August 17, 2014
I am a HUGE fan of CuteZCute products! They make adorable lunches with minimal effort. As you know from my lack of posts, life is very hectic these days. But, I’ve still managed to keep up with cute lunches (follow me on Facebook or Instagram to keep seeing them) mostly with the help of cute cutters that do all the work for me!
August 17, 2014
Yup, glass! Even BPA free plastics are not free of toxins so I’ve been trying to transition my family towards metal and glass instead. It’s not easy! I love my EasyLunchBoxes so much, I still use them about 90% of the time. However, I *have* found some great products to make the switch easier at home and school.
Plastic Free at School and Work
Glass with a silicone wrap is the way to go! We LOVE the products below.
Cora uses these water bottles daily (middle picture) and I find not only do I like the glass better than plastic or metal, I also like the tops better. The metal water bottles are cute, but the paint scratches off (hmm maybe some nasty toxins there). Also, she doesn’t always manage to close them all the way so lunch and backpack come home a wet mess. We’ve lost many an art masterpiece this way! These lids are either on or not so no more leaks! I use one of the large bottles (top left picture) at home and also have one of the Cora-sized bottles to bring milk to work for my coffee. I drilled a hole in the lid of the larger one to hold a metal smoothie straw (right picture). It works great!
I love these containers for my lunches! I usually bring two, one with salad and one with taco flavored lentils or refried beans mixed with salsa. I pop the latter in the microwave, then dump them together on a couple baked corn tortillas and voila, yummy taco salad that make my co-workers jealous! I use them occasionally for Cora as well. They are a bit heavy but I do feel they are safe with the silicone case if dropped. The main reason I don’t send them with her daily is that I’m hooked on compartments and the ELBs work so well. So far, Cora has been great about not losing lunch materials, but the cost of losing one of these babies is also a consideration.
Plastic Free at Home
To smooth out the edges and ensure Cora gets enough variety in her diet, we make her a smoothie for breakfast every day. We start with a veg juice I make on the weekends (beet, carrot and apple), add in a pear, melon, and fruit scraps leftover from making lunch the day before and round it off with a scoop of our favorite vitamin protein powder. This concoction keeps her regular and I worry less about food jags. The smoothies go great in the mason jar glasses we ‘made’ using two craft hole punches and grommets. It is really easy and the end result is so fun, especially with the Ball Heritage jars! The straws fit tightly in the hole with the grommet, making spills very hard to accomplish. I put a tiny little hole in the lid as well (the reason for the second hole punch) to reduce suction and allow for airflow despite the tight fit around the straw. We use metal straws, but if the texture puts you off, you can get glass straws instead. I assume they are durable and safe, but we haven’t tried them so I can’t vouch for them. Cora was a straw chewer so I was worried how she would do with the metal. Switching to the metal straws was seamless AND broke her of the habit.
To make the smoothie cups:
To make the smoothies:
May 30, 2013
I am a busy busy bee these days! I havent been able to keep up with the blog, but I am still making fun lunches every day (or at least I try!). Please visit my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VeggieBento) if you would like to be sure not to miss them.
See you on FB!
February 13, 2013
Better late than never, here is a gallery of hearty lunches I’ve made over the last year, just in case you are looking for some ideas for sharing the lunch love tomorrow. And while I have your attention, don’t forget to enter the CuteZCute Giveaway. The giveaway ends tonight, so hurry on over and enter now.
I hope to get a shopping guide up shortly 🙂
February 11, 2013
Our almond butter and banana kitty is giving us a quick wink before pouncing on the yummy strawberry mouse sneaking behind her (thanks Bentoriffic!). If she misses, she still has a raspberry mouse hanging around on top of buried berries topped with vanilla yogurt. Kiwi and pineapple kitties are rooting her on from a bed of yogurt covered raisins.
This cute kitty is one of the adorable characters in the CuteZCute cutter set. Want to win one of your own? Enter the CuteZCute Giveaway, open through Wednesday, February 13.
