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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

4 Easy Lunches in Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids Lunchbox

It's already May and this will be the last month of school for this year. Where did the time go? I've still been packing school lunches daily, but have not been snapping the pictures since they are real simple lunches with mostly leftovers or simple sandwiches. It's also time to start discussing and planning for our vacations! Yippie!

Blogging has to be put on the back burner now since there are back to back activities, concerts, award ceremony and more. All are great fun, but time consuming. Good news flash: Nikolai's exams are over and everything is back to normal, especially the sleep schedule, so I don't expect to be hearing "why do I need to go to bed so early, mom?"

4 Easy Lunches in Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids Lunchbox

Here are four easy lunches, all packed in our leak-proof Bentgo lunchbox. Some are simple but still cute, they were brightened up by cute cupcake picks and mini cookie cutters.

Bears on circle sandwiches school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 1: A couple of circle shaped sandwiches cut with my circle cookie cutter, topped with a couple of Cheddar bears for which I used our mini cutter to create. The sides were cheddar crackers, fruit snacks, grapes, a large strawberry and sugar snap peas.

Simple sandwiches school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 2: Sandwiches, Rice Krispie bar, organic baby carrots, celery sticks, fruit snacks, Annie's organic crackers and grapes with a cute Snoopy cupcake ring.

Panda circle sandwiches school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 3: A couple of circle shaped sandwiches with cute panda face cut-outs created with my cutter/ stamper set. Sides were cheddar crackers, rice krispie, fruit snacks, baby carrots, grapes with a Panda pick.

Roll Up ham and cheese school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 4: Roll up ham and cheese. These were made by rolling the ham around slices of Gouda cheese. Sides were baby carrots, Ritz crackers, fruit snacks and grapes.

When does Summer break start for your kids?
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Soccer and Basketball Themed Lunches

We had a great Spring Break and Easter. Now, once again, it's back to basics, and I can't wait for our Summer break! These lunches were enjoyed by Nikolai months ago or perhaps from last school year, lol. Seriously, I have a bunch of photos of lunches which he enjoyed last school year which I haven't posted.

From our Lunch Punch Sporty set, I have created a football and baseball lunches along with these soccer and basketball themed lunches.

The first one featured in this post is the basketball lunch. The sandwich is cut and stamped with the basketball cutter/stamper from the set and combined with a granola bar and sliced string cheese and put into a silicone cup. Another silicone cup was used for the grapes. Organic baby carrots and cucumber slices complete this lunch which was packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

Basketball themed school lunch.

The second lunch for this post was also packed in an Easylunchboxes. It features a sandwich cut and stamped as a soccer ball combined with a Babybel cheese in the main section. Green grapes are above right with a soccer ball pick in a silicone cup and on the left are some cheese crackers.

Soccer themed school lunch.

These are a couple more examples to show that fun lunches can be made in a jiffy with a few picks and a small set of cutters and stampers.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

2 Easter Bunny Lunches, Super Easy

I am SO excited that we will be on Spring Break beginning next week! When I contemplated making Easter themed lunches I wasn't really excited about the task of getting out my Easter collection of cookie cutters, cute picks and more. Luckily, I had a few in my everyday bento accessories cupboard and this is what I came up with. Quick and real easy!

This first one includes a sandwich with impressions of Easter bunnies, some organic baby carrots with leaf picks, seedless grapes with a carrot pick some Annie's organic bunny shaped crackers and Cadbury mini chocolate eggs, and in the center there are fruit snacks. As you can see, on occasion I include chocolate in moderation. The stamp and cute leaf picks are from Bento USA, they carry a huge selection of cute bento items.

Easter bunny stamped sandwich lunch in a Planetbox

In the second bento, pictured below, I included a basic sandwich again but this time I decorated it with a baran sheet. To the left I put apple slices, Annie's organic cheddar bunnies and some fruit snacks. Above the sandwich are a granola bar with a bunny baran and a Babybel cheese. It certainly isn't the most elaborate lunch I've shared, but it was ready in a a few minutes. I always believe that when a child opens their lunch, even the most simple extra touch can make it special. The baran sheets are also from Bento USA.

Simple bunny themed lunch in a Planetbox

Both of these lunches were packed in our PlanetBox Rover.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

2 Non Sandwich Lunches In Leak Proof Yumbox

Nikolai loves lunchables style lunches and I'm guessing that he likes to assemble them at school.:) Lately, he has been asking for Ritz crackers almost daily and according to him, a majority of his friends also pack them for their lunches. Of course, I'm always happy to oblige.

Both of these lunches were packed in his leak-proof Yumbox panino.

