O bento, no bento

Hi Meimei,

Yes. I have seen those beautiful bentos that other parents make for their kids. And I salute them for their creativity and dedication to Food Styling.

bento-creative-food-kids

How to celebrate National Day

This National Day breakfast by Sharon from Little Miss Orange, for example, is brilliantly simple.

Just a spread little bit of strawberry jam on plain bread, add cheddar cheese shapes cut using mini-cookie cutters, and suddenly you get the Singapore flag. (Picture Credit: Little Miss Orange)

decorate-kids-lunch-food-dreamworks

All that’s missing is a banana

Here’s another bit of brilliance from the same lady – turning a simple omelette into a Despicable Me Minion, using carefully cut seaweed. (Picture credit: Little Miss Orange)

But I think that the guru of all lunchboxes is Makiko Itoh of Just Bento.

On her website, she teaches you how to select the right bento lunch box, bento food safety tips, and how to buildup a joubisai (a stash of lunchbox friendly foods). There are so many recipes and ideas on her site! And she makes it all seem so do-able.

bento-stickers-plastic-wrap

Cute and effortless!

I especially like her ideas for just using stickers to add colour and cuteness to a kid’s lunchbox.  (Picture credit: JustBento.com)

One of the reasons why I avoid decorating food is that I am kak-handed [1] and will probably end up over-handling and fiddling with the food far too much, thus germifying the whole operation, so this quick-and-cute method of decoration would really suit me.

Fortunately for me, neither J nor Little E require any packed lunches for school at the moment as they are both at home for lunch.

And ever since the Spinach Incident of 2002, I’ve not been allowed to make sandwiches for my husband.

In any case, I am not sure that I am capable of planning a healthy and varied packed lunch menu for the kids because I am already struggling with meal planning enough as it is.

I mean, you’re talking to the girl who ate peanut butter sandwiches for recess for 10 years. I may well continue the Daily Sandwich tradition when J starts Primary School in two years’ time. But yeah, that won’t stop me from making sure that my kids have awesome looking lunches.

Addendum:

Okay okay, you gotta check out these kiddie bentos by Justina from Mum in the Making. Not only does she style the food beautifully, but each meal has an educational component as well!


1. One of the reasons why I did not become a surgeon. I’d probably drop my scalpel right in there and spend most of my operating time just…fishing around..

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11 thoughts on “O bento, no bento

  1. You can get a lot of tools to help 🙂

    Things like cupcake cases can be used to separate dishes, or use cookie cutters to cut out cheese slices etc
    I’m not all that talented at bento making but the tools definitely help 🙂

    • Oh yes, we have a Daiso $2 store in Singapore that sells bento-making aids – I should probably try and get my mitts on couple of those and start practicing. Which sort of tools do you use the most often?

      • Tools from Daiso are perfect for beginners (and me :p ) they’re affordable but work great 🙂

        I tend to use cookie cutters a lot, they’re a great way to make a “boring” lunch look better. You can add little cheese stars to a salad or put a design on top of a sandwich.

        Rice moulds are great too 🙂

        I think the best thing is to be open minded and be creative, look at tools in different ways 🙂

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