To make this lunch I used:
February 6, 2013
This winter, the Veggie-Bento household has been under siege by a viral invasion. Actually, make that multiple viral invasions. As you’ve seen, I did not manage to post my lunches during that time, BUT I still made cute lunches 🙂 . Looking back, at least 75% of those quick and easy, but CUTE, lunches were made using the CuteZCute. I love love love this set! I wake up, tired and late (at best) and have no idea what I am going to make. I reach for the CuteZcute, and the rest of the lunch just comes together. So far, I have used it on both of Cora’s staples – cheese and almond butter/jam sandwiches, with cut outs in the bread itself, cheese, fruit leather or all three. Some of my favorites are in the pic above and will get their very own posts over the next few days. And, here’s the best thing, I have just begun to scratch the surface. There are already loads of brilliant (and yummy) ideas to be found on the CuteZCute Pinterest board.
To celebrate my triumphant return to blogdom, I am honored to be hosting a giveaway – you can win your very own CuteZcute set! To win, you need to visit CuteZCute and leave a comment below telling me which character is your favorite and ‘like’ CuteZCute on Facebook. You can also get extra optional entries by showing Veggie-Bento some love and sharing this giveaway. You have until midnight EST Wednesday, Feb 13 to enter and the winner will be picked the next morning. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize by email before I pick again. Open to domestic and international entries, so UK friends go for it!
If you can’t wait that long to get your own set, or need to buy a bunch for friends (they make GREAT gifts for families with young kids) you can buy them on Amazon.
November 15, 2012
This is going to be short and sweet. I am oh so thankful for my family. I can’t imagine life without Cora and my hubby. So, when my blogger friends and I decided to do a Thanks bento blog hop, I knew just what I wanted to do:
Almond butter and jelly people, cheese house with fruit leather hearts and soy paper drapes, fruit hearts and plain greek yogurt with natural food colored sprinkles and fruit leather letters.
Now, follow the thankful blog hop to see what Glory is giving thanks for this year:
To make this lunch I used:
November 9, 2012
I am just now recovering from the flu and fairly happily spent the duration of the bug in bed with my iPad watching the short-lived but awesome series Firefly on Netflix. The 10th anniversary special for the series airs on 11/11 (http://science.discovery.com/tv/firefly/10-anniversary) and I can’t wait! To celebrate, some of my geekier bento friends and I are having a Firefly-inspired blog hop, starting at 9am PST. I went live a little early so please check back and catch the rest of the hop!
My big challenge was making a fun lunch that would work for me as a Firefly fan and Cora, who has no idea what I’m talking about. Then, I saw the episode in which Kaylee gets to dress up in a frilly pink dress and knew I found my hook 🙂 I usually avoid the overly-girly with Cora, but every once in a while I make an exception for all too-selfish reasons. This was one of them.
I decided to capture the end scene in which Kaylee curls up on her bunk, gazing at her pretty dress (decorated with strawberries pureed and mixed in with cream cheese and a touch of natural food color) and eating treats. In this case, she is eating cream-cheese stuffed strawberries and an apple (sliced up of course!). To commemorate her beloved ship, we have melon and pineapple fireflies in the corner.
I realized that this might not be enough food so I added another layer to the sandwich. I called it a ‘hidden dress’ to Cora. She then decided the hidden dress needed to be decorated too.
Then Cora decided the dress was so pretty Kaylee needs to be wearing it. And she needs to have a face. And she needs to have hair. Hair that is blond, like her.
And there you have it – a lunch suitable for a Firefly fan AND a particular 4 year old girl. Kinda
Don’t forget to follow the Firefly to the next blog and check out Shannon’s celebration of the Firefly anniversary special. Shiny!
To make this lunch I used:
November 7, 2012
October 25, 2012
Cora has been asking for a mermaid lunch for quite awhile. So, far, I’ve gotten away with a variety of under the sea themed lunches, but I really wanted to honor her request without resorting to one of the sexy mermaid cutters I saw everywhere. I spent a little time studying different cartoon mermaids (no, NOT Disney) and came up with a design I could feel good about. So, Cora finally got her mermaid lunch!
I made our girl using a shark cookie cutter. I cut off the fins and the head, and used a small circle cutter to make her head. Her hair is made from organic, dye-free cheese curls
To make this lunch I used: