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Here is the 3rd & final post of my Bento Basics series. BUT the tips won’t stop here. Come back each Thursday in August for more Bento fun. More info at the bottom this post!
Tip: Appeal to your eater. Got a Star Wars or Butterfly lover at home? Use that theme in their lunch. Does your child wear Hello Kitty PJs every night? Get some Hello Kitty cookie cutters & supplies for their lunch.
|Hello Kitty lover will gobble up lunch in this box!|
|Mickey lovers will dig having their sandwich & fruit cut like this!|
Tip: Get the kids involved! I have introduced the ease of bento lunches at a birthday party, girl scouts, and play date. I got a variety of cookie cutters out with sandwich fixings & food picks. The kids loved it and gobbled up their lunches. More info here.
Tip: Get ideas from others. There are lots of bento bloggers out there, which means that thousands and thousands of bentos have been posted. No need to be original. Get & share ideas with others. Here are 4 great link bento link parties. Don’t forget tip 3 from part 1~ don’t compares yours to others! Just get ideas!
Since I am doing a bento guest post over at Following in my Shoes today, I thought I’d post my second installment of my Bento Basics: Tips for Making Lunch Fun. I will address the questions asked in Part 1 throughout this post.
Jocie asked~ What exactly is the meaning of bento? Is it a brand of sold, fun lunches??? Bento or Obento originates from Japan and it’s a small boxed take out lunch or one from home. You can find these little boxed lunches for sale all over Japan. Kyara-ben (a shortened form of character bento) are the cute characters, often make out of rice, that are popular. People outside Japan have really expanded on that idea of making lunch fun and ideas/creativity have run wild. Here are 2 of my rice character bentos.
|Hello Kitty Rice Character|
|Onigiri Face made with rice & egg sheet|
Tip: Bentos are great for special diets. Does your child have a peanut allergy? Do you stick to a gluten-free or dye-free diet? Make these restrictions fun with a bento. Click on the images below to see the details of the peanut & gluten free lunches from my blog buddies.
|Nina made this peanut-free bento for the first day of school.|
|Deb created this gluten-free bento for her her son.|
Tip: Bentos are not just for kids! People will say they don’t have a child or one young enough to enjoy a bento. It’s lunch packed with love and it can be for any age!
|Tortellini, salad & carrots, strawberries with dressing & treat for my hubby.|
|Mama’s bento: Yummy bagel sandwich, fruit salad, & Bircher Müsli.|
Tip: Many bentos are portable! In Part One, KC asked~ How do you keep them from tipping and getting messed up in the carrying them to school? I have a few lunch bags with
a wide bottom that help keep things in place. Sometimes I will stuff some lettuce or wadded up seran wrap in before the lid to hold it in place, but for the
most part it stays unless it gets tipped over in the classroom lunch
basket. My daughter is pretty careful about it. I keep the lunch from getting soggy by using silicone cupcake liners or other simple plastic containers to keep something like a cut fruit away from bread. I got many of these at the dollar store.
|2 of my wider based lunch bags with handles on top|
|Inside of the black & grey lunch bag|
|Pi Day bento uses silicone cupcake liners to keep food separate.|
|I avoided sogginess with silicone liners & the pickle in a baggie.|
A few years ago I saw some cute lunches called bentos online and thought they would be fun to make for my daughter. I was familiar with the term bento from living in Hawaii and traveling in Asia. I loved the cute spin that I was seeing on these boxed lunches. As we approached Kindergarten, I decided that I was going to make cute bentos for my daughter’s lunch each day. I wanted her to be eating a full, healthy lunch and to feel comforted by being apart during the day with my loving gesture.
I am starting this series of tips here at Diana Rambles called Bento Basics to teach others how to make sure your child is eating healthy with fun lunches.
Tip: Introduce new foods by making their food fun! I didn’t want to be sending junk food in my daughter’s lunch, so when I give her new foods or ones she’s not a fan of, I make them cute by using a cookie cutter, decorating, or making it fun.
|Hazelnut spread introduced in a butterfly shaped sandwich. Skewered blueberries adds to the fun!|
|Introduced cantaloupe (starfish) and edamame in this under the sea themed bento.|
|My daughter won’t eat peas at dinner, but she will in a cute lunch!|
Tip: Making cute lunches doesn’t have to be expensive! You don’t need a lot of gadgets to make lunch cute. While there are lots of bento supplies out there, you can use simple containers, cookie cutters, and even make your own food picks.
|Disposable restaurant container used for a road trip bento for my teen son.|
|Daddy-Daughter dance theme in a muffin tin for lunch at home. Silicone liners from a dollar store.|
|Angry Birds packed in a plastic container. Nori (wrapper used in sushi) for black accents.|
Tip: Don’t worry if your creation isn’t as cute as those online! There are a lots of very cute & creative bentos out there. Don’t get hung up on how cute or fun yours are. You only have 1 person to impress and that’s your kid or whomever you are making the bento for. Here are a few of my less than perfect lunches that my daughter adored.
|This was my very first bento.|
|My panda turned out kind of creepy, but she loved it!|
|This is supposed to be a flower garden.|
If you have any questions, please leave them as a comment. I will reply below each comment. I may include some of the questions in upcoming parts of this series.