Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bentos from Parenting Magazine

I always find it super spiffy when I see neat lunch ideas or containers that are obviously inspired by or at least similar to bentos. Usually, it's the containers that are seen more than actual examples of what to pack.

Lately, I've been going through my old magazines. When I get a new one, I go through it immediately. I save the pages I want to keep and recycle the rest, because they just take up too much space (and xeroxing the pages I want before donating the magazines just never seemed to actually happen).

A week or so ago, I saw in my newest copy of Parenting Magazine a mention of packing bentos. They actually used the term (which sometimes happens, but not often), and had a very cute example of a bunny. They gave a quick description and said that you can go to their website for more information. Of course, I had to do it and I'm glad they did. There are such cute ideas on there that I haven't seen before or for a while. They also give a "how to" in making the key elements. Here's some of the photos and ideas I liked the best. (Click here to go to the website.)

Jelly sandwiches... I would not have thought to make them like this! Thought I don't know how well gluten free breads will work for these.
A pizza sandwich and "cake" sandwiches. Now this is something I can make with the gluten free breads and I'm sure my son would love them. I also really like the mash potatoes in the secont bento's top tier.
I'm actually more impressed by the green peas "roll" and the cheese mouse, but the cat is very cute too.
Not too fond of the bear, though I'm sure kids would love it. I do like the use of the grapes. I tend to pack halved grapes often enough, so seeing them used like this, in so easy and yet pretty a manner really caught my attention. Only one draw back... less packed grapes! And note the cute cherry tomato with cheese slices in the center. How cute and interesting is that?
Obviously, I think the hedge hogs are adorable and a great idea. I also like the deli meat and egg ribbons gathered together like that. For the cute tiger... I've seen this done before, but still love the idea. The main thing I like in this second bento, though, is the idea of cutting a meatball in half and placing sliced cheese between the halves. Very similar to the cherry tomato idea above.
Onigiri cows... I mean, really! That's adorable!!! (And oddly, it reminds me of my husband.)
The main thing I like in the following bentos are the chicken nuggets. No need to pack dips if you cut the nuggets in half and put a dab of dip between them. That is an excellent idea! Of course, the spaghetti nest with mozzarella ball birds is very cute too.
And lastly, mini "hamburgers". Meatballs, halved like before, with lettuce, cherry tomato slices, and whatever else you wish on a nice pick... to make bento perfect mini hamburgers. :-)
Hope you all enjoyed. Definitely check out the website and the "how to" guides. I definitely plan to implement some of these ideas in future bentos (and maybe as nice touches to regular meals).


1Kathleen said...

I completely used one of the bentos today - it wasn't one you was the little round sheep...can't wait til Little Bit gets home to see how she liked it (she doesn't like to see them when I pack them so that her lunch is a surprise for her each day)

MankyCat said...

The sheep one was very cute too! I'd love to know what your little one thought of it. :-)

Laura Alison said...

Great link! Lots of inspiration for future bento :) thanks!