A couple of weeks ago a conversation among Twitter friends popped up about these “Bento” lunches (See what you’re missing on Twitter???). At the very basic level, a Bento lunch is a traditional Japanese boxed lunch. There’s a bunch of other elements to it, but that should perk up your ears enough. Last summer I decided to change my approach when it came to my kids’ lunches, so I had already done a lot of research on it. If any of the following apply to you or your children, this post might be for you.
- Are your kids picky eaters?
- Do you want your kids to eat healthy lunches?
- Are you or your children “visual” learners?
- Would you like to do your part for the environment?
This group of photos is what I do NOT do. I’m not cool enough. Nor am I a good enough mom. Nor would my kids ever eat this.
I’m not even cool enough to own an actual Bento lunchbox. I went to Wal-Mart and bought these Ziploc containers. There’s two in a package for about $2-3.00.
Let’s try not to remember the Bentos that I just showed you. Here is my interpretation of a healthy and appealing lunch for my kiddos.
To be honest, last week was a little bit of a boring palette, but I wanted to show you what it can look like. I may have sacrificed some aesthetics, but I know what my kids like—or don’t like as the case may be.
Case in point? They will only eat cheese sticks if they’re diced up; they’ll only eat ham if it’s wrapped in a tortilla shell; they only like cheese on a pizza if it’s cold.
Just for fun, here’s what their lunch looks like on Fridays. We’re talkin’ bottom of the barrel in the pantry, people! That was the last slice of bread. It had to last!
In case you’re wondering, I don’t forget a drink. It just doesn’t fit into the container. I chose a lunch bag that fits the Ziploc boxes perfectly.
I thought I’d include a couple of sites that I referred to OFTEN when I first got started.
What’s for Lunch at Our House is a favorite read. I’m still too afraid to tackle her muffin recipes, but I plan on it…
To the Moon and Back has a daughter with severe food allergies, and she includes near daily pictures of the lunches she packs for her. I’m obsessed!
Lastly, if you type in “Bento lunch” or “kid lunch” at Flickr, you’ll find a ton of pictures and groups. I use it often when I’m in a slump.
So there you have it—my attempt at getting my kids to eat healthier lunches. So far, I think it’s working beautifully!
One more thing…my mom might get on here and make a comment about how picky her daughter is. DON’T let her fool you. I survive just fine on chocolate, chicken tenders, and toast, thank you very much.