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zarfkitty

Bento Box Saves School Lunch! Onigiri Rocks!

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I am totally inspired and in awe of all this creativity. I haven't tried it yet as my son's Laptop Lunchbox just arrived, but DH is already asking for something similar...I just don't know whether to get him Mr. Bento or Laptop Lunch.

Does anyone know of a book that has fun ideas for kids' lunches??? If not, I look forward to hearing more about what everyone here is doing...THANKS!!!

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Hmmmm... I haven't looked for a book. I've done most of my research on the internet. I know the laptop lunch booklet leaves a lot to be desired in the way of recipes.

I haven't done it yet but here's my next idea: pizza bento

Hormel Turkey Pepperoni (gluten free as per hormel website; low fat)

spaghetti sauce in the little lidded container

fresh mozzarella for hubby

soymage for me and daughter

Tinkyada spiral pasta

Various pizza topping veggies: bell peppers, red onions, etc.

something for dessert (probably chocolate)

What other "theme" lunches can we do?

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Pizza Bento sound great!

I was at Target last night and browsed the container aisle. I saw a product I hadn't seen before and may buy for my dd's existing lunchbox. I am just worried about where her water bottle would go. What will you all do for that?

http://www.fit-fresh.com/index2.html

River's water bottle goes in her backpack, outside the lunchbox. (Her school wants the kids to have an all-day water bottle to stay hydrated, anyway.)

Cool containers!!

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I bought one of the fit-fresh containers. I didn't want to invest in a real bento box so I got one of those instead figuring if I don't want to take forever to make my lunch...I wont waste money.

Kassandra

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My son is headed off to all-day soccer camp this week so I'll be making obento for him. Today I prepared and froze croquettes to be deep fried each am. I make mashed potatoes a little on the dry side-too wet and they won't hold shape-with salt and pepper, milk and butter and then stir in one of the following combos:

corn or corn and diced ham

finely diced ham and cheddar

mixed frozen veg

sauteed ground beef or pork and minced onion with a dash of nutmeg salt and pepper

a bit of leftover sloppy joe meat drained of excess juices

Shape in balls patties or logs and bread with flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Place on a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet and freeze, then place in a container or baggie. I drop them frozen directly in the deep fryer.

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OK, so this has nothing to do with bento, but I just got done with my daughter's birthday cake. I put pictures in a thread here in the "parents of kids" forum. I feel like we are all getting to know each other so well so I'd share!

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My son is headed off to all-day soccer camp this week so I'll be making obento for him. Today I prepared and froze croquettes to be deep fried each am. I make mashed potatoes a little on the dry side-too wet and they won't hold shape-with salt and pepper, milk and butter and then stir in one of the following combos:

corn or corn and diced ham

finely diced ham and cheddar

mixed frozen veg

sauteed ground beef or pork and minced onion with a dash of nutmeg salt and pepper

a bit of leftover sloppy joe meat drained of excess juices

Shape in balls patties or logs and bead with flour, egg breadcrumbs. Place on a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet and freeze, then place in a container or baggie.

These sound really, really good. I'm going to try these!!

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Hi, I just ran across this thread and would LOVE to do this for my daughters. I have absolutely no idea where to start! Is sweet rice ok to use? I think we have almost 15 lbs of that. How do you cook the rice? I have only used it for flour. I tried it today with 1 cup rice 2 cups water and it fell apart. Also, how do you get filling in it? Any help would be much appreciated. Step by step instructions would be awesome.

Thanks in advance!

Amy E Topolski

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Here's the chart and instructions from my Jaoanese cook book:

Dry Rice Water

1c. 1 1/4c.

2c. 2 1/2c.

3c. 3 1/4 c.

4c. 5c.

I use the cookbook alot but have never making rice from this chart. We have a rice cooker. Sweet rice is fine as long as it is sticky. I hate to repeat the name of the country so much but it's the one I am familiar with and I mention the name in case of variances between other country's products and methods that I may be unaware of. All the Japanese cookbooks recommend gently rinsing in cold water, draining and setting aside the the rice at least 10 min. but preferrably up to 30 min. before cooking to absorb the water remaining on the surface. In a cooking pot, add the rice and appropriate amount of water. Cover with a lid. Cook over med. until water boils. Let it come to a boil slowly, not on high heat, unless you are cooking a large quantity, then start with high heat. When water begins to boil, turn up heat to high and cook for 1 min. Never lift the lid. Turn heat to low and cook for 4-5 min. Don't let it boil over. When the pot steams reduce the heat to lowest setting for 10 min. Turn off the heat and let covered for 10 min.

Hope this works well for you.

This may seem a little fussy but I can tell that it's exactly how my rice cooker does it.

If you form the onigiri with your hands you just make a little indentation in the middle of the rice in your palm and put a dab of filling and wrap the rice around it to close or put another dab of rice on top and close around it. Does this make sense? Balls and triangles can take filling but logs are not usually just because it's hard to fill that shape.

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One more thing I am so glad I found on this forum! I am starting graduate school in the fall and always had the standard gluten-free sandwich an apple and some gluten-free pretzels and it got really old really fast but this seems like a great option, I can pack leftovers or whatever! No more boring lunch!! I looked at the Mr Bento jars but I think I like the laptop lunch a lot better, I never know if I'll have a table to spread out on at lunch. Now to go in search of some sushi rice...

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My son is going to start school next year, and I really like the concept of these lunches. Are there any out there that would be appropriate for a five year old? How big are they...they can't be bigger than he is! :lol: Do they keep food warm and cold?

Thanks!

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My son is going to start school next year, and I really like the concept of these lunches. Are there any out there that would be appropriate for a five year old? How big are they...they can't be bigger than he is! :lol: Do they keep food warm and cold?

