This week's theme was Kid's Choice, & they all wanted to make something with pizza. Like pizza lunchables, they said. That gave me the perfect opportunity to talk about making a lunch that's not just fun, but also nutritionally balanced. I asked them what they like about pizza lunchables. They were unanimous - "You get to make your own little pizza!" Of course, I agreed, that is fun! Then I asked them what's missing from lunchables. Aha! They quickly realized, & agreed - fruits & vegetables! Right! But when you pack your own version of a lunchable (that my sproutlets call momables - the class liked that) you can include whatever fresh fruits & veggies you like!
Here's my version of a DIY pizza lunchable, with fruit & vegetables, a Clifford the Big Red Dog cupcake ring, a pizza cupcake pick, & alphabet picks:
The kids chose pepperoni & mozzarella cheese for the mini pizzas. For fruit & veg I brought strawberries to show them how to notch the tops to make a heart, apples to show them how to checker the peel (though I didn't use any in my example), mini peppers they could chop for toppings or eat whole, & baby carrots they could decorate with cupcake rings. I brought a tackle box filled with an assortment of my own accessories for them to use - but didn't think to take a photo until after class, so the cupcake rings were already gone :) All the accessories I brought came from BentoUSA.
The students were very proud of their creations :) The little girl on the bottom left pointed out that we could make our pizzables even healthier if we used whole wheat - an excellent point to make, & another great thing about packing your own bento - you can choose healthier ingredients than what might come in a pre-packaged lunch. These kids did great!
I had actually planned to get whole wheat sandwich thins for our pizzables, but the 3 shops I went to were out that day (I should have bought them earlier!) so I ended up making do with plain mini bagels that I sliced & flattened with a cutting board before class.
We could fit 3 flattened mini bagel halves in each EasyLunchbox, but some decided 2 would be plenty for their lunch - which brought me to another good point - when you pack your own lunch, you can customize the portions to your appetite, so you're neither left hungry nor with wasted food left over :)
EasyLunchboxes generously provided my class with reusable divided lunch boxes & Mini Dippers that they got to take home, so they could take their bentos to school for the next day's lunch if they wished! These are the boxes I use most often for my own family - they're so versatile! I also gave each child a spoon that fit in the EasyLunchbox, for spreading the sauce on their bagel, & voila - everyone had their own unique healthier-than-a-store-bought-lunchable pizza lunch! I saw a couple of my students in the lunch room the next day, enjoying theirs :) Our DIY Pizzables were a hit!