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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Welcome and Bento Lunches!

Welcome to my blog, ZK My Way.  Here you will find little pieces of me and my life, from cooking, scrapbooking, photography, henna and life in general.  For my first post, I'd like to feature something I'm passionate about - healthy lunches for my kids.  I've been making Bento lunches for a good 6 months now and it's very addictive!  Check out my facebook page for many options! http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZK-Food-Family/167277520015250

First, what is Bento? A bento lunch is a compact, balanced, visually appealing meal packed in a box. Historically, it’s a Japanese box lunch, similar in concept to the Indian tiffin...Bento lunches seem to be becoming popular in N. America lately. The two key points for me are feeding children a variety of healthy, home made food (combined with a few healthy treats/snacks) and the idea of being eco friendly (by using reusable containers and utensils, rather than adding waste to the ever growing landfills). For more info on Bento, see the link below.
http://lunchinabox.net/faq/

What you need to get started:



1. An insulated lunchbox and ice packs. These are available in grocery, department and kitchen specialty stores, as well as online.

2. and 4. Plastic or metal compartamentalized boxes. There is just something to be said about a box with compartments and a kid's increased willingness to want to eat from it. Try it, you'll be surprised. The boxes in pic 2 (http://www.easylunchboxes.com/) were $13 for 4, from Amazon.com. The boxes in pic 4 were 2 for $2.50 at Walmart.

3. You will also need a few smaller reusable containers and utensils. I have pictured a few here, but the possibilities are endless. Things you might want to have are reusable juice/water bottles, containers with and without lids, fork and spoon, etc. Buy a few supplies and use what you have at home. Be creative and be organized and this can be sooooo easy, rewarding and fun!


This is my angry birds lunch that I created for my 2nd grader.  I got the idea (and copied it blatantly) from http://www.anotherlunch.com/2011/10/easylunchboxes-angry-birds-bento-lunch.html.  I am so proud of this one!  The smile on ZK Sr.'s face, followed by a hug and a "I love you, Mommy" was so worth it!


On the left we have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into five sticks to make the structure. There are 4 grapes. I didn't have patience to cut 4 sets of eyes for them. On top of the structure is a babybel cheese for the red bird. The eyes are marshmallows topped with olives, a carrot beak, and olives for the eyebrows.

On the top right is a boiled egg white bird with olive eyes and eyebrows, and a carrot beak.

Finally, I think it's king pig kiwi, with the kiwi skin for a mustache, marshmallow eyes, olive eyeballs, a piece of kiwi for his nose.

You can get little candy eyeballs and other things to make this look perfect. To be honest, ZK Sr. did not care that they didn't look perfect. Just have fun with it and I promise your kids will love it!



 This is one I call a Funchable (for Fake lunchable or fun lunchable).  You can get many ideas by looking at the real (unhealthy) lunchables in the grocery store and then coming up with your own (healthier) versions.  Believe  me, the kids will not care as long as the concept (fun food, compartments, fruit, drink, snack) is the same! 

How to put a pizza funchable together:

One sandwich thin (use only one or both depending on your child's appetite)

pasta sauce, cheese, olives (use your child's favorite toppings)

pineapples

A spoon to spread pasta sauce

Use the lid as a plate

4 comments:

  1. Super cute. I'm planning out an angry bird bento for my third grader. Using yours as an inspiration.

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  2. Hi Robin! I'm so excited you found the Angry Birds lunch. :) Please share what yours looks like and how your third grader reacted. (I have a 3rd grader too!) I actually moved this blog to www.zkmyway.com so you can follow me there or on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/ZKFoodandfamily) where I have a few other fun lunchbox ideas! Hope to see you there!
    -Shahin

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