Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bento: Week 1 continued

For the remainder of the week my bentos seemed to be received with mixed reviews.

On Wednesday lunch was an English muffin pizza made the night before. I made them with Thomas’s English muffins, Ragu’s homemade style pizza sauce and part-skim mozzarella cheese. I broiled them until the cheese melted. After they cooled I packed them with a piece of wax paper between to make sure they didn’t stick together. Their lunch was rounded out with baby carrots, graham cracker sticks, Philly cheesecake filling with M&M smiley faces, and a fruit cup. One ate all of the pizza the other only took two bites, but when it was offered for dinner she ate all of it all and wanted more. The cheesecake didn’t go over as well I had hoped with either one of them.

On Thursday I gave in to the constant request for mac and cheese for dinner by packing it with lunch. I made a batch of Easy Mac’s larger servings and served it in the silicone baking cups topped with American cheese starts. Lesson learned: add cheese shapes after it has been refrigerated. The evening stars were very droopy by morning so I added some fresh ones. I completed lunch by adding green beans, chocolate cake and a banana for each. One didn’t touch the mac and cheese the devoured it. The one who didn’t touch his also didn’t touch the cake. I took his temperature and talked to his teacher. He evidently had a big snack of rice and wasn’t hungry.

On Friday I decided to try one of the school’s suggestions, pancakes. I packed my homemade banana spelt and buckwheat pancakes. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe for griddle or pancakes. I double the recipe and then substitute the wheat flour with equal parts of white spelt flour and buckwheat flour (or whole spelt flour), increase the sugar by a teaspoon (then we don’t use any syrups etc) and added 3 mashed overly ripped bananas. After serving all the family can eat the rest are stored in the freezer in freezer Ziplock bags with plastic lids (like coffee can lids with the rims cut off) placed between each pancake so they don’t stick together. They then get put into the freezer labeled with the date and what I used (banana, buckwheat, whole spelt, etc). To go with their pancakes I added a Monterey Jack cheese stick, sweet corn, applesauce and a few Trader Joe’s chocolate chip cookies. One set of pancakes came back like the English muffins, just 2 bites missing. But she said she likes the pancakes and usually eats a lot of them, fresh or defrosted. Some of the corn came back too.

I am probably packing too much food and need to find a better balance between variety, new foods and things that I know they will eat.

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