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Old 11-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
corinne76
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bento lunch ideas for small eaters

Thank you to all the mamas who helped me on my other thread. We're going to try packing bento style lunches for DD. Apparently she's a talker and a grazer, and I hope the smaller, finger style food will help her eat more.

So, for those of you who pack bento lunches, what do you pack? I'd love as many ideas as you can offer.

We have this container. The bottom one only. It has one big section and one smaller one. no individual covers.
I would like to pack wet things like pudding, yogurt and jello but I'm not sure how with this container. I know if I pack a bunch of different containers, she's not going to want to open them all, so Id love to keep everything contained to one.

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Old 11-09-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

We do sliced fruit, grapes, strawberries and apples. The apples get brownish but my ds doesn't mind. Cheese slices, he likes the cheese sliced off of a block. marshmallows for dessert. veggie straws. popcorn. sandwich meat that is already cut up to bite size. cereal with some sort of nutritional value. I've done pepperonis when we had some left over. My boys love them but they are too fatty to do often.

One of my ds's loves a sliced up cold hot dog.

Packing veggies for lunch is a lost cause for us.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

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Originally Posted by Suzi View Post
We do sliced fruit, grapes, strawberries and apples. The apples get brownish but my ds doesn't mind. Cheese slices, he likes the cheese sliced off of a block. marshmallows for dessert. veggie straws. popcorn. sandwich meat that is already cut up to bite size. cereal with some sort of nutritional value. I've done pepperonis when we had some left over. My boys love them but they are too fatty to do often.

One of my ds's loves a sliced up cold hot dog.

Packing veggies for lunch is a lost cause for us.
thanks! DD doesn't do veggies either. She will basically only eat roasted carrots, and those get kinda yuck if they're not warm.
Fruits she eats mainly banana, apple and mandarin oranges. oh well. gotta start somewhere.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:46 PM   #4
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

do you guys use cookie cutters for sandwiches and make them all cute like in the pictures I see online?
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

I have the lap top lunch for ds. When I pack his lunch, he gets a sandwich or veggie wrap. I cut the crust off the sandwich and cut it into 4 squares or triangles. He gets a fruit, a veggie and something else. Usually cheese, goldfish or pretzels. I read your other thread and ds was the same at that age. Mainly because he is too busy socializing to eat. I found keeping the food simple and finger food like was easiest to get him to eat. I also didn't let him eat after school if he didn't eat his lunch. And I quit packing him a morning snack. After a few weeks, he was eating his entire lunch and we've had very few issues since. I would try a similar lunch. A sandwich/wrap with a fruit and veggie and one other small snack. Keep the portions small. I'd try a veggie every day anyway. She might be willing to try it if it is a small portion. I have found that ds is always willing to try new foods if he sees other kids eating it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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We use Laptop lunch so I have the option of containers with lids but in the larger containers I separate foods using silicone muffin cups, I don't think that would work for yogurt/pudding though. Could you just but a small container with a lid that would fit in the box?

Okay here is my list
Chopped deli meats
Cheese cubes/shapes/sticks
Cucumbers/carrots/peppers/peas
turkey pepperoni
Edamame
Grapes
Berries
Melon (cantaloupe and watermelon)
Kiwi
Oranges
Fruit leathers
Crackers (goldfish/pretzels/ritz)
Dried fruits (raisin, cranberries and mango)
Hard boiled egg
Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)
Cold pasta w/ parmesan
Yogurt
Mini muffins
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

I also have this lunchbox. It has seperate compartments but one lid. Everything stays within it's compartment and I like the included water bottle. Ds doesnt care for it because it is rather large and he has other stuff to put in his backpack. Books and a change of clothes for PE twice a week. He prefers the laptop lunch with it's seperate containers just because the overall lunch box is smaller and takes up less space in his backpack. I would totally recommend the go green lunchbox though. The quality is excellent and everything stays put in it's seperate compartment.

http://www.gogreenlunchbox.com/
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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We use the Laptop lunch.

Carrot sticks and cauliflower with ranch are the only veggies he will eat raw.

I use the dip container that came with the laptop lunch but not the lid, because its too hard to open.

We do homemade "lunchables" a lot. I buy a whole ham or turkey and cut it into circle or squares.
Cheese
Regular saltine crackers
PB&J because his school isn't nut free.

He recently requested we send it in a "circle" like the frozen Smuckers PBJ things. So we use a glass to cut the bread.

Black olives and cheese cubes on tooth picks are a big hit (he's 5).

I send baby food pouches, too. They have a lot more nutrition than other things he will eat.

Watermelon, grapes and berries are the only fruits he likes by lunch, he says everything else is gross (brown) by then.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

DS really like ham/turkey & cheese rolls, olives, pb&jelly cut into quarters, bell peppers, carrots, apple sauce, fruit, granola bars. If you need a way to separate the items in the larger section of your rubbermaid...we use the silicone muffin cups.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Re: bento lunch ideas for small eaters

FWIW, if you put the apple slices in water with lemon, they won't brown...

I don't pack bento lunches - my child is only 2, she eats at home but... I do have a great bento book and these great veggie cutters.

these are great for carrots and cheese and smaller things: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

and these are great for cucumbers and larger things:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

if you're more into seasonal type things, Pampered Chef has some that I'm going to get - pumpkins, hearts, etc. but I know for a fact that those Japanese ones linked above cut through carrots like butter - they work really well and quickly.

also, we have these, which make pretty much anything 'bite size':
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20
and work surprisingly well being that they are plastic. Good for sandwiches, etc.

hope that helps even though it's not exactly what you asked!
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