As a mum to two growing boys, I know just how hard it can be to convince them to try a new food. When they’re at home, it’s easier as I can watch what they’re eating and give extra encouragement when needed. I try to eat with them when I can to set a good example but when they’re at school, they tend to eat as quickly as possible to get outside and play with their friends. Which means new and healthy foods can get left behind! Before I started following a bento lunch style, I was opening up their lunch boxes to find a disappointing amount of leftovers! While some days were worse than others, no one likes to think about their child at school going hungry!
When I first heard about bento, I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect so I decided to do just a little bit of research. Bento originates from Japan and typically involves a meal of rice, meat and vegetables for lunch or dinner. The effort individuals and families put into their bento is really quite impressive, with many spending time creating mini-masterpieces inside their lunch boxes. Today, many countries around the world are adopting this style of lunch, whether it be with take out or in this case, school lunches!
Today though, you can incorporate bento into all sorts of foods. Whether it be cutting shapes, creating little creatures out of sandwiches, or just adding a little bit extra to make sure they finish their lunch, it’s easy to get involved. One of the best ways to make a new food enticing for your kids, is to make it fun for them. If you’re trying a new sandwich filling, cut it into shapes and engage with them in the morning about the special lunch they have. If you’re trying a new fruit then combining them with other favourites works extremely well from my own experience!
With more and more people enjoying the bento lifestyle, a whole range of different meals have made their way into the world. Here are 20 different ideas showing just how much you can do with bento for lunch. Now you may be thinking that these meals will take quite some time to prepare and you’d be right, some of these can take upwards of 30 minutes in the extreme cases. I must admit, I thought the same when I first started, but it’s quickly become clear that it doesn’t have to be like that (For inspiration, check out the Facebook page!). Whether I’m cutting sandwich shapes or using wraps for a change, adding sprinkles to yoghurt or making fruit faces, it takes the same time that it did it before for typical lunches. Not bad right?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post! It’s my first try at this style so leave a comment here or on facebook.
See you next time!