Butterfly themed lunchables in leak-proof Yumbox

In this bento lunch: Main compartment contains nitrate free salami topped with a butterfly shaped smoked Gouda cheese, slices of mozzarella string cheese in our favorite square silicone cup, Ritz crackers and a small pecan pie. His sides were sugar snap peas topped with another slice of butterfly shaped cheese, fruit snacks, and seedless grapes.

I've been using these eye picks a lot lately. It brightens up any simple lunches and they are super adorable.

Tortilla wraps for school lunch in leakproof Yumbox

In this bento lunch: A couple of tortilla roll-ups secured with cute eye picks, Pirate's booty, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers and organic apple sauce. Apple sauce is one of those foods that require a leak-proof container like this Yumbox. Fun lunch! Easy peasy!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: Modes4u Bento Box, Squishy and Easter Bunny bento

I am very pleased that Modes4u has provided me with some wonderful items for me to show in today's post. I am also very happy for this opportunity to encourage you to see the many really cute and fun items you can find at Modes4u. They make available a wide assortment of bento boxes, one of which I used to pack this lunch. They also offer a great collection of bento accessories which can quickly add that extra dash of cuteness to your presentation. Their site is a great wonderland and I recommend it as one of those must see websites!

For this bento I made some bunny sandwiches which were shaped with a cutter and stamper set. As they are small, I stacked up two pairs of them and included a granola bar on the left side section. The right side section I filled with organic baby carrots, some red seedless grapes and a section of apple that I cut to the shape of rabbit ears.

Bunny bento lunch, Modes4u bento box and squishy review

This lunch was packed in a biscuit bento box that looks so much like an ice cream sandwich that you almost want to take a bite out of it. It is one of the many great bento boxes you can find in their bento collection.

Biscuit bento box by Modes4u

Picks, like the little pink bunny one that I used for this lunch, baran dividers, cutters, sauce containers and much, much more are awaiting your visit to their accessories pages.
Did that French cruller look so yummy you could almost smell it? No, that delicious looking pastry alongside the bento is not a real French cruller even though it looks so wonderfully tasty and mouth watering.

It is one of the fantastic Kawaii squishies from the huge collection that can be found in their Squishies pages.

Squishy by Modes4u

 You can't imagine how much fun I've had looking at all their goodies!

Modes4u Bento Box, Squishy and Easter Bunny bento

Make yourself a cup (or perhaps even a pot?) of coffee or tea before you start scrolling through their amazing site with huge selection of cute bento accessories, squishies and much more. Happy shopping!

Disclosure: Modes4u generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fun Lunches With UpChefs Sandwich Cutters

Recently I was very pleased to received a set of very cute cutters from UpChefs, which I was happy to put to good use straight away.

First, however, while I am not one who attaches labels to others or would illogically categorize them, I have discovered that some "picky" eaters, which Nikolai can be at times, will eat better when the lunch is presented in a fun or cute style. Sometimes these little things can make a big difference!

UpChefs have come to the market with a set of cutters that can make cuteness easy and quickly attainable. Their cutter set includes nine sandwich bread or cookie cutters, which offer a great variety of options, and also two additional smaller cutters that can be used for fruits or vegetables. These will make a most welcome addition to my collection.

The lunch shown below is just one example of the many ways these cutters can quickly make an otherwise unremarkable sandwich into a fun meal for your children.

Dolphins fun lunch created with UpChefs sandwich cutter

In this lunch is a sandwich cut into a heart and pair of dolphins using one of the cutters from UpChefs, strawberry and orange slices with a dolphin pick, Babybel cheese with a dolphin cut into the wax covering, and a granola bar. I used the small heart shape veggie cutter for the center cheese heart and added candy eyes for the dolphins.
This lunch was packed in his Planetbox rover.

Here is a picture of their set of cutters from which you can make sandwiches or cookies shaped like hearts, butterflies, dolphins, dinosaurs, elephants, puzzle pieces, a star, transportation vehicles, and a dog with his house. It even includes the small cutters which can make little hearts and flowers.

( photo courtesy of UpChefs )

Here is another lunch for which I used the transportation cutter from the UpChefs set to cut the sandwich into shapes, added cheese rectangles for windows for the boat, and made imprints with the bigger end of a chopstick to make portholes for that extra touch, added a string cheese along side and used the other sections of our Easylunchboxes container for carrots, apple wedges with a traffic light pick in a square silicone cup.

Transportation themed lunch created with UpChefs sandwich cutter

As some of you might have discovered, it is more rewarding to discover and implement a helpful solution than to worry over a problem, and if getting your child interested in eating his or her lunch is one of yours, then this cutter collection from UpChefs might be a great help.

A discount of 10% is available by using the code JMP5EDRG  at checkout.

Let me add that while those with a "picky" eater might benefit most, just about everybody enjoys a bit of fun with their lunch!

