Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sproutlets Lunch

Tuesday 8/7/12 - Ever since my wonderful visit to meet in-person with Candy Girl from BentOnBetterLunches, I wanted to make a special lunch to commemorate it. [Stay tuned for details of my visit!] Even though Z didn't go with me, I figured this would be a fun way to "introduce" her to the Sproutlets, Candy Girl's five (you read that right! FIVE!) kids. If I continue to talk about them and show their pictures to her, she may be less overwhelmed meeting them for the first time. Since I can't not to go back! It ended up being one of the best times I've had in a long while.
Mozzarella , PB-Honey sandwich, green beans,
raspberries and blueberries, mini sweet pickle, gummy bears
I'll talk about the details meant to honor/represent each person in order by age,* rather than where it appears in the lunch, so stay sharp!
(*Mostly by age. I just grouped the grown-ups together. I don't know who's older there. Err... I mean, obviously Candy Girl barely looks old enough to even have an 11-year-old. But she's first since she was the whole reason for the visit! Well, that and exchanging bento loot!)

Candy Girl and Sailor Boy: Well, candy, duh! I chose dye-free gummy bears and put them in a mini silicone cup (my gummies are from Trader Joe's but I have some of the Surf Sweets ones too.) The bears themselves don't represent anything special, but Hubby just picked up another bag by accident, so we're very gummy-bear heavy right now! Oh no wait... They're there because I couldn't BEAR to leave! (*groan*)
The life preserver cupcake pick sticking in the gummies is to represent Sailor Boy, her husband. (Nothing dirty intended. Just a hilariously dirty happenstance.) I got it in a cupcake topper grab bag, but I've seen it in a set with other designs online somewhere.

Beanstalk: The organic green beans from our CSA are for her oldest son, "Beanstalk," who spent most of my visit playing his new video games. But he came down and charmed Baby E near the end.
That curvy bean was accidentally placed so that the horse looked like a rocking horse, but my plan had originally just been for the beans to look like grass. And then I knocked the bean loose and forgot to fix it before photos. Oh well.

Bella: The horse is for "Bella." But not because she loves horses or anything. Because my Hubby used to work for the company that put out the Bella Sara horse cards, so I always think of horses when I hear "Bella." I used the only horse cookie cutter I own, which happened to fit perfectly on the bread, for a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Except the tail broke off both slices! After the first one, I was extra-special careful, and still it broke off! Gah! I went ahead and put spreads on the tail bits and sandwiched them together, and used some PB to try and glue them to the rest of the sandwich. It held up okay. It ended up gluing it to the bottom of the box, which accomplished my goal, in the end!

Pickle: For "Pickle," her middle child, I chose a Steinfeld's Sweet Midget Pickle. They're dye-free, and Hubby found them at a regular grocery store! Woohoo!

Sprout: For her middle daughter, "Sprout," I added some "sprouting" leaf picks to our organic CSA raspberries and blueberries. There are three leaves, to represent the three girls, even though the idea overall is for Sprout. It's my bento, and I can give things extra symbology if I want to!

Birdie: For the youngest girl, "Birdie," I used a mini bird cutter on some mozzarella. I actually made eight birds and was going to stack them all together into one pile, but thought that five of them bobbing along the horse's back would be cuter. And represent all five kids. (They can be Birdie AND all the kids. My bento, my rules.) The extra three birds are super-secretly stacked onto three of the others, invisible to the naked eye...
[Inside joke alert: In case you didn't catch that Cristi, I italicized it for you...]

Mamas Need Lunch Too
 Two ham-lettuce-Pink Dip sandwiches on whole grain rounds (cut into halves,)
apricot, NatureBox Cinnamon Spiced Almonds, SunButter "Fleas on a Log"
The Cinnamon Spiced Almonds are from NatureBox, and they are soooo good. That was a month I was super glad I forgot to cancel my month-to-month subscription when decided I loved it and signed up for the 6-month subscription, so I got two boxes!
For my "Fleas on a Log," I used SunButter, since I prefer it to peanut butter for these. The "Zingy Currants" are also from NatureBox, and are so piled on there to fill up the SunButter area, they looked more like clusters of fleas than ants, hence the name!

(NatureBox is a monthly subscription service where they send you a new assortment of 4 to 5 snacks, free from artificial dyes, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, and anything else fake that companies think is fun to feed us. If you're interested in trying it out, use code CRISTI to get 25% off your first box! Even my first month, where I didn't really love anything, was worth it enough to flub upgrading to the 6-month subscription!)

We had a make-up gym class, then a half-hour break before her Animal Week themed gym camp, where a local pet shop owner brings live exotic animals. It was her favorite camp last year, so I booked her for every day this year, at both gym locations, since they did it on separate weeks to accommodate the pet store guy.
So instead of eating in the car, we ate our lunches in the lobby (it was overcast, otherwise we had planned to eat outside on a patch of grass somewhere.) It was strange not eating with a seatbelt on, we've been eating in the car so much lately!
One of her teachers came by and saw her lunch and started talking with her about it, so Z tried to explain the theme:

"My Mommy has a fwend, and her kids have funny names! This one is for 'Tweety Bird' [Birdie!] and this one... uhhh... [pointing to the horse. Stumped.] And this is for 'Root' [Sprout! Hahah!] and Candy Girl and 'Seal Boy.' 'Gween Bean' [for Beanstalk] and this is Pickle!" Hahaha! NAILED IT! Oy!

When asked, her favorite part of the lunch was the pickle. She also ate the green beans before her Little Gym camp started, but nothing else. After camp, she ate everything but the berries. Sorry Sprout! If it makes you feel any better, she didn't eat the fruit in her camp snack either. Not a fruit day, I guess.

   Japanese Bento Food Pick Leaf 10 pcs for Bento Box - Small


  1. This is amazeballs :) I laughed so hard, and then I laughed even harder at Z's funny names, especially Root, oh, that brought a tear, awesome. We all had the nest time too and can't wait to get together again!

  2. Grrr - can't edit my typo! You know that's going to keep me up tonight... BEST time!

  3. Great post! I love the interjections of things like "my bento, my rules"! Fantastic!


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