Thanks!

I think a laptop lunch would be fine for a five year old... just don't pack it as full. For my daughter I don't put anywhere near as much food as I do for my husband. (Actually, I made that mistake in the beginning, and she corrected me pretty quickly.) I haven't tried keeping food warm, but I use blue ice to keep the lunches cold and it works like a charm.

I think a Mr. Bento would be better for keeping food warm, but I would think a Mr. Bento holds more food than a laptop.

There's always the option of going with smaller (and cheaper) plastic containers from a department store (Target/Walmart) and seeing if it's something you'll stick with. (read: seeing if it's something your son likes...)

Happy lunch packing! :D

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My DD is a big fan of nachos and while she's been at day camp this summer she has access to a microwave. I pack Mission corn chips and some Kroger shredded cheddar and a little bit of salsa in the small lidded container and she puts the cheese on the chips and nukes it when it's time to eat. I toss in some fresh fruit depending on what we have in the house or some veggies and a few gluten-free cookies.

She, too, keeps her water bottle separate so she can refill water throughout the day.

Most of her lunches have been dinner leftovers which she's been very happy with. She gets tons of "oohs" and "aahhs" from the other kids at lunchtime and they have pure envy that her lunch is so yummy. It makes her feel really, really good that non-Celiac kids are envious of HER lunch. :D

And I totally love packing this lunchbox. I look forward to it every day. It's very Zen for me.

And zarfkitty---I really like your "pizza" idea. Hormel Turkey Pepperoni rocks!

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My son is going to start school next year, and I really like the concept of these lunches. Are there any out there that would be appropriate for a five year old? How big are they...they can't be bigger than he is! :lol: Do they keep food warm and cold?

Thanks!

I think this lunchbox is perfect for a 5 year old. We've never tried warm food, although we do have a thermos to send along, too, if need be. I asked my DD today if her food stays cold (even without an ice pack) and she says it does. I pack it right after dinner so the lunch spends the night in the fridge.

Seriously, the thing with this lunchbox is packaging is everything. It LOOKS like it's good to eat so I think kids will have a tendency to eat it. One day I just put fruit salad in one of the boxes and DD wasn't fired up about that. The next day I made fruit kabobs on toothpicks and put them in a larger container and she said it was the yummiest thing ever. Sheesh. Kids. :rolleyes::D

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I think the Laptop Lunches are perfect for a five year old!!!! We've only had ours for a couple of weeks now, but they are GREAT!

It is really fun to pack the kids' lunches now, I've been able to pack a variety of food, and you really get into how the lunch "looks". Yesterday, we were out running errands during lunch, so the kids ate in the car. It was so nice to not have 10 plastic baggies everywhere, and I have never seen the kids so excited to open their lunchboxes.....my daughter kept talking about it during her speech therapy, lol.

So far, these lunchboxes seem great for every age. Even my husband wants one, so he can watch his portions. They are pricey, but so worth it!

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Yeah, Tamara!!

Still haven't "packed" a lunch yet, but I'm experimenting.

Last night I made grits and had some left over. I noticed how they were pretty globby and put them in the frig. This afternoon, I got it back out and used a heart cookie cutter. She loved them! So, I'm thinking that I could make them with grits instead of the rice. She can tolerate some rice, but not all the time.

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Grits are awesome. Also... polenta (which is really just grits, I guess) cut with cookie cutters and toasted in a little oil on the stove. Yum.

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I have watched this thread with great interest. I foung the laptop lunches users guide at my favorite second hand store yesterday for only 50 cents. The lunch box wasn't there, though. Darn! I am going to spend some time with the book this weekend to see if this box will work for us. My son likes to lose his lunchbox a few times a year, so it is the price that is holding me back. I don't get too mad when he loses his $5 lunchbox, but it might be a different story if I had to put out a lot more $.

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I saw the laptop lunch stuff at Whole Foods today. They're a lot smaller than they look in the photos. Fun though. I kind of want one :lol:

So my review of the Mr. Bento (if anyone cares B) ):

It's huge, and a bit heavy and awkward to carry. I have a 15 min. walk every morning from my car to my office and between my Nalgene bottle, my purse and my Mr. Bento...well, that's a lot to lug around. :lol: Sounds kind of pathetic, I know, but the thing is just not easy to carry.

I think the jar has a nice design, but it's so big, and just awkward to handle. Despite its size, it doesn't pack huge amounts of food. I use it most days, but sometimes I just put the containers in the carrying case without the actual jar. The jar does keep food cold though. :)

I read raving reviews of the thing online and I'm not as incredibly blown away by it others seem to be, but it's not bad. Kind of wish I had gone with the laptop lunches or the girly version of the bento jar, but oh well.

I'll have to start getting more creative with what I pack.

Would love to see more photos of other ppls bento lunches :)

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I don't have a real bento box, just a "Fit Fresh" thing from Target. I sat at the dinner table tonight while we were talking after we had finished and I packed it all right then.I am going sugar free, so there aren't really any sweets, but maybe soon I will sneak some sugary goodness in! :P

Here is the picture. The two little containers stack on top of the main course and there is a thin ice-pack that divides them.

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x154/knshore/BentoBox.jpg"]bento box

Kassandra

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That link didn't work...this one should! :)

Bento Box!

Kassandra

Looks really good! (And I would say that it is a "real" bento box. Stackable & everything!)

I'm going to go pack my bentos right now. We have a potluck at church today and of course nothing will be safe for us.

-Shannon

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Kassandra, I think it looks great too!! I am going to be getting that same box for Carleigh's lunch box the next time I'm at Target. I'm really loving the fruit kabobs idea. I'm going to do the grits again and put some tuna in the middle for her.

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