After doing bento for a few years, it’s hard to come up with new themes every year, especially for the holidays. There are some things that MUST be done for certain holidays: Santas, trees, reindeer, etc. are a must for Christmas (since we celebrate it), turkeys are for thanksgiving, clovers are for St.Patrick’s day… And in a way, it’s instant theme, but on the other hand a bit limiting. Well, every year I try to think of a new Advent activity for the kiddos, and I thought it would be a good idea to bring it into lunch 🙂 So this year I’m doing advents bentos! I’m not going to be doing special bento every day, but I had the idea to do one every Monday, and for the lunches in between, I would give the kiddo one snack that would equal the number of days until Christmas. So for example, tomorrow she might get 23 goldfish crackers… I’ll send her a little note to count them!
But anyhow, for today, there are 24 days until Christmas and I thought it would be fun to have a little area with a surprise. So I just cut out a little piece of paper and taped it on top of the small section of our Easy Lunchbox. I had some extra Santa hat stickers from a kid craft we did, so I just stuck it on top to be festive. Can you tell what the surprise was? A little hard to tell, but I found some small coal-shaped pieces of chocolate for fun. I was going to put in a different treat, but honestly, the kiddos were acting up this morning and being difficult (it’s hard for everybody to get back into the swing of things after a week-long vacation), so I thought this was appropriate 😉
Main PB&J sandwich stamped and numbered cutouts. The holly decoration are just sprinkles. Sides A mandarin orange and a half arranged like a wreath and coal chocolate pieces. Also included but not pictured I thought this lunch was kind of light, so I included some bunny cheddar crackers, a mango fruit pouch and yogurt.
Today, I’m part of the Bento Bloggers and Friends Hallowe’en Hop! Halloween is an awesome time for bento makers because of all the fun themes that arise from the season! And today is also special because it’s a two-fer 😉 I made one for my older kiddo to take to school and one for my preschool kiddo to eat at home, because she has very sweetly been asking for “pretty” lunches like her sister. She wants in on the fun too 🙂
The first one is for the older kiddo!
In the bento above:
Main Really, the “main” is three PB&J mini sandwiches shaped like bats! I used these for Halloween last year but love them so much that I brought them back… also, it goes with the “vampire” theme of one of the sides. Sides Pomegranate seeds for a bloody vampire grin :), green grapes, and a 1/2 pear Frankenstein. His hair and eyebrows are an avocado skin that was well cleaned out (I had avocado for lunch yesterday and kept the peel) and his eyes are pre-made candy eyes. Teeth are just some mandarin skins (I had mandarins, too) I tucked into his mouth. His “bolts” on either side are a bit hard to see but they are also green grapes. Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt
And for the preschooler, I made a slightly younger version of the above, but with some snacky changes that she would like. This was lunch:
Main 2 bone-shaped peanut butter sandwiches (no jam). Sides A mandarin (with a jack-o’lantern face drawn on), a 1/2 of a pear Frankenstein (with smaller eyes and avocado hair), a banana ghost with chocolate chip eyes/mouth, six baby carrot sticks.
For more amazing Hallowe’en lunches, continue on to the next awesome bento blog on our hop! Just click on the image below!
So I haven’t been making very many bentos. I know, I know. But it’s summer and hardly any take away lunches are needed. But this week has been a week of simple bentos (I didn’t photograph them) for summer camp culminating in this! I didn’t see the Lego movie but my kiddos did and they yelled “Everything is AWESOME!” for a really long time after that. And then this past weekend we went to a lego birthday. I ended up saving one of the cupcake toppers (hehehe) for my best bento of the week but lo and behold, it got smushed. Anyhow, since my friend was the party host, she lent me her mold and I made another little lego man for the last day of camp lunch. Anyhow, I ended up making the girly main character Wyldstyle and Unikitty. My kiddo loved this lunch and it was pretty easy to make — just cut the head with a knife and some straight cuts. Also, the hair! I had planned on making my own modeling candy clay from this tutorial for the hair but ran out of time. I, once again, have to give the credit to Lunchbox Dad’s WyldStyle lunch for inspiring me to use Wilton’s Edible dough for the hair. I’ve been trying out several different doughs out to see what works (marzipan, bread dough, etc.) and this stuff is great — just like play dough but edible! I have it here in black and dyed up some white in pink and blue for the hair. On to the lunch!
