Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I Love Bentos & Seedlings

This year I have made the girls bento lunches everyday for school.  There's many reasons I love these lunches.  They're so practical.  Ha!  You're most likely saying..."Those are the most impractical lunches with all the forming and decor...and they must take hours to make."  Nope, not really.  I haven't had so much fun fixing lunches in my life.  I used to hate making lunches and I would get lazy and skip.  Then my girls had to get lunch in the cafeteria, and we know what those taste like.

When I was in high school I would take my lunch money everyday and buy a candy bar, a bag of chips and
a coke.  Wonder what my Mom would have thought if she only knew.  My girls love these lunches, and I know.  Each day they let me know exactly what they liked and sometimes didn't.  Mostly I get rave reviews from my girls in the bento dept.

The Things I Like About Bento:

They are fun to make and eat
It's easier to include healthful choices that your children will eat
The containers moderate portion sizes
and there is absolutely zero trash to throw a way

Here is a couple of bentos I made the girls recently. 

Baby boiled egg wrapped in a pink soy "lacy blanket" with flowers.  The oranges are from my trees.  The carrots are from the garden and the eggs are from my chickens.
AAAwwwww!  I used a paper punch to make the lace on the soy blanket.
It's really easy to decorate it up.  The carrots cut in two ways make a nice sun on fried rice.
Fried Rice Recipe

Cooked rice 2 to 3 cups
Sesame oil 2 tblsps
chopped onions 1/4 cup chopped fine
Thai garlic chili paste 1/2 teaspoon
Chopped green onions 2 or 3 stalks
soy sauce 2 tblsps
2 to 3 eggs
salt to taste
pepper to taste
bean sprouts

Put everything but rice, bean sprouts and eggs in wok or skillet.  Not sure on portions.  I just use the amount I like of each seasoning.  Saute until onions are clear.  Add rice and stir until completely covered.  Once rice heats up push to sides of pan.  Crack eggs in pan.  Gently scramble until done then mix rice and eggs together.  Sprinkle salt pepper and sprouts on top and serve.  Of course you can make numerous variations.

Picks are an easy way to brighten up the bento.  They make my girls smile.  It's King Cake time in New Orleans and Ponchatoula Strawberry time.  Mmmmm these strawberries were sweeter than Louisiana strawberries typically are.
They stack up nicely and are held together with a felt or elastic band.  When the girls finish their lunch they put their box in their book bags and bring them home to be washed.  I include chopsticks, spoons or forks when needed.  I just slide them under the strap.  Absolutely ZERO Waste. 

That's important to me.  My girls' schools actually serve lunches on disposable Styrofoam trays, plastic utensils, paper napkins, and cardboard cartons...Seleste says that each child has a small mountain of trash on their disposable tray to throw a way each day! 

That's just our little community....3,000 little mountains of trash EVERY DAY.  DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE?????!!!  I was told that they didn't have the finances to hire someone to run the machines to wash the trays.  THEY HAVE TRAYS AND A MACHINE AND DON'T USE THEM!  THIS IS SINFUL! really doesn't make sense to me.  Even if you have no prob with the trash....wouldn't you rather use the money to pay someone to have an actual job in the community rather than send it off to purchase landfill fodder?
My seeds are sprouting!  I used a micro soil blocker tool to plant the seeds.  I will move them into larger squares once they develop some roots.
Lookin' good
You'll be in the ground before you know it!


Texan said...

My seedlings are coming up as well! So exciting isn't it!

I am not a kid but I would so enjoy those lunches myself! :O). Your kids will remember those when they are grown!

Hana said...

The foam trays make me soooo mad! We uptown have them too. They get non-disposable non-recyclable styrofoam tray (when heated, it releases toxins), with plastic sealed plastic spork and paper napkins. As for food, there is often unidentifiable pile of something. I assume it is old mashed potatoes with some ground beef and mushy veggies thrown in for a good measure. It is gross. None of the kids ate it.
So you have hungry kids with a pile of non-recyclable trash. It's idiotic. Growing up in Europe, we had regular food, served on plates, metal silverware, and plastic cups. Zero waste.
No need to say that I don't want my kids to eat whatever the "thing" was that was served in the cafeteria plus contribute every day to this insane trash pile. I usually cook their lunch since they are used to warm food at noon ( a European thing) but it really is not trouble at all. And I know what they are eating.

BTW, nice sprouts :-) said...

Love the special lunches! I imagine the other kids at school wish you were their mom!


JeanSkirtGirl said...

Looks yummy !!! And fun to make :)