I was recently very excited to receive some children’s bento boxes, which I had to order all the way from Japan as the concept of bento doesn’t seem to have taken off in the UK yet. Is it sad that I was even more excited than Small Child about this?! Anyway, he wanted to use his as soon as it had arrived, so I packed a little lunch to take to the park with us, as the sun was shining for once. It was one of my childminding days, so in fact I packed two (I bought the spare box for such occasions, any excuse!).
Here are the boxes packed and ready to go. One of the boxes is slightly bigger and so had room for a little organic cereal bar in the top layer. This layer is designed to hold chopsticks or cutlery, and easily fits a child’s spoon & fork (I checked for future reference).
Inside each box there are two layers for food. The top (green) layer is slightly bigger than the bottom (blue) one. The ‘first course’ was made up of some wheaten crackers (cut in half to fit them into the box), some cubed cheddar cheese in a silicone muffin cup with a bear pick, and some ham teddy bear faces, which I made using a set of cute bento cutters I received in the same delivery. I love the fact that the cutter set came with a cutter for the mouth among other things, which I cut from cheese. The eyes were drawn on with an edible pen. Rather than waste the scraps of ham from cutting out the bears, I put them under the cheese for the children to finish off.
The ‘second course’ was made up of some sliced kiwi fruit, some sliced pear decorated with a kiwi flower (including a mini chocolate ‘bean’ for the flower middle) and some raisins in a mini silicone cup with a cat pick.
The elusive ‘perfect balance’ wasn’t quite there with this meal (no veggies!) as it was thrown together quickly with what I had in the house, but at least it was healthy and the children loved it. There wasn’t a scrap left after our little picnic!