Posted in bento by tchemgrrl on September 4, 2012

For some reason, people often ask us how we deal with the toddler’s daycare lunch. For a month or so now, I’ve been taking a picture of T’s lunch when I think of it, so that I have a more concrete answer than “Well, food, mostly.”

Monday Lunch
(Tofu fajita, rice, canteloupe.)

We’re lucky in that T’s not a particularly picky kid. Leafy greens and spongy foods like fresh mozzarella are the only things that consistently give him pause, though like everyone he goes through love and hate phases. (Sunday night: ate half a sweet pepper right off my cutting board. Wednesday night: saw sweet pepper on his plate, said “eew”.) We recently went out for Vietnamese food, and he dug into fried squid, stirfry, and spicy pho with gusto. I wish I could attribute his adventurousness to our lackadaisical following of baby led weaning, or to having dinner as a family or trying to be low-drama around food or any of the other things that we’ve made a family priority of, but it’s probably just that he’s him, and we didn’t get in the way too much.

Theo Lunch
(Pasta with cheese, tomato, and sweet pepper, and a slice of Daddy’s leftover birthday cake. He only ate the cake.)

I got interested in bento boxes a few years before T came along, so these containers were already in my collection. It is very unusual for me to invest more than a few minutes into putting these together, though, so these aren’t the more decorative-style bento that shows up in the mainstream media now and then. Just some little lunches. (These are pretty representative of the lunches he gets. I’m less likely to take a picture on a busy night, and on a busy night the fruit is more likely to be a cup of applesauce or a little box of raisins, but that’s the main difference.)

Theo Lunch
(Grapes, Tofurkey sausage, corn, couscous. Corn looks frozen because it is; he likes it right out of the bag, the wierdo.)

I have a few general rules when I’m putting these together:

-At least one guaranteed winner, at least one thing he’s iffy on, or didn’t eat for dinner.
-One serving of fruit, veg, protein, and starch.
-Everything cut up/arranged for a minimum of fuss on the part of the teachers.
-School rules: no chokeable bits, no nuts.

I don’t always hit all of these, but they’re useful organizing principles when I’ve put all the leftovers in and still have a gap.

(Ravioli, cucumbers, and tomatoes, with watermelon and blueberries. )

Theo’s response? Pretty good. He usually eats most of his lunch.


One Response

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  1. kiisu23 said, on September 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I really like those style of boxes, and the food you put in them looks so healthy and nice!!

    T is a lucky child!

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