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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Day?

There is a slim chance we might get a "snow day" tomorrow. But, more likely it will just be a delay (if never know with our weather!) so I went ahead and made lunches for tomorrow. The impending storm was the inspiration for their lunches, nonetheless.

  • Salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat sandwich thin, quartered and stacked. Provolone snow flakes.
  • Red grapes
  • Carrots with ranch
  • 2 Hershey Kisses

  • PB&J on a bagel with provolone snow flakes.
  • Clementine flower with a red grape
  • Carrots with ranch
  • 2 Dove Hearts (I should have NEVER let her taste my Dove chocolate...She informed me she likes them way better than the Hershey ones. Of course she does! She's a smart kid!)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guess Hoooo Loves You!

I'm back to the Valentine theme!

  • 2 turkey and cheese sandwich owls on whole wheat (stacked) - cheddar and provolone accents with icing eyes. Mr. Owl is holding a sign that says "Guess Hoooo Loves You!"...ME!
  • Carrots and cucumber slices with ranch (in green container)
  • Cantaloupe chucks with blueberries
  • Pretzel snaps
  • 2 Dove chocolate hearts

    Close up of Mr. Owl's sign

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Lunchable

The "lunchable" I made a week or so ago was a HUGE hit so I decided to make another one for tomorrow's lunch.

  • Ham and cheese (cut into flowers) and whole wheat Ritz crackers
  • Strawberry slices and blueberries
  • Build-Your-Own "Ants on a Log" (i.e. celery, raisins and peanut butter (in green container))
  • Mini Nestle Crunch bar (because it filled that space so perfectly!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2 of Hearts

Tomorrow's lunches are pretty much the same foods, just packed in different boxes. The only thing that's different is their sandwich. For anyone that thinks they don't have time to make lunches like these, give it a try! I generally don't time myself, but I paid attention to see how long it took me - these took a total of 20 minutes.

  • The sandwich in the top picture is salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat sandwich "thin", cut in half and stacked. The sandwich in the lower picture is a PB&J on a bagel. Both are decorated with a provolone and cheddar heart with cucumber peel faces.

  • Cucumber slices and grape tomatoes

  • Red grapes

  • 2 Hershey kisses

Need more inspiration? check out "What's For Lunch Wednesday"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Purrfectly Simple

Today was one of *those* days. It wasn't a bad day. It was just a llllooonnngggg, busy, "Mama has a headache" kind of a day. So when it came time to pack lunch, I went with quick and easy. But, hopefully Haley will find it cute and yummy, nonetheless!

  • 2 Peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat (stacked), cut into kitten shapes, with a cheddar nose, cucumber peel whiskers and icing eyes.
  • Blackberries
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Babybel cheese
  • 2 Hershey kisses

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lunch #2

Avery is not a big fan of pepperoni so the pizza twists didn't sound good to her (No worries...I'm happy to eat her share!) So, she's having:

  • PB&J roll-ups
  • Salad with Italian dressing, on the side
  • Cheddar flower with a provolone center
  • Clementine flower with a red grape center
  • 2 Hershey kisses

Pizza Twists

I just wanted to say a quick "welcome" to the new followers that have recently joined my blog and a big "thank you" for all of those who continue to read it! I'm excited to have you all here and would love to hear your comments -- feel free to leave them.

Tomorrow's lunch makes my mouth water. This is my kind of lunch. In fact, I might have this for lunch too!

  • 2 pepperoni pizza twists with a side of pizza sauce for dipping (yum!)

  • garden salad with Italian dressing, on the side

  • blackberries

  • cheddar cheese flower

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Puppy Love

Stuck on the Valentine's Day theme, I got this idea from "Family Fun". Ave and I were looking through the magazine and she squealed "Oh! That's Bento!"

  • Heart shaped hot dog, with a piece of fettuccini with cheddar accents for the arrow. I used a small heart shaped cutter to cut up the middle of the hot dog that I had to cut out to make the big heart. There is yellow mustard in the cup for dipping.
  • Cheddar hearts
  • Carrots and cucumber slices
  • Strawberry and pineapple slices
  • 2 Hershey kisses

Looking for more inspiration? Check out "What's For Lunch Wednesday"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Conversation Hearts

Come the week of Valentine's Day I'm probably really going to regret doing all of these lovey-dovey lunches in January. But, this is what came to me!
Both girls have pretty much the same lunch - they are just packed in different boxes.

  • 2 heart shaped sandwiches (stacked). Haley has turkey, cheese with honey mustard on whole wheat. Avery has PB&J on whole wheat. The "conversation" is out of strawberry fruit leather.
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Red grapes
  • Cheddar hearts
  • 2 Hershey kisses

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LOVEly Lunch

It's not even February and I'm already gearing up for Valentine's Day...

  • Turkey and cheese on whole wheat roll-ups with "LOVE" written in cucumber peel
  • Blueberries on heart picks
  • Mixed berry yogurt with strawberry hearts as garnish
  • Cucumber slices with a carrot heart
  • Babybel cheese with heart cut-outs
  • 2 hershey kisses

Looking for more inspiration? Check out What's For Lunch Wednesday?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So far, I've focused this blog solely on the bento style meals I make for my daughters. But, my daughter recently celebrated her 8th birthday and I thought I'd share with you some of the treats I made to celebrate.

