School has started and I have a first grader! The all day school schedule is a shock to my system; I miss my girl now that she doesn’t get out until 2:45. But she is loving school, so that eases the pain.
I had quite a bit of anxiety in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. Food caused a large part of it. Last year for kindergarten Junah only needed to take a snack to school, this year she needs snack and lunch. What to pack for my picky, dye and preservative free, peanut butter hating daughter?
We tried pasta the first week, but after three days she was tired of it and said it was cold by lunch time (we tried two different thermos containers). I couldn’t really blame her; I would have gotten tired of pasta after day two.
I’d admired bento box lunches on Pinterest before, but thought they seemed like too much work. I happened to stumble across a picture of a simple one that was packed in a lunchblox container*. Since I already owned a few lunchblox kits I thought I would give it a try.
And, now I’m a little obsessed. I spent a ridiculously long time making lunches last night (Ezra goes to preschool Tuesdays and Thursdays so I had two to make).
That’s Junah’s lunch. The divider on the left is actually from the lunchblox salad kit * (which, I admit, I bought two of simply for that divider). Carrot sticks (in a silicon muffin cup), Late July Classic Rich Crackers with jack cheese hearts and flowers (using my Pampered Chef fruit and cheese cutter), sliced strawberries in a silicon mini muffin cup, an apple/grape car (cake pop sticks as axles…next time I want to try carrot sticks) and a bread and butter sandwich (stamped with the Pampered Chef cutter).
Ezra got jack cheese (cutoffs from Junah’s cheese, in a mini muffin cup) with Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Pretzel Sticks, apple slices and an apple/grape car, mini pb&j sandwiches (in a muffin cup, cut from a half sandwich using the Pampered Chef cutter again), and ham rolls (I cut the ham slices in thirds before rolling them and tucking them into another muffin cup).
When I said before that it took me a ridiculously long time to make these, I was not planning on admitting just how long. An hour and a half. It’s my new crafty thing to do; I can’t wait until the kids go to bed so I can make lunch! I decided to make something new and ended up wasting a few slices of ham and a tortilla trying to make cute tortilla rolls for Ezra. Once I got them done and rolled up I saw how perfectly round and chokeable they were (we’ve been traumatized with a few choking incidents with Ezra recently–one which actually required the heimlich–thank you again to Aunt Jesse for saving my boy’s life!) and tossed them. I did plenty of snacking…cutoffs from Ezra’s sandwich, extra apple slices, nuts I put in a muffin cup but didn’t use, an extra strawberry and a carrot I didn’t like the way I cut up. I’ve decided that I should start packing an “extras” lunch to save for myself.
And now I’m waiting for the postman to drop off my Amazon order of actual bento boxes, veggie cutters and mini dippers. How long will my lunch creating take tonight?