Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lunch to Go

You may have noticed I am posting much more frequently than I did during the summer months. School has started and my son started kindergarten. Suddenly I have time to write because  I don't have to play legos as often as I did while my son was home all day; and my daughter still naps. I am so thankful for us both. 
Thankfully Carter is loving school and I am getting used to making lunches again (he took lunch to pre-k too); so everyone is adjusting well. Today I wanted to share with you one of my most favorite recent purchases: bento box containers. 

I found these particular ones in a Japanese shop in San Francisco this summer. They are the perfect size. Carter already has a down-sized lunch box to match his five year old appetite and so many of the containers at the store have huge rims and don't fit well into his lunch box. I also hate using so many plastic bags. The expense and the waste. I tried using those plastic baby food containers; they break easily and my son informed me it was just not cool. So, when I found these I was delighted. I can pack him small amounts of whatever I want. Today's lunch included 1 medium sized container of edamame, 1 medium sized container of grapes and 1 small container of peanut butter to use for dipping some whole wheat pretzels into and a little chunk of cheese. The containers are really perfect. Have I mentioned how hard it is to find a dip size plastic container? And yes, I have tried the little round ones, but those lids are near impossible for a five year old to pry off and on. 

Carter's first day lunch: edamame, almonds + dried fruit, peach, water and I need to add a half size sandwich.
Please don't judge me by my dino drawings.

Some of the other things I pack in these tiny containers include:

carrot sticks
pitas  and hummus
sliced fruit
pasta salad
grain salad
tortillas and beans + avocado
homemade granola bars

kale chips

and every now and then cookies

And yes, I am a mean mother an require him to eat all of his lunch- even if it is after school and he wants a snack- he has to finish his lunch first. So, yes he eats it all and likes it- most of the time. But then there is the rest of the time, when he liked it the night before when I packed it, but loathes it all by lunch time. So it goes.

I don't know when I am ever going to make it back to that closet of a Japanese store in San Francisco, but should I need more containers I found some similar ones here. And I figure I might want some sooner than later- because I realized this is also the perfect size to pack snacks for my toddler in my bag...

What do you like to pack to-go?
Do you have any great lunch ideas I should know about? Please tell!


  1. What if he gets "smart" and gives or throws it away? For example, I couldn't stand carrots in my lunch growing up. As a mother, what would you do?

  2. I found a cool container at Macy's for lunches. I have alsways loved the idea of Bento boxes (I did a post on them once on Likely Classroom) but I have never been able to find them. anyway, the container I found has a place for a whole sandwich and you flip it over and there are two compartments, so it is all in one box, super compact and super functional.

    Two things concerning melody's comment. First of all, I know Sandra's son and that boy is a GOOD eater and loved his vegetables so I think he will do fine in that department. But I do have to say that during my teacher years I saw many a student throw away the carrot sticks and the apple. Shame. And I knew their mamas were trying so hard to pack these healthy lunches for them and they are at home thinking they are gettting these yummy fruits and veggies and they aren't. Even in the lunch line they would either not take the veggie or fruit or they would take it and not eat it. I actually used to sit and make all of my students ahve a bite of their fruit or veggies before I left the cafeteria. They got used to it and would always take those out first.

  3. That is a conspicuous rip-off of my t-rex.
    Also, I want those things.

  4. Melody: I have wondered about that- but he is currently too honest for his own good and is a good eater. That may all change soon- and I'll take it from there. Suggestions?

    Likely: Thanks for a sweet Carter defense. And what a great teacher you were. I wish I could always have similarly minded and concerned teachers, like you.

    Kelly: It is similar, isn't it. And I guess you can always put some on your Christmas list- but I have already bought your gift.


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