I have seen stunning examples of and admired the 'Bento Box lunch' phenomenon on many occasions - however when packing lunch for five or six people for five or six days out of the week, I tend to go for what I can do fastest rather than what is most aesthetically pleasing. That is not to say, that maybe someday I will be organised enough to create these works of edible art that will actually still look like this come lunchtime after they have been flung into a school bag and done a few rounds of the playground...
I headed off to Sainsbury's to purchase my supplies for the bento box I had designed in my head for E, after having made a detour to pick up a poorly L from school. The original plan I had thought of then went out of the window, because we ran out of time while E was at nursery, and also L was in no mood to grocery shop with mum. I bought myself some time by letting L choose a breakfast cereal, however I had to make it quick so I improvised with my final shopping list for my bento box.
Like any toddler, E loves to see her own name. She likes to pick out letters of her name and "read" it whenever she sees it written anywhere, so I went with the idea of using it for her lunch.
With my vast collection of cake decorating cutters (I now have double usage for them, which means I can justify buying more...) I turned E's name into edible art.We had strawberry E, cheddar R, banana I, cucumber C and ham for the A. Using my silicone cupcake moulds, I separated the different flavours and she had great fun spelling her name out while she ate her lunch.
Along with the fruit and cheese, E enjoyed some of her favourite crisps in addition to a soft cheese bagel, topped with ham As which she thought was very funny. I maybe shouldn't encourage her to play with her food, but she ate it all as well as practised her name so it can't be all bad!
There are so many different designs and ideas you could quite literally never run out of things to do. Strawberry or banana flowers or butterflies, the alphabet cut into shapes, letters and numbers, savoury biscuits made into whatever shape you fancy and sandwiches cut in to any character you could imagine... It was certainly fun to do and I have created a Pinterest Bento Boxology board to keep all of my inspiration. I'm keen to try out some favourite tv characters for my boys!
Have you been inspired by the bento box? What themes or characters would you most like to try out?