Today's post features a lunch which was made for Small Child when I was temporarily out of action last week by Mr Amazing - yes, Daddy finally made another lunch! But even better than that (in my book anyway), he took the brave step of writing the accompanying blog post as well - his first ever! Be sure to leave him lots of comments and be nice! - Grace
Hello! Mr Amazing here - Grace's long-suffering husband and bento widower! Though my lunch efforts have been featured here before, this is my first ever post, but I thought I'd take over the reins today to share my own recent experience.
Now, once in a blue moon (once in this whole school year in fact!) Grace finds herself unable to provide Small Child's lunch and the job falls to a reluctant Dad: me. The temptation is certainly there to opt for the time-honoured sandwich-crisps-juice combo - it worked for my folks, but then I did turn into a fat kid.
Anyway, I digress... thing is, I worry in these circumstances when Mum has to be away (this time for a short hospital stay) that the boy will feel doubly abandoned if he opens his usually lovingly packed bento box to find a ham-fisted ham sandwich and a packet of Monster Munch (actually, I'd love that, if they were pickled onion flavour!).
So, off I went into the kitchen to give it a go. What lunch box would I choose? What theme would I go with? In the end, after realising that I'd failed to stock up our larder the day before and we were dangerously low on ingredients, the results were pretty basic.
Still, what becomes apparent very quickly is that by following simple guidelines about what to include - you know, grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, non-dairy protein etc, you can come up with a balanced meal without even having to think. The lunch box itself, with its useful compartments and pots, dictates the amounts so your brain is free to tackle other ideas, like how to stop Small Baby eating mud from the buggy wheels whilst you find Small Child's school bag!
Anyway, it's a wholemeal wrap with ham, houmous and cucumber (oh it's a ham sandwich after all!) topped with eyes. Why not! Carrot sticks with a giraffe (obviously), natural yoghurt with grapes and blueberries to dip and a smiley face Babybel - I did attempt to use a cutter to stamp Small Child's initial on the cheese but in my enthusiasm I squashed it flat! Still, it distracted Small Baby from eating the mud.
Even for a novice like me all of this took no longer than a traditional packed lunch with no extra thought, and, though I say so myself, it all looks pretty good. And what did the boy think? Well, he said he loved it, especially the top wrap monster who is poking out his tongue! Success.