Thanks! I was pretty intimidated, at first, when looking at blogs for bento lunches, but the planet box's separate containers, the silicone baking cups (that I also don't think I could ever bake in, for the same "ew factor", lol), and looking at blogs for innovative lunch ideas makes it truly very easy...and fun! Oh, and yes, the baking cups were a splurge, but, kind of like the planet box, it's something we can use over and over, and it really does make a huge difference in the ease of preparing, and the appearance of the lunch!
I wanted to answer your question with my own findings for sauce/dip containers. I see a lot of moms who do bento lunches have things like this: http://www.jbox.com/product/ZK003
You can find them on amazon.com and a bunch of other sites, as well. I've never used them myself, but I have read of many parents using them. They come in all different shapes, too, so it can be another creative/fun aspect of lunch making.
The "joke of the day" thing came from a blog I read sometime (no clue where!). It seemed like such a great idea! I used to try and put sweet little notes in my kiddo's lunch, but besides special occasions (like the first day of school), he's getting a bit old for my notes. He likes things like that at home, but I don't want to embarrass him at school, lol. So when I saw joke of the day ideas I thought it sounded like a great way for my comedian son to get a little note from Mom that would be fun and maybe even- gasp!- cool to his friends! I get them just by going to google.com and typing in "jokes for kids" (that way I have a better chance of finding short, simple, easy to understand, and CLEAN jokes). For example, today's joke was, "What kind of animal do you NOT want to play games with? A cheetah!". Very age appropriate and I smile thinking it might brighten my son's day just a bit : ) Oh, and I just hand write them on scrap card stock or construction paper, but I'm thinking I may start printing off a bunch a week or two ahead of time, cut in strips, and then pull one out in the morning to stick in his lunch bag in the morning. Less chance of forgetting or running out of time.
I really wanted to get/like the Goodbyn lunch kit, but after reading some reviews, I was not confident enough in my son's ability (ok, desire) to close the box securely enough after lunch and was concerned about spillage. Plus I wasn't sure if we'd be able to get enough food in there, although it does seem like the larger of many options.
Mr. Wheat is this really cool thing I found at our local grocery store. http://www.mrwheat.com/sitefiles2/index.asp The ingredients are simple, natural, and low in sugar. The honey ones, pictured in the planet box, are sweetened with stevia, which I love! My kids love the texture. My "littles" eat it broken up like crackers and dip it in peanut butter. My oldest eats it like a sandwich. It's a fun and easy alternative to having bread all the time.
Oh, for the carrots right now I'm just using ranch dressing. I'm trying to get my oldest to branch out with other things like hummus, but right now I'm lucky to have him eat the carrots with ranch, so I don't push it too hard, lol.
Mothering.com has made posting pictures a lot easier than it used to be! When you are posting a message, look up in the editing bar, towards the middle. You'll see some little "images" (not to great on technical terms here!). There are right and left arrow buttons, and just to the right of that is a tiny picture of a house/grass/sunshine scene. Click on that picture and it will lead you through the (easy) process of uploading a picture. You might have to resize your picture to make it smaller first, though.
Originally Posted by Maiasaura
These are gorgeous! Mind sharing what's in them? What dip do you use for the carrots?
I also splurged (almost $9 for only half a dozen! ) of those silicone baking cups. I will not be using them for baking, as I don't trust them-- flexible plastic to bake in? Ew-- but I love the way they not only fit in the box, but squish to fit. We have the Goodbyn, the smaller one. I don't use the drink bottle that came with; I use the extra space for more food, but if I put a sandwich or something "bigger", I will put the drink box in. My ds is on ADHD meds and is not hungry in the day, but I have to feed him anyway, at school so I try to make it interesting.
Oh, joke of the day? Really? Do share! That's brilliant! Where do you get the jokes? Can I steal? What is "Mr.Wheat"?
For those of you who don't have this Planet Box-- what do you use for things like dip, or salad dressing, that may need a lid? I can't find something to fit the Goodbyn. I have ONE 2oz Solo cup that I kept from a side of dressing at a restaurant. I sure wish I had more. Went to the kitchen store and they have nothing, can you believe it. Nothing that size that comes with a lid. GRRR.
I shall try to post pix of some of our lunches on here. How do you do it? I have the pix. Just don't know how to upload them.