Saturday, March 8, 2014

Confession #43: Fun with food; Bento Boxes

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Cute little Totoro Bento Box

Every mom will have to pack lunches for their kids at sometime or another. Most moms will spend everyday preparing a packed lunch. My thought; why does it have to be boring? Food should be fun. Kids like colors. Food should be colorful. Kids love variety. Food has endless possibilities. Kids love surprises. Bento boxes, always have surprises.
So I have been packing lots of bento boxes for my daughter. If you are new to the bento box world or if you just want some ideas.

I like to wrap my bento boxes in cloth napkins. Simple, handy, and it looks

nice. Our community had a tie dye party and I took a set of Ikea napkins and went to work.
You will need a few containers, and some dividers. The container doesn't matter really. I like to use short square containers (like the ones used for sandwiches). I was given some bento box rubber containers from my sister. But I have also seen people use the silicone muffin liners. the reusable kind. There are plenty of great gadgets out there if you get into it. But first start simple. here's a few of my fun bento tools.

Fun rice and egg molds. Click HERE to find out how to use them.

I fond these at a dollar store and they work great with bento box lunches and working on fine motor skills.

From top left: Little sauce containers with pink funnel and stand, four small fruit and veggie cutters, little silicone separators.

Silicone dividers. There are tons out there. I found a 6 pack of silicone muffin liners at the dollar store.

Cookie cutters. I find that small to medium ones work the best. Also sandwich cutters work well.
Another reason I like bento boxes is because I get to use up my leftovers. If I only have a few pieces of cheese, a handful of blueberries, some raisins, and a cracker. I have a bento box! You think you don't have enough stuff to make your kids lunch? Think again. Its Bento Time
I like to prep a little ahead of time. I get all the fruit, veggies and other items that can be prepped ahead of time out of the way.

Bento Boxes might be adorable but they leave a lot behind. Some might just toss it but instead I consider it to be the perfect lunch for a mom who doesn't mind a little weird looking lunch.

Fun shaped food. This one was for Valentines Day.
I love fun with food.

Bento 1: cheese, raspberries, meat cubes, pretzels, oranges, beans, strawberries, crackers, celery, carrots, mushrooms

Cheese crackers, cheese, mushrooms, apples, sweet potato, carrot, pretzels, and meat

nuts, blueberries, raisins, craisins, crackers, carrots, and cheese

meat, orange, apple sauce, carrots, nuts, cheese, egg, snap peas, celery, crackers, dried fruit, cucumber

muffin, pretzels, cuts, dried fruit, snap peas, pineapple, strawberries, celery, cheese, apple, carrot, grapes, cereal, mushroom

fruit, crackers, cookies, cheese, meat, beans, carrots, raisins, nuts and grapes

apple sauce, orange, crackers, nuts, cheese sandwiches, beans, carrot, nuts.

Spider sandwiches. Crackers, hummus (can use peanut butter), raisins and pretzels but in half.
With a little prep work you can add in some fun other items into your bento boxes.

Homemade dried fruit roll ups

Fruit roll ups fresh out of the oven. Pureed fruit and place in dehydrator over night.

I hope this has inspired you to go out and make some bentos. Kids LOVE them. And since Easter is coming. Try using egg cartons instead of bento containers.
Check out my pinterest for even more ideas
Have fun. Play with your food. And kick off those shoes.