Making Lunch Fun, One Box at a Time

ben·tol·o·gy (ben t äləjē) Noun : The study of making nutritious and fun lunches for my daughters.

I get a lot of inspiration from other blogs. So, in hopes someone might get some inspiration from me, I've decided to post some pictures here.

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.Proverbs 3:7-9

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Give-A-Way Alert!

Click on over to Sonoma Bento to celebrate her 100th blog post and to participate in her great give-a-way!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Wreath

We're getting down to the final days before Christmas break (WOO-HOO!!). As much as I've loved the Christmas themed bentos, I have to admit, I'm looking forward to 2 weeks of not having to pack a lunch at night.

  • Peanut Butter and honey on whole wheat wreath sandwich with strawberry fruit leather berries and bow.
  • Strawberry and kiwi slices
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Nestle Crunch bell

For more ideas, check out What's for Lunch Wednesday

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Candy Cane

Ever had one of *those* days? Today was one of *those* days for me. After a long day and an even longer evening, I ALMOST bailed on lunch and asked Haley if she'd pack tomorrow. But, I had an idea for what I wanted to make (which is always half the challenge for me) and it was pretty easy. So, here it is:

  • 3 (stacked) PB&J candy cane sandwiches on whole wheat. The cheese candy cane on top is made from provolone with cheddar stripes.
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Cheddar candy canes
  • Red grapes with a candy cane pick
  • A couple Hershey kisses (I almost gave her a mini candy cane to go with the theme but I wasn't sure she'd have time to eat it and then she'd be upset)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Stockings Were Put in Their Lunches with Care...

...In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there!

I have had so much fun with the Christmas bentos. I can't believe I only have 3 days left to make them!
I could have left these with just the stockings. But, I know they'll LOVE opening their lunch and seeing their name on their stocking :)

  • 2 Peanut Butter and Honey stocking sandwiches (stacked) on whole wheat. The stocking is made from cheddar and provolone cheeses and her name was cut out of cucumber peel.
  • Cucumber stockings
  • Blackberry yogurt with a fresh blackberry
  • Clementine flower with a grape center
  • a couple of Hershey kisses

Haley's is pretty much the same lunch with the exception of:

  • Her sandwiches are turkey and cheese on whole wheat
  • She has strawberries instead of a clementine

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Day?

Well, it's looking pretty likely that we might have a snow day tomorrow. They've already put us on a 2-hour delay and the snow is still falling. But, I went ahead and made her lunch anyway. I figured she can eat it as easily at home as she can at school!

  • Salami and cheese on whole wheat Snow Girl. Her hat, scarf and cheeks are made from a gummy worm (which Haley won't eat because she doesn't like gummy things but it made for such a cute scarf!). Her nose is a carrot (of course) and her mouth is cucumber peel.
  • Edamame beans
  • Blackberries and strawberry slices
  • A couple of Hershey kisses

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jolly Old St. Nicholas!

I don't know what is up with making them 2 almost completely different lunches but I think I need to stop! Today the reasoning was I didn't have enough bread to make them both sandwiches. I find this very annoying because I was at the store TODAY and didn't realize we needed bread. Ai yi yi....

Avery's Lunch:
  • 2 (stacked) Santa Claus PB&J sandwiches. His features are made from fruit leather (hat, nose and mouth) and provolone cheese beard, mustache, and the fluff on his hat).
  • Carrots with ranch
  • String cheese
  • Clementine flower with a grape center
Haley's Lunch:
  • Ham and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat pita (she's been all about this this week) with a Santa on top. Made just like Avery's but with a cheddar base for his "skin")
  • Blackberries with a candy cane pick
  • Carrots with ranch (ranch is under the Babybel)
  • A Babybel cheese

Check out What's for Lunch Wednesday for more great bento ideas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! How Lovely Are Thy Branches

So, can you guess the theme of tomorrow's lunches? ;)

Both lunches are the same but I'm posting pictures of each since they are in different boxes.

