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, March 31, 2011

Puppy Love

I'm excited about this lunch because I know Haley will love it :)

  • 2 turkey and cheddar cheese on whole wheat sandwiches (stacked). Cheddar ear, cucumber nose and icing eye.

  • Cucumber slices

  • Strawberry slices and blueberries with a puppy pick

  • Babybel cheese

  • 2 chocolate eggs in a puppy container

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2 Different Lunches

I ended up making 2 completely different lunches for tomorrow. Partly, because I was excited to use some of my new things but also because I started making the little circle sandwiches and realized I didn't have enough bread to make them for both girls.

  • 4 PB&J sandwiches (stacked) on whole wheat - each has a different little Easter/Spring cutout (bunny, egg, duck and butterfly)

  • Carrots with ranch

  • Blueberries with bunny picks

  • String cheese (halved then stacked)

  • 2 chocolate eggs

  • Turkey, cheddar and honey mustard on a whole wheat pita. The duck is made out of cheddar and provolone with an icing eye.

  • Blueberry yogurt with a ducky swimming on top

  • Carrots with ranch

  • Blackberries

Only You Guys Will Understand...

My sister-in-law tipped me off to a crazy cool store today! It's a cake decorating shop that I had heard about but never made it to...until today! They had a TON of cupcake picks that you can buy individually plus a whole wall of cookie cutters. I was in heaven! Avery and I had a great time picking out our goodies. Here's a peak at what we got.

If you happen to live in the central Ohio area, it's call Cake Craft Co. Thanks for the tip, Lynn! By the way, check out Lynn's fabulous cooking blog: But You Can Call Me Crazy

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Here Comes Peter Cheddar Tail"

I am probably starting Easter bentos WAY to soon. I'm sure I'll have used up all my ideas before the holiday actually rolls around but oh well -- you've got to go with what you're feeling, right?

  • Salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat mini pita. The bunny is made from provolone and cheddar cheese with an icing eye and a pink sprinkle for the nose.

  • Peas

  • Fruit salad (strawberries, red grapes, blueberries, and pineapple)

  • 2 Girl Scout Trefoil cookies

Looking for more ideas? Check out What's for Lunch Wednesday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Did ya miss me?

We had a wonderful vacation week in Williamsburg, Virginia for Spring Break. We got home late last night and I'm still getting into the swing of things. But, I did get lunches made and took a picture -- I just didn't get it posted last night. So, you get 2 lunches in one post today! Yesterday's was very basic (I didn't pull out any cutters or picks!) because I was SO tired from our drive home, unpacking, giving the dog a bath (she was stinky from the kennel), etc.

  • Turkey and cheddar roll-ups on whole wheat bread

  • Babybel cheese

  • peas

  • red grapes

  • 2 hershey kisses

For tomorrow's lunch, I got slightly more creative and went with an Easter theme.

  • 2 PB&J sandwiches on whole wheat "Easter egg" sandwiches (stacked) with cheddar and provolone decorations

  • Carrots with ranch

  • Strawberry slices with blueberries on bunny picks

  • Pretzels dipped in white chocolate with Easter sprinkles

One more thing I wanted to add...On the morning we left for vacation I packed the girls breakfast bentos to eat in the car. I figure it would save time and give them something to pass the time. They worked out GREAT! The camera was packed so I didn't get a picture but here is what I included.

  • Hard boiled egg (molded into a cute shape, of course)

  • PB&J roll-ups on whole wheat (I figured, you eat peanut butter toast for breakfast and you'd eat toast with jelly for breakfast so why not PB&J sandwiches? It's basically the same thing)

  • Clementine flower with a blueberry center

They loved them! We will definitely be doing that again for our next car trip.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who knew?

Who knew that hot dog bun sandwiches would be such a hit?! Haley *loved* the one I sent her earlier in the week so I decided to do it again for tomorrow's lunches (I only have 1 hot dog bun left in the bag...that's unheard of!)

Their lunches are very similar so although I'm posting pictures of both, I'll give the descriptions together.

  • Turkey, cheese and honey mustard OR PB&J on a wheat hot dog bun. Their names are in pomegranate fruit leather. Notice by using the reverse for their names, I only needed to cut out a "V" and an "R" to make "Avery" from what I cut out for "Haley".
  • Strawberries and blueberries OR a clementine flower with a strawberry center
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter
  • String cheese stick cut in quarters
  • 2 Hershey Kisses

The girls are on Spring Break next week so no bento lunches for me. Have a great week!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

*~*~* Happy St. Patrick's Day! *~*~*

As themed lunches go, this one is pathetic. In fact, I was tempted to not even post it. I've seen so many cuter ones already posted on other blogs - adorable rainbows, gold coins, etc. This one is pretty sad. But, in my defense, we're running low on food and I have a lot on my plate this week. So, for what it's worth, here it is:

  • 2 PB&J on whole wheat sandwiches (stacked) with icing eyes and mouth
  • Cucumber slices with ranch
  • Red grapes on St. Patrick's Day picks
  • String cheese (cut to fit)
  • 2 Hershey kisses (stacked)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Something a little different...

I don't know about you but whenever we buy a package of hot dog buns, we usually end up throwing half of them away. I have plans tonight (woo-hoo!) so Daddy is in charge of dinner. He's making hot dogs and mac 'n cheese. So, we bought hot dog buns this week. This afternoon, as I was looking in the pantry for inspiration, I saw the hot dog buns and thought "Hmmm, that would be different".
  • Turkey, cheddar and honey mustard on a wheat hot dog bun (trimmed a smidge to fit in the box). The "I Love You" is made from cheddar and fruit leather.
  • Carrots and ranch
  • Red grapes
  • Babybel cheese
  • 2 Starburst candies

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guest Blogger!!

