Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meal Time Accoutrements

Since starting my new job earlier this month, Geoff has been taking on the lion's share of getting Caroline to and from her childcare center. I try to help by writing Caroline's menus and packing her food. We use a variety of meal time accoutrements to help us stay organized. For hot breakfast and lunch items, we use Thermos food jars. Thermos sells FUNtainers (food jars with designs) but we went with the plain old stainless steel style. The food jar works well and keeps Caroline's hot cereal, rice, pasta, and other hot foods steaming for hours. On a side note, Thermos also sells a fabulous guarantee spill-proof coffee mug. The food jars and coffee mug can be purchased on the Thermos website. We pack salads, vegetables, and other cold lunch items in her Laptop Lunchbox. This bento-style lunchbox is plastic, lead-free, and comes with five removable containers (two with lids), including one that can be used for salad dressing, utensils, and a user's guide. We bought three of the lunchboxes last year when Obentec was having a sale on mismatched compartments. We love them and use them everyday. There have been some problems with quality though. We've had several cracked lids and all of our utensils broke. Obentec has great customer service and replaced the lids right away. They replaced one set of the utensils but after the replacements also broke, I didn't bother with additional replacements. I pack the rest of Caroline's food - snacks like muffins, fruit, and yogurt - in 1/2 pint Ball or Mason glass jars with plastic, reusable lids.

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, September 25: Breakfast - watermelon (Greenman Produce), apple bread (Rasch Farms apples); Lunch - cheese and summer squash quesadilla (Owosso Organics summer squash), corn-on-the-cob (Titus Farm), banana; Snacks - cucumbers (Cinzori Farms), 100% whole grain bread, sunflower butter

Childcare Center Menu, September 25: Breakfast - cantaloupe, pumpkin bread; Lunch - cheese and bean enchiladas, corn, beans, grapes; Snacks - smiley fries, cucumbers

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