I made corned beef and cabbage for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner, so leftovers made their appearance in my three-year-old’s packed lunches last week. Surprisingly, he was a big fan of the cabbage and carrots, not so much the meat and potatoes.
Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Cabbage and carrots in broth, corned beef, boiled potatoes, and orange segments.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using dinner leftovers. In the morning I pre-warmed the thermal food jar with hot tap water while I microwaved the vegetables, and cut up the beef, potatoes and orange into bite-size pieces for easy preschooler eating. (Read on for packing details and an additional preschooler lunch.)
Packing: The orange segments went into a reusable mini silicone baking cup (4 for $1.50 from Daiso discount store) to keep the sweet flavor separate from the savory meat and potatoes. I packed the lunch in an 560ml insulated lunch set (from Ichiban Kan discount store) with one 160ml side dish container removed for a total capacity of 400ml.Verdict: Bug ate the orange and most of the cabbage and carrots at preschool. After school he ate the potatoes but gave a thumbs down on the corned beef (he only liked the soft fat, not the meat itself).
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Contents of preschooler bento lunch: Cabbage, carrots, and a Japanese arabiki mini pork sausage in a hot dog bun.
Morning prep time: 5 minutes, using leftover cabbage and carrots from dinner. In the morning I drained and dried the vegetables for maximum food safety, and warmed the sausage in a frying pan with a bit of water.
Packing: The moist vegetables went into a reusable silicone baking cup to keep them away from the hot dog bun. If I were making this for myself, I would have packed the hot dog condiments separately in little containers to keep the bun from getting soggy. As it was, Bug was watching when I packed this, and he requested that I put mustard and ketchup on before closing it up. The lunch was packed in a single 350ml box from a three-container Lock & Lock lunch set with insulated bag.
Verdict: Thumbs up over two sittings. Bug ate the little hot dog and bun at preschool, and all of the vegetables at the playground as an after-school snack.
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