Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Very Halloween-y

-Organic pear/peach cup
-Sunbutter & strawberry on Rudi's gf bread. Oooh, circle-shaped!
-Peach fruit strip
-Tiny container with one organic vegan chocolate peanut butter cup inside
-Organic carrot/squash/apple pouch

An emphatic Yes! lunch. The boy didn't like the fruit cup, but did try it. He said the juice was good, but the fruit pieces weren't. He ran out of time and didn't eat the veggie/fruit puree, but did have a clementine and a few carrot sticks at snacktime! The girl was thrilled with the fruit cup, but she loves pears, so that's not a surprise. They both thought the sticker that I put on the fruit cup was pretty cool, and wore them on their shirts for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goodbyn Bynto containers on sale!

Right now on Zulily, Goodbyn Byntos, snack containers, salad containers, and insulated lunch bags are on sale! The prices are the lowest that I've seen for these. They are plastic, but are BPA and phthalate-free, as well as dishwasher safe.

Disclosure: I will receive referral credit for anyone signing up for an account at Zulily using the above link, though I'm sharing this because I think it's relevant to my blog readers, and not because of the credit :)

Trading lunch style for superhero style

Since the Halloween countdown is now being measured in hours instead of days, and costumes still have details to be worked out, lunch creativity has taken a serious turn. The costumes are totally worth it :)

-Half sunbutter and strawberry on Udi's gf bread, with pumpkin and ghost shapes cut from apricot and cherry fruit leather
-*The Favorite Smoothie* in a Sili Squeeze (see end of post for recipe)
-Bare Fruit cinnamon apple chips

-Half sunbutter and strawberry on Udi's gf bread
-The Favorite Smoothie in a Sili Squeeze
-Glutino pretzels and a small piece of dried papaya
-Apple juice pouch

The Favorite Smoothie (gluten free, dairy free, soy free)
I use a Vitamix, so I haven't tried this in a regular blender to know if the consistency is as creamy as with the VM. Let me know how it works out if you try it! All measurements are approximate.

-1 cup raw organic cashews
-1 cup frozen strawberries
-1 1/2 - 2 average bananas, cut into large bite-sized pieces and frozen
-1/2 cup coconut milk (or other milk of choice, homemade almond is nice)
-Generous swirl of honey (about 2 teaspoons)

Toss everything into the Vitamix for about 2 minutes, or until consistancy is smooth with no cashew bits.
I've switched out the strawberries for blueberries with good results, as well as adding chia and hemp seeds for additional food value. I'll also sometimes add a very small splash of organic vanilla extract.

Now to see which will happen first; finished costumes, halloween, or the "frankenstorm"...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spiders, apples, and boxes

-Spider pizza with kinnikinnik gf crust, spaghetti sauce, and daiya cheese. The spider was made with a single, large black olive cut in half for the body, and the other half cut in to 6 (I know! They were tiny :P) pieces for the legs.
-Mini bundt shaped silicone cup filled with Wellshire Turkey sausage pieces and covered with a turkey lid with a nori face.
-Homemade baked apples

The boy was mightily impressed by his Spiderman pizza, but wasn't a fan of the apples. It worked out with empty lunch boxes in the end since the girl happily took his apples, and he ate her leftover pizza (she only wanted half). He ended up having some fresh apple with his dinner, so I think the baked texture was an issue for him.
I packed into these new sandwich boxes that I found. I'd seen some good reviews on the fuel containers, so when they popped up on Zulily, I got a set of four for under $10. So far, they seem like a really convenient size and shape. The lids are attached, so there's nothing to keep track of. They wash easily, and are sturdy enough for the kids. Our little square silicone cups fit quite nicely inside, allowing me to separate dry foods easily.
The sandwich boxes are no longer available, but they still have snack containers that look handy (search keyword: fuel). Full disclosure: If you follow this link and sign up for an account, I'll get credit for the referral.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boring Apple, Mini Apple

-Half sunbutter and strawberry sandwich on Udi's gf raisin bread
-Glutino pretzels, lady apple, date
-Sili Squeeze filled with berry apple sauce

