Friday, September 30, 2011

I was wrong!

I wrote this yesterday: Despite Rhys turning his sweet little nose up at turkey earlier in the week, I am giving it another go. I read somewhere that kids need to be exposed to a new food item at least 4 times before they may try it. Turkey and cheddar roll ups are what is up for lunch today.

When he got off the bus, I lingered back to speak to Iain and Rhys ran on ahead. He dumped his book bag and shot out the door to go to play with a friend. I got out his lunch bag and commented to Greg, before I opened it.

"I bet you any amount that when I open this, his wrap is still in there, totally untouched."

I was so surprised when I opened his lunch bag and saw the container only had the picks I had used to hold the sandwich!

Now, this was the same exact turkey that he didn't even bother to try a few days ago but today he snarfed down an entire wrap (turkey and cheese wrapped in a tortilla)

I was going to try cutting turkey into shapes and see if he would eat it that way.

My next "big" experiment will be trying them out with homemade bread sandwiches. They like homemade bread but generally they think the crust is too thick. I am getting a pain de mie pan so hopefully that will ease the crust issue.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lunches September 26-30

Monday September 26


The kids asked for bagels so they have PBJ on bagels today. The orange chips in Kaitlyn's main compartment are some dried mango. The crackers are some cheddar crackers I made using this recipe. It was super easy to do, I still have the dough left to bake.

Tuesday September 27


Nothing really earth shattering but I did put some M&M's in the little containers. I expected that at least one would not open it to see what was in there (and I didn't tell them in advance). I was right, Kaitlyn had her container full when she came home so I recycled it to her lunch for the next day.

Wednesday September 28


Greg had a work lunch so no box for him. As you can see, the frog and pig box came in so the younger set got a mom version of a lunchable. I knew I was taking a risk, putting some turkey slices in for Rhys. He will eat turkey, eats turkey lunchables but he brought back these 2 slices of turkey (rolled up with a pick) back untouched. Tinsel happily ate them. I quizzed him on why he didn't eat it. He said he likes it flat, not rolled up. You will also see Kaitlyn got the tub of M&M's again. I told her on the way to seminary that it had M&M's in there. "I know, I don't like M&M's." Whoops! That was news to me and not only did I give them again, I gave her a cookie with M&M's in them. When he got home, Iain's first sentence was "Can I have the exact same lunch again tomorrow?"

Thursday September 29


Yes, it is the same tub of M&Ms yet again! This time, they are in Iain's box and I know he will eat them. Today was another iffy lunch. I had asked Greg to get grapes and he brought back some green grapes and some purple grapes. Purple grapes are not very well liked but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. Mr. Indignant Rhys informed me when he got home that I KNEW he didn't like grapes. (He used to!) That was the only gripe about lunches.

Friday September 30

Happy Birthday to my big brother, Donnie!


Is it bad that I am glad this week is done? I really want to give the kids a variety but some days, the standard PBJ just works. Despite Rhys turning his sweet little nose up at turkey earlier in the week, I am giving it another go. I read somewhere that kids need to be exposed to a new food item at least 4 times before they may try it. Turkey and cheddar roll ups are what is up for lunch today. They each got a pudding as well. Rhys has a little tub of peanut butter to dip his apples in because he has gotten picky about his apples. You know, he has gotten picky about everything lately! Lucky for him that he is adorable and I love him to pieces.

There is no lunch for Kaitlyn since she didn't use her lunch from yesterday, we just recycled it to today.

I got in a new batch of SIGG water bottles after I found them for $5 each (!!) They have been working out really well and zero leaks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lunches September 19-23


I decided to try apple/peanut butter quesadillas in the younger set's lunch and it came out well. The apple bits I didn't use went into Greg's lunch.


I got the silicone pops to try out and they didn't work so well. I made regular jello and it warmed up enough to make a mess while being eaten by a 6 year old. Next time, I will use the jello jiggler recipe instead. The watermelon was a hit with everyone. And, like I mentioned in the previous post, although it looks like Kaitlyn got the short end of the lunch stick, she has the same amount. She has a bit more veggie straws than the others have.


The only thing notable about these lunches is the inclusive of a honey stix. I think these are cinnamon honey ones. There is about a teaspoon of honey in them, just enough for a sweet treat.

