When I was a kid, I loved Lunchables. It’s actually kind of funny, because my mom and grandma would spend all this time making amazing triple-decker sandwiches for me stacked with the freshest ingredients, but on the rare occasion that I opened my lunchbox to a package of Lunchables, I would squeal in delight. Hooray! Processed meat and cheese in a plastic tray! 😉 Say what you will about Lunchables, but there’s just something inherently fun about stacking our own cracker sandwiches.
These days, I’ve evolved from consuming Lunchables to making them (hey, if you think about it, a Lunchable is just a mass-manufactured bento for kids). It’s more fun, fresher and less expensive than a store-bought one. The one Jack’s bringing to school today, packed in his two-tier Old Navy bento box, is one of the best ones I’ve put together. Here’s the “Lunchables” bottom layer:
I used three reusable silicone muffin cups — one for crackers, one for rolled-up strips of turkey lunch meat, and one for cheese cutouts (I cut a few circles out of cheese slices, tucked the scraps beneath the circles, and topped the whole stack with an elephant-shaped piece of cheese). I wedged cut-up baby carrots and some grape tomatoes in the empty spaces around the muffin cups.
The top tier holds a fruit medley. On the left side, we’ve got some chopped strawberries, topped with fresh blueberries. Asian pear slices hold court on the right side. I also stuck in an animal pick to make the whole thing even more fun.
p.s.: I get a lot of questions about where to buy the equipment I use to make the bentos. Whenever I mention a cookie cutter, muffin cup or other bento supplies, I link to a site where you can buy that item (if possible). It’s not super obvious, but the bold text indicates a link.
p.p.s. Sorry about the lack of posts in the past week. My husband’s in Hong Kong on business, and I’ve been wearing less of the Saucy Mommy hat and more of the Trying To Keep It Together hat. He’s not around much on weekdays, but he does get up early with the kids so I can get a little extra shut-eye or squeeze in a workout before he leaves for the office, and he’s really hands-on on weekends, all of which are crucial to my sanity. Anyway, he gets back on Friday, at which time the blogging will pick back up. 🙂