The berry apple sauce was complained about, but eaten. They thought it was going to be a smoothie, so were disappointed to find that it was just apple sauce. They left the lady apples behind, and said that they didn't know how to eat them. The girl said that it was confusing since her mouth is so much bigger than the apple that she couldn't figure out how to take a bite and avoid the seeds and stem, LOL! The girl and I had a mini apple eating lesson this evening, and she did great (though we discovered that the apples aren't quite ripe yet).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Path of least resistance

After a difficult weekend for the boy that included a blood draw, an upset stomach, new foods, and lego drama, I think packing him a challenging lunch would be asking too much of him. So, tomorrow's lunch will be a tried-and-true "yes list" lunch.

-Half sunbutter & strawberry sandwick on Rudi's gf bread
-Way Better sprouted multigrain chips
-Bare Fruit Cinnamon Apple chips
-Andean Dream quinoa coconut cookie

For my lunch, I'm taking advantage of some awesome leftovers. I'm packing into my new favorite lunchbox, and bringing along a Norpro Appetizer Spork.
-Steamed broccoli
-Pan fried tuna steak
-Millet made with homemade chicken stock
-Tiny bottle of organic Italian dressing

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So cute, yet such a fail

-Chick rice ball with carrot comb and corn beak
-Ladybug rice roll, dyed with beet juice and wrapped in nori
-Bee rice roll with daiya cheddar and nori strips
-Black olives
-Star sandwich with corn tortilla and Wellshire turkey ham
-Pamela's gf ginger cookies
-Sili full of smoothie; strawberry, banana, cashew, homemade almond milk

Yep, sure is cute.
This lunch (and yesterday's) were near complete failures. The whole "lead a horse to water" thing changes color rather drastically when you mix in food aversions (see what I did there? Clever, I am). I didn't really expect the boy to eat beet colored sushi, or even taste it. He does, however, LOVE cheesy rice and plain rice, so I thought the bees and chick would be eaten. But no, he couldn't even make himself open the container. He ate the cookies, sandwich, and part of the smoothie, but emphatically declared this a "no list" lunch, and said that there were too many vegetables. He also let me know that he only wants sunbutter and jelly sandwiches and smoothies for lunch from now on. So, any progress that we've made with trying new foods at lunchtime is on hold until this new roadblock is cleared. Darn.
At least the girl thought the rice balls were cute. She ate the ladybugs and pulled the nori off the others. She wasn't thrilled with the tortilla, but did pull off the ham to eat and had her whole smoothie.
Tomorrow, they'll get sunbutter and smoothies, because the boy needs to get some food in him. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Someone's been looking at pinterest again...

Clockwise from top left:
-Clementine wedges
-Apple stuffed banana pancake muffin with chia and hemp seeds
-Wellshire uncured turkey ham rolls
-Dried mango slice
-Mashed potato with nori totoro
-Dried mango slice
-Carrot sticks
-Scrambled egg with nori wrapped ham slice for a lid
-Raw cashews

The kids and I spent some time this weekend on pinterest and flicker, looking at all the amazing bentos. It spurred a conversation with the boy about all the vegetables and fruit making it possible to make really cool bentos, and he agreed to try it out. It's not my best Totoro, but I think the kids will recognize him. I need a larger hole punch to do his eyes right.
The muffins are really yummy, and are so full of goodness. Each one is about half full of apple chunks. Then, I added a bunch of hemp seeds and chia, and a bit of maple syrup and coconut oil.
And, now I have the Totoro song in my head. And you should too...

UPDATE: (insert fail noise here) The ham and eggs were eaten and enjoyed by all, everything else came back home. The girl tried her muffin after school but was meh about it. She liked them better the next morning warmed up with a bit of syrup.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Last night, the boy asked if today's lunch could have just a sandwich and a squeezie. My guess is that he was wanting something simple that he knew he'd like and would be easy to eat since it's been a difficult week. Or, possibly he just wanted something soft-ish since he lost his first tooth yesterday and is nervous about chewing. I'm out of fruit, with the exception of frozen bananas and blueberries, so the smoothie was tricky, but I think it worked out quite well.

