Celebrate the Holidays with Creative Lunches!
Betty is a wife and mother of 2 who spends her time chasing after her toddlers and digging herself out of piles of diapers and laundry. She is a blogger at The Terrific Five, where she writes about her hilarious mishaps and glorious victories as a mom. You can laugh with her, through the chaos that is parenthood, on her blog or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Can you believe it? Just like that, 2018 is almost over. That is a lot of days spent with our precious little ones, adoring their every little smile and treasuring every triumphant milestone. That is also a lot of days of packing lunches for school. By now, my idea bank for fun and delicious food is definitely running low.
Since toddlers eat with their minds, not their mouths, and with Christmas just around the corner, I decided to insert some festivities in my kid’s lunchboxes! One of my go-to recipes that my kids always gobble up and is super easy to make is Mexican sour cream rice, which usually calls for diced green chile peppers. To tone down the spice so that it’s suitable for children, I use green bell peppers instead. And to make it more Christmas-y, I also added some red bell peppers. I almost didn’t finish scooping the rice into the Bentgo Bowl before my kids circled me like vultures and demanded a taste right away. Before I knew it, they were eating the rice for breakfast. Good thing I cooked extra to pack for lunch!
1 cup rice (you can use white or brown)
1 cup chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
8 oz frozen corn
1 cup of sour cream
1. Add the cup of rice and chicken broth in the rice cooker (I use Instant Pot).
2. Add the chopped bell peppers plus the corn on top.
3. Turn the rice cooker on and let it cook according to the instructions.
4. After the rice is done, turn the rice cooker off.
5. Add 1 cup of sour cream and mix well.
So simple, right? I love this recipe because I can prepare everything the night after the kids have gone to bed, and then the day of, just throw everything in the rice cooker and forget about it while it’s cooking. You can even cook it fresh in the morning, just like I did for my kid’s lunch because the rice cooker is doing all the work while you get your kids ready for school.
And the Bentgo Bowl is perfect for packing the hot food for my kid’s lunch because it’s insulated and sealed with a durable silicone ring so that my kid can enjoy a warm lunch without worrying about leaks or spills. I use the Bentgo Salad container to pack a variety of fruits on the side for a healthy snack.
Some days, I like to go with sandwiches, pizza, or what I consider “flat food” for my kid’s lunch. I like to use the Bentgo Kids lunchbox for those because I can then lay the food out nicely for my kid, who loves opening the lunchbox and finding sandwiches shaped like animals, star-shaped fruits, etc. Since we are going with a Christmas-themed lunch, I decided to take good ol’ grilled cheese (always a kid favorite!) and create a reindeer out of it!
Since I just got an air fryer, I was eager to test it out by making a grilled cheese with it. Sounds crazy, but it turned out to be a lot simpler than making it in a frying pan. I didn’t have to worry about the cheese not melting enough before burning the bread and the timing of everything. All I had to do was stick a piece of cheese between two pieces of bread, butter up the bread slices, and stick the ensemble in the air fryer.
Then, after the grilled cheese was done, I took an oval cookie-cutter and cut out the faces for the reindeer. Can you guess what mommy was having for lunch?
The beauty is in the details. First, before the grilled cheese has a chance to cool down, I stick the mini pretzels in between the bread slices as the ears. This way, once the cheese cooled
down and hardened a little, it should act as a glue and the antlers shouldn’t fall out easily. I used cross-section cuts of a mozzarella string cheese for the whites of the eyes and black olives for
the pupils. Finally, I cut grape tomatoes a half for the nose. If you are having trouble getting
everything to stick, just use some mayo! Voila! Two Rudolph’s ready to go!
To finish off the festive Bentgo Kids lunchbox, I packed green grapes and the rest of the grape tomatoes for dessert. And just for fun, I used my flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut some cucumbers as a side. My kid was so excited to see the reindeer grilled cheese and the veggies and fruits! And the lunchbox is wonderful for packing a variety of food for your little ones because it is leakproof and the portions are perfect for my toddler. As a mom, you know that ultimate victory means opening your kid’s lunchbox and seeing…
Joy to the world!
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