She had 2 parties with 2 different themes. Her "family" party was Harry Potter themed. I was stumped on what to do for her cake. Since she's an 8 year old girl, I didn't want to do anything too goth or dark, like making Hogwarts castle. My sister suggested owl cupcakes. For those of you who don't know the story, Harry has an white owl named Hedwig. There are also many, many other owls in the stories because they use them as message carriers. So, with the help of my mom and sister, we made 66 different cupcakes (regular sized and mini, chocolate and vanilla). We used a variety of decorations (chocolate and vanilla oreos, mini oreos, mini and regular vanilla wafers, runts, junior mints, mini and regular chocolate chips, mini and regular M&Ms, cashews, almonds, etc) to create all kinds of different looking owls. It took awhile but I loved what we came up with! They were a huge hit at the party.

Here are close ups of some of my favorites:

Her second party, the "friend" party, was a swimming party at a local indoor pool. We went with a flip-flop theme for this party. I made flip-flops with a candy mold. I used several different colors of candy melts (chocolate and vanilla flavored in pink, purple and blue) to make lots of different combinations.

These cupcakes were simply chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing that I tinted blue. The "sand" is graham cracker crumbs.

Finally, I used a different mold to make large lolli-pop flip-flops. We tied a "thank you" message from my daughter to them and included them in her goodie bag.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thoughts of Spring

Tuesday's lunch was inspired by the snow storm. Today's lunch is inspired by the thoughts of spring!

  • Ham and cheese on whole wheat bread shaped into a butterfly. Butterfly garnish made from bologna, cheese, cucumber peel and icing eyes.
  • Cucumber and tomato slices
  • Red grapes
  • Cheddar cheese butterflies

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our Own Lunchable

Tomorrow's lunch is our own little take on a lunchable. The cookies aren't a normal thing for me to include. But, she got them as a special treat this weekend and *loves* them so I thought I'd include as a surprise.

  • ham and cheddar cheese, cut into circles, with whole wheat ritz crackers
  • edamame beans
  • cantaloupe and strawberry kabobs
  • 2 chips ahoy cookies

Snowy Day

We are getting hit with a snow storm today. It was the inspiration for today's lunch.

  • PB&J on whole wheat snowflake sandwich with cheddar "snow" garnish
  • peas
  • strawberry slices with blueberries
  • string cheese "snowballs"

Check out other great lunches at What's for Lunch Wednesday?

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Quick Bento

Avery and I decided at the last minute to go to school and join Haley for lunch. I quickly threw together a lunch for Avery to eat there. I didn't have time to make it cute so I made it colorful!

  • Hard boiled egg in the shape of a car
  • Cherries, with pits removed
  • Steamed broccoli
  • White cheddar bunny crackers
  • a piece of Christmas chocolate for dessert
  • the pink container as a couple tiny candy hearts...I was making candy molds this weekend for Haley's birthday party and I made tiny little hearts with the extra. Avery asked if we could take a couple to share

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trying some new things...

There are a couple new things about tomorrow's bento. First off, I am using 2 of my new picks that I won in a give-a-way from ICreate (thank you Patrizzia!). Secondly, we are trying out a few new foods (not new to Haley, but new for her lunch).

The other night she ate her broccoli last. By the time she got around to it, it was ice cold. She said "I love it cold!" and ate it right up. I have never included broccoli in her lunch before because she doesn't like uncooked broccoli. So, we're going to give steamed broccoli, which will of course be cold, a try in her lunch. Isn't the little tree trunk pick hilarious?

I've always thought of cherries as being a summer fruit. But, they've been on sale the last few weeks so I picked up some at the store. I pre-pitted them so she wasn't dealing with those pesky pits.

  • Salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Cherries
  • Babybel cheese
  • a Christmas chocolate for dessert

Friday's Lunch

I'm a little late in posting Friday's lunch, probably because I wasn't too excited about it. But, Haley thought it was funny and the bento box came back empty (as usual) so it's all good...

  • Turkey and cheese on whole wheat heart sandwich (icing eyes, cucumber peel eyebrows and the lips are made from the cut out of the Babybel (I warned her she couldn't eat them.)
  • Cucumber slices with a cheddar cheese cut-out
  • Green grapes (with a heart pick)
  • Babybel cheese with heart cutout

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year Bento

I know, this lunch is for the 6th of January so I'm a little late. But, I was inspired by some of the lunches on "What's For Lunch Wednesday" and figured, it's not TOO late for a bento lunch to celebrate 2011!

  • Sandwich on whole wheat (Haley has turkey and cheddar with honey mustard and Avery has PB&J) with provolone and cheddar 2011 decorations
  • Mixed berry yogurt with a fresh blackberry garnish
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Strawberries
  • Foil wrapped chocolate for dessert

  • White cheddar bunny crackers
  • Clif Twisted Fruit

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Lucky Star

Great, now I have Madonna lyrics in my head. Why do I do this to myself?! ;)

  • Salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel with cheddar cheese stars. (Their faces are made from cucumber peel)
  • Tomato and cucumber slices
  • Pretzel snaps
  • Babybel cheese with star cutout
  • Red and green grapes

  • Candy coded sunflower seeds
  • Strawberries

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

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to Basics

I did Christmas themed lunches for so long, it feels weird to not be creating something themed. But, I felt like going back to basics for tomorrow's lunches.
They both have the same lunch:
- PB&J on whole wheat pinwheels
- carrots with ranch
- cheddar cheese heart
- green grapes


They have almost the same snack:

- 2 banana chocolate chip mini muffins

- Avery has clemetine segments and Haley has blackberries

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Wow, I can't believe my last post was December 16th. That's CRAZY! Tomorrow it's back to the real world.

I'd love to say I have some fantabulous lunch to present for her first day back. But, we had her family birthday party tonight so I am tired and have a house to clean so she is getting leftovers. But, in good news, she was pretty excited about it!

Pizza, salad with Italian dressing (dressing in a separate bottle), blackberries, cantaloupe, pineapple and strawberries.