Monday, October 17, 2011

Bella eating a bento

I kept Bella home today to give her one extra day to get better. She has been sick over the weekend. Nothing major but just trying to prevent a big croup flair up. Anyhow, I made her bento last night before deciding to keep her home. This is my Bella eating her bento. Love her.
At home with sick Bella. We are just hanging on the couch, watching movies. I thought I would catch up on blogging. Here are the past few bento lunches I made for Bella plus a new Ladybug sandwich cutter. My Morgan found it at her!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bento Reorganization

I have a small kitchen and minimal storage space. I have to be creative with my bento storage, so it does not get out of control and take over. I some time reorganize, including purchasing new storage containers. Check out my new storage.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall might be on it's way but it sure feels like summer!

From the feel of the weather outside, I should be making fishy or summer themed bentos. I guess I wont complain since this means maybe trick or treating will be mild :) In preparation of Halloween, here is my Happy Face Pumpkin Bento. Once again, I made the sandwich using the cutter on each separate piece of the sandwich....Why didn't I figure this out?

Pumpkin Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Grape tomatoes
Pretzel sticks
Apple (that Bella picked herself at the farm yesterday)
Candy Icing spider


Sunday, October 9, 2011

I figured out how to use my Lunch Punches!!

Thanks to a follower of my facebook page for Bentos for Bella, I now know how to use my lunch punches for sandwiches. I was making the sandwich first then using the cutter. I was told, and I can't find the post right now, to use the cutter on the two pieces of bread first, then make the sandwich. IT WORKED! Thank you, Thank you....I never understood why my sandwiches didnt look as neat as other people's! Now I love my Lunch Punches.

Here is Bella's bento for tomorrow. I used my crown lunch punch to make a princess and butterfly themed lunch.

Crown and Heart Shaped Sandwich - Sunflower Butter and Fluff
Butterfly shaped cereal bar
Butterfly Shaped Cucumber


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bento of the Week!!!

My LOVE Bento got Bento of the week at Bento Blog Network.......go check it out!!!!!

Bento of the Week Winner

I missed a few bento posts this week :( Here is Bella's bento from Friday. She came home and told me she loved eating her happy face lunch! Makes me so happy knowing she eats all of her lunch.

Hard boiled egg
Star Cheese
Star Fruit Cereal Bar


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I love fall......especially for bentos

I love the fall. The weather change, the color changes, and fun bentos. I know it is a bit early for Halloween, but I couldn't resist breaking out some of my Halloween supplies. Now if I can just find my leaf cutters :(

Turkey and Cheese Quesadillas (cut in shape of pumpkin, ghost, and bat)
Sour Cream for dipping
Black Olives (Bella's fav)
Veg snack sticks


Monday, October 3, 2011

I need to get my creative juices flowing

Busy busy night...Horsebackriding lessons for my oldest, grocery shopping, making dinner, dishes, and searching everywhere for the place I hid my fall cookie cutters. I only found the halloween ones. I can't seem to find my mini leaves. I am so bummed. Will have to look again tomorrow.

Tomorrow's bento:

Ham and Cheese Rolls
Red Bell Pepper Slices
Sugar Snap Peas
Ranch dressing for dipping

APPLE UPDATE: Just thought I would follow up the apple and gingerale post. Bella ate 1/2 of her apple slices from today's lunch. The pieces that were left in her bento box had the slightest edge of browning....not much at all....Not bad...


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lunch Punch take #2

I didn't have much luck with my Lunch Punches last time I tried using them. I tried them before with cheap white bread. The sandwich didn't hold up after punching. This time, I tried it with a heartier bread, the kind my girls should be eating, anyway. It worked much better! Here is a bento I made for Bella for tomorrow:

Sunflower Butter and Fluff sandwich in shape of a frog (eyes made from fruit leather)
Cheese crackers
Cut up cheese stick (funny, she won't eat it whole)
Apple slices (soaked in gingerale to keep from turning brown)



PRIZE TIME.........How does it work??

1. You refer people to my Bentos for Bella FB page
2. They like my page
3. They post on my wall who sent them (that would be you)
4. They go to my blog and follow it

You get a point for every person you refer to my page, who does 1-4. The person who has the most points by Wednesday, 10/5/11 5pm EST WINS! You can also get an extra point for posting on my wall yourself ;)


A brand new BENTO BOX, as seen in this picture. Of course, your's will be brand new.


How to keep apple slices from turning brown.....