Here is a conversation between Kaity and I regarding sweet things in her lunch.
Me: Do you want a cookie?
K: No
M: Honey stix?
K: No
M: Well, I wanted to put something sweet in there for you
K: You can put love in, it is sweet.
M: I make your lunch with love every day
K: Then it is sweet! (and then she told me she thought the pretzels were sweet enough)

I like this girl :)


You can get all the details on my new, cool, nifty Easy Lunch Boxes if you go go read this post :)


Iain asked me to stop putting picks in his lunch. I would have any way since HE KEEPS THROWING THEM AWAY! He has to make a special effort to do this since there is nothing in his lunch that requires him to make a trip to the trash during lunch.

Kind of a blank looking lunch but it is by request. You can't see it but under the popcorn are a few of the mini oreo cookies and 2 gummy worms. Greg decided to buy lunch for the day.

One thing that is odd about these lunches that is not visible to the camera is that all the sandwiches are the same kind. Every kid requested PBJ...a first!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy Lunch Boxes

I got some Easy Lunch Boxes and coolers for the kids to use this year. I sent the coolers off to a friend so she could personalize them for the younger set. Kaitlyn wanted hers left alone.

They came back today and they are so gorgeous! Each of the kids had picked out the color of their cooler and then helped choose which design they wanted. I tried to convince Iain that his name would look better in orange but he insisted on blue and I think it looks nice.


Now that I have the coolers here, I can use the easy lunch boxes themselves. Yes, I know they look like the ones I have been using but trust me, they are not. There is a world of difference in how they feel. While I like the Ziplock ones okay, they are really flimsy and I never expected them to last me a long period of time. The ELB ones are made significantly better (and they have a cool colored lid!)


Nothing in these lunches that you can't really identify except maybe the things in with the cookies. Those are little cookies and cream bites I found at the grocery store... .10 a box so I figured I could give them a try.

Much as I like the ELB containers, you can see I use a plain ole Sterilite container for Greg's lunch. His watermelon is a Glad disposable container and his ranch dressing is in a little container that used to hold finger paints (found 4 finger paint tubs at the Dollar Store marked down to .50. I got them, dumped the paint and washed them out well and they work beautifully)

I like cute so I do go find the cute picks, the sandwich cutters and all that but you don't have to. The kids will eat their lunch without them but I have noticed they eat their lunch much better if it is packed in these containers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Panda and Jello

I know I said I was only going to do one post with all lunches for the week on it but I got some neato things in the mail and just have to share them. First up is the most adorable Bento box in the world.

This was actually purchased for Rhys but Kaitlyn said she wanted to use it so she gets to use it first. I do have a piggy and frog on the way though.

Second up are these silicone freezer pop molds. I can now do my own go-gurt, jello, pudding, applesauce, frozen smoothie...loads of possibilites.... in these babies. They have a lid on the top to prevent spillage. These have jello in them. Each one holds just under 1/2 cup of jello...a full serving size.

I know it looks like Kaity's box has a pitiful amount of food but she has the same amount that I put in the other lunches. She has a little bit more of the veggie straws.

Lunches September 12-16

The lunches for this week.

Everyone: The muffin is a strawberry cheesecake muffin
Kaitlyn: Food safe markers don't really work well on bread
Everyone: the stuff in waxed paper is homemade fruit leather
Kierynn and Rhys had PBJ "sushi" sandwiches


Kinda a boring looking, skimpy lunch but really wasn't. Those are cheese bites in with the sandwiches, not marshmallows. I promise! I don't object to putting marshmallows in lunches but if I do, they don't get in with the sandwich since they get soggy. The treat is a fortune cookie and 2 mini chocolate chip cookies. Greg went out to lunch yesterday so the lunch I made then was just eaten today.


The pizza lunches were a hit! Iain didn't get one since I didn't know if he would eat it. Rhys didn't use his pizza sauce since he never opened the container and assumed it was ranch dressing. The white stuff is vanilla yogurt with sprinkles. Kaitlyn informed me she does not like using a spoon at school so refrain from packing her things that need a spoon.


Fish sandwiches! No actual fish though, it is PBJ


Electric blue jello jigglers. I see why I only had 1 packet of that flavor. The babybel cheese were a mixed success. Cute but not everyone liked them. Iain got his pizza and wants one every day from now on. Somehow, I can't see that happening.

Lunches September 6-9

I post these on facebook but here is all of them for the week.


First day of school! I thought they were a little too beige, I need to work on getting some more color into them.

