Friday, May 31, 2013

15 Minute Friday #11

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Welcome to 15 Minute Fridays - Week 11!

My fellow bento bloggers and I often receive inquiries regarding the amount of time it takes to make the bento lunches we post on our blogs.  Bentos don't have to take much more time to pack than a standard lunch!

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week.  As always, I loved seeing such fun ideas!

Do you have a cute and easy lunch that can be made in 15 minutes or less?  If so, feel free to join in!  It's simple.  Copy the URL of your blog post (not your home page) and enter it into the linky below.  Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps.


I would love for you to include my button or a link back to my blog.
Bentos on the Bayou
I am going to cheat a little this week, as my 15 Minute post isn't actually a lunch. This is a snack I prepared for my family on Memorial Day that took right at 15 minutes to prepare.  I hope you enjoy it!
Patriotic-Bears
What's on the Plate?
Honeydew Bears, Blackberries & Strawberries
Although the honeydew isn't actually white, this snack was intended to honor our military and resemble the red, white and blue of our flag.

Bear Cutter/Stamp:

Time to link up your 15 minute lunch:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bamboo Forest Bento

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When my daughter sat down for lunch today, she said it looked like a little bamboo forest.  I wasn't planning that, but I think she was right!
Vegan-Lunch
What's in the Box?
Gluten-Free Corn Pasta, Flavored with Turmeric
Green & Purple Asparagus, Tomatoes
Carrot & Radish Flowers w/ Radish Centers
Green, Yellow and Purple Cauliflower
Strawberries, Blackberries & Blueberries

Supplies:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My CuteZCute Finally Arrived - YAY

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I have been admiring my fellow bento bloggers adorable lunches made with their CuteZCute deco cutters for awhile now.  I ordered one awhile back, but it was out of stock.  I am pleased to report that they are back in stock, and mine arrived on Friday!!

I wanted to try it out right away, but was low on groceries.  I did have some grass fed ground beef on hand, so I decided to make a bun-less cheese burger "salad".  I think it turned out so cute!  I can't wait to make more fun lunches with my new toy!  
GlutenFree-CuteZCute
What's in the box?
Grass Fed Ground Beef Patty w/ Provolone Cheese
Lettuce, Tomato, Celery, Snap Peas, Raw Corn
Carrot, White Radish & Golden Beet Flowers
Strawberries, Blueberries & Blackberries

Supplies:

Friday, May 24, 2013

15 Minute Friday #10

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Welcome to 15 Minute Fridays - Week 10!

It is hard to believe this is my 10th week hosting this linky.  I am so excited about all of the fun and wonderful ideas that have been shared so far and hope you will continue to link up those fast lunches!

In case you are a new reader, 15 Minute Fridays is a place to get ideas for quick and easy lunches.  My fellow bento bloggers and I often receive inquiries regarding the amount of time it takes to make the bento lunches we post on our blogs.  Bento lunches don't have to take much more time to pack than a standard lunch!

Thank you again to everyone who linked up last week.  I loved seeing your lovely lunches.

Do you have a cute and easy bento that can be made in 15 minutes or less?  If so, feel free to join in!  It's simple.  Copy the URL of your blog post (not your home page) and enter it into the linky below.  Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours to the collection and follow the steps.

I would love for you to include a link back to my blog.
Bentos on the Bayou
My 15 Minute Lunch:
What's in the Box?
Lettuce, Turkey, Provolone & Tomato Roll-Ups
Tomatoes, Carrots, Celery, Snap Peas, Purple Cauliflower
Whole Grain Toast Squares
Strawberries, Blueberries & Blackberries

Supplies I used or similar:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crunch a Color Challenge - Lunch #2

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Yesterday, I posted a lunch for the Crunch a Color Healthy Lunch Challenge - Round 2.  I am excited to have a second lunch to post today.  I won't go into all the details of the game again, but you can read about them here.  I will, however, reiterate how much we love this game!
Vegetarian-Bento
Today's lunch is another quick one that anyone could easily make.  As I mentioned yesterday, I prefer using raw fruits and vegetables, which are highly nutritious and can quickly and easily be arranged in any lunch container.  This lunch consists of a Sun Butter & Raw Honey pocket sandwich, a few cheese cubes, and raw fruits & veggies.  How easy is that?  It isn't fancy, but the array of colors and arrangement make it so appealing.  I included a new food that my children have not had before, which gave them double points for that food!  Here is the break down of points:
 Healthy Grain (whole grain bread) - 5 points
Protein (Sun Butter inside of pocket sandwich) - 10 points
Radishes & Tomatoes (combined) - 15 points
Lotus Root (x2 for trying a new food) - 30 points
Carrots - 10 points
Snap Peas & Celery (combined) - 10 points
Purple, Green & Orange Cauliflower - 10 points
Strawberries - 5 points
Raw Corn - 10 points
Blueberries & Blackberries (combined) - 5 points
Water - 5 points

COMBINED TOTAL = 115 POINTS!!!!

I'll let you in on the secret that neither of my children ate much of the Lotus Root, so they both missed out on that 30 points.  They did try it, but didn't care for the texture of it, and they were perfectly happy ending up with a total of 85 points each.  

