Healthy Snack/Lunch Bento Boxes

Today, I am preparing to house sit/dog sit and take care of my French bulldog friends, Theo and Remy. The dog owners usually stock the freezer with some of my favorite healthy frozen foods, but I thought I would pack some supplemental bento boxes that could work perhaps as lunches or as healthy snack boxes.

I went out to the grocery store with some ideas but not too much of a plan and picked up a variety of healthy snacks.

I picked up some savory plantain chips and cheesy kale chips …

some baby carrots with avocado ranch dip, strawberries, vanilla yogurt covered raisins and light Babybel cheeses,

some sundried tomatoes,

and Annie’s fruit snacks that came in cute shapes like barns, tractors, pigs, sheep, cows, bunnies and carrots. I’m sure they are meant to have kid appeal for kids’ lunches, but I am a kid at heart, so why not?

Here’s a little humor for you on these fruit snacks. As I was putting together my bento boxes with these fruit snacks, I couldn’t recognize all of the shapes unless they were flipped the right way. The molded details are really only on one side. I was assuming one of them was a tractor until I flipped it and saw it was a cow. Mom got a kick out of that and said, “You can’t tell the difference between a tractor and a cow? You wouldn’t make a very good farmer. You would sit on the cow and try to plow the field!”

The variety of snacks meant that each bento box could be a bit different, and I wouldn’t be eating something identical every day.

I used these segmented plastic lunch boxes that I purchased some time back on …

And used some silicone cupcake liners that helped me squeeze in a few more compartments for separate items.

Here are a few different layouts ..

yogurt covered raisins, kale chips, plantain chips, sundried tomatoes, fruit snacks, Babybel cheese and strawberries
strawberries, Babybel cheese, yogurt covered raisins, sundried tomatoes, kale chips and plantain chips
yogurt covered raisins, Babybel cheese, fruit snacks, plantain chips, carrots and avocado ranch dip

Some of you may notice that it seems spare for a lunch or is lacking in more protein based snacks. Partly, I’m not sure if these will end up being snacks or lunches. In the past, when I have done something like this, I have included rolls of turkey cold cuts or turkey rolled with a little neufchatel cream cheese and lettuce. So, there’s an idea for more protein. For snacks, the portioning helps to limit some of the snacks that have more calories or fat, although I don’t feel like I need to limit carrots or strawberries.

I think bento boxes like this can serve different purposes. With a few changes, they could work as kids’ snack or lunch boxes. A few of these snacks like the carrots, cheese or fruit snacks are kid-friendly. I’m not sure about the sundried tomatoes or kale chips, but it might depend on the kid. You might want to double up on the protein for a lunch box, but with a few moderations, this could work for either an adult or child’s lunch box.

You could pack some of these bento boxes for a vacation, so you have some options for lunches or snacks while on the road or, if you have a fridge where you are staying, you have some options for either snacks or lunches that won’t involve eating out.

I want to show you a few other food or drink items I am packing.

I am growing to like these Bubly sparkling water drinks. I am trying to drink more water and less of other drinks that have sugar, and plain water is not as interesting to me as this sparkling water is. This just has a little bit of fruit flavoring and carbonation and nothing artificial.

I also got these tiny frozen desserts — ice cream surrounded by mochi. Mochi is a sweet Japanese snack made with glutinous rice. I got them in six different flavors: cookies and cream, vanilla bean, green tea, ripe strawberry, double chocolate and dulce de leche. The packaging is so tiny that there is no nutritional information on it, but I am assuming that just the tiny portion size makes it a better choice than some other frozen desserts would be.

I hope this post gives you some inspiration about healthy eating and snack or lunch prep.

Lens Artists Challenge — Red — Large to Small

I saw some blogger friends’ entries for this photo challenge, and I thought I would join in and see what I can do. Patti Moed of Creative Exploration In Words And Pictures, in her Lens Artist Challenge, challenges us to choose a color and select photos of things in that color ranged from large to small.

Red is considered a warm color, but many of the red things in this post will cool you down, a nice thought in the heat I’ve been experiencing lately.

The above photo was taken at Applegate Farms in Montclair, New Jersey, a great place for ice cream made on the premises. I went there earlier in the pandemic in company with a French bulldog friend.

The above photo doesn’t give you much sense of size, but these baby ducklings were in a red plastic tub large enough to hold this small cockapoo doggy and his stylish red hoodie, with room to spare.

This refreshing cranberry spritzer was served to me at The Committed Pig Burger and Pancake House in Summit, New Jersey. I thought it looked so pretty in its Mason jar, but I am debating in my mind whether it is larger or smaller than the next item.

This peony from my garden was fairly large — larger or smaller than a cranberry spritzer? It’s hard to say as their shapes were so different and difficult to compare, and, of course, I never saw them side by side. Perhaps, if the peony was a cup, it would hold the spritzer.

And, now, we’re back to cool and refreshing things. The frozen dessert below was purchased at Sonny’s in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. It is a self-serve frozen dessert bar. You can find frozen yogurt, frozen custard, Italian ice or gelato you can swirl yourself into a cup. You can layer flavors and add toppings from a variety of syrups, candies, nuts, fruits and (one of my favorites) these popping boba that burst fruit juices into your mouth. The desserts are sold by weight. Any of the red things in this photo — the strawberries, raspberries, popping boba or red plastic spoon — are smaller than my peony for sure.