A few weeks into the school year, I had a mother pull me aside. I was concerned my first grade daughter had done something to provoke her son and in turn prompt this private conversation. To my surprise, she started asking me about the lunches I pack. She went on and on about how my daughter had the cutest lunches and how do I find the time. Funny thing is, I just started packing bento lunches for my daughter this year. Bento lunch making can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it: for now I focus on the nutritional aspect with just some small special touches. With the rise in concern in the quality of school lunch, packing lunch is an easy way to control exactly what your child is consuming.
I was introduced to bento lunch making a couple years ago when my husband traveled to Japan for a film shoot. One of the gifts he returned with was a bento box for our daughter. I had heard of bentos before, but wasn’t really familiar with them. In Japan bentos are used as lunch boxes. If you do enough hunting around the web, you’ll find amazing bento creations. Once bentos become a part of your life, you’ll want to make beautiful lunches.
Beautiful lunches? Yes. Beautiful lunches.
With the arrival of our first bento (in the photo) my initial reaction was, but it’s so small!?! Is it a snack bento? No it wasn’t a snack bento. After using it a few times I was actually amazed at how much food a bento can hold. Packing a bento lunch is truly going against the grain of how I was raised. Everyday in my lunch box, my mother would pack a sandwich in aluminum foil, small bags of things in ziploc plastic bags, or fill a thermos with soup. For some reason when packing a bento, lunch just feels more special. Maybe it’s the cutters I use to turn a simple slice of