Lunch - The Bento Box.
Back when Munchface started Kindergarten, I was totally that mom.
I mean, it was Kindergarten so I was on my best mommy behavior. I'm talkin' packing lunch and healthy snacks WITH an inspirational note or picture. I was the bomb. At first.
Let's just say life happened. Lunch was packed most of the time and notes were in the lunch some of the time but, shoot, she was eating, right?!
Whatever. Don't even give me that look.
In first grade, I made sure I didn't start anything I couldn't keep up. We didn't have snack and, get this, we were lunch buyers. Sure, we packed every now and then but
I my kid no longer wanted to pack, so we thankfully did not pack as often. I felt like I saved time during a crazy year full of life happenings (loads of travel, vacations, weddings, events, packing, moving, unpacking, etc.). It was worth it and, with as often as I had to reload her lunch card with money, I KNOW she better have been eating healthy, right?!
This year, I'm ready.
Healthy food options here we come!
To prepare, I did some research and pretty-much-basically became obsessed with Bento box lunches like this one:
Equal parts cute and OCD-approved (the food *like* never touches and I love that), these lunches would be perfect for my Munch. She's not a huge fan of sandwiches and using a creative means to get even more veggies in her diet is always great!
Next Steps? To find a bento box that would fit inside our lunch bag. I started online and found several options ranging in price from $9 - $30. Unfortunately, there was no way I would get one in-hand before school started.
For the first day of school, I used the plastic sandwich container filled with cupcake liners and small tupperware as "dividers" to create my own version of a bento box and it worked. Later that same day, while strolling through Walmart's lunch box aisle, I found a bento box that was perfect:
It was only $3!!!
I also purchased silicone cupcake wrappers, cheetah print napkins and a fork-n-spoon set; we were set!
That day, I packed elephant-shaped sandwiches, strawberries and marshmallow cream, carrots, pretzels, and an orange. O and a note on her napkin:
We wrap her cutlery in the note and she reads it everyday during lunch/snack.
I was SO excited!!!
I was SO excited!!!
Here are a few tips to help you simplify the lunch routine.
- Keeps drinks frozen. Place a frozen drink in the lunch box. It will be cold (but melted) and will keep the other food cold until lunchtime.
- Pack in advance. I pack the night before and place appropriate items in the fridge. I have, however, decided Munch will pack those items that can last a week on Sunday (i.e. - 5 bags of carrots, 5 bags of chips, etc.).
- Buy a pack of 20 party napkins (they're at the dollar store). Write a note on each one in advance and keep them aside for days your child packs lunch.
I like to get Hubbs involved. He can't handle this whole bento thing I've got going on BUT he can make a delish turkey sandwich AND he really likes to write her notes.
When I think about it, Munch spends so much of her day at school that it is nice to be able to send a piece of home with her. With the Hubbs' active involvement, I think we'll keep it up this year.
Do you make lunch special?
If so, how?