E started school today (well, sort of, half the new kids go today and half tomorrow, his first day with his whole class will be Friday). Apparently he had a blast--I've pried a few details out of him, so I know there was a story about school, a game of duck duck goose, and he made some patterns. Oh, and their class went out in the woods (the school has an outdoor classroom with a short groomed trail through the woods).
He has needed packed lunches/snacks for various programs before, but this was our first day packing for the "balanced nutritional day" that's standard in schools here now. For those not in Ontario, this approach means the school takes two breaks a day to eat. Frequently one is a bit more like lunch and the other a hearty snack, but some kids will eat more or less of course.
I decided to get a lunchbox with two compartments, each large enough to hold a good amount. I also picked up two "Yumbox" bento style containers after reading rave reviews. They cost a few dollars more than some similar containers, but by all accounts they work so much better it seemed worth it. So today's two meals looked like this:
The box with more sections is designed to have something from each food group, although of course you can put whatever combination you want in there--but it seems like a good starting point. The other one (the "panino" style) has a larger section that could hold a sandwich, and then room for two sides. Both have a small round section that can hold dips or treats. The design of these containers is fabulous--each compartment seals tight, so you can pack runny foods like yogurt or applesauce without making a huge mess. And it all opens and closes with just one latch, which is designed to be easy for young kids to open but secure when closed. Less mess, more independence. My only complaint is that they are heavy, especially when you pack two in the same lunchbox! For now we've struck a deal that E will carry his backpack but I will carry the lunchbox separately while we walk to school, which should be fine.
As the post title suggests, I was going to share a recipe with you tonight--the one for those mini muffins in the above lunchbox! But it got late, and the notepad with my measurements scrawled on it is downstairs and I am not. So tomorrow I will hopefully be back with details about the strawberry oatmeal muffins.