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

This seems like a good time for me to post this amazing recipe that I found on pinterest, and have used so many times. Our entire family, our friends, co-workers all loved them, and I've made them for many parties as well. This recipe only requires three ingredients which makes it totally my kind of easy recipe! You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time or really anytime of the day. They are so tasty!

I baked some the other day for breakfast and packed a couple of them into Nikolai's Easylunchboxes for this school lunch.

Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

Here is the recipe which I used.

  • 8-oz can refrigerated crescent roll dough. I used Pillsbury brand 
  • 8 slices of deli ham 
  • 8 slices of cheddar cheese (you can use any other cheese that you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Separate dough into 8 equal pieces (they usually separate into triangles)
  3. Place 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese (folded in half) on the larger end of the triangle.
  4. Roll the crescent up with the ham and cheese inside, and place it tip side down on a baking sheet ( I line it with aluminum foil for easy clean-up).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy! 
Nikolai doesn't mind eating lunch foods at room temp or cold , thus, I send some in his lunchbox. In the above lunchbox I have used some of my eyes picks to give them a fun appearance and added goldfish crackers and some seedless grapes in the other sections.

In the lunch shown below, I have also included a couple of tasty Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups, this time choosing airplane and truck picks. This time I have cheddar bunnies and orange slices in the other sections. This lunch was also packed in our Easylunchboxes.

EASY Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

Seldom do I follow a recipe exactly as I find it. I like to add a tweak here or there to suit my own taste, and I think this recipe is perfect for that. Try something different in place of the ham, perhaps smoked turkey, try it with Swiss or Asiago cheeses. At home you might enjoy experimenting with different dips or side dish combinations. Be adventurous and have fun!

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

4 Puzzle Themed School Lunches

It's already March, where did February go? Nikolai has joined another after school club and they end at the most hectic time of the day whereby traffic is the heaviest as for many office hours end then.

I planned to post these lunches last summer, but as usual, got sidetracked with other holiday themed posts. These lunches were created with our lunch punch puzzle set. I always find myself reaching out to them especially during busy days when I feel like packing something fun for Nikolai.

4 Puzzle Themed School Lunches. Lunch Punch cutter set.

Below are four puzzle themed lunches created with four different cutters from the set.

Puzzle themed lunch in Yumbox Panino

Bento lunch 1: Main compartment of this lunch contains a puzzle sandwich topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese with a cereal bar on the top. Sides that I included are apple pieces, cucumber slices and raisins. This lunch was packed in our leak-proof Yumbox panino.

Puzzle themed lunch in Bentology living bentobox

Bento lunch 2: This bento lunch featured sandwiches cut into puzzle piece shapes and a colorful collection of sides which were organic baby carrots, cucumber slices, orange slices, mini cheese crackers, and on the far right, a mozzarella cheese stick. This lunch was packed in a Bentology Living bento box.

Puzzle lunch in Planetbox rover

Bento lunch 3: Simple puzzle shaped nutella sandwiches with a roll-up of ham and cheese for the main section, a granola bar, some red grapes, organic baby carrots with a cute eye pick surround some yogurt covered raisins in this Planetbox Rover.

Puzzle themed lunch in leak proof Bentgo bento box

Bento lunch 4: Here I have some pandas with the puzzle. Puzzle piece shaped sandwiches and a granola bar are accompanied by a couple of panda baran while a panda pick joins the collection of red grapes. Some applesauce and baby carrots complete the circle around the yogurt covered raisins in the center compartment of our leak-proof Bentgo Kids lunchbox.

Besides having in common the theme of the puzzle piece shaped sandwiches, these examples also share the ease with which you can combine healthy foods with a fun presentation to make lunch time special.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Love You Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

Happy Valentine's Day! For this wonderful day, I packed a fun I ❤️️ You bento lunch for Nikolai. These three simple, yet powerful words are used very often by our family. We say it quite frequently, even sometimes when just passing each other in the hallway.

I Love You Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

In this bento lunch: I used my alphabet cookie cutter for the lettering and a small heart cutter for the ❤️️, which I used to top the two stacked sandwich halves. Alongside are cucumber slices which I also cut into heart shapes and put in a red silicone cup. These are in the main section along with an organic granola bar cut into half. He also had Annie's organic cheddar snacks and a silicone cup full of watermelon cut into heart shapes in the other sections. This lunch was packed in our Easylunchboxes.

Do you have any plans for this Valentine's Day? Since it falls on a weekday, we made reservations for dinner and will try not to stay up too late. I wish that it's a holiday!!!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Smiley Face EMOJI Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

I can't believe it's already February! Last month just flew by like a mist, or perhaps a blizzard! Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches, and I love heart shaped foods, and nearly all things pink and red. This year I started making Valentine's theme lunch a little later than expected and I hope to pack at least one or two more themed lunches. You can find my previous years Valentine's Day lunches HERE.

