Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adventures in Bento

Ok, so I've always thought those cute little bento boxes from Japan were adorable. So, I decided to try my hand at it to see what I could do. The result, I've found a creative outlet and I don't have to pull out my sewing machine or paints.

As I've posted before, I strive to make healthy school lunches for my son.  I try to make them as attractive as possible to encourage him to actually eat the veggies and stuff and to keep him from envying the kids with processed crackers and fruit snacks.  Enter bento...

I've been having lots of fun playing around with this new art form.  And I've learned a few things along the way. 

One: Make it adorable - I used a cute little rice mold to make these cubes and inserted a little bento pick mushroom.  The faces are cut from nori and the cucumber 'pea pod' is also a cookie cutter kinda thing.  I picked up all the little cutters and stuff for cheap at : All Things for Sale

Two: Use lots of different veggies and things to fill in the gaps in the box to keep the items from moving around when transported.   Plus, you were probably too excited about the rice dog bone and 'BAM!' to even realize that this lunch included roasted brussel sprouts, spinach, and red peppers.  Exactly my goal of getting my not-so-little man to eat his veggies (I call this stealth parenting).

Three: Incorporate something unexpected. I found an egg mold at All Things for Sale that I LOVE.  All I had to do was insert a warm, peeled hard-boiled egg.,  Once cooled, voila, an adorable fish, which I added a thin slice of cucumber skin and some pepper shavings for scales.  It appears that Mr. Red Pepper doesn't like fish...

I also learned to cut an apple like a flower, surprisingly easy...

Four: There's no reason everyone else in the family can't have a fun lunch too...  Below is the bento I made for myself.  I used a bunny cookie cutter to mold the rice and cucumber skin to make the face.

I also made one for Baby Boy.  I know he's too little to really enjoy it, but his day-care lady sure got a kick out of it.  It's amazing how adorable carrots become when cut with a shaped cookie cutter. 

Five: Keep it (fairly) simple.  Just shaping rice in a neat shape and adding a face and/or decorative pick to something adds whimsy and fun. 

I plan on sharing more of my Bento Adventures, is there anything you'd like me to elaborate on or post about?

You can also find this link at Homemakers Challenge


  1. I love seeing the cute bento pictures. That egg is incredible though! I had no idea that was even possible.

    1. I know, right!? It's incredible the different things you see in bento boxes. All you have to do is google "bento art" :) I want to try an 'Angry Birds' themed one at some point.

    2. Oh! and you should see the other mold, it's a little car... yes, an egg shaped into a car! I'll post about it when I get a picture. :)


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