Here's an update on the bento box lunches:
Week 1: Mollie hardly ate anything. I think she felt overwhelmed by too much food, too many containers, etc. I experimented with using muffin cups instead of lidded containers, but then some foods took on the flavor of other foods and the pretzels got soft; in short, it didn't work.
Week 2 (and beyond!): We received a lovely (and timely!) package from my friend, Lauren. It contained a simple Sigg lunchbox and foil stickers to decorate it with. And a drink bottle. My first reaction was that it seemed small. As it turned out, it works great! It holds the perfect amount of food for Mollie and it comes home completely empty almost every day!
I had saved some BPA-free baby food containers and they fit perfectly inside the box. A typical lunch includes any combination of:
protein: Babybel cheese, yogurt, peanut butter sandwich, hard boiled egg, bagel & cream cheese
veggies: carrot sticks, sliced bell pepper, steamed broccoli
crunchies: animal crackers, graham crackers, trail mix, pecans, pretzels
fruit: grapes, apple slices, berries, dried fruits, applesauce
drink: water, milk, or juice
She also gets a small snack (packed separately), usually crackers or dried fruit. And occasionally she gets a treat (small pieces of candy or a few chips).
Now that I know she knows how to open everything and has time to eat it, I might experiment with a few new foods. Thanks for the box Lauren- it has been a success!