Monday, 17 September 2007

Little Foodie Lunches - Not Quite Bento

Our next virtual visit will be Japan, starting this weekend. Looking forward to learning more about Japan and a few Japanese words. Talking of Japan....

A while ago I discovered bento blogs (Bento being the Japanese art of packing food in a box with a lot of love and care). At the time Little was in Year 1 at school, Small was at home with me, and Hubby sorted out his own lunch. Though Little did take packed lunch to school, he was off so much through ill health I couldn't get motivated to change the regular lunches that I packed for him when he did go. I tended to stick to a sandwich, a small box of salad, a small box of fruit and a carton of fruit juice, with the odd pasta or couscous salad when we'd run out of bread. In my infinte wisdom or admiration for all the bento blogs I'd seen I told my husband that at the start of the new school year I'd make more of an effort and that I'd even make his lunch for him too. Not sure what I was after during this moment of complete madness, if anything, but a few weeks before term began he started reminding me of what I'd said and how much he was looking forward to it as he was bored with everything he made for himself... Eeek! What had I done?!

Well, school has been back for two weeks now and I have stuck to my word, sort of. I am making them all packed lunches but I'm still working on the whole bento thing. There has been nothing pretty or glamorous about the packed lunches that have left the house so far, but they were healthy, as usual, and they've all been thoroughly devoured. I now just need to work on glamming them up a bit. Make them a bit more.... bento, you know...

I've always been a big collector of little boxes for food storage so bento style lunches shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Apart from ofcourse being too lazy to cut out pretty shapes. Other than this little stumbling block, I'm really rather taken with the whole bento thing. I don't suppose I'll ever go the whole hog and do full on bento but if they want tasty and healthy with the odd treat then that's what they'll get. And while I'm blogging I thought I may aswell share some of them with you.

A selecion of lunches that have left the house since term began...

Going clockwise, starting from top left

Ham sandwich
Box of tomato, cucumber and orange pepper
Box of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries

Pasta Salad with tinned tuna, red cabbage from our garden, tomatoes, cucumber and orange pepper. I also sent in some homemade plum cake with this one.

Ham sandwich
Box of tomato, cucumber, carrot and yellow pepper
2 small homemade chocolate cupcakes (no icing)

Chorizo and Cheddar Sandwich
Box of tomato, cucumber and red pepper
A piece of corn on the cob
Half a nectarine sliced and some red seedless grapes

I always put a small carton of fruit juice in and they also have water for throughout the day.

By far the best lunch boxes seem to be the lock tight boxes. There are various makes, Lock and Lock, Sistema. The lids are easier to undo and take off than the ones that you have to press on, this is particularly handy for my three year old. Also, at the moment in England if you buy a big squeezy bottle of Hellman's full fat mayonnaise it comes with a lunch box, similar in styling to the Laptop Lunch Boxes.


Aimée said...

Too cute! Those little cupcakes are adorable. Kudos to you for creativity!

Asha said...

WOW!! That is one good looking collection there!:)

Deborah said...

I'm impressed - I never got lunches like that when I was in school!

Meeta said...

These look great Amanda - maybe you should join us at for Tiffin Tuesdays on the DT! What do you think?

Kelly-Jane said...

Well I think they look great! You're doing a grand job there :)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh they look fab, especially the raspberries and blueberries, I bet the other mums spit when they see you coming, 'there's the one that puts us all to shame!'.
How do you do your photo montages? they look really good.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Little and Small are lucky to get lunches like this! They looks so inviting. Have fun in Japan!

Marie said...

Great looking lunches. It can be a real challenge making them interesting day after day after day. You see to have cracked it though!

Anh said...

I would be happy to have these lunch boxes for my own lunch!!!

KJ said...

Those are some impressive lunches. I got vegemite sandwhiches pretty much every day.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Aimee, Thanks, I'm rather hoping to glam them up a bit though.

Hi Asha, Thank you, now I look at them they do look quite good. When I wrote the post I thought they looked a bit dull.

Hi Deborah, Thank you, neither did I. I ate school lunches, mashed potato with black bits in and overcooked cabbage springs to mind - yuk!

Hi Meeta, Thank you, I don't think I'm quite up to standard - YET! Lol!

Hi Kelly-Jane, Thank you lovely!

Hi Pig in the kitchen, I can rest easy. Thankfully they're never opened infront of the other mums... The collages are through picasa. It's really easy to do.

Hi Kelly, We're really lucky as they have to have fresh stuff every day. They moan if they haven't had cucumber or raw carrot - bonkers children they really are but that said I'm very pleased they are the way they are!

Hi Marie, Thank you, like I said I thought they were a bit dull until I wrote the post.

Hi Anh, Thank you, yes, I would too. Though I keep forgetting to eat during the day when I'm on my own. This is totally unheard of for me - I NEVER forget to eat!

Hi KJ, vegemite sandwiches are better than the disgusting school lunches we were forced to eat. I'd have paid all my pocket money to swap for a vegemite sandwich.

Thank you for your comments.
Amanda x

Baking Soda said...

Impressive! I won't show my kids your collection....son nr 1 would hug you for these lunches and since he is 14 that says something!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Baking Soda, thank you! Like I've said until I actually blogged about them I thought they were really boring but now I think they're quite good.


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