Bento Boxes

June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

I used to buy Lunchables for my kids all the time

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Not only are most of them not so healthy

They’re expensive!

Especially if you’re doing it a lot

Then I found out about a wonderful idea

On Shelly’s blog over at The World According to Eggface

She has an entire section on Bento Boxes!!

If you have never visited her blog, I highly recommend it

She did have weight loss surgery but her recipes apply to anyone

I have been able to use a lot of her ideas and incorporate them into my life

Here is a section where she discusses Bento Boxes

So in the interest of trying to move my children into slightly healthier

(And less expensive) eating….we bought Bento Boxes

I really love them and so do the kids

My  kids are currently going to summer camp every day

So each day I pack them a lunch

This is what we packed for today…

Instead of chicken nuggets

I bought a rotisserie chicken and cut it up into pieces

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I put some Jalapeno Ranch dressing in the sauce container

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This is one of my favorite dressings to use when eating rotisserie chicken

But I have to be careful with it

Because it has 2 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons I believe

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That can add up VERY fast

So I use it as a light dip and if I find myself getting a little too overzealous with it

I just don’t buy it

Something I also learned regarding sugar

Is that the order ingredients are listed on the label

Has to do with how much of it is in that food

So I have learned to never eat anything where sugar is one of the 1st four ingredients

As I said, I’m more strict with myself than I am with the kids

But for the most part we eat very similar things

 

I also packed them a little salad with some cherry tomatoes

Now again this is where I have to be careful

Tomatoes can be a problem for me and I love them a lot

Cherry tomatoes are very “poppable” and that is always a problem for me

Anything “snacky” that I can “pop” could be problematic

So I have to monitor myself around the tomatoes to make sure I’m not going off the deep end!

I also packed them sugar free pickles and some goldfish crackers

Now this is another area I stray from what I would eat

Because I personally stay far away from crackers of any kind

It is even mildly dangerous for me to have Goldfish crackers in the house

I’ve had a few run-ins and had to ban them for awhile

But usually I’m really immune to the temptation if sugar isn’t already in my system

So I mostly can handle it

I still don’t fill my house up with a lot of snack foods

But I’ll admit I do allow a few in for the kids

Because I’m still a work in progress where they’re concerned

I’m slowly moving a lot of things over but it takes time

And as of right now…the goldfish crackers are still in the game 🙂

I also packed them a Yoplait Greek yogurt and water

I love how my kids enjoy water now!!

It took almost a year but they all finally made the jump

And now don’t even crave sodas, capri suns or sweet tea

 

Here is CJ’s Bento Box

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And here is Charlotte’s Bento Box

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You may notice there is what looks like a muffin in there

It’s actually a mini muffin “egg bite”

Another idea I got from Shelly’s blog

I create my own by cracking eggs in a bowl and adding things to it

Then pouring it into the mini muffin pan

Shelly has a whole section of them to give you ideas

 

I’ve been in a greek salad phase so I made mine this time

With olives, feta cheese and eggs

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I also cooked a bigger one in the ramekin

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It’s true that I try not to do too much cooking

But as long as I stay with my safe foods, it’s not usually a problem

Here are my kids heading out the door for camp with their Bento boxes!

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I really love how the containers in the Bento boxes help you control serving size

I appreciate that it automatically limits how much you can put in there

They also have so many creative possibilities as so many people post Bento Box ideas

I am going to try and get a lot more creative with the Bento box lunches I make for my kids

Because I want them to enjoy taking their  own lunch to school

As the school lunches leave MUCH to be desired in the way of healthy choices

So long as I don’t find myself getting too much entertainment out of making these

I will be ok

I try not to spend too much time with food but the fact that we are working with healthy food

And not Krispy Kreme Donuts makes a big difference!

I think I might even buy one for myself!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol K June 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

What a great mom you are!

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Crystal @ Serving Joyfully June 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I do something similar with inexpensive sectioned food storage containers. Zip-loc or Rubbermaid take-alongs come in rectangle containers with 1 large section and then a medium and small section. I use those a lot when packing hubby’s lunch or packing a picnic for us. And they are cheap and readily available at local stores which is nice. Those boxes look neat as well 🙂
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Kae June 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I use bento boxes too! Originally I used them just for portion control, now I’m somewhat obsessed with just the actual packing of them!

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Losing The Rolls June 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I like the idea of bento boxes and will like look into finding one for myself. I am so bad about packing lunch for work. When I don’t bring my own lunch, I usually make poor choices. This week, was the first in a long time that I brought my lunch each day I was in the office. I would like this to become a habit.