  • 2 Christmas Tree sandwiches with a star pick for the topper and sprinkles for the ornaments. Ave's are PB&J and Haley's sandwiches are ham and cheese - both on whole wheat.
  • Cheddar cheese Christmas trees with provolone ornaments
  • Cucumber trees
  • Red and green grapes with a Christmas tree pick
  • a Dove chocolate present

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chilly Willy

Baby, it's cold outside!! So, a chilly willy penguin bento seemed in order :)

  • Ham and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat pita with a little cheese penguin. He's made from provolone, his feet and beak are cheddar and his scarf is fruit leather.
  • Blackberries
  • Carrots and cucumber slices
  • String cheese "snowballs"
  • A couple hershey kisses

Need more adorable ideas? Check out "What's For Lunch Wednesday!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

You Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

*** Warning: I'm NOT happy with tomorrow's lunches!! ***

Have you ever made a lunch and it just did not come together like you wanted it to? These lunches were an example of that. I considered not posting them but what the heck?! These will definitely NOT be the ones I enter for "What's for Lunch Wednesday", that's for sure! ;) With that being said, the fact that I used candy for the Gingerbread man features almost guarantees the girls will like them :)Check Spelling

  • Peanut butter and honey on wheat bread Gingerbread man sandwich with m&m and mini chocolate chip accents
  • pretzels
  • carrots
  • strawberry poinsettia with a cheddar cheese center

Everything is the same except Avery is having clementine slices and red grapes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

The girls are SO excited about our first real snow fall. The weather forecasters have predicted it (and been wrong) and we've gotten a few dustings but not the first "big one". So, if they can't have snow on the ground, at least they can have it in their lunch!

  • ham and veggie cream cheese in a whole wheat pita with provolone snowflakes
  • red grapes
  • carrots
  • pretzel snaps
  • strawberry yogurt with a blackberry snowman pick for garnish

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two Very Different Bentos

Avery doesn't have school tomorrow so technically she doesn't need a packed lunch. But, I think we may go have lunch with Haley at school so I decided to go ahead and pack her one. I think this is the first time, since I started packing them bento-style, that I made them completely different lunches. Basically, that was out of necessity. We only had two pieces of bread left so my PB&J lover got them. Haley, who is much less picky, got her sandwich on Hawaiian tea rolls (yum!). Switching it up even more, I stuck with a Christmas theme with Haley but veered on Avery's. She was so excited to have ants on a log that she didn't even notice it wasn't Christmas themed. She LOVES ants on a log but I never knew how well it would travel to school (bounced around on the bus, thrown in the lunch box bin, etc.) Since we'll be carrying it to lunch, I think it will be fine.
  • 2 turkey and cheese sandwiches on Hawaiian tea rolls with a cheddar cheese Christmas tree garnish (his face is cucumber peel)
  • a piece of string cheese
  • peas
  • red grapes with Christmas tree picks

  • PB&J roll-ups (or PB&J sushi if you want to sound really bento-ish!)
  • a clementine
  • Babybel cheese
  • celery with peanut butter and raisins (Ants on a log)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thursday's Lunch

Not that I'm ever overly wordy or creative in my write-ups but tonight I've got nothin'! So, we're sticking to the basics.

-2 sandwiches (Haley's is turkey and cheese, Ave's is PB&J) on whole wheat bread in the shape of a present with a dyed provolone bow.
- strawberries (Ave has a clementine in her box)
- carrots with ranch
- Babybel cheese
- 2 hershey kisses

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer had a cherry tomato nose!

Ok, so that's not how the original song goes, but that's how Haley's lunch goes.

- 2 Salami and cheese on whole wheat reindeer sandwiches (stacked). His features are made from a cherry tomato nose, sugar eyes and fruit leather antlers.
- strawberries with a candy cane pick.
- Babybel cheese with a snowman cutout
- Carrots and cucumber slices

Need more inspiration? Check out What's for Lunch Wednesday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Deck the Lunch with Lots of Cuteness! Fa La La La La La La La La!

I'm sure my excitement over the Christmas lunches will wear off, but so far I'm having oodles of fun :)
Both girls have the same lunch:
- PB&J on whole wheat Christmas tree sandwich. Garland and star are cheddar cheese and the ornaments are made from dyed provolone.
- red grapes with a Christmas tree pick
- cheddar cheese Christmas trees
- cucumber slice ornaments. The ornaments were based on an idea I saw in Family Fun this month. It is a cucumber slice with cream cheese decorated with red bell pepper slices, diced carrot and peas.

Here is a close up of the veggie ornament.

GIveaway Alert!!

Check out a great giveaway at Bentobloggy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Bentos Can Begin!

As you know, I have been quite anxious to get the Christmas bentos going. I had such a good time with the Halloween theme that I think the Christmas ones will be even more fun!

