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Mac and Cheese Bento, Part Deux

I know what you’re thinking. I’m trying to trick you by posting the same lunch twice. Alas, it is not so.

Yesterday, when I asked Baby Girl what she wanted for lunch, she was adamant, “Mac and cheese again. NO hot dog!” She had given her hot dog to her cousin to eat. Someone commented that I should put in chopped ham, which I asked her if I could do, but she said no. I insisted it’s the same ham she puts into her ham sandwich and she still said no. I thought about carrot puree too and oddly enough, someone commented about that too! I’ll have to bust out my Magic Bullet and do it next week, cause she actually is having mac & cheese today too, which makes three days in a row that she’s had the exact same lunch.

Mac and Cheese Bento 2

The good news here is that these lunches are costing me like a buck fifty to make, which is much better than paying five bucks a day for school lunch. At least this way, I actually know what she’s eating. With school lunch, I have to rely on what she tells me, which is usually, “I don’t know, I forget.”

I stayed home with a sore throat on Tuesday, but had to go in to work yesterday, so I made a quick lunch for myself. I tried Jaden Hair’s baked chicken katsu, which is called something else, like Crispy Chicken something. It’s from her cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, which I keep meaning to review, but still haven’t found the time. I’ve cooked three things from her book so far and everything tasted phenomenal.

Baked Katsu Bento

Normally I use chicken thighs for katsu, cause breasts usually turn out dry for me, but this recipe was very good and since it used breasts and no oil, it was much healthier. It didn’t brown as well as it was in her photo, but the citrus dipping sauce was amazing. I drizzled some on top of the katsu to give it a bit more golden color. I used a new slim bento box that I got from J-List. I really love the slim boxes now!

Thanks to everyone who has been buying Yum-Yum Bento Box! If you have a chance, please give us a review on Amazon, we’d love to hear your feedback and reactions!

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  • Joe D

    If you’re worried about her getting enough protein, have you tried hiding silken tofu in drinks and sweets? I make this awesome chocolate tofu pie I found on Youtube a few years ago. It tastes phenomenal x.x You can’t even tell its in there! Link follows:

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  • You are absolutely right, sometimes I go to join my little one to eat lunch at his school. The kids enjoy having me there in the cafe but I often see alot of kids barely eating any of their food. It’s wasteful, but when I always talk with the kids sitting next to me about being healthy, and they often show me they are by eating them up, just for me.

    We’re putting our little one to a sport camp in a few weeks. It asks if we want to purchase their lunch or we can provide our own (roughly $8/day for lunch). I asked what the lunch entails and this is what they say “lunch will consist of gatorade, water, cookie, and either mcDs, pizza hut, taco bell, or L&Ls”. Are you kidding me? Fast food? I did ask the little one if he wants me to make him lunch or eat the food they have. surprisingly, he said “i want you to make me lunch”. Looks like I’ll have to start making cute bentos for him that week!

  • You can also do sweet potato puree in the macaroni. Kidlet likes his that way because we love to eat sweet potato in everything. But you wouldn’t know it was there, I think it is milder than carrot.

  • haha, your interactions with baby girl always crack me up! she sounds like a really funny and opinionated kid (opinionated in a way that’s probably a handful for you, but will turn out to be a cool adult, you know what i mean?). i totally agree with you re: mac and cheese even 3x in a row being better than school lunch, when i watched jamie oliver’s food revolution those school lunches really scared the crap out of me!

    the new slim box is really pretty, and that chicken looks YUMMMM! i need to get that steamy kitchen cookbook too, i think — hope you review it soon!

  • Maybe instead of the ham try little bits of chicken – harder to notice amongst the pasta! 😀

  • Hey! I just got that slim box too and I used it on Tuesday, and I have to say that I’m very impressed with your Yum Yum Bento Box book. And now for some reason I’m hungry for mac and cheese.

  • Jennifer

    I put Spam in my mac and cheese. One of my friends likes tuna (which I kinda think is just plain weird.)
    Because I work a full shift on Sundays now, I get to take lunch, but it usually consists of whatever I can grab out of the refrigerator before I head to work. LoL. I really should start making my lunch on Saturday nights.

    (Oh, and thanks so much for the e-mail about Marukai. I didn’t get a chance to e-mail you back. I’m just going to stick with the Ward location. I only have Saturday morning to go there and Nijiya before I go and attack Ala Moana.)

  • Michele

    Tofu is a great way to get protein into a meatless diet, but it is bad to eat regularly. Soy products that are not fermented can mess with hormones. I just thought I should mention that.
    I have a little girl that will hardly eat any meat at all, so I feel your pain. My doctor said that you really don’t need a lot of protein, just complete proteins in fairly small quantities and it doesn’t need to be daily. As long as they are getting enough in a week, things are good. Knowing that relieved me greatly.

  • Totally agreed with you that having 3 days in a row of Mac & Cheese bento is better than eating the school lunch! At least you know what your girl is eating. In fact the Mac & Cheese bento looks so yummy!

  • I don’t remember where I read this, but I remember reading some kind of research several years ago that the average child, left to his/her own devices to pick out his/her own food, will actually eat a fairly balanced diet. I’ve been told that kids who, for example, go a week where the only thing they want is macaroni and cheese, will balance it out later with whatever they decide to obsess over next.

    I wish I had the source for that… and I also wish I knew if that research was outdated now or not. I know it was a few years back that I found it, probably before I even had my son (he is three years old, so that would’ve been a while ago).

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