Archive for the ‘Toddlers & Kids’ Category

Back to basics

February 7th, 2010

Gosh, it has been a while, hasn’t it?  Things have changed so much for me too. 

Since the start of the new year 2010, I have been packing lunch boxes for my son.  His school serves lunch too, but I figured if I pack his lunch for him, I would also be able to tell what he eats and what he doesn’t.  It will mean more work for me in the mornings, but it will be well worth it.

For now though, I can only manage simple bentos for my picky eater.  He likes his alphabets and numbers, so I try to inject an element of those things once in a while.


This is a really simple bento of spaghetti marinara with chicken meat spelled out in his name, cut up sausages and sliced apples.  I mix the spaghetti with a little bit of grapeseed oil to avoid it from sticking.  Olive oil works too, I believe.

Toddlers & Kids

Fuss-free Non-spicy Kid’s Bento

October 30th, 2009

The absence of posts here does not mean that I have not been cooking.  Nor does it mean that I have not been eating.  On the contrary, it just means that I hardly have the time and luxury to prepare elaborate bentos.  My toddler takes just a simple snack box to school, so I wouldn’t call it a bento per se.

However lately, when hubbs and I decide to dine in places where we know the food will not be suitable for my son’s palate, I will pack a really simple fuss-free bento.  Something I know will appeal to my tot, and will make him full too. Here’s an example of the bento I packed:

We have apple slices with a mini box of Milo, 2 steamed paus filled with lotus seed paste and some chocolate chip cookies.

I packed them all using the Lock n Lock lunch set I had asked a friend to get for me.

And it all keeps nicely in the stylish insulated bag too!

But you know kids…they can’t eat anything brought from home if their parents are eating restaurant food….SIGH!
If I remember correctly, he only finished the box of Milo!

Toddlers & Kids

Gearing up for Lunch?

September 5th, 2009

Has it been that long since my last post?  My tardiness has definitely got nothing to do with me not eating at all, because of course I have been eating!

However, as for preparing and packing bentos, time has not been on my side, I’m afraid.

My toddler has started school a few weeks ago, and since the school provides lunch, I only pack a small snack box for him to take along, usually consisting of cookies and muffins.  I’m considering packing his lunch though, because he doesn’t seem to eat a lot of what they serve (safe for last Friday when he downed 2 bowls of rice!)


In any case, if I were to pack lunch for my kids, I would certainly want to use an insulated lunch sack.  One that is not too bulky but yet does its job well…something like the insulated lunch sacks at Kids Konserve.  It comes in Moss and Beach designs and guess what, it’s made totally from a reusable plastic bottle!  How cool is that!?


I also like this Nesting Trio set.  It looks pretty handy and dandy, though my concern would be if my kids would be able to open the cover safely without spilling the contents.

Lovin’ these stuff from Kids Konserve simply because they look good and yet I’ll feel good knowing that I am greening the environment while using them too!  And here’s the good news: all you readers out there will get to enjoy a 15% discount off everything in the Kids Konserve Store from now till October 31 2009.  Just use the coupon code bento at checkout!

Happy bento-ing everyone!

All pictures credited to Kids Konserve.

General, Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment

Bento with Mother’s Cookies

May 22nd, 2009

About a month ago, I received an email from the Editorial Team of Foodbuzz with regards to their Tastemaker program.  I had expressed my interest to become a Tastemaker participant sometime back, and Foodbuzz was now inviting me to sample the latest Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies.

Well, of course I agreed…and look what the mailman brought yesterday…


Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies is apparently an old-time favorite, but strangely enough, although I had not heard of it before this, the taste of these cookies do evoke a certain nostalgia, like I have tasted them before.

Anyway, they were all animal-shaped cookies coated in pink or white glazed sugar and sprinkled with colorful sprinkles.  I knew they would make a wonderful bento for my son.


So he had Hainanese chicken rice, with slices of cucumber, sliced strawberries and some Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies.  The moment he saw his bento, he exclaimed, “Candies!”  Guess what he ate first? 😛

Toddlers & Kids

Bento for Moi

April 15th, 2009

Trust me, I am no pro at creating intricate bentos that people wow at, but the Who-R-U? Bento contest run by Javapot made me curious enough to challenge myself… that, and the fact that the prize of the awesome Thermos set was calling out to me…

Anyway, I made it before the deadline of the contest and here is the end result:

The contest required the contestant to create a bento reflecting the bento packer himself/herself.  Inspired in part by this fabulously done bento, I created one along the same lines, with a few changes here and there.

My tiger head (which looks more like a kitty cat now) represents my blog identity: The Bento Tigress.  Also, my Chinese zodiac sign is the tiger, so this fits me perfectly!  The tiger’s head is made from egg fried rice, eyes from hard-boiled eggs and nori, the ears are from sliced frankfurters, the nose is a sliced piece of carrot and the mouth is from hard-boiled eggs too.

The simple colorful pasta shapes of garden creatures represents my love for nature, and the musical notes made from nori represents my love for anything music.  Also, I love Italian food like pasta, and the chunky bolognese sauce is the perfect accompaniment for it.

The heart-shaped sausage shows that I am a tender-hearted person, the food picks that held the sausage pieces together turned out looking like outstretched arms ready for a hug! 🙂

What about the teddy bear shaped nori?  Well teddy bears are fuzzy and adorable and full of love, right? … just like me!  Well, not the fuzzy part but you get my drift! 😛

At the top left corner, I added some flowered red grapes with carrots.  I love flowers!  Oh, and the brocolli is my current favorite vegetable!