We're starting things out with Mr. Snowman. The girls are so anxious for the first big snow. My parents gave the girls Hallmark's "Count Down To Christmas" ornament so the girls have been counting the days down. Today Ave asked "How many days until it snows"...they don't make an ornament for that! ;)

Lunch: Turkey and cheese on whole wheat snowman. His hat and buttons are made from fruit leather and the holly on his hat is cucumber and tomato and of course, a carrot nose! She also has a cheddar cheese snowflake, strawberries with snowman picks, carrots and celery sticks with ranch and a couple Hershey kisses.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Last Turkey

Can you tell I'm excited about getting to start making Christmas themed lunches? I got so many cute Christmas themed bento supplies for my birthday and I can't wait to bust them out!
But, alas, we have one more school lunch before Thanksgiving break. I made turkeys, one more time. This time, I used the food coloring technique to make multi-colored feathers.

They have the exact same lunch...2 PB&J sandwiches with provolone turkeys on top, celery and carrots with ranch and red grapes.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Slim Pickins'

We were out of town this weekend so I haven't been to the store yet - it was pretty slim pickins' at our house. This is what we came up with for lunch tomorrow:
Salad with cherry tomato flowers and italian dressing, cheddar flowers with wheat crackers, and pineapple slices with blueberries.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ribbit Ribbit

Some new birthday bento supplies arrived today (thank you, Rachel!) so you know, I had to try them out right away. I got a fun froggie cutter and these cute froggie picks. I remembered a tutorial from one of my favorite bento blogs, Crouching Mother Hidden Toddler, and thought I'd give it a try. The girls helped me color the cheese and thought it was REALLY cool!!

Lunch: They have the same lunch with the exception of the type of sandwich. Haley's is ham and cheese and Avery's guessed it...PB&J! They both have 2 frog sandwiches (stacked) with a colored provolone frog on top, carrots with ranch (I know that's a ton of carrots but I needed them to stabilize the sandwich. We'll see how they do with them), strawberries and blueberries and a cup of yogurt.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Salad was a hit!

I'd like to start off this post with a "thank you"...Thank you for taking the time to look at my little blog and thank you to those who have taken the time to leave me comments. I love to read your words and am touched by the kind words of encouragement you've given me.
Okay, enough with the mushy stuff...back to lunch!! ;)
Yesterday's salad was a HUGE hit and Ave wanted salad in her lunch for tomorrow. Here's what we came up with:
Ave's Lunch: PB&J pinwheels with cheese leaves (faces are made from cucumber peel), grapes, salad with cherry tomato tulips and pretzels.
Another view of Ave's lunch...trying to jazz up my pictures a bit.

Haley's lunch: Ham and cheese pinwheels, pretzels sticks, salad with cherry tomato tulips, and grapes.

Check out for other great bento ideas!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leafy Lunch

I've been in a funk with the girls lunches recently. I think I'm just looking forward to Christmas bentos and not being very patient about it! But, I'm happy with this one -- I'm not sure why...but it was quick and easy but I think it still looks yummy and fun.
Ham and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat mini pita with cheese leaves (one cheddar and one provolone), blueberries, strawberries and slices of pineapple, and a garden salad with cherry tomato balloons and a bottle of italian dressing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pilgrim Turkeys

Well, these didn't turn out quite like I had hoped. In fact, in looking at the pictures, I feel like I should have redone their heads. But, it's ok...I know the girls will love them.

They both have the same lunch except for the type of sandwich (H's is ham and cheese and A's is PB&B). 2 mini Pilgrim turkey sandwiches, carrots with ranch, grapes and a Babybel cheese.

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Monday Munchies

After a weekend out of town, I went with "quick and easy" for today's lunch. But, I think she'll still find it yummy!

Lunch: Ham and cheese roll-ups on whole wheat bread, peas, strawberry yogurt and grape kabobs.

Snack: Honey wheat twists with honey mustard dipping sauce and strawberry slices.
I have to admit, I'm counting the days until I can start making Christmas lunches. I have so many fun cookie cutters that I can't wait to bust out!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teddy Bear Picnic

In looking back at some of my other lunches, I feel like all the ones I put in this Sassy box look the same. But I LOVE THIS BOX! So, I shook things up a bit and put the sandwich on the other side! Ooooh, I know...I'm wacky!

