Monday, 6 May 2013

Joining the Bento Bandwagon...

It's a truth universally acknowledged, that making packed lunches is boring. I LOVE being creative with breakfast, and dinner has so many options, but lunch? We're on the same ol' rotation of sandwich, beans on toast, spaghetti hoops, scrambled egg... After a while, it just gets a bit monotonous!

For ages, I have been scouring my cookbooks for more interesting lunches, and epically failing, which is why I was jump-for-joy, over-the-moon excited when I discovered this whole 'Bento for Babies movement' (big thanks to capturebylucy for the heads up!) You can read more about it from her right here.

Anyway... Creativity is definitely my thing, but food is NOT my forte, so we're starting small. I'm not yet ready for these incredible themed lunches (space lunch/pirate lunch/princess lunch) and to be totally honest, I'm not sure I ever will be... I'm just not sure if it would be sustainable. So we're sticking with simple but fun... Some healthy fruit and veg and a few cookie cutters and voila...

I had one very happy one-year-old!

This lunch included...
* heart-shaped peanut butter sandwich
* cheese men
* apple teddies
* pot of tomato and celery bites
* pot of carrot and grape bites

Now, Ava really doesn't like carrots, and she generally steers clear of celery...

But check this out...

(Only two carrots left (there were a couple on the floor as well) and no celery!

... now that was not a small lunch!!!

Do any of you like to be creative with your food? Do any of you have any suggestions of what works?! Share the love in the comments! Tips welcome!

I'm hooking up with Magic Moment's at the Oliver's Madhouse this morning!


  1. She looks thrilled to bits with that! I think just having it all cut up in different shapes makes it more interesting for them. Well done you!

  2. Since I started my feature Bento Babies I have had a real mixed reaction. The principle of Bento is well established but here in the UK it doesn't seem like it has been widely accepted to help children eat better, with more variety and expand their palettes. That's what I am trying to promote. Not everyone seems to get the idea but I love seeing posts like this that show just what a small difference in presentation can do! My boys are eating fruits they have previously refused and often their lunches feature no bread at all. Just because there are more exciting things to eat than sandwiches! Please link up to Bento Babies so I can share lots and lots! xx

  3. Oh that is a really great idea!
    Absolutely LOVE the cheese shaped men!

    And that's the opening from Pride and Prejudice isn't it? Been a while.

    1. It is indeed! Well recognised! The cheese men were Ava's favourites too!

  4. What an amazing result! Celery!! I think my toddler took a bite of a piece of celery once and did a George Pig-style "YUCK!", then spat it out. I'm going to get me some cookie cutters.

  5. wow i am loving this idea, although Joshua is normally good with food i like making it more interesting and maybe even try a wider array with some funky shapes!

    Thanks for linking up with #magicmoments xx

    1. Ava's a pretty good eater too... I just wanted to encourage her to eat some more fresh vegetables! It worked!

  6. I really like this idea. I think you may really be on to something. I do remember having these bento lunch boxes with sushi and things myself in the city, but never thought of the possibilities for using them with children. J loves picnics and all small things, so may well give this a go. Love the idea of making the containers different and colourful too.

  7. I've been following Lucy's bento babies too. Nothing fancy but like you, using shapes and little pots. My toddler adores it. He seems to try anything as long as it comes in his new box.

  8. Looks delicious - what a fantastic idea.

  9. That looks delicious! We've been sitting outside lately for lunch- picnics are a novelty and I can experiment with sandwiches for the babies!


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