Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Lunch Gear


I'm so excited. Gladly (or sadly, depending on how you look at it) it doesn't take much to excite me. A little new lunch gear is all it takes.

I was thinking about lunches last week and realized school was about to start and I would be packing lunch every day again. I would also be preparing a quick lunch during our home school day. I don't know about you but thinking about lunch just wears me out. If we had loads of money and nutrition was not an issue, I could easily succumb to driving through a fast-food window every day. But I don't, I can't, I won't. And if I give high school boy money for lunch, he'll buy pizza, fries and soda. Blech.

I resorted to investing a little bit of money in some new gear and motivated myself for a new year of making lunches.

For high school boy, I purchased an inexpensive Bento box. Until recently I had never heard of such a thing, but I must admit it's pretty fun. Basically it's a Japanese style lunch box, with little compartments to hold a variety of foods. There are many websites and blogs out there filled with ideas (I like this one for ideas for little kids and this one for all ages) and there is an endless combination of foods I can pack for lunch each day. It's really very motivating if you allow yourself the freedom of packing whatever you want.

The first day I used it was Thursday and I packed orange slices, a deviled egg, and sweet pickles in the Bento box, and then a turkey and cheese sandwich and some Fudge Cocoa Cookies on the side. Josh didn't eat all the food at school, but he scarfed down the deviled egg when he got home because I had packed cold packs in his lunch box and the eggs were still cold.

Here it is all packed in his lunch box.

I probably won't use the Bento box every day, but it provides the opportunity to pack foods that don't really work in plastic baggies (like deviled eggs), and I think it promotes thinking outside the box to avoid the monotony you run into when you pack lunch every day. (I also think he might feel a wee bit more loved when he opens his lunch box, but that's probably just the wishful mother in me.)

Now, the home school kids also got a little boost in their lunch program with the purchase of two new muffin tins. "Wow, muffin tins!" you say. "What do muffin tins have to do with lunch?"

Ta, da!

Introducing Muffin Tin Munchies. I know, it's fairly lame, but for the under, say, 10-year-old crowd, it's fun. Noah, who is 13, said it was pretty lame, but that may have just been his age talking. I thought it was fun. Using the tins (which are jumbo tins by the way, because that's all my discount grocer had, and they were $2.99) forced me to offer more than sandwich and chips, and also provided some portion control. Clockwise from the top left we have: green grapes, Swiss cheese cubes and a string cheese cut in quarters, sliced carrots, onion dip for carrots and chips, chips and some Wheat Thins, and two Oreo cookies.

Peach thought they were very fun, and she ate almost all of her lunch, which she never does. Surprisingly both kids left their cookies behind. I guess they got full on good food instead.



Nicole said...

I can't believe they left the would've been the first thing gone in our house! Great idea!

Anne said...

Oh well now that is a FUN idea! Can't wait to try it!

Margaret in Minnesota said...

I am new to the chore of making lunches to go & appreciate the ideas. Where'd you get the bento box and the larger lunch box it fits into? I s'pose I could look around, but you really do have me spoiled with all your good advice.

You're such a sweet big sis that way.

Oh, and do you ever do a thermos for hot soup, etc.? Have a favorite brand?

scmom (Barbara) said...

The Bento Box came from Amazon. I bought this one, but they have many from which to choose. I chose one that fit inside the other lunch box, which came from Lands End (similar but not exactly this one). It wasn't cheap, but it lasted all last year, using it every day, and shows no signs of wearing out.

My kids have never been big on hot food in their lunches, but we do own a Thermos for soups, etc. It's a stainless steel Thermos wide mouth. One problem we always found with taking soup is that the heat creates a vacuum inside the Thermos and makes it hard to open. You have a big strong boy though...

Margaret in Minnesota said...

>>>You have a big strong boy though...

Yes, I do. Now if only he'd think to make his bed. :)

scmom (Barbara) said...

I am such a sucker -- the homeschooled children have to make their own, but for the child who leaves the house at 7 -- I make his.

Stacey said...

Muffin tin lunches - yep we LOVE those!!!! I actually use one 12-cup tin and just have them...gasp! SHARE the tin.... LOL!
It's fun for me too, to create a mirrored image of 6 munchables on either side so they each get a half. But that works because we have just two munchers, I suppose.

Either way, I love the post - and I will be buying a Bento box for my lovely hubby whose lunch I am trying to make with more regularity.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Stacey -- It's funny you love making identical munchables because I do the same thing -- each cup filled with the same on both muffin tins. Today the kids called them homeschool lunchables.