Creating this bento was a lot of fun!  I am not sure how long I really took to complete it, but it was about an hour or so, because I had to pause intermittently to take care of my baby. 🙂

Adults, Toddlers & Kids , , , , , ,

Very useful cookie cutters

April 15th, 2009

I bought a set of three cookie cutters last weekend.  The set costs USD2.49 for three shapes: circle, star and heart.  And I have been using these to jazz up meals for my picky eater ever since. 

I asked him if he would like to have a star sandwich and his face lit up in amazement.  I brought out the bread and butter, spread the butter on the bread and taught him how to cut the star shape out.  He finished the entire STAR!  I’ve even used these cookie cutters to place steamed rice in, just so it creates the shapes for fun.  Sure helps a lot with eating the rice! 🙂

Yesterday I even ventured so far as to try making a happy face rice with the circle cookie cutter, and some cut up nori.  These cookie cutters sure are essential items in any bento packer’s collection!

Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment

Pasta, Franks and Chicken Fries Bento

April 7th, 2009


I bought some fancy-shaped pasta yesterday and thought it would be cool to incorporate that element into Ethan’s dinner bento.  So his bento yesterday evening was a simple sausage and pasta salad with Mickey & Friends pasta shapes, slices of chicken franks/sausages and some broccoli.  I also offered some chicken fries (frozen cooked ones which I baked in the oven for about 15 minutes or so) served with ranch dressing.

Ethan immediately ate the franks (he loves them), but only ate ONE Mickey-shaped pasta, after Daddy and Mommy each had one too.  He did not even touch the chicken fries, but tasted the ranch dressing a little.  He made a face though. LOL

I am now on the lookout for alphabet chicken nuggets, so if anyone knows where I can find these, please let me know 🙂

Toddlers & Kids , , , ,

Chicken Dippers Bento

April 5th, 2009


I decided to introduce something unique to my son for his bento dinner meal last Friday.  I had just bought some fresh chicken breast fillet from the supermarket that afternoon, so I decided to try out this simple Chicken Dippers recipe from Chef Michael Smith.  I didn’t have any corn meal, so I used Quaker oats instead. 

Curiosity got the better of me and I just had to try one of the chicken dippers after they were baked and they actually tasted quite good.  I had wanted to serve the dippers with ranch dressing, but since I did not have any available, I served them with good ol’ mayo instead.

For carbs, there was some steamed rice, and for vegetables, I put some steamed broccoli and sliced carrots.

Unfortunately, Ethan didn’t want any of the chicken dippers 🙁 and only had the rice with some gravy.  Does anyone have any other ideas how to make my boy eat some protein?

Toddlers & Kids , , , ,

Car Bento for the Picky Eater

April 2nd, 2009

My son Ethan is an extremely picky eater.  He doesn’t like meat, vegetables, fruits…he only likes rice with soy sauce or gravy.  I have had to sneak in pieces of meat just to make him eat some, but most of the time, he would insist on inspecting the food before putting it in his mouth.

It is my fervent hope that creating nice-to-look-at bentos for his meals would entice him to try new foods, and hopefully make him eat more nutritiously.

So yesterday evening, I decided to make him a nice bento dinner.  I frankly don’t have any tools to create cutesy shapes for kids so I had to create something from what little items I had.  So I whipped up this simple car bento (made from steamed rice) in about 30 minutes (took a little bit longer because I had to mould the car into shape without the use of a car mould!).  The wheels of the car are decorated with cheese slices and boiled carrot slices, whilst the windows are made from steamed minced pork and egg, which my Mom made.

I added some grapes with food picks to make it interesting, and I put some soy sauce in a mini bottle so my boy could have some fun pouring it over his rice. 

I used a Donald Duck bento box and Ethan was just so excited when he saw it!  He wanted to open it right away!


The first thing he did was to put one grape in his mouth!  But he did not eat it though – he merely played with it…

However, he enjoyed pouring the sauce on his rice, and although he still picked out the meat and did not touch the cheese and carrots, he at least finished most of the rice.  He was very distracted by the Donald Duck box though…do you think I should use something less distracting the next time?

Toddlers & Kids , , , ,

A great find and an awesome giveaway!

April 1st, 2009

I stumbled on a gem of a bento blog today.  It’s called Maisie Eats Bento, and it has all these really cool and simple bentos made for a picky toddler.

Wow…that is so ironic, because I just decided today that I would start making my son’s meals a little more eye-pleasing for him in an effort to entice him to eat more nutritious food.  My three-year-old boy is a fussy little eater too, and so picky when it comes to food.

Anyway, I don’t have that many tools for making his food interesting.  Not yet anyway…so I would have to make do with whatever I have and squeeze whatever creative juices my brain can produce.

However, discovering Maisie Eats Bento has never been more timely, because to celebrate the 100th bento on that blog, Lisa (the writer) is running a mega-awesome giveaway for a little starter kit for bento packing.  Check out the prize with all its goodies:

Photo credits

Mouth-watering, innit? 🙂

I’ve entered my name in the random prize drawing – so if you haven’t and are itching to win, hurry on and do so before the giveaway closes on Sunday, April 5 2009 at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

General, Toddlers & Kids, Tools & Equipment