Spring Break has finally come to an end. Just as, it seems, Spring is actually getting started. The sun has come out. And the weather is actually warm enough to wear shorts! Well, warm enough for my son to wear shorts. I think it has to hit 85 degrees before I’m ready to go down that road.
As Spring Break comes to an end, there’s something I’m truly dreading about the first day back at school. Actually there are two things.
1. Setting the alarm. I just hate waking up to alarms.
2. Making lunch
When I was growing up, my mother made it clear that she did NOT like to make lunches. Once we were of a certain age, our choices were to make our own lunches or buy school lunch. I’m thinking I chose the latter most of the time because I have very vivid memories of those lunches. And I also remember that our primary choice for a homemade lunch was usually peanut butter & jelly on Wonder bread.
Today, things haven’t changed that much. My son gets pretty much the same choices. He can buy lunch or I can make him lunch (usually peanut butter & jelly but on wheat bread). Sometimes he’ll choose to buy but most of the time he prefers to bring and I can’t blame him. I didn’t think it was possible but I think school lunches have gotten worse.
One awesome thing about his lunchtime, though, is that parents can come and eat lunch with their kids if they want. I try to do this a couple of times per year and when I arrive, we have two choices. We can sit at the reserved “parents table” which he sometimes prefers (it’s calm and quiet). Or I can sit at his table with him and his friends.
When I’m sitting amongst the throngs of second graders, I can’t help but survey what they’re eating for lunch. I mentally decide if I’m packing a good enough lunch. For the most part, I feel pretty good until I see one thing…
THE BENTO BOX LUNCH
You know the type. The moms who make these super creative lunches and have the cutest little pockets of organic baby carrots and freshly washed grapes. And the worst part is the the kids are eating it and loving it! Why can’t I get my son to do that? Word on the street is that you simply cut healthy foods into cute shapes and put them in a bento box and they’ll eat it.
Now I have the chance to do that with two different lunch containers from Bentgo.
The one on the right arrived first and for reasons that might not be obvious to you, I found it to be inappropriate for my 8 year old son. First of all, it’s pink. And while he’s pretty open minded, he wasn’t crazy about the color.
The second issue was the size inside.
This is perfect for kids. Much smaller kids. My son is a big kid with a big appetite and this would probably be a good size for his appetizers. I do, however, see this as a perfect lunchbox for girls (although they do make it in other colors) that might be preschool age or have smaller appetites. I could easily imagine crackers, pretzels, goldfish, even some veggies with a little ranch dip in that small cup.
But not for my son.
So for him, we’re using the Bentgo box which can handle his appetite a little better. The top has a divided container.
In a perfect world, this is where I would provide some lovingly sliced hard boiled egg and some raspberries stuffed with dark chocolate chips.
Underneath the divided container is a large container with a plastic knife, fork, and spoon.
In a perfect world, you’d open it up to see a healthy main course of ham and cheese rollups with a pickle in the center.
Obviously, I’m better at imagining lunches than making them. Where I really might see the value is snagging this lunch set for myself and packing a nice delicious salad!!
The good news is there are all sorts of ideas for creatively complex or creatively simple Bentgo meals. With each purchase of a Bentgo box, you receive a link for a free download of a ebook with tons of recipes for kids and grown-ups alike. And Bentgo has an amazing Pinterest presence with everything from kids lunch ideas to creative holiday ideas.
The only thing you really need to know before thinking about a Bentgo for you or your kids is that the lids (and strap, duh) are NOT dishwasher or microwave safe.
So what are your thoughts on the Bentgo box? Are you creative with your kids lunches or do you pull out $2.25 and call it done? I’m not sure I can find my lunch groove with only two months of school left but I’m already thinking about these accessories for next fall.