-Sunbutter and strawberry jam sandwich, with organic cranberry fruit leather in the cutout
-Pamela's gf ginger cookies
-Sili Squeeze smoothie with banana, blueberries, raw cashews, chia, honey, and coconut milk
-Extra water bottle since they haven't been drinking enough

Pre-leathered fruit leather
The kids thought the fruit leather filled cutout in their sandwich was pretty cool, and it prompted a long discussion about how fruit leather is made. It reminded me how simple it is to make, so we started a batch after school. Once again, the lack of fruit necessitated some creativity, and this first batch is just organic apple sauce and apple pie spice. It's been in the oven for about 4 hours now, with no end in sight, but the house smells amazing!
I also made up a batch of Organic Cowboy Kahlua. It also smells really good, but it needs to sit for a month. That's a crazy long time to wait to taste a recipe for the first time, but I can handle it. It will be ready just in time for Thanksgiving, and it will definitely be put to good use then.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lunch in a muffin & a Mister bento

-Ham and egg muffins
-Organic peanut butter bar
-Bare apple cinnamon chips
-Honest Kids berry lemonade

The kids' water bottles have been coming back home more than half full this week. I guess they aren't being reminded to drink since the weather has turned nippy. We've been talking a lot about staying hydrated and helping our bodies fight off colds by making sure we're giving it everything it needs to stay healthy. I included the juice pouch in their lunch to insure that they'd have a little extra to drink tomorrow. The girl's lips are chapped, and she's pretty interested in getting them feeling right again, so hopefully she also remembers to drink water all day.
The ham and egg muffins were an experiment that paid off well. I wanted to make a lunch muffin, but not a regular cornbread muffin since they are so delicate and make tons of crumbs. I was hoping for something that I could fill with veggies and protein to make sure the boy isn't just eating carbs.
Lightly whisk two eggs (the chickens are making HUGE eggs right now, so it's probably more like 3 store-bought eggs) with 1/2 cup of coconut milk,
then add;
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of Bob's Red Mill gf cornbread mix
6 oz of Wellshire Uncured Turkey Ham Steak cut into small cubes
1/2 cup of mashed acorn squash
I oiled my stoneware muffin tray with coconut oil, filled it a little over half full, and baked them for 25 minutes. I'm very happy with the way they turned out, light and cake-y, with some sweetness from the corn and saltyness from the turkey. It's got a good amount of protein, and I was able to get 2 veggies in there!

I was also able to pack a little bento up for the mister's lunch tomorrow. Usually he packs his own lunch, but I thought it would be a good day for a special lunch. Besides, it allowed me to try out the new EcoLunchbox I got the other day.

-2 Ham and egg muffins
-Tuna salad with cranberries and onions (he already has some bread at work)
-Carrots, olives, & grape tomatoes

The EcoLunchbox holds a lot more than I expected since it's so compact. I'm interested to hear how it works out tomorrow.

Pizza and Bug Food

-Pizza sticks (gf pizza crust, spaghetti sauce, daiya cheese)
-Clementine pieces
-Banana, chocolate, peanut butter smoothie

Neither kid ate the clementines, saying that there wasn't enough time. I'm suspecting that the boy's new love of clementine has passed. Short lived, but still progress. She had hers after school, but his became a parent snack. 
I had an unexpected chunk of free time this evening, and nothing planned for dinner. So, out came the leftovers to be remade into Bug Food (though maybe they look more like sea creatures?).

 For the boy: Tinkyada gf spaghetti with nori strips, black olives, Wellshire uncured turkey ham, grape tomato half, red pepper piece, marshmallow and mini chocolate chip eyes (dandies and enjoy life).