Greg: PBHoney, carrots, grapes, apples and a honey stix
Rhys and Kierynn: PB, carrots, cheese, apples, bunny crackers and 3 cake bites
Iain: cheese sandwich is the only difference
Kierynn: PB, cheese stick, bunny crackers, cake bites, Laughing Cow wedge and greek yogurt


Sandwiches are usually the same so I am only going to note things that maybe are not clear from the picture
Greg: the green tub contains ranch salad dressing
The rest of the kids had variations of pickles, cucumbers and carrots based on individual preference. Two like ranch dressing. The brown thing is a piece of fudge that got overcooked and became more like toffee.


Greg: pudding is in the cup
Kaitlyn and Iain: half a PB sandwich
Kierynn and Rhys: It is just bread pieces since I was testing out how the impressions looked.
Iain brought back his pudding, untouched. "Why didn't you eat your pudding?" "I didn't know what it was, I thought it was some weird pickle sauce." Uhm, okay.

There was no school on Friday due to flooding. We knew enough in advance that I didn't make any lunches

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cute Lunch Stuff

I put in an order over at AllThingsForSale and it came in today! They have such cute little accessories for lunches and reasonable prices. No, I really don't need to have panda picks to pack a lunch but lookie how cute they are! Wouldn't that make your lunch more fun to eat?

Here is a picture of the goodies I got.

Starting at the top left are: The little critters are cutters. I can cut sandwiches or cookies with them. They even have a little impression thing so there are details. Way cute! Next are a packet of various picks with veggies on the top. The yellow heart and blue star are egg molds. Guess what is on the stove right now??

Next line: 4 little condiment tubs. I can put a bit of ranch dressing, cream cheese, jelly, peanut butter...whatever in these. In the middle are various animal picks, with 2 panda ones. The musical notes have a bit longer of a pick so will be good for fruits. You can also see why I placed an order to begin with...the adorable panda picks. My mom loved panda bears and to this day, they always make me think of her.

Now seriously, how could anyone not find this stuff so nauseatingly sweet it is enough to make your teeth ache?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Lunches!

I started doing Bento style lunches, in a way American way, last year. I was using various containers but the ones that everyone seemed to like the best were the Ziplock ones with 3 different sized containers. I liked them too but they are pretty flimsy. Iain went through one in very short order, the lid just breaking and tearing. Since they were $5/2, I decided to not worry too much about it.

As the school year came closer, I once again looked at the containers. I had considered these last year but went with Ziplock instead. This year, I went ahead and ordered a set of Easy Lunchboxes and got each of the kids a cooler for them. I say each of the kids but really, only 4 of the 6 in school. Iain and Rhys got a black cooler, Kierynn the pink (of course!) and Kaitlyn got purple.

For the three younger ones, I found someone who is currently using her machine to embroider their names and designs. Pictures will be posted when they arrive back to me. We also got ice packs to help keep things the proper temperature and some insulated jars to take hot meals during the winter.

I also organized my little cute picks and cutters to be ready for the school year. It looks so cute and pretty and organized. Let's see how long that lasts.

So, I think I am doing fairly well with getting ready to start the lunch making madness. One thing I still was kinda stuck on is drinks.

Pouch drinks (Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, Lemonade etc) are very convenient. They come in a 10 pack for about $2, sometimes less if I find a good sale. I don't have to mess with much, just grab one and toss it in the bag. The down sides are that I think they are basically sugared, flavored water and I don't like the food dyes in them. I can (and do) buy the lower sugar and no dye variety but I am not overly fond of this option. It is $1.20 per day to send pouch drinks.

My other option is to have the kids buy milk. The school system had taken out the HFCS chocolate milk and only plain milk was available. Then they came up with a non HFCS chocolate milk option and it is back on the menu. This option means I would be shelling out $3.60 a day for milk.

After thinking about it for several days and mulling over options, I decided to get some SIGG water bottles, like this one, for the three smaller ones, to send in drinks with them. These are 13 oz, which is actually more than they need to drink but I don't have to fill them up.

Although the cost of the bottles, initially, is a lot, I think in the long run, this is our better option. This also means I can send in just plain ice water too...which they do like to drink. The older three can still take their pouch drink to school. I am hoping that milk will do okay in it and occasionally some lemonade or crystal lite.

So, basically, I have done away with 80% of sandwich bags, paper bags and now 75% of our pouch drinks.

Elizabeth - After

Wow, I had no idea it had been so long since I last updated. In any event, it has not taken this long for Elizabeth to be beautiful again.

It actually only took a few weeks. It would have taken less time had I put her into the sun but I kept her in. Here she is, looking beautiful again!