I've discovered another arena to be creative in...Bento! If I didn't have a 4 year old I probably wouldn't think twice about getting so creative with food. However, with Bento playing with your food is strongly encouraged! There are so many reasons to get into Bento. The getting to be creative aspect is a no brainer for me so, what really sold me is the opportunity to spark a deep appreciation of food in my son by making it more fun.
Getting started with Bento can be a little overwhelming at first. There are so many different things you can create with food, themes you can implement and tools/adornments you can use. If your like me, you'll do a web search on Bento and then become a little intimidated by the extravagance that some super moms accomplished. I'm all for the creative but, I don't want to be up until midnight putting my preschoolers lunch together.
This is what I did to break into this creative world with ease.
1. I decided to change his lunchbox "styles" with the month. For instance: Jan=Snow/Blue, Sep=Apples/Red, Aug=Sharks/Blue/Brown
2. Spaced out Lunchbox according to food groups & portions. Fruits/Veggies/Protein=Lg. Space, Crackers/Snacks/Goodies=Sm. Space.
3. Made space for napkin & silverware.
Here's an October Bento lunch I made for my preschooler.
* Pumpkin shaped turkey n cheese sandwich
* Gluten free apricot cookie
* Sliced grapes
* Black Olives
* 1 gluten free graham cracker
* 1/4 chunk of Enjoy Life chocolate bar
* Multi-colored marshmallows
* Box of organic raisins
* BBQ POPS chips
* Coconut water
Did I mention my 4 year old has food allergies? Bento has been a great way to present my son with fun food options without him feeling left out. It's hard for me to see other kids eating foods he can't (like goldfish) or telling him no we can't buy it because it's ouchy (like goldfish). Bento has allowed me to help distract him from what everyone else is eating because he just can't take his eyes off of what's right in front of him. Bento!
Happy Eats Everyone!