Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Apr 21 2014 - Apr 25 2014

The past few weeks have gone by in a blur. Even though each day seems interminable, the weeks themselves seem to run by so fast. This weekend, we headed north to the Eisenhower State park for a short camping trip with close friends and had a really nice time. The pleasure of like minded company, the satiety provided by delicious home cooked food and the serenity afforded by the peaceful green surroundings have recharged us for the weeks ahead !
Here were last week's lunches -

On Monday, lunch was Annie's organic mac and Cheese, steamed broccoli and red grapes.

On Tuesday, LG7 took a peanut butter strawberry jelly sandwich, strawberries, caramel rice cake and a couple of vanilla cream cookies.

On Wednesday, the EasyLunchBox had tri color penne pasta in tomato sauce, apples, carrot slices, potato fry and a couple of pretzel thins. Lesson learned from this lunch is - if you pack hot or warm food with crispy items like pretzel thins, they get soggy when the lid is closed and hence come back uneaten !!

On Thursday, I made spicy vermicelli noodles, apple slices, almonds and raisins and a coconut shortbread cookie.

On Friday, I packed a couple of cheese toasts, apple slices and whole grain crackers spread with peanut butter.

Hope you all have had a great fun filled or relaxing weekend. have a great week ahead and keep packing healthy lunches !


Friday, April 18, 2014

Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

With both my sons staying in after school care for a couple of hours, I have been wracking my brains over healthy and varied snacks that I can pack for them. Snacks should be portable, reasonably healthy, appealing to kids and easy to make. I am really trying hard to reduce the amount of processed food that we consume, so buying granola bars or chips or crackers is something that I don't want to do a lot.
I usually try and bake over the weekend - muffins , snack cakes , etc ..goodies that will satisfy most of my criteria for snacks. In searching for said recipes, I stumbled onto an applesauce bread here that was pretty intriguing.
I tried it last week and it turned out really well, Take a look !


Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
¾ C unbleached all purpose flour
¼ C brown sugar
¼ C granulated sugar
2 flax eggs or egg replacer of choice
½ C oil
2 tsp vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ C  rolled oats
¾ C applesauce


1. Mix the sugar, the egg replacer, vanilla , oil and the applesauce in a big mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly until sugars are completely dissolved.
2. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a smaller bowl.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently. Add the rolled oats and combine with a spatula.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 °.
5. Pour the batter in a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan. Smooth the top with the spatula and sprinkle 3 Tbs of oats on the top.
6. Bake for about 55 - 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack before cutting into slices.
8. Serve plain or toasted.

1. The bread turned out really well, it was not overly sweet, was pretty moist and was pretty filling as a snack.
2. The original recipe had a full cup of sugar. I halved it and used only 1/2 C, which I found was sweet enough.
3. I covered the cooled bread in foil and stored it in the refrigerator in the pan.
4. My kids like it toasted and spread with peanut butter or jelly.
5. I have sent it in their snack boxes a couple of times and it has worked well.

Do try this bread recipe, it is pretty quick to whip up, it stays well in the refrigerator, you can add dried fruits or nuts for a variety and the kids really liked it!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Week in Bentos : Mar 24 - Mar 28 2014

The past few weeks have gotten away from me again...Weekdays are hectic enough...I dont seem to have enough hours on the weekends either! But I do get a lot of chores and a lot of baking and prepping over the weekend, so I am satisfied with that. I just have to find a little time to finish writing the posts !

 On Monday, lunch consisted of chocolate chip waffles, cheese slices, apples and blackberries and carrot sticks.
On Tuesday, LG7 asked for mac and cheese. So along with that, he got apple slices, blackberries, carrot sticks and a few sugar snap peas.

On Wednesday, I gave a grilled cheese sandwich, blackberries and a peanut butter cracker sandwich.

On Thursday, lunch consisted of tortilla rolls, cheese slices, olives, apples and blackberries, carrot sticks and sugar snap peas.

On Friday, I made tri-colored rotini pasta, olives, multigrain crackers, apples and some granola.

Since I started working, my older son has started attending an afterschool program at his school, conducted by the YMCA. Although they do provide him with a snack, I am not very happy with the kind of snacks they provide, so I have started giving LG7 an additional snack that he can choose to eat if he is hungry.
Some of the things that I give him are - apple slices, sliced or chopped fruits, sandwiches, crackers and dry cereal, trail mix.
What are some things that you give your kids in their snack box ?