Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bento Lunch 9-15-09

Bentos have been in the news lately with back to school time and everyone being more budget conscious. A bento is a lunch container that has other little containers or compartments inside into which you can place appropriate sized servings. We use bentos made by Laptop Lunches for dh's lunch every day at work and for myself and the kids when we travel. We love our bentos and I love that bentos are getting lots of press, but I am a little concerned with some of the articles. Some bento users enjoy using artistry when packing their lunches. These lunches are beautiful and contain fruit, cheeses or sandwiches shaped with cookie cutters, eggs cut out to look like animals and other really pretty and interesting elements. You can see pictures of these beautiful lunches by doing a simple search online. They are lovely, but these types of pictures and their references in articles about bento concern me. I'm afraid that people will see these and think that a bento must look like this and if theirs don't that they are failures and they will give up on bentos, or never even give bentos a chance because it looks like too much work.

So, I am here as a bento using underachiever to tell you that its okay to pack lunches that do not contain bunny shapped hard boiled eggs or apple slices cut out in star shapes. Pack your bento with leftovers from dinner, sandwiches or salads. Add a few little snacks to the smaller compartments and enjoy your efforts. Even without all the fuss and artistry (unless of course you want to cut out shapes - nothing wrong with that), your lunch will look beautiful and inviting. My kids are much more likely to eat something from their laptop lunch box, even if they do not usually eat it, than that same thing on a regular plate or container. The above photo is dh's lunch for today. Isn't it pretty? Its just a salad, mixed nuts and strawberries and blueberries. Now imagine that same lunch in a plastic container and sandwich baggies. Definitely not as inviting that way, don't you think?

Do you bento?


Alea said...

Your husband's lunch looks wonderful! I have been tempted to try Bento, but haven't yet.

Anonymous said...

I've thought of doing Bento lunches for Redd, but I don't think they'll hold enough food! Hello, it's Redd LOL.

Seriously, I use multiple containers for his lunch because I'll send a salad, some dressing, the meat and a hot veggie side.

I think there's a flickr group dedicated to fancy bento lunches. Crazy stuff!