Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Why 360 Lunch Boxes? Why not 365?

Because there are 180 days in a typical school year, and I have two children.

Not all school lunches are junk. My child's school provides home-cooked, nutritious meals that my child happily devours.

I think that's wonderful! I wish that all schools worldwide would follow suit. However, it's been my experience that school lunches consist of flavored milk, breaded meat-like entree, canned, heavily salted vegetables, and canned fruits.

Is it more expensive to pack a nutritious lunch?

Some days, it will be more expensive. Other days, I will come in under the lunch cost of $2.00 per day per child. Cost is an important factor, but nutrition is more important to me. I can't see spending $4.00 per day to get my children small portions of junk that won't tide them over until they get home. I'd rather spend that money feeding them properly.

Why do you want to go through all the trouble of making cute lunches? What's wrong with peanut butter & jelly, an apple, and a juice box?

Nothing, I suppose. Making the lunches cute is something I'm choosing to do. It's a hobby for me. And it's more fun for the kids to eat a carrot cut into a flower, or an egg shaped like a star. I have the time. I have the inclination. If you don't, that's okay.

Will they really eat all that fancy stuff?

My kids will. I'm tailoring their lunches to their appetites and preferences, though good nutrition will win every time.

Aren't you worried about them trading their homemade stuff for packaged junk? Aren't you just feeding other people's children?

Sometimes. I don't worry about it, but I do realize there will be days when my California rolls are traded for Fruit Roll-Ups. Kids will be kids. Our schools do have rules against food sharing, but kids still do it. I'm okay with it. Sometimes, I even pack extras so that they have cafeteria currency for swapping.

What equipment do you use?

My stash is ever-growing, but currently, I have the following:

These containers from Easy LunchBoxes make packing a snap!

These are my hard-boiled egg molds.

A Laptop Lunch System 2.0

Here's what you see when you unzip the case

When you open the outer compartment, you find the inner ones!

I love the heavy-duty stainless steel utensils included in this set!

I bought Bento Buddies to give me more packing options.

Some veggie cutters.

Rice molds

Hello Kitty Bento Box set -- super cute

Removed from carrying sack

It comes with an elastic strap to keep it together.

You remove the top lid and it exposes your chopsticks!

Then, you separate the top and bottom compartments. Both have sealing lids.

Removing the sealing lids exposes the meal.

Water bottle

SOME of my stash of cloth napkins. Nothing goes in the trash this year.

Question not answered here? Ask away in the comments section. I'll do my best to answer.


  1. Nice! I love my Easy Lunch Boxes and I think I'm going to make an elastic strap for around them (I'm not thrilled with how the lids don't really "snap" together). Cute molds for rice and eggs (we can't do eggs). Do you prefer the Laptop Lunch System over the Easy Lunch Boxes or does it depend on what you're dishing up? My kiddos have allergies, so I like to make their lunches extra special so they don't feel like they are missing out - and to make the non-allergy kids jealous! :) I've got you bookmarked!

    PS- I'm making up some re-usable snack baggies and sandwich wrappers for use too...I too am trying to eliminate the plastic baggies! I got the pattern on Etsy (a green sleeve - I think). They are super easy to make (I made a set for teacher gifts this last year).

  2. I like your new blog. I bought my daughter a Bento 2.0 this summer to use this coming school year. She goes back and forth between eating school lunch and bringing from home. I like packing her lunches because they are so much healthier then the school lunch.

    I'll definately be following this blog for the year!

  3. Great! i can't wait to see what you make. School doesn't start for another 1 1/2 months but I'll be using the Laptop Lunchbox and Easy Lunch boxes as well.I'm up for new and fresh ideas. Can you tell me where you got those napkins?

  4. Michelle, congratulations on your new blog! I love your home cooking blog. The content is so useful and always grabs my attention and your writing style is so comfortable. I recently started trying my hand at bentos and I can't wait to read more from you. Best of luck!

    Kim M.

  5. Thanks for all the well wishes! Sorlynn, some of my napkins were purchased at a thrift store. Some were online. Litter-free lunch is a good brand -- Google them. :)

  6. I pack all reusables in my daughters lunch...except napkins! I never thought about sending cloth napkins, but I don't know why. It's perfect. I am going to start using the cloth napkins this year. Great idea. I'm a new follower. Looking forward to your inspiration.

  7. eToro is the #1 forex trading platform for new and pro traders.