Years ago I came across a few blogs that focus in on bentos...Japanese style lunch boxes that are super cute. At the time I had just had my son and dreamed about making him cute appealing lunches to take to school. Fast forward 5 years and it's finally time for me to pack his first school lunch.
A few weeks ago I started to acquire a few tools to make fun bento boxes. The first thing I ordered was a book by a fellow blogger called Yum-Yum Bento Box. It has pictures of cute bento boxes and lots of ideas for creating your own unique lunches. While many of the lunches are centered around Japanese cuisine they show you lots of examples that will appeal to the American palette as well. My son happens to love sushi and chinese food in general, so this works quite well for our family.
I also ordered two very cute Bento boxes, a travel utensil kit, a few sandwich cutters and rice molds. It is really quite fun to browse through the bento sites and see just how many cute things there are out there for creating cute lunches. Who knew??
Today I filled the bento boxes with a small lunch/snack to take with us in the car while we were out. I wanted to get my son acquainted with the box before heading off to school so that he could see how to use it. I made a version of a rice caterpillar with fruit and veggies. It was super easy and it only took me about 15 minutes, but both of the kids were delighted with their lunches and gobbled up everything. For myself and my husband I made larger onigiri (rice balls), filled with ham and I folded a piece of nori (seaweed) over it to make it more traditional looking. I was really surprised by how tasty it was and the kids both said they liked it a lot.
My son is excited about his new lunch box and says he can't wait to eat at school. I'm happy that he is excited and hopefully it will make sending him off to kindergarten for the whole day a little easier. I can put a little extra love into his lunch box and let him know that I'm thinking about him even while he is away.
Check out a few of these bento sites for more inspiration.
Yum Yum Bento Box Book