Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our first Bento

Hello and welcome to our Bento/Obento blog. This is my first time doing this as I just learned about it not to long ago. I am using this in attempts to get my daughters to eat healthier. I think it will be a fun way to get them to try new foods, and will be fun to share ideas with others.

What is Bento? Actually bento is slowly becoming a new rage here in the US. In a nut shell Bento originated in Japan in about the 5th century when the Japanese left their homes to till the fields , hunt , fish etc. It was a convienient way to eat a healthy lunch on the go. Which in those days consisted of rice, fish, millet.
Today Bento is making its way to the US, though it has been over in Hawaii for quite some time.
More families here in the US are using the Bento lunch to help teach their children to eat healthier and to make less waste, as the use of plastic ziploc bags, paper bags, wax paper are not needed when using a Bento lunch box. Which reduces garbage and waste.

We learned about Bento a few years ago when Hannah was in Kindergarden and we were learning about Japan. Little did I know or realize that it was something being done here in the US. I recently began learning more about it when a friend of mine told me about a fundraiser called Easy Lunchboxes . That began my searching into a fun new way of making lunches for the girls as some days I just began to feel like I was throwing things in their box and really wanted it to be much more healthier then it has been.

Recently when we were at Wegmans I came across the Laptop Lunchbox in the organic isle. These are another great American Bento box that is simple and easy to use. So we bought one ( as each of them are about $30.00) and we began with Marilyn since her lunchbox was the one I didn't care for the most so we needed to replace it. I'll be replacing the girls lunch boxes one at a time.

Though I may just get Maggie the Easy Lunchboxes as its easier for her to open because she's so little. I'm just waiting for them to get their next shippment of containers as its so popular that they had a shortage. LOL.
There is also another Bento called Planet Box which I REALLY like but its a bit more pricery than the Laptop Lunchbox. Though I may splurge at some point and just get the container. I like the fact that its stainless steel rather than plastic.

So with further adue I'll share with you our first Bento. I really think the girls will enjoy their lunch at school tomorrow. I will admit this did take some time to do. I did make a drawing so I knew what I wanted to do to begin with. Keeping a little drawing journel does help and it helps to keep ideas for future lunches instead of having to reinvent the wheel over and over again.
I basically made the same lunch for the girls other then that Hannah's Bento didnot have her name in cheese letters as she doesn't seem to care for cheese.
I'll also apologize in advance as the photos I took with my video camera since my regular camera isn't working right now so the poor quality doesn't pick up how colorful this lunch really is.

Marilyn's Bento was fun to make and I honestly can't wait to replace the other girls' lunch boxes with the Laptop Lunchboxes as they slide nicely into our little fridge verses the big bulky containers I have right now.

Bascially these bentos consisted of a bed of Romaine lettuce. A small hamburger patty which was cooked in my stainless steel pumpkin cookie cutter in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season. I topped the hamburger with two black olives for eyes and a little bit of Nori for the mouth. Along with this were small carrot pieces, grape tomatoes and red onion. I have lots of cookie cutters and used them to cut their names out in cheese. Well the shorten version of their names at least. With that I added ketchup to small dip container. In the upper container I made cucumber rings. They were easy to make. I just cut the cucumber, cut the middle out with a peiring knife and then cut a small slit in each of them to connect the chain. Then onto the fruit. I made fun fruit cabobs. I used fondue skewrs as I couldn't find the regular ones. I cut pineapple, bannana (which I soaked in lemon juice to keep it from browning), and grapes. I gave the girls one skewer each and just cut the sharp tip with scissors and then cut the skewer in half to make two. For the snack are strawberry filled marshmellows which were Hello Kitty, and the little chocolate/strawberry candies on top were also from the Asian isle.

I think this is really a great start to something new and fun for the girls and their lunches. It actually makes me want to have one for myself. You know what? I just may get one.

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