Who else wants to Bento?

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Here is my little picky eater and my first attempt at a bento. It’s not perfect and not beautiful but he ate the whole thing. Which for Zane is amazing! And he got some good nutrition.

I made him a peanut butter and banana sandwich cut it into triangles and placed some cheese stars on top. I added some Pirate’s Booty and almonds in little muffin papers. And in the side compartment I added carrot sticks and the rest of the banana.

I have been seeing a few different moms making these little “boxed meals” of cuteness and nutrition. It’s fun to see how creative these women are with food. (It’s also nice to see sometimes they don’t worry about it being perfect that their lives are busy too.)

Why I’m doing this? There are a few reasons I am doing this.

Visual Meal Planning – I’m a visual person, looking at my son’s food in a logical way always seemed overwhelming. I would stare at his plate and say how do I get him to eat these veggies. Now I’m looking  his plate and saying how can I make this more colorful, how can I add a different texture, how can I make this look cute. And I get excited about making his meals.

Balanced Diet – I’m able to look at his plate and say we need more color and I add more veggies or fruits. He is getting more variety in his food. I was starting to get a rut. All he was eating was PB&J and Mac N Cheese. Now I put his sandwich or pasta on the plate and surround it with colorful, nutritious food.

At the moment I am just using some of my regular everyday Tupperware to do Zane’s bentos. I’m also just making up some of his meals in the bento style but putting them on his sectioned plates. I’m hoping to slowly be able to buy some of the fun and cute boxes, but money is tight right now so we will make due with what we have. I also have tons of cookie cutter to cut things into fun shapes.

What about all the Asian food? I’m just going to start out simple and easy. I may sometime try some of the Asian food I have been seeing on these blogs. At this time I want to get used to filling Zane’s boxes with our everyday food and things I am used to having in my pantry before I start trying to experiment with a new kind of food.

I’m not doing it everyday. It takes me a few extra minutes to get everything put together, so I don’t want to try and burn myself out by making a goal of doing it every day. But I am hoping that by the time Zane starts preschool I will be pretty used to it and be able to make his lunch for him each day.

Here are some of my favorite bento mommy sites so far:

Wendolonia – The first site I found posting her lovely creations for her son. And she has a great Bento FAQ on her site.

The Sublurbs – She is making bentos to help with her son with eating gluten free.

Adventures in Bento Making – I just found this site and I think her bentos are lovely! She puts a lot of work into her bentos.

So, who else wants to bento? How do you make your childrens’ meals nutritious? Do you have any Bento sites that you like?

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