Making lunch fun with dinosaur quesadillas and bento plates

June 3 | Guest post by Jen Geigley

Jen is a crafting blogger at Hey! Jen Renee — she's also good friends with Offbeat Home's Managing Editor, Cat! Jen makes lunch fun for her kiddo Lo by combining cookie cutters and imagination with bento-esque plates — something I thought many of you might like to try. — Stephanie

All photos by Jen Renee.

This is something I like to call bento on a plate. It probably doesn't even qualify as "real" bento but whatever. (This is just a grape jam "hedgehog" sandwich with a raisin eye, teddy grahams, clementine sections, salami, edamame, and cut-up string cheese.)

In case you're wondering what I do with the rest of the bread (no, I don't throw it away!) I usually end up eating my own sandwich, which looks something like this:

Lately, my most-used cookie cutter set is this one from IKEA. The wilderness edition, I guess. Forest friends? It's pretty cute.

Sometimes we eat quesadilla dinosaurs who walk on raisin rocks underneath a colby-jack sun.

Or have a edamame/peanut butter cracker flower with a fruit leather squirrel for a snack.

But all that matters is that she eats it. I've been playing with cute lunches for a couple of years, since Lo is stuck in that picky-eater phase. I definitely make more of them now that the weather is sunny and we're heading out on picnics and playdates more often. If you're in the mood for a fierce bento blog, check out Wendolonia.

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  1. Oh, please tell me you found those cookie cutters at Ikea somewhat recently? I must have them.

    Completely adorable. My 18 month old is still too young to appreciate my attempts to make his food cute, but I hope someday it does help him eat more, since the only thing he'll eat right now are apples and slices of turkey lunch meat. haha!

    1 agrees
  2. These are cute ideas! So far, the way I incorporate fun into food is by creating pancake art. My son is big into spelling and shapes so when I fix pancakes I ask him what word should I spell. He learns the letters and eats at the same time (picky, picky eater). I'll cut his sandwiches into simple shapes for him as well.

  3. very cute. I make little 'selection plates' as I call them, but will definatly have to add some cut outs!

  4. I have also seenhas several varities of shape sandwich cutters.
    Including ones called dinobytes
    They are of course a little pricier Ikea cookie cutters, but they are made to fit sliced bread and get get, for example 2 dinosaurs out of one slice of bread.
    The company seems to be expanding, when I googled it I was several other varieties including flipper bytes, which was mad up of two dolphins and a heart all mad to perfectly fit a slice of bread.

  5. These are great! Thanks for sharing, I've been needing new inspiration for "fun lunches" for a while. I never thought of using those reusable cupcake cases as a little dish, that's an awesome idea!

    Also, if anyone would like some more ideas, I REALLY recommend bento egg moulds. Especially if you add a little food colouring (or use beetroot to colour naturally).
    Pink bunny-shaped eggs have never yet failed to make my 2 year-old squeal with delight at her plate. :)

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