Monday, March 17, 2014

Do You Bento?????

When in Rome....right???  I've always been so intrigued with bento boxes.  No, not the kind that you pick up from your local Japanese restaurant that comes with a Cali roll, shrimp tempura, and some teriyaki chicken.  Ohh shrimp tempura sounds yummmyyy.   I remember when I was in college there was a girl I would see in the cafeteria and she the most intricate bento boxes.  I remember seeing a Sailor Moon one!  I was blown away.     Anyways... the intricate lunch boxes that look like they came out of a display case not a brown bag lunch.  I was more of a lookie-lou when it came to bentos.  I thought it was purely professional...there would be no way I could make one.

  After Mills started  preschool and I was making her lunch my interest grew.  When Mills was first going to school I would send her off with a typical brown bag lunch. Sandwich, crackers, fruit, veggie, drink, and a treat.  Pretty typical stuff.  When I picked her up from school, I was getting most of the food back!  What the H?  Why wasn't she eating?  So I changed up what I gave her, different types of sandwiches every day, different snacks for the sides, different drinks.....still she would come home with food.  Then on a sleepless night I was all over the internet looking up lunch ideas.  Then I saw these cute lil bento boxes.  They weren't the ones I was used to seeing, they weren't super detailed and picture perfect pieces of art.  They were fun and had cute little details.  They were colorful and personal.  They looked like something I could do!  If someone asked me to make a Little Mermaid bento box, there would be no way in H I could do that.  I've looked up tutorials for the super crazy ones, and its no joke.  That is an art form.  I do not have the talent to turn rice, meat, veggies, cheese, and everything else into the Little Mermaid.  But I do possess the skill of buying things to help make food look cute. 

 So I went at it, luckily I'm in Japan and I can walk into a number of stores and find bento box supplies.  I'm still no expert, but I think bento boxes are awesome.  They are super cute, reusable {earth conscious}, small to keep the correct portion for a kid, and fun.  Mills loves them and she eats her food.  When I pick her up from school she tells me about her lunch. This is fun for me.  Making little lunches for her that would excite her and make her smile.  Then I started posting pictures.  Just on Facebook and Instagram.  I actually got a lot of interest in my bento boxes.  They weren't even that great.  I was surprised at the response. 

Here are some of my most recent bento boxes::

  :: Ham and swiss on a Hawaiian bread roll, strawberries,  and pretzels in a Minne Mouse bento box ::

                     :: Jelly on wheat {nut free}, strawberries, and pretzels in a poodle bento box ::

:: Buttered noodles, meatballs, carrots, Cheeze-its, cookies, and veggie chips in 2 tier strawberry bento box::

:: Cut up hot dog, broccoli, mac n cheese, Cheese-its, popcorn, and a banana in a 2 tier vehicle bento box ::

These are not professional by any means.  But my kids enjoy them and I love making them.  All the portions are just right for their little tummies.  I try to keep them colorful and fun.


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