Main PB&J with edible dough for the hair, eyes, and mouth. Dragees for the eye highlights. Sides Goldfish crackers, blueberries, a candy lego minifig, and a marshmallow Unikitty. I used a stacking smore marshmallow, which comes in a rectangle shape) and used foodwriter markers for the face details. Some more edible dough make up her mouth, nose and horn. Candy eyes doctored up with edible markers for the eyes. Little bits of marshmallow for the eye highlights. Also Included (but not pictured) Two mandarins
Here is a nice closeup of Unikitty, too, which I particularly loved! And today I used:
Will the Frozen mania ever stop? It’s been ZERO days since someone hasn’t sung a Frozen song, asked to see Frozen or thought a Frozen thought in this house. I am not against it, but instead ran with it for today’s lunch. Also my younger kiddo was so super sad that I only made the Elsa lunch for her sister that she asked me pleadingly for a lunch for her. So here it is, inspired by Frozen (and participating in Wendolonia’s 3 Tools, 4 Lunches series) Today’s lunch is all about Sven. The challenge with the 3 Tools, 4 Lunches was to use an Easy Lunch Box, the Ikea woodland cutters, and a edible markers. This is what I came up with!
Main Cheese sandwhich (Mozarella on whole grain white). Ok so the Ikea cutter is a moose. I know that. I believe, though, that there are certain little bits that make a reindeer silhouette different from a moose silhouette:
Problem 1: The Dewlap. The flappy thingy at a moose’s neck makes it look very moose-like, but a reindeer doesn’t have one. Solution: Cut it off.
Problem 2: The antlers on a moose look pretty even (or at least, on the moose cookie cutter). Solution: Push and prod the back antlers forward until the bread gives and stays so that the back antlers are higher than the front of the antlers.
And BOOM. Reindeer.
For details, I added some crust to the brown part of his brow (with a little hair cut into it) and used it to shape his eyebrow, which is just drawn on with black edible marker. His muzzle is also crust, with edible marker. His eye is a little piece of mozzarella, also colored with edible marker and accented with a white non-pareil for a highlight. The rest of the eye is just outlined in black edible marker. The white fur around his neck is also mozzarella.
Sides Mini marshmallows cut into snowflake shapes (just cuts straight into the marshmallow all around its circumference) and carrots!
Also Included but not Pictured Grapes and a yogurt
Catching up with some of my favorite shows last night, I was getting a bit restless for some creative time (watch shows/do something with my hands) and so today’s slightly complicated bento was born. I chose Elsa, the snow queen from Frozen because my kiddo, like every other kiddo under the age of 10 has been singing “Let it Go” for about six months straight now (I won’t even get into how we duet “Love is an Open Door.”) Anyhow, I have been wanting to do an Elsa lunch since Frozen came out, but Lunchbox Dad beat me to it, so I gotta give him credit for the great hair idea (he used Yummy Dough, though, while I used marzipan).
I must admit the hair and the eyes took the longest because the marzipan needed to be done in layers and the marshmallow is sticky to work with. It was fun to see her come together though. Next time, Anna 😀
Main PB&J sandwich, details drawn on with a foodwriter pen; eyes are cut marshmallows with blue M&Ms. The pupils are drawn on with the foodwriter, and the white highlights are just bits of marshmallow. Hair is marzipan, dyed with a little food coloring. Sides Blueberries with snowflake shaped marshmallows (used a cherry blossom cutter on a marshmallow and then drew a snowflake on top) and snowflake sprinkles; green grapes on “crystal ice” food picks. Also Included but not Pictured Applesauce, yogurt
This week has been a little tiring and so I didn’t get a chance to do a bento lunch for the kiddo. Today, she went to a day camp event, though, and needed to bring a bag lunch. And here it is! The theme of the event was around heroines and so I made the kiddo’s favorite superheroine, Word Girl!
