Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Gear

(This does not include cooking and baking supplies)

So, admittedly, I am a bit crazy.  In my defense, most of these boxes were less than $2 each from Ichibankan before they closed their online store.  Now, you could probably find similar ones, at slightly higher prices, by searching for Bento on ebay.
It started simple.  These are Lock n' Lock that you can find at Walmart, and the larger ones are called Biokips, and they were carried by a local store for a while.  I snagged them, then they disappeared. They are cool, too, because they have dividers in them.

Because isn't that the way it always goes.

So, I began searching for additional containers.  That's when the madness set in....

First, I found these at the grocery store.  Simple, sweet... but kind of small and boring.  And you can't fit two in a standard lunchbox (we have one from Land's End).  So, they were great for snacks, but not so great for lunch.

Off in search again, I discovered the dangerous (and sadly no longer available) website from Ichibankan, akin to a Japanese dollar store that has shops in some places, mainly California.  Since I am in Vermont, the brick & mortar shops weren't happening, but the online store was great while it lasted.

I got these square containers (great for snacks!  They fit into the top pouch of the lunch box, and since my daughter is young, she gets a morning snack).  They are about 4"x4".  Perfect.

And then, there's lunch... here's where the fun begins.  Two of these ovals usually make about the right amount of lunch.  And they are so cute!  I just can't get enough of them!  (There is one two-tiered one in there. I'm not a huge fan on that one.  It doesn't fit as well in the lunch box).

I am so in love with this size that I am always on the lookout for more, even though I obviously don't need more.  I mean, I have one kid in school.  My other kid is 3, and he doesn't go to pre-school.  (By the way, it's REALLY hard to find non-Pokemon etc boyish boxes... always on the lookout for those, for when he goes to school... but I digress).

And to go along with these beauties?  Dividers.  Silicone muffin cups work really well (and you can get them in sweet shapes, too.  I don't have shaped ones.  Yet.  Some of the boxes also came with these pink dividers.  They work great.  They don't fit in all of the boxes, though, and that's a bummer.

Another thing that's really handy are little tiny sauce containers.  They are perfect for ranch dressing or ketchup or nutella or hummus or all sorts of little dips.  I found these at Ichibankan, but I've seen them on ebay.  I love them, and I really think they are necessary.  Maybe not as many as I have, but a couple at least... They are really small, about an inch and a half across at the most.  And yes, there is a little penguin in back there.  Don't buy it.  It's cute, but the latch broke after the first use and I can only use in for very secure things now.  I would toss it, but I'm afraid my daughter would stage a revolt.

These little covered containers are also super handy.  I use them for things like mandarin oranges or applesauce or yogurt or other slightly wet fruit.  The little ovals are about 1 1/2"x3" and fit readily inside the larger oval boxes.  The squares (at least the larger one) don't fit as well into the larger boxes, but I just couldn't resist them.  I mean, that squirrel is about the cutest thing ever.  I had to get it.

Skewers and food picks are a really fun way of adding some zest to your kid's lunch.  Kids seem to just love things served on sticks!  I have a little container full of them and my daughter loves them.  I make mini sausage and cheese kabobs for her and she really likes those.  Skewering fruit instantly makes it more fun.  Trust me.  These range from really tiny (less than 1/2" pick length) to about 3" long.  Sometimes, it's just fun to stick one in the top of something which is otherwise mundane.

I have an unabashed love affair with cookie cutters of all sizes, and these little mini sets are just lovely.  I can use them to make shapes in the wax around a Babybell cheese, or to cut out pieces of ham or thinly sliced carrot.  The possibilities are endless.  (And I have a whole lot more where these came from).  Those little mini cookie cutters you see at the store might not be great for making actual cookies, but for decoration, they are fantastic.

Now, here's where I get a little fancy (and even more crazy).  Hard boiled egg molds.  So super cute.  My daughter loves hard boiled eggs.  With these little babies, you hard boil an egg, peel it while still hot, slap it into the mold, close it, and put it in the fridge or in ice water.  I put them in the fridge overnight.  Before you put them in the lunch, just pop them out and voila - shaped egg.  They really work.  I was skeptical at first.  I usually use an egg slicer to cut them in slices, but not always.  The heart and star don't work as well as the others.  I think you need a bigger egg.  They're a different brand or something.  You could go super crazy and color the eggs with food coloring or even draw on them with those food markers.  I don't usually go that far.  I have my limits.

And how do I store it all?  Tetris-like in a big giant bin.  I can't get any more, you see.  Nothing else would fit.

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  1. See, I said the same thing and then ended up buying storage drawers!

  2. I'm trying to hold off on drawers, at least until my son starts school and I have to have boxes for him, too! (love your blog, btw!)

  3. Where can the food skewers from? I looked on ebay, but didn't find anything. Will try amazon.

  4. Shannon - search for "food picks" on Amazon. (And I am an Amazon affiliate, so I'd appreciate if you clicked to Amazon through my blog. :D)