I think the lessons surrounding food that you are teaching your children is fantastic. I remember going on diets as a pre-teen and teen and then off a diet. I was involved in a lot of sports and other activities so my parents never really had me learning to cook dinners. I could make a few things, but didn’t pick up the habit. The habit I did pick up was always having a sugary dessert or snack in the evenings. Trying to live without that is still a work in progress. Again, you are doing your kids right! Way to go Holly.
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Pam June 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Bento Boxes–what a great idea! I would definitely try them if I wasn’t retired. Your two little ones are simply adorable–as are your two older girls. Isn’t it wonderful none of them are overweight? My middle and youngest sons really fight their weight, of course they’re all grown up. My middle son is losing his battle, weighing in at close to 500 lbs. He’s 35, and I worry about his health, and feel guilty for teaching him bad habits when he was growing up. Your kids are learning so much about eating right from you. Way to go Holly!!
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Michelle "Shelly" June 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I love it!! How awesome it that. Thank you for the shout out my friend. This post made my day. LOL and I am jealous of CJ’s bento bag. I have Charlotte’s 🙂

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sunnydayz June 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I have Bento food storage containers that I can pack my lunch in but I didn’t know about the actual lunch boxes. These are great for the kids and I’m sure make eating their lunch more fun – not to mention healthy. I’m OBSESSED with greek salads so thanks for the great idea to make the egg cups with the same ingredients. Yummy!
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Caron June 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

How do you keep things cold especially the chicken? Just curious. 🙂
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Lady Amanda June 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Packing lunch is definitely the healthy way to go for sure! Loved the pic of the kids with their lunch bags! sooo cute! Another great lunch box is the stainless steel- dishwasher safe Planet Box. They come in Snack size, kid size, and adult size trays- and like the Bento boxes, also have a carrying case that you can buy.
http://www.planetbox.com/collections/lunchboxes

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Dawn June 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Love the bento boxes. Care to share where you purchased them? I always pack my daughters lunch as the school lunches are less than nutritious. We are also a no bread house. Occasionally I purchase pita bread for hummus for her lunch. The Joseph brand (flax, oats, etc) has around 6 carbs for a whole pita. We also do tuna, chicken, lunch meat roll ups and salads. I have found that we dont really miss the bread (my husband does though).

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Lauren June 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Holly, I love bento boxes! I have several different types including the one your kids have. I am a bento box collector! I have the exact same one as Charlotte actually. My daughter however has pretty much stolen the bag for her lunches. I also have many different cooler bags. I found the the bento one didn’t keep things cold long enough for my purposes when I would have class nor was it large enough for me to carry everything I needed, which on class days was all 3 meals and 2 snacks, including water bottles. However it is wonderful for just a snack & lunch for me when I’m out and about close to home, or for the little one at school or if I need to pack food for an event when I don’t know what will be served. I get so many compliments and I do use the ideas from Shelly too!!!! This post makes me want to take pics of all my bentos and put them on my blog.
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Faith June 22, 2013 at 2:23 am

So going to do this for my kids!!! 🙂

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Sandra June 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I like you. I really really like you Holly! 🙂

Sandra

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Julie June 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Shelly’s blog is amazing! I purchased the ice cream maker she uses and am going to experiment making protein ice cream. I get the sugar triggers though, so it has to be done carefully. I have a shave ice machine and found some yummy s/f syrups, however, even though there’s no sugar in it, the sweet taste definitely can send me wanting the full sugar snacks.
Here’s to you & Shelly!! You both inspire me to do better & stay on track! You also get me thinking of how I can sustain my “diet” into a lifestyle change.
Thank you!!

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Betty Taylor June 23, 2013 at 2:52 am

I had never heard of Bento boxes. I don’t have a use for them right now, but I am going to look for them. I wouldn’t mind having some around to use when the occasion presents. Your are right to be concerned about what goes into your children’s lunches. It’s amazing the amount of sugar in everything!!
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Shay June 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I love love love your healthy food ideas blog posts. I’m going to get Bento boxes for my kids, too! Thanks, Holly!
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christine June 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I love Bento Boxes! They are so much fun to pack and the kids always seem to eat healthier when things are fun.
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Nikki Mohamed June 24, 2013 at 2:40 am

What a fantastic idea! I may start employing that…although the Bento boxes may need to be the size of a large briefcase. My kids irritate me a bit. Mostly it’s just jealousy. They inherited their father’s high metabolism rate and eat non-stop and put on NOTHING. Okay…it’s just jealousy.

*sigh* But still….it’s a great idea.
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