My preschooler actually gets distressed if his hands get messy when he eats, so I used some decorative aluminum foil to create a clean “handle” on a chicken drumstick for him. Success! He dove right in and grabbed the chicken leg without complaint, gnawing happily.
Contents of preschooler lunch: Roast chicken drumstick, strawberry tree fruit (a.k.a. arbutus berry), mango, blueberries, and pasta salad with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and chipotle chiles (recipe from Cookâ€™s Illustratedâ€™s The New Best Recipe).
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using store-bought roast chicken from Costco and leftover pasta salad.
Packing: In addition to using decorative foil to make a clean “handle” on the chicken, I also used plastic sushi grass to keep the sweet fruit away from the savory chicken. The pasta salad is packed in a disposable condiment cup with a lid, although I forgot to put the lid on and some of the corn escaped the cup in transit (oops!). The entire lunch is packed in a 350ml Power Rangers bento box.
Equipment: A while back I picked up some yellow and pink aluminum foil from Daiso in Daly City (Japanese dollar store with branches internationally) for US$1.50 each (click on the photo for a larger view). It’s Ciao! brand, which puts out a popular line of bento lunch accessories such as food cups, rice ball wrappers, picks, cutter, dividers, antibacterial lunch sheets, etc.
Contents of my lunch: Smoked hamburger that my husband the grillmaster cooked over the U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend, red-leaf lettuce, container of poppy seed dressing, and the same fruit and pasta salad that Bug ate.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using leftover smoked hamburger and pasta salad. In the morning I just cut the fruit and hamburger.
Packing: I used red-leaf lettuce as an edible food divider to keep the sweet fruit away from the savory burger, and cut the burger into bite-sized pieces to avoid in-box cutting. I grabbed a pre-filled sauce container with salad dressing from the refrigerator, and used it to dress the lettuce as a mini-salad after I ate the burger. Last week I filled three little sauce containers with leftover salad dressing from a store-bought salad, which speeds things up when I pack lunch on the fly in the morning. Packed in a 500ml Leaflet box with movable divider.
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