Mis-estimating what will fit?

Bento & lunch-packing talk that doesn't fit elsewhere

Mis-estimating what will fit?

Postby smoke » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:58 am

Does anyone else have trouble conceptualizing how much food will fit into the box? I have "scrap bowls" handy when I'm packing my husband's lunch, but often times I'll be lucky if I get more than a bite or two of what I've made for my own lunch. The only way I'm not scrambling for fillers is cooking with the intention of having the scraps for lunch.

Then on some days I have the interesting problem of trying to fit too much. I was going to put pasta salad, normal salad with chicken bits, and a cut-up apple. There isn't enough room for two muffin cups and much of anything else, so I must have been thinking of a retired box. I ended up spreading the planned meal between two boxes, with the chicken as a salad. (I figured between the stress and the salad, he's actually getting the right amount of calories in two boxes.)
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Re: Mis-estimating what will fit?

Postby elenacala » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:03 pm

When I cook for my husband and I, even though theres only the two of us I always make a big casserole that way there is plenty for dinner and both h of our lunches the next day. I wouldn't worry to much about the calorie count for your hubby, at least off the meal you described above. after all veggies and fruit are very low in calories so it may seem like a lot more food but the healthier it is the fewer calories it has. I usually pack my hubby a womens 2 tiered bento for lunch or womans sized should I say, and then have him take a whole apple or orange on the side. He says he is always full. Also jsut keep some like cut up veggies or fruit for fillers incase there isn't enough of something that you wanted to put into his bento. If I end up having room I jsut stuff a couple carrots or soemtimes a minature musketeer bar into the holes. I probably would have used a two tier box for the salads and a sidecar for the apples. that way there would be enough salad, one kind in each tier and then the apple slices could jsut be put on the side so there isn't any apple flavor, or better yet cut up the apple into small chunks onto the chicken salad.
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Re: Mis-estimating what will fit?

Postby gfbentomom » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:42 am

By cutting things differently or not cutting them you can adjust the use of your space. For example, croquettes cut in half or left whole, same with chicken strips, apples cut in quarters or sliced-I will alter so every other one is pointing up so that they fit more compactly. Cut steamed green beans are often tucked into spaces in our bentos. I cut them to fit the depth of the box and stand them on end. They can be made in a pinch if needed. Standing things up or laying them down can make a difference in how much space they take too. In time, you'll get a better feel for how things fit in different ways and in different boxes.
Come visit me at Flickr for bentos that are always gluten-free for mom and kiddo, sometimes casein-free and now always lowcarb for mom.
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