Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are you wearing pants?

As we were driving to school today, a girl walked in front of our car as she crossed the crosswalk, and I just so happened to notice that she was not wearing pants. Now, if you asked this girl if she put on pants this morning, she would probably say yes. And she would be wrong. Newsflash to the world: stretchy, nearly-transparent tights are not pants. If I can easily see the color of your skin through your "pants", they are not pants.

Luckily for us, the kind people at Buzzfeed have made a handy-dandy chart which can help you determine, once and for all, if you are or are not wearing pants. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

So check this chart carefully before leaving the house, and be sure to dress accordingly.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Muffin Tin Lunches

Okay, so apparently this has now become Lunch Week! We'll pretend it was intentional.

Today's find is Muffin Tin Mom. She has tons of ideas of how to make lunches or snacks that fit into the little compartments of a muffin tin, as well as some other crafty uses for the tins.

If you have two eaters, you can each eat from your half of a larger muffin tin.
Isn't that cute? I'd be totally happy to eat that (minus the ham).

Or, if it's just a meal for one, you can use a smaller tray.

Who wouldn't want to snack out of this tray?
(Not sure I'd want to do the clean-up though.)

Kids who normally wouldn't touch a certain food might be enticed to eat it if it comes from a fun little compartment in a special tray. Worth a shot, no? 

Of course, there's no real need to eat your lunch out of a muffin tin, but just because it isn't necessary doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Live a little!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bento Box Lunches

I pack myself a lunch daily, so I am familiar with the old "throw a PB&J or some leftovers in the lunch bag and call it a day" routine. But, after looking at some bento lunch websites, I'm inspired to start making cuter and more varied lunches.

There are, of course, the super-cute bento lunches that are more art form than lunch item. See Exhibit A:
Sakurako Kitsa
And Exhibit B:
Sakurako Kitsa
What I'm talking about, however, is something more like this:

There are all kinds of really cute accessories to make eating lunch more fun. If you have kids, I bet they'd get excited about this. If you're a big kid yourself, you'll probably like it too.

This website has a lot of good tips about how to make speedy bento lunches (say, under 15 minutes of prep time), so it's a reasonable feat to attempt.

This site is also interesting, but the lunches are a little more cutesy, and therefore probably too time consuming for my schedule. But there's lots of cute ideas going on to check out.

I recently visited my favorite Japanese store in LA, Marukai, and found some fun little egg molds.

You take a (still hot) hard-boiled egg, peel it, and plop it in the mold. Then you squish it closed, and pop it in the fridge or into a bowl of ice water to cool. When it's cold, you have an egg shaped like a star or a bear or whatever mold shape you have. I haven't tried mine out yet, but I'm excited to! I'll report back on how it goes! If you want your own set, you can usually find them on Amazon or a Japanese supply website.

Here's an example of what someone made with the bunny egg mold:

There's just something fun about eating a star shaped egg in a cute little bento lunch box with tiny little fruits and veggies tucked around it that a ziploc bag  full of the same food doesn't provide.

Monday, January 2, 2012

School Lunch "Food"

I've been reading through a blog I found recently called Fed Up With Lunch. It's written by an anonymous elementary school teacher in the midwest. "Mrs. Q" saw the poor quality of the food being offered to students, and decided to eat (and photograph and blog) the school lunch each day for a year.

Raise your hand if that grayish meat looks appealing.

Bueller? ...... Bueller? 
And why is the entire meal brown? Not exactly enticing.

But, her beef (pun intended) with the school lunches isn't just about monochromatic meals, but the lack of nutritious options, the completely wasteful packaging, the dearth of anything remotely handmade, and the lessons that eating chicken nuggets and pizza daily teaches kids.

Apparently the tater tots are the "vegetable" in this lunch:

And she never did figure out what this bitter-tasting mystery vegetable is, but I'm pretty sure if she couldn't eat more than a bite of it, the kids probably didn't even try it.

It's a quick read with short daily entries, and if you have kids it'll make you think twice about letting them buy lunch at school without checking out the lunch program first. Gross.