I did some research to find some ideas for keeping apple slices from turning brown. I have tried lemon juice, but it alters the taste of the apples. I read about using gingerale. So, I tried it.

1. Slice up apple
2. Soak apple slices in gingerale for 10 minutes
3. Pack in lunch

Now, I tried this at home before sending to school with Bella. I put the apple slices in a baggie in the fridge overnight. They were perfect the next morning.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Leftover Bentos

I have been exhausted lately.....This past week, I did a left over bento or two. Didn't feel the same. I felt like I was cheating. But Bella ate it all. So slacking isn't cheating in Bella's eyes, or tummy ;)

My goal for this blog is to continue to post pictures of my bentos but also to review products, research about bentos, and share cool ideas. I need to work on the latter two. Please be patient with me while I learn to fit these in :)

The first bento includes chicken nuggets, grape tomatoes, yogurt, goldfish crackers, and a banana.

The second bento includes mac and cheese, green beens, orange slices, and goldfish crackers.....contained in my new double layer bento box.

Until next time.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Really Cool Ocean Theme Bento + New Supplies

A completely new bento for me. I found a really cool bento on Bent On Better Lunches I saw this awesome ocean themed bento, pinned it, and said, "I have to try that." And try it I did.

This bento has Octopus hotdogs (with cute crowns on their head), Ramen noodle waves (made with blue food coloring), colby jack cheese fish, fruit leather fish, goldfish crackers........I hope Ms. Bella loves it!

A very exciting mailbox day, too! I received my supplies I ordered from fitjpstore. They arrived fast and are AWESOME! Can't believe I paid $3 for the bento boxes and $2 each for all of the food picks. So excited when I get new supplies!

Until next time......Charlene

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bella making her first Bento

Bella wanted to make her own bento for lunch today. She used the Mickey cutter and made a Mickey Mouse with a face, cut animals, flowers, and butterflies out of apples, and used food picks for her black olives. She was so proud of herself and ate it all!

I have spent alot of time this morning learning how to promote my bento blog. I love making bentos and I love blogging, but I prefer to blog to readers not to myself. Hopefully the networking I did today will help bring more traffic to my blog so more people can learn about bentos, I hope to someday do give aways and such.

Here is Bella's bento for tomorrow. I have never tried lunch meat and cheese rolls, so I thought I would try. I rolled a piece of bologna with cheese then cut in half. Stuck my cute little bento picks through to hold in rolled form. I also tried something else new....a cold pasta salad. I am not much of a cook but I think it turned out ok:

Bow tie pasta
Black olives
red bell pepper
yellow bell pepper
Italian Dressing

I added some yellow bell pepper slices with ranch...topped off with flower shaped fruit leather and pretzel crackers.

ps....I created a "grab my button" ad on my page :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tips and Tricks for Bentos

How do you keep sliced apples from turning brown?
  • Soak them in gingerale or lemon lime soda for 10 minutes.
How do you keep Bento lunches cool?
What do you do with all of the left over pieces of food from making the bento?


Check out this great bento store in Houston. They carry authentic Japanese items, including Bento supplies at $2 and $3!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finding the time....where is the time????

I can't seem to find the time or the energy at the end of the night, after cleaning up from dinner, making lunches, taking post on my blog. I need to get better, though. It might motivate me if more people followed my Blog AND liked my facebook page. I would be more motivated...hint hint ;)

I was very excited when I found Lunch Punches. I ordered the whimsical set from Amazon. Cost me $14.99 (free shipping with Amazon Prime) I tried them out yesterday and was disappointed...BUT I am not giving up yet. I tried to make sandwiches with the punches and they didn't punch well. I think it may have something to do with the cheap white bread I bought. Gonna try again and will update the post.

Now for Bento Lunches for this week:

Cute heart teddy bear egg, flower bologna and cheese cut outs, goldfish crackers, and banana.

Cucumber Flowers (cutouts and negatives), shredded cheese, yogurt, banana, and goldfish crackers.

Bella's snack bento. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have to pack a snack for, why not a snack bento? Bella has acquired my taste for seaweed. YUMMY! This is a snack bento with Roasted Seaweed. I learned something, however. Those silicon dry packs in the packages of seaweed are there for a reason. They keep the moisture out. Bella's seaweed turned soggy :( Lesson learned.

Butterfly sandwich (sunflower butter and jelly), banana, strawberries, craisins, and goldfish crackers.

