Thursday, 2/14/13 - Since Valentine's Day was going to be a day of treat-filled parties, I packed a very light lunch snackerel for Little Z. And no fruit, since she'd be getting plenty of sugary desserts, and I'd rather have her fill up on veggies or proteins than even MORE sugar, even if it's a healthier form!
Even though it was a small amount of food and I could have used a smaller bento box, I opted to use my new EasyLunchboxes Brights with the pink lid, to give me room to make it even more fun! Plus, you know. Pink!
Valentine's Tic Tac Toe
Since Z thinks that all the Xs and Os she's seen around this time of year are from Tic Tac Toe, and has been mistaking all my "Hugs and Kisses" lunches, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to make her vision a reality!
I made my little Xs and Os using mini alphabet cutters, but the O is really hard to work with. All my pokey-outy tools are too wide to fit through some parts of the cutter, so it's a struggle to get the soft cheese out without breaking it. I gave up after three, and then had the genius idea to add hearts as well! Woot! So I did the rest of the mozzarella with my mini heart cutter.
I just used a steak knife on a slice of cheddar to make the thin lines, and then cut the horizontal bits to fit around. It was easier than I had expected. Normally I'm crap at getting things the same length and such.
Like most people, you're probably thinking that my effort was pointless, since the cheese tic-tac-toe board would get all jumbled up on the way to school, but no. If you press each piece down a bit, it "sticks" to the plastic, much like a window cling.
|This is me holding the EasyLunchbox vertically.|
Valentine's Party Dye-Free Subs
|Dye-free marshmallows, TJ's peppermint chocolate-covered pretzel thins|
Since her teachers from both schools had notified me in advance of all the treat activities, I was able to plan ahead. For her AM class, the kids were each getting a cookie, mini cupcake, and heart-shaped marshmallows. Bleh. What a great snack idea right after exercise, when they're hungry and looking to recharge their bodies. Oh yes. And right before they're sent home to be too full for lunch.
But I didn't want her feeling left out and tempted to eat the dye-filled treaties, so I packed her some safe alternatives.
She already has frozen mini cupcakes at both schools, so her teacher took one out to thaw that morning.
I had planned to send some Trader Joe's Joe Joes (their healthier version of Oreos,) or let her pick one of the other cookies I have, but she had snuck some Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Thins before school when I was changing Baby's diaper, so I took them away and sent them instead. (I wasn't going to make her go without a treat at the party, especially since she wouldn't get to keep ANY of the candy with her valentines. And we're working with her on not sneaking around behind our backs.)
All her morning treats fit in a small Kids Konserve container, so in there with the pretzel slims are some fruit-flavored dye-free marshmallows I got from NaturalCandyStore.com. I have found a few different "safe" marshmallows, so I let her choose between these fruity cylinder-shaped ones, some watermelon-looking ones (that really look more like ladybugs! Haha!) and some vegan "regular" marshmallows from Whole Foods.
For her PM class, the activities would include a candy hearts graphing activity, where the kids could eat the candy at the end, and cookie decorating.
Her PM teacher went above and beyond - she scratch-baked sugar cookies using real ingredients, and scratch-made frosting, to be safe for Z. Not only that, but she made another batch sugar-free for her morning class because one of the students is diabetic!
So I sent a little container with some natural pink jimmies sprinkles, and she already had a packet of Unreal 41 candies in her emergency treaties bag at school to eat instead of the candy hearts.
I would like to state for the record that when her lunch came home, all the peas had been eaten. That's right. She took time out of her busy cupcake, cookie, and treats-eating to go for the vegetables! Her teacher tells me she does this fairly often. In fact, she'll usually eat the veggies before dessert, if I've packed one! *happy dance*
She ate a little more of her lunch in between schools, and then ate the rest as an afternoon snack. Not bad for a junk-filled day!
Tools of the Trade