I seek inspiration for my bento lunches in the things my children love. Corduroy by Don Freeman has been a favorite of my oldest since he got it for Christmas the year he was one. His Aunt Mary, who gave it to him, seemed a little puzzled that he was most drawn to the escalator part. We would start the story and he would want to skip ahead, or I would try to finish and he’d grab the pages to flip back to it.
Now that he’s older, he appreciates the full story and (I hope) the message. Better still, it’s something he now shares with his younger brothers.
We’ve now got only 10 days to our big summer trip. Last week I did a Maine-themed lunch as a nod to the second half of our trip. This week, I focused on Michigan, which is our first stop. My son won’t appreciate the nod to the 80′s Michigan tourism promo, but I hoped some of you might.
Ham and Cheese “Michigan” sandwich, blueberries, goldfish, cherries, and cherry “beach ball”.
I’m feeling a bit like Sufjan Stevens — I’ll have to get some reader input if I want to do more state-themed lunches.
I’m getting very excited about our big adventure to Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maine, even though it’s almost three weeks away. I saw a lobster cutter last week and I couldn’t resist buying it. It was the foundation for this week’s Maine-themed lunch.
Cheese “Scout” sandwich decorated with olive and nori, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, strawberries, and blueberries.
Tomorrow’s lunch is an homage to one of my kid’s favorite iPhone games– Scout’s ABC garden. Every time I try to sneak my phone out to check email or Facebook, my toddler insists it is his phone and that he get to play Scout. It’s helping me kick my habit and encouraging me to be more present with him.
Here’s a screenshot of the game in case you’re not familiar:
What’s your favorite electronic distraction for your kids? How often do you let your children use your smart phone?
SB&J teapot sandwich, cheese “sandwiches”, scone, and fresh fruit.
I was inspired for lunch today by the afternoon tea my son’s preschool offers. His teacher explained to me once that they have tea as something special for the students that stay later and start to miss their parents. It works well enough that my son complains occasionally that I pick him up at 3:00 and he misses tea.
The comment thread on my Cat in the Hat lunch earlier this week gave me an idea on how to cut custom shapes better. I wrote to Jaimie that it’s easiest to create clean cutting lines with cookie cutters. Today I realized I could combine shapes from cutters I do have to get the lines I was hoping for. I’m pleased with the results.
I told my son I was going to make him a very special lunch tomorrow with Cat in the Hat. ”I want a train,” he said. I should have expected that because a) trains are his favorite and b) he had a train sandwich today.
Turkey and cheese sandwich, red pepper with cream cheese, blueberries, a goldfish cracker, cheese, lettuce, and parsley
I hope this will change his mind. Of course, if he asks for Cat in the Hat on Thursday, I’ll have to propose he have a train. Those are much easier.
Most of my bentos rely on cookie cutters. It’s an easy way to make things look quite polished, much like buying lush yarn can make a beautiful scarf, even if it’s all straight knit.
We love breakfast! I find it’s an easy choice for lunch as well. When I made pancakes Sunday morning I made a few extra to keep for Monday’s lunch. I let my four-year-old choose the pancake shape and color. He also used an egg slicer on the egg.
The natural shapes of the pancakes, kiwi, and egg led to the theme. I did use a cutter on the cheese slice and threw in a round cracker to go with it.
I’m taking my bento making to the next level. This blog is a personal challenge to recommit to making healthy, beautiful lunches for my children more regularly. Now that the world (or at least the family members who feel obliged to read this) are watching, I need to make sure I’m posting some pretty lunches pretty regularly.
The name foodler is a bit tongue-in-cheek. My husband and I joke about being foodies, and hopefully to some extent we are. We expose our children to the wealth of food diversity that the Bay Area provides. I have to admit I was quite pleased when my toddler arranged his toy trucks in a circle and proclaimed he was playing with “food trucks.” However, we eat our share of sugar cereal (it’s kept in the “mommy cabinet”), and our Thanksgiving staples include ambrosia and green bean casserole. It’s more like I’m a foodie-wannabe.
I make lunch every day for my children, but I will not be posting images every day. Most of my lunches are healthy, but not much to look at:
Some days, though, I tap into my creativity and make something a bit more inspired:
Foodler is about those days. My children are young enough they can’t completely appreciate the extra care I take. The bento lunches give me a chance to tap into my creativity and make the mundane task of making lunch a little more special.