Snack bento: Cucumber flowers, ranch dressing, Smart Food Popcorn....snuck a few chips underneath at the request of Bella.

Proof that Bentos don't need to be time consuming. Presenting my 5 minute bento. Grilled ham and cheese, strawberries, hummus, yellow bell peppers, and honey oat pretzels.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

not sure if this qualifies but.....

I entered a contest I found on another lunch blogger's site. Family Fresh Cooking is having a 30 Day challenge...called Project Lunch Box. Here is the pledge I took:

Together let’s Take a Pledge to get it right…..

  • I understand that I can help decide what my family eats. #projectlunchbox reinforces that decision.
  • Made a decision to provide meals with Real Whole Food ingredients as often as possible
  • My goal is to provide nourishing meals for my family, even when they are away from home. (work, school, camp, etc.)
  • I will include healthy snacks to keep nourished & strong throughout the day
  • I will use re-usable containers and lunch boxes to reduce waste and care for the environment.
  • I will spread the word with our school, friends and loved ones about Project Lunch Box.
  • I will encourage positive, mindful food behaviors including portion control & taking the time to sit and enjoy a meal.
  • One box. One Meal at a Time. Each day provides a new window of opportunity to get it right.
  • Even if I do not pack lunches for kids I support the mission to feed healthy food to those I care for.
  • Please join us to help promote the Lunch Box Project by tweeting with the hashtag #projectlunchbox and becoming a fan on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.

I am preparing lunches for a picky toddler. This bento lunch is heart themed.....There is beef bologna and cheese shaped as hearts, strawberries, Eat Smart Popcorn, and Craisins.


Facebook Fan Page

Just started a Facebook fanpage for Bentos for Bella. Head on over and "like" it. I am hoping to spread the word about bentos for kids and healthy lunches :) Help me by sending people my way :) The fan page is at
or you can click on the "like" button in the facebook box here on the blog (on right side of blog)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Way behind in posting bentos :(

I am way behind in posting to my bento blog. This past week was the first week for my students at work and it was a crazy week, to say the least. I had no energy at the end of the work day to post, but I did make bentos and take pictures. There has been an addition to the daily bento lunch.....two times per week, I make a bento snack box, too. Bella attends a 3 year old preschool every day all day. This Tuesday, she started attending a preschool class in the school, in the program I teach in, for 2 days per week for 2 1/2 hours each day. She will be there for a snack time so I bought her some new mini bento boxes for her snack bentos. TOO CUTE!

This first picture is of a container for baby food that I found at TJ Maxx for $3.99. She will never know if is for a baby. It comes with it's own spoon. I was familiar with the brand, as it is the brand of mini containers that I purchased for sauces and dips for her bentos.

These mini bento containers are the snack bentos I bought from They are simply adorable and authentic Japanese containers. I think I paid $15 with shipping for all three!

Now for some bentos that I am behind in posting. These are some bento lunches and bento snack boxes from this week.

This first one is a snack bento. On the left are animal crackers and on the right are cantaloupe pieces shaped like flowers.

This bento is zoo themed. The upper left corner has olives (Bella loves black olives) in animal food picks. The upper right corner has grapes on animal food picks. The lower left corner is cheese and ham cut out in the shape of ducks. The lower right corner are a few cheese puffs.

Bella loved this bento. The umbrella and flower sandwiches are Sunflower butter and fluff. YUM! The upper left is craisins, then string cheese, and animal crackers. Then some banana.

Here is a snack bento of grapes on flower food picks and cheese hearts.
This bento includes a hard boiled egg shaped as a bunny, flower cantaloupe, wheat thin crackers sticks, flower shaped cereal bar pieces, and a yogurt in the middle.
This is a Teddy Bear bento. In the teddy bear cupcake liner are mini pancake cutouts and their negatives of bears along with a banana and some syrup. Apple sauce and animal crackers make this bento complete :) Sunflower and Jelly flower sandwiches...a favorite :) Carrot sticks, vegi sticks (snack), and green grapes on food picks.
This bento is in my favorite bento container.....I wish I could get more designs of the lid so I we had a variety of this style. This bento includes a hard boiled egg shaped like a fish, cheddar cheese frogs, green grapes, cheerios and yogurt. The yogurt is in the Vital Baby brand babyfood container for designed for freezing home made babyfood. I love them! I bought them on Amazon and they relatively inexpensive...

Bella has been LOVING her bentos. Her preschool reports that she eats all of her lunch most days. That makes making bentos well worth the time and effort!