Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Bear-y Tasty Bento

Wednesday, 5/30/12 - A busy-ish day with Baby E's Little Gym class, followed by story and craft time at a local restaurant. And then Z's swim class in the afternoon. I figured we'd probably eat at the restaurant, but E's gym class ends at 12:30, so I made something for Z to snack on during class, and then planned to save the rest for an after-swim snack.

A Bear-y Tasty Lunch
Carrots, celery and PB, Bing and Rainier cherries,
Special K Crackers, ham, mozzarella, Teddy Grahams (hiding in the bottom)
Since cutting her celery into little Cs was so successful the first time, I tried it again. And I added a few baby carrots just in case. The bear dip box has some peanut butter for dipping.
She had picked out both kinds of cherries (Rainier are the lighter yellow-y ones, and the darker burgundy are Bing) from a roadside stand, so I put in some of each.
I made her a little Lunchables-style lunch with a mini bear cutter instead of a boring old circle. I cut some ham and mozzarella and put them in my square muffin cups.
For the Special K Savory Herb Crackers, I used one of my cute green bear cups (came with orange, hot pink, and turquoise ones too; imported from the UK via eBay. More expensive than the brown bear cups, but such vibrant colors!)
Since I still had tons of Teddy Grahams left after my Star Wars lunch (Ewoks! Teehee!) I put some in for dessert. I placed one right on top of the crackers just before giving it to her, so it looked like the big Mommy Bear is hugging the little Baby Bear. Awwww. I thought she'd get a kick out of it, since she's always categorizing her toys into family units of Mommy and Baby.
After complaining that this was just "Another B and C themed lunch!" ("B - Bears. C - Cherwies. Cheese. Cwackers. Cewawee. Cay-rats.") she was actually thrilled with the bears theme. Monster.

I didn't pack myself a lunch so that I could eat at the restaurant during story time. I had a flatbread pizza that was pretty good (some kind of gourmet flavor with bacon and Ranch.) Z ate 1/4th of my pizza (after already eating most of her lunch during and after Baby's gym class,) and I wasn't thinking and bought her a lemon cookie. As she was eating it I realized it probably had artificial food colors. Yup. Bleah.
Her behavior took an immediate downturn and she went back to her old shenanigans that afternoon at swim class where she'd ignore the teacher and pretend she couldn't swim. I actually hadn't realized that that had been the dyes. In hindsight, her performance at swim class got better as we started cutting them from her diet, but up until the lemon cookie incident, I had just thought we had a bad time slot, when she was tired and done for the day. And that she was slowly getting better and finally got her confidence up or something. She'd had the skills to swim without the floats (little foam flotation aids) strapped on for months, but would goof around, or ignore the teacher, or refuse to try unless the teacher was holding onto her.
She finally advanced to no-floaties the month that we ditched the dyes. I can't believe I hadn't seen the link before. I had certainly noticed how much more cooperative and responsive she was at home in the mornings after we cut the colors. Even the first week we started; suddenly she was picking out her own outfits instead of making me do it, and putting on her socks and shoes the first time I asked.
On the bright side, this was a concrete example that I could use to help Z understand why she can't have fake colors anymore. We talked about how Miss Tatum (the swim teacher) and Mommy were getting cranky at her, and how we kept asking her to listen better. And that it was the fake colors making her brain not so good at listening and not trying her best. We also talked about how it made her feel, and did she like feeling that way? So now I can use this as an example for her for why she can't have something if I'm unprepared with substitutes at her t-ball game, a restaurant, or a party.

    sauce boxes

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