Sticking with Tip #2 of yesterday's 10 Tips for Getting Your Children to Eat a Variety of Foods, I added the Lotus Root to our stir fry dinner.  This gave it a different flavor and texture, and I am happy to share that they both gobbled it up at dinner!
Organic Produce
Get your own:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crunch a Color Healthy Lunch Challenge

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I was so excited when I found out I was chosen to participate in Crunch a Color's Healthy Lunch Challenge - Round 2!  I am deeply passionate about healthy eating, so this was right up my alley!
Crunch-A-Color

My children love healthy foods, but I am always looking for new ways to encourage healthy eating habits.  Not only are nutritious foods critical to their health now, but instilling these healthy habits in them will help assure that they will continue to choose nutritious options throughout their lives.

While it is never too early to start encouraging healthy eating, I am a firm believer that it is also never too late.  Whether your children are accustomed to eating a variety of nutritious foods or if this is a newer concept for them, the Crunch a Color game is a perfect companion to your efforts.

This exciting game can be used at any meal, but for this challenge I am going to focus on packing a healthy lunch.  Having a proper container is obviously the first step in packing a nutritious lunch.  While I have many different bento boxes, my Easy LunchBoxes have quickly become a favorite for lunchtime.  You can read my review of these amazing lunch boxes here.  

Once you have chosen your container, you need to decide what to pack.  This doesn't have to be a difficult process.  The Crunch a Color game provides a simple formula to assist you in this step:  THREE COLORS + ONE PROTEIN + ONE HEALTHY GRAIN = ONE NUTRITIOUS MEAL!  The cards give you tons of ideas for each color, and you certainly don't have to stop at three.  Be sure to include a combination of fruits and vegetables.  The goal of the game is to earn a minimum of 30 points using the formula above.  Each food has a different point value and the options are endless.  

I packed this lunch quickly using groceries I already had on hand (no special planning).  I began with a leftover whole wheat hot dog bun and filled it with nitrate free deli meat.  My lunch included lots of raw veggies, including corn, carrots, red bell peppers and broccoli.  I like to serve our veggies raw at lunch.  It is faster than cooking them, and they stay fresh until it's time to eat.  I also included fresh mango, blackberries and blueberries, as well as a few cubes of Monterrey Jack cheese.  I added a few food picks for fun.
CrunchAColor-EasyLunchBoxes

Here is the tally of points for this lunch:
Whole Grain Bun - 5
Protein - 10
Corn & Carrots (I combined these into one serving) - 10
Red Bell Peppers - 10
Broccoli - 10
Mango - 5
Blueberries & Blackberries - 5

Adding 5 points for their water, brings us to a grand total of 60 POINTS = WIN!!

A bonus is that this lunch only took me about 7 minutes to make!  My kids devoured their lunches and were so excited to get their point cards.  They even gobbled up the raw broccoli (the one thing they usually struggle to finish) without a word!  

Our family is having our own challenge using the Crunch a Color game.  Using the included reward chart, we have a special trip planned if the kids get at least 30 points each day for 4 weeks!

10 Tips for getting your children to eat a variety of foods:
1. Allow them to do the shopping!  Kids tend to eat what they pick out.
2. Keep trying - even if they don't eat it at first, keep offering it.  Eventually, they will eat it.
3. Provide them with a variety of healthy options at each meal.
4. Dress it up.  Whether using cutters, picks or cups, kids love cute food.
5. Have at least one meal a day where only fresh, healthy foods are offered.
6. Teach by example.  Seeing you eat healthy foods makes them more likely to join in.
7. Allow them to help.  Kids are more likely to try something that they have helped to make.
8. Make it a game - Crunch a Color is your PERFECT solution!
9. Eat together as a family - at the table - for at least one meal each day. 
10. Be prepared.  Having fresh, healthy options washed, cut and ready to eat encourages healthy eating.  If it is easy to eat, they're more likely to grab it!


Here is a grocery list I made a couple years ago for my little one to assist him in picking out his own produce.  He chooses one fruit and one vegetable for each color and marks it off on the list.  He loves to go to the store with his own cart and choose his own items, and he ALWAYS eats them!  I encourage him to try new things each time, rather than the same old favorites.  Feel free to click on the photo below to download and print it for your own little one!
Want to buy your own?

   

Friday, May 17, 2013

15 Minute Friday #9

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Welcome to 15 Minute Fridays - Week 9!

My fellow bento bloggers and I often receive inquiries regarding the amount of time it takes to make the bento lunches we post on our blogs.  Bentos don't have to take much more time to pack than a standard lunch!

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week.  I love seeing all of your beautiful and fast lunch ideas.

Do you have a cute and easy bento that can be made in 15 minutes or less?  If so, feel free to join in!  It's simple.  Copy the URL of your blog post (not your home page) and enter it into the linky below.  Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps.

It isn't necessary for your blog post to show a timer, but feel free to include that if you would like.

I would love for you to include my button or a link back to my blog.
Bentos on the Bayou
My super simple 15 Minute Bento:
What's in the Box?
Scrambled Eggs with Bell Peppers
Avocado, Tomatoes, Carrots, Watermelon Radish
Kiwi, Blueberries

Supplies:

 
Show off yours now:

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