Lunch: They have the same lunch except for the contents of their pita. Haley has salami with veggie cream cheese and Ave guessed it!...PB&J. I garnished it with a provolone teddy bear. They also have carrots with ranch, grapes, and a Simply Go-Gurt that I squeezed into a cup and froze (the cups fit easier in their lunch boxes than a tube.)

Snack: Cheddar bunny crackers and teddy bear fruit leather.

My Bento Baby

Avery didn't have school today so she's home with me. She wanted to make her own lunch and decided to make it "bento style". She decided on a "stars and moon" theme.
She used a large moon shaped cookie cutter to cut her sandwich and then had fun using my new food markers to add faces. (One was me and one was her Daddy.)
Then she used small moon and star cutters to cut a piece of cheese. She used the markers to add faces to those too...the stars were her and her sister and the moons were me and her Daddy.
Her finished product!
2 PB&J sandwiches on whole wheat (I would have had the moons facing the other direction but who am I to direct an artist!), cheddar moons and stars, peas, and a fruit salad made of strawberries, banana moons and blueberries on star picks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday's Lunch

Well, apparently Haley is a theme girl...she wasn't overly impressed with yesterday's lunch. "It was just wasn't quite as pretty as usual". Hmmm, perhaps I've created a monster. So, we're backed to leaves for tomorrow. I think I need to expand my fall supplies. I have acorns and leaves - that's about it! Not so patiently looking forward to Christmas bentos!

Lunch: Wheat thins, colby jack leaves and salami on a leaf pick, fruit salad (kiwi leaves, strawberry leaves and a few blueberries), cucumber slices and a kit kat bar.
Snack: Teddy Grahams and grapes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday's Bento

Today I got back to basics with their bentos. Nothing too exciting or fancy but hopefully they will enjoy nonetheless!
A's Lunch: PB&J pinwheels, babybel cheese (with star cutouts, but you can't see them), a clementine flower, and carrots and cucumber slices with ranch.
H's Lunch: Turkey and cheese pinwheels, babybel (with star cutouts), grapes, and carrots and cucumber slices with ranch.
Snack: 2 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and strawberries with a couple blueberry picks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Too Early for Turkey?

Okay, I know I'm probably pushing the season making a Thanksgiving bento. But, I had this idea for a turkey and wanted to see if it came out like I pictured it in my head. I'm pretty happy with it.
Lunch: Turkey (what else?) and cheese sandwich, grape kabobs, carrots and ranch (ranch cup is under the cheese), colby jack cheese leaves and a mini Milky Way.
Snack: Sunflower seeds (in container), yogurt covered pretzels and a couple of strawberry hearts.
Need more inspiration, check out all the lunches at

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birthday Bento!

I'm not the only one out there that puts bento supplies on my birthday list, am I? My birthday was yesterday and I'm very excited to try out some of the new fun things I got. This little chick is just too cute (Thank you, Vicki!)
Lunch: Salami and cheese on a wheat mini pita with an adorable little chicky made of cheese, peas, strawberry hearts with a few picks of blueberries and a Milky Way for dessert.

Snack: Yogurt covered pretzels and fruit leather hearts

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flower Power!

I ditched the harvest/fall themes for tomorrow and went with FLOWER POWER!!

Lunch: 4 flower PB&Js, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, strawberry flowers with blueberry centers on a bed of pineapple (Can you believe how red those strawberries are in November?!) and a cheese flower.

Snack: 2 banana chocolate chip muffins and red grapes

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You're a Star

Hopefully tomorrow's lunch will remind Haley that she's my star.
Lunch: Ham and cheese on whole wheat, carrots and cucumber slices with ranch, grapes, a babybel with a star cutout and a few candy corns to fill in the space.

Snack: I went super easy with tomorrow's snack...Cheese bunny crackers and a Clif twisted fruit.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuesday's Bento

Another "favorite" school lunch has been beat out by bento. Tomorrow the school is serving grilled cheese and tomato soup, which was always a guarantee "buy" in the past. But, Haley wanted to pack tomorrow. Okay by me!
Lunch: ham roll-ups, cheddar leaf cut-outs, and wheat thins, carrots with ranch (ranch cup is hidden under the dessert), grapes, and a bit of honey roasted peanut/candy corn mix for dessert.
Snack: 2 banana chocolate chip muffins and 2 fruit kabobs.