For the girl (who's not a fan of noodles at the moment): Black beans, black olive, nori strips, red peppers. Wellshire uncured turkey ham, grape tomato half, marshmallow and chocolate chip eyes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Ghosties

-Ghost egg halves with olives and grape tomatoes
-Organic apple cinnamon pouch
-Sunbutter & strawberry sandwich halves on Rudi's gf bread
-2 dates
-Sweet almonds and goji berries

We only have one chicken laying right now, so the kids had to share an egg. At least it was a big one. It cracked a bit while boiling and ended up being ghost shaped, so I decided to leave it as is instead of trying to mold it. Then I remembered the nori punch that I picked up recently, and gave it a try. The kids thought they were really cute, and were quite impressed with my nori cutting skills until I told them about the punch. They were still pretty impressed after that, though not with the tomatoes. The girl picked them out at the store, but I'm suspecting that she wanted them because she knows I love them. The pouch is left over from the before school stock up shopping trip, and the boy has been asking for them for a couple of days, he was happy to see that it made it into his lunch today.
I've been informed that dates aren't as good when they're cold, and the boy doesn't want them in his lunch anymore unless there isn't an ice pack. Hmm. The almonds and goji berries are a yummy treat that we don't get very often. The brand is Himalania. I like to toss them into trail mix for a surprise bit of sweetness, and they also have a little pink salt in them, which makes the flavor more complex and interesting. I'm pretty sure I could make them on my own, and should probably attempt that soon.
This was declared a winner by both kids, with the exception of the tomatoes.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Busy week!

We've been working on lots of things this week, so I'm doing a multi-day lunch post instead of my usual daily ones. We're in the midst of a major room switcheroo, moving the living room into the dining room for a more cosy and comfortable space, and the former living room is becoming a playroom. We had been using the dining room as a playroom, but it's size made it difficult for the kids to have much in the way of sensory play. Moving them into the living room allows for us to set up zones, as well as making room for a crash pad and swing. We now have an art corner, a lego table, a sensory play area with the crash pad, trampoline, and treadmill, and the swing should be set up very soon. I'll try to get some pictures soon, when it's not grey and rainy out and there is adequate light.


Family Field Trip to COSI!
-Half sunbutter & strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread
-clementine & Pamela's gf ginger cookies
-small bag of Popcorners chips
-apple (for the girl), date roll (for the boy)

A "yes list" lunch! Everything except the clementines were eaten because they were so excited to go play some more. They did eat them for a snack later in the day.


Papa-packed lunch!
-Half sunbutter & strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread
-trail mix
-organic squash & apple pouch
-Andean Dream quinoa cookie

Another "yes list" lunch. The only thing left was the peanuts from the trail mix. This batch of peanuts wasn't very good, and have been getting left behind a lot. That bag is now finished, so they should start going in again soon. 


Our first "no list" lunch in a while.
-carrots with peanut butter & sunbutter
-sili squeeze filled with apple sauce
-Bell & Evans organic franks with dipper of ketchup

The boy didn't like that the peanut butter and sunbutter were mixed, and would have preferred just peanut butter. He also didn't like that he couldn't control the amount of ketchup that went onto the hot dog, but couldn't tell me why he wasn't able to control it. I offered to use a small squeeze bottle, but he didn't think that would work either. We'll have to explore this more. Both kids love apple sauce at home, but weren't into it in the squeeze. I wondering if it's because I didn't put cinnamon in it.
They ate about half the carrots, all the apple sauce, she ate all of her hot dog and he had about half of his.
He seems to be having some food regression, and has lost quite a few foods this week. He's craving carbs and sweets even more than usual, and avoiding proteins.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Boring Monday

-Half Sunbutter & Strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's wholegrain gluten free bread
-Organic Strawberry Banana pouch
-Mary's Gone Crackers pretzel sticks
-Peanut butter and honey for dipping

I'm not feeling up for anything fancy tonight, so I just put something quick together. I used our new dip containers for the peanut butter. The kids shouldn't have a problem opening them since the lids just flip up. I'd love to find something tiny in stainless steel, but all the small stainless containers are still too big for small amounts of dip.

UPDATE: This one got mixed reviews. Sandwiches are always popular, but the pretzels got a thumbs down. I agree, they taste kind of strange. They were still eaten, but not finished. If the peanut butter hadn't been there to dip into, I don't think they'd have been touched at all.