Friday, July 9, 2010

Bento Box Lunches

We have a new favorite gadget at our house, a bento box. Ella has recently discovered Japanese food and it seems like a cuisine that works well with her food limitations. When I pack her lunch in the morning, I am always sure to include at least one fresh fruit and one vegetable. Today, I asked her what she wanted to put in her bento box and we began to build what looked like a fabulous meal. She made her own roll out of leftover rice, a sheet of seaweed, sliced cucumber and carrots. After she rolled it, I sliced it into five sections ("Because I am five!") and placed it inside the box. Then I chopped up some smoked salmon and put that in the section, adjacent. In the lower compartment we put steamed broccoli rabe and mango slices. Not too shabby. Ella insisted on carrying the box to school, sans bag. My husband called me from school and said that Ella accidentally dropped her lunch in the stairwell. She was hysterical. Thankfully, we had more ingredients so I quickly whipped up a new version and hand delivered it to her at school. This time I carried it in a sturdy bag with handles, just in case.

If anyone is looking for a way to shake up their or their kid's lunch routine, I would highly suggest getting a bento box. There is something really special about it. You can pack pretty much any kind of food and go crazy with the creativity. And because the box, itself, is a bit of a novelty it is sure to spark some lunch time conversation. It was really special preparing the meal with my daughter and seeing how excited she was to take it to school. She also requested that I go online and look up information about Japanese bento boxes so that she could tell her friends about it. (Has anyone ever heard of the Dewey Decimal System... okay, dating myself). Thankfully, our printer was having issues otherwise a bunch of 5 year olds would have been handed a sheet telling them everything they ever wanted to know about a bento box. (Ella is quite the motivated educator).

When researching bento boxes on the internet, I found this cool website called Laptop Lunches.
Another bonus to packing a bento box, besides healthier eating, is the fact that they are eco-friendly. Their store has some that are BPA free. But if that doesn't float your boat, there are hundreds of other websites out there that carry a variety of lunch boxes. (Another bento box supplier that I love for all kinds of reasons is Plastica, which can be found online or you can visit their store in LA.)

In any case, we are already looking forward to our next bento meal. Maybe cold rice noodles or soba with a slice of some GF/Wheat Free dessert? Fun!


Anonymous said...

These are so neat. I was showing them to my daughter online, she liked the look of it. This summer we'll try to come up with some creations for her. In addition to her pn & tn allergy, she's a picky eater. I'm hoping the food will present well, so she will try some new things.

I found this website that had some good information on this. Hope you don't mind if I post the link here, but I thought you might find it of interest.


Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot to put the link:

Heidi Miller said...

I always love your input, Linda! Thank you!

Heidi Miller said...

PS: Very cute stuff by the way. :)