Tips for Bento Box Lunches
You may be wondering what a bento box is. To put it simply, it’s a Japanese boxed lunch. But lately, it has become synonymous with “cute packed lunch for kids”. I have to admit that I’m a sucker for anything cute, especially food, so this was right up my alley. Plus, with a child who I have to beg to eat at every meal, I’m all about any way to make food more appealing to you.
But I don’t want to just do them. I want to inspire you to give it a try, too! You might be surprised how much fun it is. So, to get you started, I’m going to share some techniques for making your very own bento box creation. And be sure to check back tomorrow to see some lovely bento box inspirational pictures. They are sure to get your creative juices (and maybe orange juices) flowing!
Before you begin, you’ll need a box. I used a tupperware that originally housed deli meat, but anything could really work. Just not too tall or else your food will slide around. I’ve heard that pencil boxes make pretty decent bento boxes.
1. Divide and Conquer
Kids don’t really like their food to touch, and as an adult, I’m not sure I do either. So not only does this solve this problem, but it also helps you, as the maker, keep your ideas together, kinda like an outline or bulleted list. Silcone baking cups are great for this.
2. Rack ‘Em and Stack ‘Em
Things look better if they are orderly. That goes for food too. So instead of just throwing it in there willy-nilly, take the time to make the pile neat. And you can totally cheat on this by just making the top neat.
3. Stick ‘Em Up
Not sure what to do? Put a stick in it. Nothing is more appealing to the masses than food on a stick. Am I right? And if you get cute toothpicks, more power to ya!
4. Cut It Out
Please tell me I’m not the only one thinking of Uncle Joey from Full House. Anyways, cookie cutters are going to be your best friend. You can use them to cut out bread and sandwiches, meats, cheese, actual cookies, tons of stuff. And just in case you’re thinking that the above picture is a waste of bread, you can be sure to pick cookie cutters that fit better on your size of bread or happily eat the scraps as I did while I finished up making this lunch.
5. Make Your Mark
Take the time to add little embellishments. They can really make all the difference in your design. I used some edible markers to add some detail to my firetruck. It was easy to do, and, I think, it really helped the overall picture. And don’t be afraid to write “Love, Mom” somewhere in there. Your kids might roll their eyes, but they will secretly love it.
6. Roll With It
If you have some food that you’re not sure what to do with, or some space to fill, try making a roll. Here I did some simple ham and cheese rolls that not only look nice but they do the job in filling up the dead space. You could get quite creative with different color cheeses, tortillas, meats, and spreads; all sorts of things can be rolled.
7. Play With Your Food
You might remember Tiffany’s post on this very subject, but it really is important to remember that this is supposed to be fun! So have fun with it. For Sebastian’s firetruck inspired bento, I did my best to make a fire out of pineapple, carrot, and red bell pepper. It’s not perfect, but it made me happy when I saw it, and so it was a success in my book.
And that’s it! You’re on your way to the cutest packed lunch you (or your child) ever did eat.