This is too sweet not to share with you! My 10 year old nephew packed his 6 year old sister's lunch for tomorrow. The first sweet thing is the reason why he did it. My sister had to work late (at home - wanted to clarify he wasn't left home alone making lunches) and my brother-in-law took my niece to dance class so he made her lunch to help them out (Awwww). Secondly, he took the extra step to make it "bento-style"!

WAY TO GO ALEX!! You made Aunt Caren proud!

  • 5 mini PB&J sandwiches
  • Colby-jack cheese hearts
  • Cucumber slices
  • Green grapes


Tomorrow's lunches don't have any specific cute theme. But, they are very colorful and I think they came out pretty. They are BIG though. As you know, the key to things not sliding around are to pack them tight so I kept adding things to fill up the box. We will see how well they do with such a large lunch.

  • Turkey, cheddar and honey mustard on whole wheat roll-ups
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Strawberry slices and blueberries
  • Pretzel snaps
  • String cheese stick
  • 2 Dove chocolate eggs

  • PB&J on whole wheat roll-ups
  • Strawberry, clementine and blueberry butterfly (2 small picks for the antennae)
  • Steamed broccoli with ranch (in yellow container)
  • Pretzel snaps
  • String cheese stick
  • 2 Dove chocolate hearts
The boxes I packed these lunches in are called Trudeau Assorted Colors Fuel Everest Sandwich Box on Amazon. I bought mine at the grocery store at the beginning of the school year. But, I think I paid a little more than Amazon is selling them for.

*~*~* UPDATE*~*~*

Guess the lunches weren't too big after all. Minus the napkins and wrappers, this is what came home:

Looking for inspiration? Look at the adorable lunches posted at What's For Lunch Wednesday

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Star Bright

We're in the home stretch to spring break -- woo hoo! Hopefully the weather will get with the program.

Tomorrow's lunch is another star theme. I feel like I do a lot of star themes but they are easy and fun and look cute. So, why not?

  • Salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel with stars made from cheddar and provolone.
  • Blueberries with a star pick
  • Babybel cheese with star cut-outs
  • Peas
  • 2 Hershey kisses (stacked)

Per TammyS' request, here is the box I used for this lunch. I bought it locally and I'm not sure the name of it. It's a 2 tiered box but I almost never use both tiers. I usually just use the upper tier. They separate and I only send the top tier in their lunchboxes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ugh...More Snow!

It seems like our taste of spring was just that, only a taste. They are predicting several inches of wet, heavy snow to fall over night - BAHUMBUG! (Can you tell I'm tired of winter?) Anyway, I figured I'd embrace the snow by making one more (hopefully this is the last one) snow bento for the season.

  • Ham, cheddar and honey mustard on whole wheat cut into a snowflake with "S""N""O""W" picks.
  • Peas
  • Strawberry and pineapple slices
  • String cheese made into snowmen. (I cut the cheese into slices. I used food safe markers to add eyes, mouths, and buttons. I added a sliver of carrot for their noses and hat picks on top.)
  • 2 Hershey Kisses

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I was feeling in a sandwich rut so I decided to switch things up a bit and make a little lunchable for tomorrow.

  • Ham, cheese and wheat Ritz crackers (the ham is rolled up and put on flower picks and the cheese is cut into flowers and placed between the crackers)
  • Make-Your-Own Ants on a Log (i.e. celery, peanut butter (in yellow container) and raisins)
  • 2 little girls with strawberry dresses

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wednesday's Lunch

Tomorrow's lunch is another simple one. But, it's full of color and will be yummy too :)

  • Salami and veggie cream cheese on a whole wheat sandwich thin (quartered and stacked)
  • Cheddar flowers
  • Cucumber and carrots slices with ranch
  • Strawberry flower with a blackberry center
  • 2 Trefoil Girl Scout cookies (those were a HUGE hit the other day)

Looking for more ideas? Check out What's for Lunch Wednesday

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring Fling

Tomorrow's lunches are simple but cute.

  • 1 1/2 PB&J sandwiches on whole wheat (stacked)
  • Cheese stick (under the sandwich)
  • Peas
  • Fruit salad

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Top of the Week To You!

Is it too early for a St. Patrick Day's bento? I don't think so!

  • Salami, cheese and mustard on a whole wheat sandwich thin. Shamrock is made of dye provolone with a cheddar "I Love U"
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Grape kabobs on St. Patty's picks (Thanks Vicki!)
  • 2 Girl Scout Trefoil cookies

Thursday, March 3, 2011


All this sunshine has put me in the mood for spring!

  • Turkey, cheddar and honey mustard on a whole wheat sandwich thin (cut in half and stacked). The butterflies are made from cheddar and provolone with cucumber antennae)
  • Carrots with ranch
  • Red grapes
  • Babybel cheese
  • Hershey kisses

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You're My Shining Star

Tomorrow's lunch will hopefully remind them that they are a star!

They have the same lunch except for the type of sandwich:

  • 4 turkey and cheese (or PB&J) on whole wheat sandwiches cut into stars.
  • Star shaped cantaloupe with blueberries on star picks
  • Carrots and cucumber slices with ranch
  • Cheese stick (cut in half and stacked)
  • 2 Hershey kisses

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweet Initials

Tomorrow's lunch is pretty simply. But, I thought it turned out cute.

  • 2 peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat. Her initals are in cheddar with provolone hearts.
  • Babybel cheese with heart cutouts
  • Cucumber and tomato slices
  • Blackberries
  • 2 starbursts