up eating two whole slices, plus the scraps from the two slices I cut into shapes, plus stole the rest of the package, but I thwarted her attempts to open more cheese, since it was time to get dressed to go.

She's Strong to the Finich, 'Cuz She Eats Her Spinach!: A friend brought a Fresh Express spinach salad (Strawberry something - REALLY nummy!) with a meal over a week ago, after I had the baby, and there was still some spinach leaves left. And they were still good! So instead of chopping up a carrot, I decided to toss some in and see if she liked them.

Fruit Squeeze: Again, due to the snow, we were low on fruit items as well. And after spending all day cutting cheese and sandwiches, I was running short on time and wasn't in the mood to cut an apple (and slosh it in juice to prevent browning. Especially since all I had was lemon juice, since Hubby threw out the apple juice last time he cleaned the fridge! I mean, just because it had expired months before... sheesh.) But these organic peach and apple puree pouches were on sale on Amazon, and even cheaper with Subscribe and Save (which I cancel right after, so I don't forget and get another batch later!) so I decided to give them a try. And they had just arrived, during a lull in the snow! Yay! Fruit!

My lunch: PBHoney, leftover McD apples,
spinach salad w/dried strawberries, almonds and Ranch
The cheese and sandwich were a big hit. At first she was upset that I gave her the EasyLunchbox with the lid still on. I usually take it off and hold onto it in the front seat, so it doesn't fall out of reach or get dirty, since we usually keep dipping back into her lunch throughout the day. But once I explained that the lid was to make cheese pictures on, she calmed down. And she was able to get it open herself no problem!

She ate all of the spinach. All. Of. It. In the past, she has left the stems behind. But this time she claimed that the stems were "dee-nishous!" She didn't want the Ranch at all. She ate almost half of the sandwich.

I made the mistake of telling her that the squeezy fruit pouch was applesauce. I forgot that she 'hates' applesauce. I should have told her it was squeezy candy. Sigh. She did try it for me, but claimed it was too sour. So she traded me for my apples. I felt silly sucking down a pouch of baby food in the parking lot at preschool, but what are you gonna do? She never ended up eating my apples either.
Making faces
Because I had made a cheese face on the sandwich, that's pretty much all she made with the cheese shapes too. Oh well. I would like to note that the plastic-y American cheese sticks REALLY WELL to the plastic. It stayed on nicely, even when shaken upside-down. So if you're thinking of doing something similar, or using cheese to make a picture that sticks to the lid while it's on the box, American is the way to go! Unfortunately, it tears easily, so can only be peeled off and reapplied if done with care.


  1. How creative and fun! I think if I gave my daughters a puzzle sandwich they'd spend more time taking it apart and putting it together than they would spend eating it. But they'd sure have fun! :) Lol!


  2. Smart idea with the heels of the bread! I've been known to try to cut the end off, but never thought of putting it heel side down... I'll keep that in mind for the future! It's great how necessity inspires creativity.

    Love the puzzle lunch- Thanks so much for linking up at Food Adventure Friday!

  3. Too cute very creative :)
    following you from Blog hop


Go ahead! Tell me how awesome I am. Or ask a question. Whatever.

(Please note that I had to disable Anonymous comments. Too many spam comments coming through the filters.)