Monday, September 02, 2013

Of Empty Nests and Bento Lunches!

So, it has been a week since the new school year has begun here in our part of the woods (North Texas). My elder son LG7 (Little Guy - 7 years old :-) ) started second grade and has happily adjusted to his schedule. Considering that he has been in the school environment since he was 2 years old, this is not so surprising. My younger son, LG2.5 also started attending a montessori school this year.
So for three days a week, 3 hours per day, I am absolutely alone in the house ! The silence is sometimes unnerving. Its not that my children are so very noisy or that I kept engaging them every minute. Its just that the realization that my two little children are off on their own adventures, gaining valuable skills and enriching experiences all on their own is awe inspiring and a little humbling. They are navigating the tough world comprised of other little people and teachers by themselves and I am nowhere near them to guide, help or comfort them.I also get a glimpse of how it will be when my two kids go off to college eventually, leaving me in an empty nest. But although I wallow in a little self pity for some time, I quickly realize that this is as it should be.
A popular quotation says that the two things that we as parents can give our children are - roots and wings. A young child growing into its personality and gaining independence is akin to a young bird unfurling its wings for the first time and then learning to fly on its own. Only by vigorously flapping its wings and trying again and again will the fledgling bird strengthen its wings. So it is with our children !

As Kahlil Gibran writes :
"You may give them (your children) your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams

(To read the entire quote, see this post)

Then, here's wishing all parents and children joy and excitement - joy in knowing that parents are blessed people who have in their keeping little gems that will shine in the future and excitement for all the new adventures that are just waiting around the corner for parents and kids alike to enjoy together!

On another note, I have decided to write a post every week, sharing my lunch box creations. I have been packing lunch for LG7 every school day for the past two years. Some weeks, creativity bloomed delightfully and other days it was sadly missing. I hope to be better inspired this year. Blogs detailing Bento creations and recipes abound in the blogosphere and I intend to take full advantage. So join me every week as I put creativity and inspiration to work in my kitchen. You , dear readers , are absolutely welcome to join in with your lunch box delights!

Here are the lunches that I packed for LG7 last week:

On the first day of school, we had pasta with creamy white sauce, sago fryums, peaches, carrots and a sandwich cookie. I also included some homemade yogurt mixed with pureed strawberries and honey which I froze overnight. It was perfect at lunchtime. I used an EasyLunchBox for the lunch, a freezer safe Glad container for the yogurt and a small water bottle.

On Tuesday, LG7 took a peanut butter and honey sandwich, strawberries and blueberries, baby carrots with ranch dressing, cheddar cheese cubes and a homemade chocolate pudding cup.

On Wednesday, the lunchbox had veggie quesadillas with spinach and corn and ketchup in the small box, peaches, sandwich cookie, two rice balls made from leftover spiced rice and a yogurt cup. I included two small picks to make it easier to eat.

On Thursday, LG7 took Annie's Organic Mac and Cheese in a Thermos container, strawberries and blueberries and some yogurt raisins in the small container.

On  Friday, I packed two homemade tortilla wraps with cream cheese, jelly and peanut butter, cantaloupe, steamed broccoli and jicama with ranch dressing and a sandwich cookie.

Other than the jicama coming back limp and lonely on the last day, the rest of the lunch box contents were happily consumed ! Kid happy => Mom happy !

Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend !!


  1. Wow Chhaya, this really helps moms like like who is still on their way to figure out what we can pack for lunch box. Very creative and informative as well.


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