Bento Boxes: Out with the old and in with the new!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the start of school marks a new year for me!  So I have been busy cleaning out all of Isabel’s old bentos and started fresh with the Ziploc divided containers and they are working great so far.  Here is an update on her lunches and some handy new tricks I have been trying…

Don’t the new lunch boxes photograph so much better?  So much more light and fresh looking than the old ones I used before.  They are also great because there aren’t as many little containers to clean!
Trick #1 – Freezing Yogurt: I have been buying the YoKids Yogurt tubes.  I freeze them and then stick them in her lunch box so even with ice packs they stay cold and help keep the other food cold as well.
Trick #2 – Leftovers: Here is an example of where we had some rice leftover from the night before.  Isabel loved it so I added some to her lunch and it came home empty.  Great way to use up the leftovers before they go bad.

Trick #3 – Hard Boiled Eggs:  Isabel just loves these and they are great for my breakfast as well.  Once a week I will boil the a dozen for Isabel and I (stay tuned for a post on the perfect boiled egg)  Then I leave them in the fridge and when I am ready I use a handy little egg slicer to cut hers up and put it in the lunch box.

Trick #4 – Freezing Fruit:  This is a brand new idea to me and quite honestly I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner.  I buy the organic fruit, wash it and prep it for freezing (a post on this prep work is coming soon)  then I can just grab it at anytime and pop it in her lunchbox.  Not only does it help the other food stay cold but I was afraid it would get mushy – it didn’t and everyday she came home with it all gone… BONUS!
Trick #5 – Jasmine Rice:  Isabel loves Jasmine rice not only is it super yummy but it is sticky enough to make it into fun shapes.  I have this great rice shaper I picked up off of Amazon.
When the rice is still hot I put it into these little molds as much as it can take, then I layer the second piece on top and press firmly all around making sure the rice is tightly pressed.  I remove the pressing piece and then flip the mold over onto a cutting board and gently press the rice out.  I let it cool a bit before moving it but then I put one in the lunch box and the rest into the fridge for the next few days.
There you have it 5 of my latest tips and tricks on packing lunch boxes and making them fun.  I have just added some new toys to my stash so the lunches are going to be even more fun in the upcoming weeks as I start playing around.
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