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Posted on Jun 18, 2007 in Bento, For Kids, Lactose Free, Pasta or Noodles, Vegetarian | 14 comments

Bucatini bento lunch

Bucatini bento lunch


Bucatini lunch for preschooler

Contents of preschooler lunch: Orange, cherries, grapes, figs, and cut-up bucatini with tomato sauce.

Morning prep time: 3 minutes, using leftover sauced bucatini.

Packing: What looks like macaroni here actually started out as long tubes of bucatini, but that’s difficult for a preschooler to eat neatly. To cut it up quickly and neatly, I skipped the knife and cutting board and went right for clean kitchen scissors. After I put the leftover bucatini in the little nested Thomas the Tank Engine container, I cut it up with the kitchen scissors directly in the container, Korean-style. Very fast and convenient, and Bug was able to then eat this with a little fork. The fruit was all finger food.

Lunch in a Box is nominated for Best Food Blog in the Blogger’s Choice Awards. If you’d like to cast your vote for speedy lunch packing, click here (you can vote for multiple blogs in the same category).



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  1. Oh I was eying those figs this weekend, I think I’m going to wait another few weeks they are everywhere though. Do they taste sweet and ripe yet?

    • I felt through the figs on display at the market and got the softest ones I could find. Most of the figs in the basket I got are sweet and ripe, but there are a few that are a little under-ripe. In a few weeks the markets should have spectacular ones!

  2. What kind of figs are those, exactly? They look a little more oval than the ones I’m used to. I’ve never bought any in the market because I’ve got three trees in my yard that are prolific producers. :) I didn’t even really think about they fact they do sell them!

    The ones in my yard won’t be ready until late summer, though.

    • Black mission figs — I like the color they bring to the lunch as well. I envy you and your three fig trees!!!

  3. My husband just got a new job, so I was searching yesterday for information on packing lunch and your site came up. Wow! I’ve been interested in bento for a long time now but never tried it myself since most of the dishes I’d seen I wasn’t sure how to reproduce. Thank you so much for the information here! Just today I was shopping for lunch ingredients and as luck would have it my local shop just started carrying ice cream molds - my husband loved his shaped egg :)

    Wow, that was long! sorry :) I do have one question, though: we’re big noodle fans, but I’ve found re-heated noodles and sauce usually turn out gummy with hard spots. how do you solve that problem? (Sorry if that’s been answered before, I searched a lot today but didn’t find it.)

    • Welcome to Lunch in a Box, Crys! Could I get a little more information about your question, though? What sort of noodles and sauce do you have this problem with, and how do you reheat them? I don’t have much of a problem with room temperature noodles unless they’re leftover macaroni and cheese. In that case I add a little moisture to them (stock, milk, water, etc.), nuke briefly just to restore the texture, and pack. With pasta and something like tomato sauce, I have better luck if I pack along a little extra sauce with a dash of water (either in a container or in a corner of the bento) to re-sauce the noodles just prior to eating — it really freshens things up.

  4. Oh, okay. :) THe trees I have are fondly known as common figs. :) They’re very yummy, though, even if my husband won’t make any, and my grandmother-in-law makes amazing fig preserves with them!

  5. Hi, I miss the pics in the newsfeed like the old feed used to have.

    • Sheri,

      Is that the RSS feed for, the LJ syndicated feed of, or the LJ “friends” feed for

  6. I just found your site and I love your bentos. Looking through the archives I love how you don’t just pack Japanese style foods that I often feel I have to limit myself to when I’m packing bentos. You are so creative too, I’m going to have to get some of the ice cream molds to make shaped eggs because they’re just too cute XD

    • Thanks Mab! I figure the Japanese themselves don’t limit themselves to Japanese foods in their bentos (take a look at any of the Japanese-language bento cookbooks in my bookshelf), so why should I?

  7. Biggie, Fabulous Blog. I have been sneaking on and off to your site and have’nt really posted a comment yet. I live in Austin, TX and have a 2 year old boy. Was wondering if you have a list of must have’s list of boxes and their size so it would be easy when i am buying online. I really cant estimate the size of boxed when looking at pics here or on any seller sites. Also, any source where i can buy this in and around Austin or Houston or Dallas?

    • It really depends on what kind of meals you intend to pack. If I were putting together a starter collection for typical meals, I’d probably get a 600-700ml two-tier traditional bento (where it collapses down to one tier when empty), a 350-400ml one-tier traditional bento for your son to grow into this/next year, and a thermal food jar for soups, stews, or even just keeping rice warm (often sold at Target or Walmart in the kids’ lunch section, also in my Amazon store, or search Amazon for “food jar”). Other equipment will depend on your food preferences (thermal lunch jar for all-warm or all-cool meals with liquids, little 100-200ml side dish containers give you flexibility for messy foods or things that simply don’t fit, etc.). For choosing your regular bento boxes:

      1) First off, I’d point you to my guide to choosing the right size bento box (in “Top Speed Tips” at the top of the page) to get a rough idea of what size traditional boxes you might want to start with for yourself and your family.
      2) I’d then direct you to the My Bento Collection group on Flickr to see which boxes have volume/capacity posted in milliliters (ml). I do have a caveat about this group, though: it’s pretty heavily spammed by eBayers and private sellers who look at it as free advertising, so after you’ve figured out what boxes you want, be sure to shop around for the best deal and local stores where you don’t have to pay shipping.
      3) Before you buy, be sure to check out the online shopping guide and geographic shopping guide that the LiveJournal bentolunch community put together (linked in “Shop” at the top of the page). I believe they have Texas resources listed. There’s also a discussion in the My Bento Collection about exactly this topic: click here. Good luck!!!

  8. It’s a relief to find someone who can eplxain things so well