Quirky Lunch Boxes–Brownbagging shouldn’t be boring either

bento, lunch, products, school lunches | December 27, 2013 | By

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Even as an adult, taking your lunch to work doesn’t have to be boring. And being quirky, doesn’t mean it should be impractical either.
 
Of the 18 amazing lunch boxes that Emily (hi Emily! I didn’t forget…I’m just slow!) pointed out to me a couple months ago, I think the above might be my favorite. I’m pretty sure it even trumps the NES box below.
 
It’s not because it’s that strange…or even that it’s the most practical. Realistically, it’s only good for sandwiches and I have no idea how it’s supposed to be cleaned regularly. I think it’s cool that I wouldn’t have to try to find the right size ziplock bag to squish my sandwich into and then later, try to wiggle it back out of without losing all my fillings. If it actually holds it in place like it appears to, then it’s perfect for tossing a sandwich in your bag and not wondering if it’ll still look like a sandwich by lunchtime, ha!
 
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This one is also a mix of quirky but practical. I’m a little concerned about using those utensils and how that outside would get cleaned easily after using it as a tray every day, but that’s probably because I’m a messy either and others wouldn’t have to worry about it.
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I’m not nearly as eco-friendly as I probably should be, but I fully support others who take the time, energy, and money to clean up their footprint. I’ve seen these metal cases a few times already now and the reviews are great. You skip the plastic and the pieces stack nicely without being overly inconvenient. I don’t think any kid is going to get teased for taking these to school either, which is a nice bonus for most school-aged kids. And the different sizes makes them easy to work with for bento boxes, too.
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And then of course this one is going to get a few points from me, just because I’m still a bit nostalgic for my old NESes. The only thing it’s missing is the butterknife sticking out of the front to make sure the game (or lunch?) stays in place.

The fine line between enforcing the rules and being ridiculous

A note sent home from a Canadian day care saying that a mom had been charged $10 for a pack of Ritz crackers because her child's meal didn't have the required 2 grains. The note fully says "Meals that are provided to children (by either the center or the parent) are required to have: 1 milk, 1 meat, 2 grain, and 2 fruits/vegetables. According to licensing guidelines, the center is required to supplement lunches that contain anything less than this. Today you were missing Grain -1. Had meat, potatoes, mlk, carrots, organge. Your account will be charged $10.00. Motion: Parents will be charged $5 per child, per item missing, if the child's lunch is not a balanced meal according to the Canadian Food Guide effective April 17/12. Carried.

The mother, Kristen Bartkiw from Manitoba, sent homemade roast beef, potatoes, milk, carrots, and an orange for her kids’ lunch that day. Because the lunch was missing its second grain, the school gave her kids Ritz crackers to ‘supplement’ the meal and she was subsequently charged $10 ($5 per kid).

Now the price sounds ridiculous for a pack of crackers, but I understand setting it high like that to encourage parents to pay close attention and make sure they’re sending a fully balanced meal. And hey, if they don’t want to go through that effort, I’m sure the school provides a balanced lunch they can choose to buy instead.

The part I find ridiculous is that a pack of crackers doesn’t logically make this meal that much better for the kids. I read in one article that quoted the school worker (or maybe it was a daycare worker?) as saying that she could send microwave Kraft dinner with them every day and it would count as the grain.

I know they’re just enforcing the rules and if they let one bit slide, then it opens it up to a lot of interpretation and conflict….. but come on. Is it really worth their time to go around to every meal and count to make sure each kid has the right number of each type of food? And even if they somehow have nothing better to do, this is no way guarantees the kids will even EAT those foods, so what’s the point?

If I were in this boat, I would probably just toss an extra pack of crackers into the bag every day and be done with it. I don’t think having two grains is nutritionally better for them and would rather add more veggies or fruits if the kids would eat them. I had a hard enough time making sure the bento boxes I used to make had all the right proportions as it was….but to try to make sure I was fitting the school’s guidelines, too, by having separate grains instead of a single, larger portion of one? Ugh.

Japanese have all the food art fun – Tank Sushi

asian, edible art, food art, lookalikes, sushi | September 9, 2013 | By

Sushi shaped like a battle tank with raw fish, caviar fish eggs, and asparagus gun from japanese restaurant

I know I could easily fill an entire blog with just quirky bento boxes and another of creative sushi creations. I can barely keep up with getting posts up regularly for this one, though, so you’re stuck with seeing an overwhelming amount of Asian dishes around here sometimes.

These sushi tanks are actually inspired by a Japanese anime series, Gurls und Panzer (Panzer is German for ‘tank’). I wish I knew how much these cost, but I can’t seem to get any additional information about these than what I just told you.

Japanese sushi creation that looks like a panzer tank from Gurls und Panzer anime cartoon