I recently have become rather enthralled with the idea, look, and presentation style of Bento lunches. I discovered them a while ago while working on some new ideas for our Muffin Tin Meals but thought they looked like a lot of work, not a lot of food, and in their more traditional states, not food that looked real yummy.
However, while looking for ideas for “finger” lunches I could pack Inara for her KDO program, I stumbled across this blog… What’s For Lunch at Our House. And discovered the many many possibilities of a more “flexible” Bento style lunch, and especially how kid friendly they could be! I also realized, you could use just about any container to make a “bento” lunch without it being a more traditional Bento box.
So, while Inara was at KDO on Monday (with a lunchable and a few sliced strawberries for a lunch) I went to the container store to see what I could find in the way of dividable, small, portable, lunch containers. $25 later I had enough containers to make 4 lunches – two larger and two smaller all with a built-in but movable divider in the container as well as 4 coordinating smaller containers that worked to divide as well as hold things like dips, yogurt, applesauce, or whatever other semi-liquid state items might be packed – bonus the smaller containers came with their own air-tight lid just like the larger divided containers. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous, but, I’ve seen a single Bento set cost as much as I had just spent on 4 (which was actually 8 separate containers technically) so I was pleased.
Last night I packed up Chris’ lunch for today in one my new container sets and was thrilled to see how much I could fit in the larger set (his whole lunch still didn’t fit because he also gets several snacks for morning and afternoon, other wise he’s a grumpy Chris with low blood sugar)!
Today, I set to work and made not only Inara, but myself a Bento lunch as well. It took me a little longer than I would have liked, but that’s mostly because I wasn’t used to the techniques and such – I know it won’t be long and I can bang one out in just a few minutes. Other than the containers, I used only things I already had in the house – I wasn’t going to let myself spend a ton of money on cutesy things like shapers/cutters for sandwiches, fruits, veggies, etc – a) because we don’t have it b) it seemed ridiculous c) we don’t have the storage space and d) I already have a lot of small cookie cutters and such in my cake supply kit so I figured those would work – and they did!
Here are today’s lunches:
Inara’s: Half a mini bagel cut in half with strawberry cream cheese, strawberry applesauce (in one of the separate mini containers I bought), tulip cheddar cheese and yellow watermelon and cantaloupe hearts. Inara had one of the smaller containers for her lunch.
Mine: Turkey Wrap (avocado, ranch dressing, shredded colby jack cheese, and two shaved turkey slices wrapped in a Flatout Kidz Original wrap (LOVE THESE!)), dill pickle spear, fruit salad with yellow watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and strawberries. I used one of the larger containers for my lunch, but borrowed the movable divider from the other small container as well so my fruit didn’t end up with pickle juice in it.
I found my lunch to be VERY filling (although I may go have another pickle spear, because – yumm) and the jury is still out with Inara – I’m having issues getting her to eat things that resemble sandwiches, she ended up ignoring the bagel and had part of a blueberry muffin instead…
I think I may have found something new to love on for a while. 🙂