In today’s lunch
Main PB&J Sandwich on whole grain white — her head and the stars; also on her head, a fruit roll up, fruit leather. The eyes are marshmallows (with a black dot done with a foodwriter marker) and they have nori eyelashes. Also included was a nori mouth with a little rolled up bit of bread for the nose. Sides Mandarin orange with blueberries and two Girl Scout Samoas Also included but not pictured String cheese
Admittedly, I sometimes make bentos that amuse me more than they amuse the kiddo. I mean it’s not like she doesn’t think they’re cute, but she doesn’t actually play Super Mario Brothers (she’s maybe played it once or twice), so these are mostly cutesy looking snacks and not the stuff of her childhood (although they are very much mine!). I would’ve made Mario but I kinda liked these little items instead.
Snacky Things Laughing Cow cheese, cherries, pita chips and cheddar stars. I added extra pita chips in another container because after I took the picture I figured the cheese-to-chip ratio was crazy in this one!
Today’s bento is a crabby one. A friend of mine asked me to figure out how to make a crab from a strawberry… well, I’m fresh out of strawberries! I used them up yesterday (they were about to go bad). Anyhow, I went ahead and made a crab bagel sandwich instead 🙂 Hope she likes it!
Sandwich Bagel and cream cheese with bagel claws and bagel eyes (with mini M&Ms for pupils). Blushy cheeks with pink food safe pen. Sides Blueberries (in my new Lunchbots dip container), pistachios. I also added a yogurt (not pictured).
Last night, I asked my kindergarten kiddo what she wanted for a bento today. She thought about it and said that we had never done a cheetah before. So I took the challenge. Cheetah it was… and I knew what she was thinking — a leopard print. I couldn’t convince her that cheetahs only have spots, so while I call this a leopard lunch, she says it’s a cheetah. Whatever, I hope it’s yummy 😉
Sandwich The usual PB&J on whole wheat. The spots are drawn on with food safe markers and the little grass on the bottom is just sushi grass. Sides My kiddo loves these little cutie oranges and so I’ve been trying to use them up because we bought something like 8 pounds of them! So a “cutie” orange leopard with sprinkle eyes, M&M nose and marshmallow muzzle. Spots drawn on with edible marker. In the little container, shelled pistachios because pistachios are just awesome.
Since today is our last day before Easter, I made the Kiddo an Easter bento! Love to make these little chicks because they come out super cute, but they are tricky little suckers. I made these last night and left them in the fridge, but I think next time I’ll make the eggs at night and cut them in the morning — the fridge dried them out some and made them slightly crusty at the yolk 😛 Also, note to self: do not leave open baby carrots in a fridge — they can and will wilt and dry up 🙁 I didn’t have time to cut more carrots so unfortunately, that’s why the carrots in this picture look a little sad. The Kiddo is appreciating broccoli more now so I added some fresh broccoli in hopes that she will eat it at school.
This mini-snack bento I added as a little treat. I just HAD to work the treat bunny egg into an Easter bento. HAD TO.
Main Bento Yay no sandwich today! Needed to work in some protein so made some chickie eggs with black sprinkle eyes and a carrot beak– chick eggs cut with a v-shaped knife to make my life a whole lot simpler. Whole wheat crackers and a Swiss cheese bunny head. Broccoli for grass. Baby carrots (a tad dry!) Snack Bento Annie’s Cheddar bunnies; a little chocolate carrot and inside the treat bunny, a handful of pistachios. I also added a fresh cut apple into her lunch because she needed some fruit in there for sure.