Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bento for Baby 69: Multi-grain Blueberry Muffin and Avocado Hummus Tortilla Roll

For her morning snack on this day, Baby Girl had two mini mixed grain blueberry muffins from the freezer and some halved grapes.  This was packed in the bottom section of my favorite small green tiffin box.  For lunch, packed in the top section of the tiffin box, I gave her some avocado hummus tortilla rolls.  I started with a typical hummus recipe with chickpeas and tahini, but substituted a small avocado for most of the tahini and some of the olive oil.  It turned out quite nicely; it had a strong avocado flavor but the chickpeas made it a bit heartier.  I spread this on a warmed 100% whole wheat tortilla, topped that with some grated cheddar cheese and rolled it up.  With her tortilla rolls, I gave Baby Girl some thin carrot sticks, a sunbutter oatmeal ball and some chunks of pear.

Supplies similar to those used in this lunch:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bento for Baby 68: Yogurt with Granola and Zucchini and White Bean Canneloni

Baby Girl had some of her favorites in today's bento!  She hasn't been eating very much at school lately, so I thought I'd stack the deck to encourage her a bit.  I packed most of her food for the day together in a U Konserve Rectangle container, but I intended some for her morning snack and some for her lunch.  For snack, I gave her some plain greek yogurt in the smallest container from the Kids Konserve Nesting Trio.  To eat with that I included some homemade granola and some frozen blueberries.   Our entire household has become a bit obsessed with homemade granola the last few months.  We all love it for breakfasts and snacks.  I make a slightly sweeter one for the grown ups and a version with little to no added sweetener for Baby Girl.   I much prefer it to store bought cereal.

Anyway, back to the bento.  To eat for lunch I included a zucchini and apricot muffin from the freezer and some frozen edamame and peas in the U Konserve Rectangle.  I also gave her some leftover zucchini and white bean cannelloni I made for dinner the night before in a 4 ounce glass canning jar so it could be warmed in the microwave .  This is a fantastic dish where sautéed grated zucchini, white beans and spinach are wrapped in whole wheat crepes and then baked in a creamy ricotta based sauce.  I will post the recipe when I have time to type it all out.  It's not a quick and easy dinner, but it is so delicious it is worth the effort!

Items used to pack this bento:

Bento for Baby Recipe: Grown-up Granola

I've been making granola at home for a few months now.  My husband is a bit obsessed with it.  I like it a lot better than any store bought cereal.  For the adults, I make a recipe that combines a recipe by Melissa Clark from the New York Times where she tested how little sugar you can use in a popular recipe for olive oil granola and still end up with tasty results, and a great recipe by David Lebovitz that uses unsweetened apple sauce in place of some of the oil.  For Baby Girl, I make a granola with unsweetened apple sauce and no added refined sugar.  She loves it.

You can certainly adapt the nuts and dried fruit to your tastes, but this is our favorite combination.


5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup organic unsweetened apple sauce
5 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 cup sweetened dried cherries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.  I like to mix in the flax seed meal after stirring everything else together.  That keeps the finely ground flax seed meal from coating everything and inhibiting clumping.  Clumps are the best part of granola!

Spread mixture out on a sheet tray and press it into an even layer with a spatula.  Bake in oven until lightly browned, about 40 minutes.  Stir the granola every 10 to 15 minutes, compressing with spatula after every stirring to ensure granola clumps together.

Cool completely and then mix in the dried cherries.  Store in an airtight container.

Bento for Baby Recipe: Kiddo Granola (Sugar Free)

This is a very low sugar version of the grown-up granola that I make.  It can also be made without nuts in case of allergies or if your child can't eat nuts safely yet.  The apple sauce makes the granola clump together nicely, so it is easy for kids to pick up with their hands.  My daughter LOVES this for breakfast and snacks, alone or with plain yogurt.  I have made it without the maple syrup, and my daughter still enjoys it, so you can make this completely sugar free if you desire.


1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup organic unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon real maple syrup (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1/4 cup walnut pieces (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Spread mixture out on a sheet tray and press it into an even layer with a spatula.  Bake in oven until lightly browned, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Stir the granola every 10 to 15 minutes, compressing with spatula after every stirring to ensure granola clumps together.

Cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bento for Baby 67: Zucchini Apricot Muffin and Sausage Squash and Brussels Sprout Pizza

Dan made an absolutely delicious pizza for dinner last night.  It had mild Italian sausage, roasted delicata squash, roasted Brussels sprouts and fresh mozzarella on homemade whole wheat dough.  It was a perfect combination of slightly spicy, sweet and bitter.   Baby Girl has been cautious of Brussels sprouts and squash lately, but even she recognized the deliciousness of this pizza and ate a whole slice without picking it apart.  So, for her lunch the next day, I gave her two small slices of the leftover pizza.  I included a mishmash of other food with the pizza in the U Konserve Rectangle for her to eat for morning snack and lunch.  She got half a pear, some carrot and cucumber sticks, some halved green grapes, a sunbutter oatmeal ball, a zucchini apricot muffin from the freezer and a few squares of organic cheddar cheese.  An interesting note about the zucchini muffin - I was chatting with my husband while making this new batch recently, and I completely forgot to add the small amount of brown sugar called for in the recipe.  Guess what?  They are still rather tasty!  Baby Girl actually seems to prefer them this way! Next time I make them I think I'll put just a tiny bit of sugar in them, because the bite of the baking soda without any sugar is a bit sharp for me.  But I'm really glad that I can make a healthy muffin even healthier!

Items used to pack this bento:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bento for Baby 66: Pancakes and Avocado Pita

Baby Girl had some of her Papa's Awesome Pancakes along with some sliced green grapes for her morning snack on this day.  This was packed into the left side of the U Konserve Rectangle.  Food for her lunch took up the remaining portion the container.  Her lunch consisted of half a 100% whole wheat pita filled with a mix of Greek yogurt and avocado, some frozen broccoli and peas in the orange silicone cup and a trail mix of dried apricots, almond slivers and walnut pieces in the white silicone cup.

Items used to pack this bento:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bento for Baby 64: Peanut Butter Banana Rolls

I tried out something new for Baby Girl's bento this day - peanut butter banana tortilla rolls.  I've seen these on various lunch idea/recipe sites, and bananas and peanut butter some of Baby Girl's favorite things, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I zapped a 100% whole wheat tortilla in the microwave for a few seconds to make it malleable, spread it with some of my favorite freshly ground no-additive peanut butter, wrapped it round a peeled banana, trimmed the ends and cut it into four equal pieces.  I'm not sure if she'll eat this for morning snack or lunch (or eat it at all!) so I packed a bunch of other filling things to round out her lunch and snack.  With the banana rolls I put some slices of purple carrot and English cucumber in the orange silicone cup.  In the bottom section of the tiffin box I gave her some chickpeas, sliced green grapes, cubes of aged gouda cheese and one sunbutter oatmeal ball.  

Supplies similar to those used in this bento: