Monday, September 14, 2009

New Year, New Bento

With school starting up, I wasn't sure if Abigail would want to take school lunch, or have me send something. We started her out on school lunch, so she could try it, and get used to the routine. But by the third week, she was begging to take lunch from home, and that was just fine with me!

So of course I wanted to get her a new lunch box. There were some things with her old one that were kind of annoying, and I thought it might be nice to have more than one if she was taking lunch every day.

She was VERY specific that she wanted a BIG lunch box this year, with some sort of princess or character or something on it. Not the silly little one she had to carry last year.

So, of course, while she was at school, I took myself to the nearest little Japanese store and found her a cute tiny Bento lunch box. :) I promised myself that I would take it back if she really insisted that she wanted a big American lunch box, but I was hoping she would like it and want to keep it.

At first she was a little annoyed, and again repeated her request for a big one, so I agreed, then I showed her how cute the new one was, and she couldn't resist it either, and said she will just get a big one next year.

This one has a 2 layer box, which I knew I liked from our last one, but the lids fit better, and I loved how the strap snapped on. SO adorable! And the sparkely Hello Kitty on the top was a bonus for Abigail. Sometimes she likes Hello Kitty, and sometimes she doesn't, so I got lucky this time.

It also has these 2 tiny containers that fit inside one of the layers, which I know can come in very handy when packing stuff that you want to keep separate, or fruit with juice, or whatever. I think I'm going to try doing some jello in one- that would be so easy and also cute.

If you are loving the cuteness, but reisitant of the work, I will share with you my Bento secret to success: You can put whatever the heck you want in those things. Yes, many people go all out with super de-duper cuteness, and those are okay once in a while when you feel like it, but just the fact that they are in the adorable box will make them cute- you really don't have to do anything extra.

Today I did tuna noodle casserole (leftover from last nights dinner) on one layer, then a tomato, 2 strawberries and a few grapes. Can't get much easier than that. Also, with the small boxes, you don't have to pack as much actual food, and they probably eat the same. Abigail is a pretty big eater, and it is always plenty for her. The square size fits a sandwich with no crust exactly, so I'm sure we will be doing a lot of sandwiches this year.

The only feature that I like in some that this one didn't have was built in silverware. Some have a little fork/spoon that snaps into the lid. But if I send something that needs a spoon, I just tape one on top, or she gets one from school. It isn't a big deal, and I liked the compartments in this one better than the silverware.

Oh, and if you want a good laugh and some reasons *not* to Bento, read this!


Rachel said...

I was fascinated by the bento box. Aubrey loves Hello Kitty and I have a passion for things Asian so I read the related articles. I knew my kids lunches needed something...maybe a little egg shaped like a bunny :) Maybe I shouldn't have read those articles. Who are these people! Yet another way that I am feeling like a underachieving mom YEA!

Shanna said...

:) If you want to shape your eggs, I have a heart mold and a star mold- they are pretty cute, I must admit! Let me know if you want to borrow them! The most surprising thing I've found is that Abigail loves the plain rice. You can mold it into shapes, and she will eat plain, room temp rice, and beg me to put it in again!

Suburban Correspondent said...

Thanks for the link, and for not taking my diatribe personally! I do get the appeal of the cute boxes and having separate compartments. Just, some people do seem to spin a little out of control with these things...

ali said...

So cute Shanna! Maybe I'll have to get into that more when Greta is in school, I've tried some of it, but I admit I just like the boxes ;)

Jennifer Ricker said...

where are the 'Japanese' stores in atl? how did you find one? we are going to be in the alpharetta area this weekend and i was thinking of looking for one similar?

Shanna said...

There is one right in the North Point Mall! In Alph! They have 3-4. You can also find a bunch online, just do a quick google search. I bought last year's at an online store.

Angela Williams Duea said...

I'm impressed! My kids would never eat a strawberry if it touched a tomato - or vice versa. In vain I've told them a tomato is also a fruit. No touching is the rule here.