Think in the box for brilliant bento creations that will have everyone looking forward to lunch.
Anyone who grew up with health-conscious proto-foodie parents while trapped deep in Wonder-Bread-and-Twinkies country will know a thing or two about the value of lunchbox aesthetics in the world of third grade. Times have changed, but third graders probably haven’t changed much. Fortunately a healthy lunch doesn’t have to mean hunks of whole grain bread and cheese (though any discerning adult would probably pay a tidy sum for either at the local bistro) and unpeeled (heavens!) carrot sticks in non-uniform sized, already used paper bags.
The adorable Bento for Kidlet site is devoted to that cute-to-the-nth-power Asian invention, the bento box, as a solution to making kids’ lunches healthy, packable, recyclable and totally kid-approved. Jenn, the site’s creator, assembles these all-vegetarian wonders in reusable containers for her lucky kidlet. They’re genius for kids, but–especially with themes like Dr. Who, Avengers and Captain America–they would undoubtedly make lunch the high point in any adult geek’s day. A Lorax bento (a soy ham sandwich with cheese Lorax, checkered apple, strawberries, and orange bell pepper) joins an already-existing armada of Dr. Seuss adorableness, including, of course, Green Eggs and “Ham.” Harry Potter (cheese and food color Harry on a faux chicken patty sandwich with sides of checkered apple, carrots, walnuts, almonds, and dried blueberries) joins the crew. There’s even a field trip version.
Bento box lunches are a great, if not new, idea; you can find bento basics and some natural ways to decorate your modular food items with color and flair from the Just Bento Cookbook. Parenting offers more how-to tips for bento lunches.
Photo: Bento for Kidlet