Wednesday, October 26, 2011
My First Bento
At about the same time that I saw the idea for Muffin Tin Meals, I saw the idea for Bento lunches on What's for Lunch at Our House. However, just like my hesitation with Muffin Tin Meals, I worried that I didn't have the right supplies or sufficient creativity to really give it try.
Basically, Bento, an idea that appears to have originated in Japan as a takeout meal with a variety of foods served in a box shaped container, has been taken over by moms (and dads) everywhere as a fun way to send packed lunches to school. The basic idea is to serve small portions of a variety of foods in small compartments.
After serving my boys their Muffin Tin Meal on Wednesday, I decided that I should take the leap and try my first Bento. I found this container set at Home Goods. It has a rectangular ice pack which separates the sandwich section from the other small containers. I also bought some silicone baking cups to use as dividers
The sandwich is cashew butter and jelly. The fruit section has clementine sections, raspberries, and one dark chocolate chip (which my daughter said got "slimy" from the raspberries.) The veggie section is red pepper hummus and cucumber sticks.
I'm excited to try some other ideas in future lunches. My daughter had been telling me that I wasn't packing her enough for lunch. I had been packing at least as much food as she would have been eating at home. But, I guess, in the world of the first grade cafeteria, a sandwich and apple slices is, admittedly, a little boring. I think that Bento lunches will give me the opportunity to give her a greater variety of food, without actually giving her more food.
By the way, if you want to see some amazing, art quality Bentos, check out Happy Little Bento.