Monday, February 23, 2015

Bento Class: DIY Pizzables!

This month & next I'm teaching an after-school enrichment class at my sproutlets' elementary school, introducing kids to the principles of bento & helping them learn to pack their own creative nutritious school lunches! My class is called Bento Lunch Fun - & I think it's living up to the name :)  I know these two have been having fun:

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!


  1. This is so great Cristi!!! Thank you for sharing your lunch packing expertise with these eager learners. Love all the the pics and smiles :)

    1. Thank YOU for helping me! The kids & their parents are loving their EasyLunchboxes :)

  2. Cute lunches and those smiles are priceless! I am sure they enjoyed their yummy lunches, I would love one myself! :)

  3. I enjoyed reading this. Such a wonderful and memorable service you provided by teaching this class!

  4. Such wonderful post! I love how you inspire little kids to start eating healthier thru this class. Love it Cristi! You rock!!!


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