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.

  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
    • yeah they're on the Ikea website under bakeware! I'm off to get some too.

  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. My son is really starting to get crazy with his food, so maybe I'll try this!

  6. 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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