And the younger one's, exactly this:
So, I set out to find something different. I decided to buy this for the older boy and my husband (I'll detail my younger son's lunch box some other day). http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-Classic-Bento-Vacuum-Lunch/dp/B0016S11VC
First, my teenager thought it was cool. And if it was cool, it would get used. Second, it's a great little system. It's a thermos that holds containers, so it could keep food hot or cold. For now, we've been cooling them with ice cubes and water for a few minutes in the morning and then putting in the cold food. He then heats up the food in the microwave at school. In winter, I can pack soup and other hot foods and he won't even need to reheat it! That is sweet! And does it keep it cold without an ice pack? Yep! It's a thermos!
So, I started to think of creative ways to pack lunches as now I had new constraints - round containers. And then I had an epiphany! Actually, I should doubly thank Williams Sonoma. First, they kept tempting me with their pie maker: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/breville-pie-maker-bpi640xl/ But why spend that money? Couldn't I just do similar things in the oven? I have various pans (which I use), but I then found this at Williams Sonoma and it is great! And a way cheaper alternative than the electric pie maker: Brookster pan. I spent $20 instead of $90. Well, $40, because I bought two pans so I can do a double batch at once, but that's not necessary.
So, this is a mini pepperoni pizza I made on Sunday for lunches:
And this is the brownie (kind of a brookster, but not quite) I made for desserts on Saturday using the same pan:
And this is how it packs in the lunch box:
I have trail mix in the left container (this is a spill proof/vented container good for soups too). I have the brownie in the middle container, and I have two mini pizzas stacked on top of each other in the right most container. A full meal and it fits so perfectly!
This is the container all put together:
And all closed up put together without the top lid on:
Packing lunch this morning took all of 2 minutes I think as I didn't even need to cool or heat the thermos. All was premade during the weekend and is just waiting to be filled during the week. And the best of all, my son is eating a full lunch.