My first Valentine's Day bento of this year is a smiley face EMOJI. 😍

Smiley Face EMOJI Valentine's Day fun school lunch.

In this bento lunch: Emoji sandwich with fruit leather heart eyes and nori smiley mouth. Below and alongside are a granola bar and cheese sticks. In the other sections are organic baby carrots with heart shapes cut from cucumber, slices of apple one of which made a nice red heart shape. This lunch is packed in an Easylunchboxes container.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How To Keep Macaroni and Cheese Warm Until Lunchtime

'Tis the season that calls for warm foods. Nikolai loves macaroni and cheese especially when it's paired with chicken nuggets or meatballs. We have several thermos and other food warming jars but those do not work well when having both mac & cheese with nuggets together. You'll end up having the nuggets above the mac & cheese and I'm pretty sure that it would be all soggy by lunch time, and not as he'd hoped it would be. So, I've been using our Warm & Tote or Warmkeeper system whenever I pack these combo lunches. Of course the Thermos will be used when we pack soup, stew, just macaroni and cheese, or other such foods. It all depends on what you are packing.

In an earlier post I've shared how I packed chicken nuggets and how to keep them warm until lunch time. You can find the post HERE.

All of the macaroni and cheese lunches below are Annie's brand homegrown organic Mac & Cheese and the chicken nuggets are organic and nitrate free. Also, his sides of fruits, veggies, and snacks are not pictured. I find that whenever I pack a hot lunch, I'm always in a hurry to take the pictures so that the lunch is not being exposed to cool air. The other items, which are expected to be cool was sent in a separate container.

Shown in the photos below are some lunches which Nikolai enjoyed during cooler days here in FL. These lunches were packed in our Lunchbots Duo. We've owned this stainless steel lunchbox for perhaps 7 years, and it's still in perfect condition!

How To Keep Macaroni & Cheese Warm Till Lunctime.

Cute cheese cut-outs, or simply adding baran or picks can make your child's lunch extra special.

Macaroni and cheese with bear cutout and chicken nuggets sent warm for school lunch

For this first bento lunch I combined chicken nuggets with mac & cheese to which I added a cute bear face cut from a slice of provolone cheese. I used my CuteZCute bear cutter for that.

Chicken nuggets, mac & cheese sent warm for school lunch

For the second lunch I again have macaroni and cheese with chicken nuggets but used baran sheets to make it cheerful.

Meatballs, macaroni & cheese sent warm for school lunch

For the third bento lunch I have meatballs with macaroni and cheese to which I have added a couple of eye picks, hand cut a bit of nori and some provolone cheese to create a cute face. I think it looks like a bear face.

Chicken nuggets with cute picks and macaroni and cheese sent warm for school lunch

Last for this collection are chicken nuggets with some cute picks with macaroni & cheese.

What are your kids favorite hot lunches?
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chinese New Year Rooster Bento 2017

Chinese New Year is around the corner, Saturday, January 28th. The Chinese zodiac is a cycle of twelve years with each represented by an animal sign, and the sign for the Lunar New Year 2017 is Rooster. Chinese New Year is for many families a joyful time for getting together. I remember and love all of our reunion dinners which fell one day before Chinese New Year and we always gather at grandma's house to celebrate. My mom's side of the family is HUGE and the house would fill with aunties, uncles and cousins. Grandma, my mom and aunts will have been busy in the kitchen cooking for all of us, more than 30 people for sure! So many of us that everyone has to share rooms. Of course we did not sleep much, we play with fire works, watch Chinese drama (the older Jackie Chan movies - it's a tradition), chit chat, play cards, eat lots of cookies, etc.

On Chinese New Year day, we all wake up super early, dress in our new clothing (in my case it's always something in red ), wish the elders "Kung Hei Fat Choy" and those who are not married will get "ang pows" (red packets filled with money), a little later the dragon dance will come to grandma's house and after that we will go visiting more family and friends and fill ourselves with more food at each stop, lol.

The nice thing about Chinese New Year is that it starts with the New moon on the first day of the first lunar month and ends on the Full moon 15 days later. So, I usually have and will wear new clothing for at least 7 days. It's not a tradition but that's how my family rolls. The visiting of family and friends will also run for the 15 days, and that involves a lot of eating!

For this bento to celebrate ´The year of the Rooster´ I have included a three layer sandwich shaped with an oval cutter and decorated with fruit leather, cheddar cheese, and bits or raisin for eyes. Also beneath the rooster is some granola bar. In the other section I have sugar snap peas, some red grapes in my favorite square silicone cup, and a cute sauce container of ranch. This lunch was packed in a Lunch Bots Duo.

Happy Chinese New Year 2017, Rooster themed bento lunch

Happy Chinese New Year 2017! Wishing all of you who celebrate a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!
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