Remember that story about the kids getting into the habit of binning their lunches?
Well, as I mentioned in that Week In The Life update, I began thinking about how I can remedy that situation. My new online buddy Sarah had a great idea of doing sandwich rolls. I've tried it and it was cool. But, I think the kids need a bit more.
So, I started doing a little research on this. Then I remembered another creative online buddy, Monet aka bentogehl. I've been admiring her bento creations for some time now.
But, even when I first came across the concept of bento lunch boxes, I had no hesitation in putting it in the "too hard basket." I knew there was no way I could do anything like that.
How could I? I'm no good in the mornings. We're always just in a rush to get the kids school. And, I wasn't sure I'd have the patience and the skill to create those elaborate lunch boxes.
I told myself my kids would just have to make do with their standard lunches - a mix of fruits, crisps, sandwiches, crackers, cheese, etc.
Admittedly, even I was getting bored of their lunch boxes.
I don't remember having exciting lunch boxes as a kid. And, it was fine. I enjoyed going to the school canteen for recess and lunch. My kids are only allowed once-a-week canteen lunches.
And, I must admit, compared to their canteen and the canteen I grew up with - my old school's canteen resembled a huge cafe, with a good variety of food options. I remember having lasagna, pork barbecues, Spanish rice, and the like at school. Not every single day, but still. So yeah. My school lunches were definitely a notch better than theirs.
That's why that week during WITL, I decided I'd make the commitment to try a bit harder. I did a couple of practice creative lunches, which the kids seem to have appreciated. And, I started ordering bento lunch box accessories on eBay.
Last week, the first batch of my new bento accessories arrived:
Very basic. Just some cutters/food stampers. But, I got to work that same evening and created my first official bento lunch box (photo at the top of this post).
Food included: rice and corn crackers, buttered with bunny/stars ham + Oreos + Popped crisps + wheat grain crackers and house-shaped cheese + chopped bananas and kiwi fruit + strawberry-flavoured Up & Go
Part of the deal was that whenever I create a bento lunch box for them, they will write a story for me based on a prompt I create and their lunch box as inspiration. They seemed quite excited.
For the first bento lunch box story, the prompt I wrote was: "Today, the bunny..."
Inspired, of course, by the bunny-shaped ham.
And, here's what the 9-year-old boy wrote:
And, here's the 6-year-old girl's take:
No writing awards to be handed out, I know. But then again, I'm not going to win any bento-making awards either. 😉
It doesn't matter. They're cute.
I love that the whole lunch box thing becomes an adventure. A give-and-take food storytelling exercise. I think about them as I make their lunch boxes. And hopefully, I become a part of their day as they enjoy their food and write their stories.
I'm thrilled that they're now excited when they know I made a bento lunch box for them. And, I also look forward to them coming home with their feedback and their written stories.
A win all around, yes?