Five Minute Bento

Not a fancy bento but it can still be visually interesting. I’m betting she’ll eat all of the cheese. ūüėČ

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The New Normal Lunch

It has been 52 school days straight of making fun bento lunches for¬†MoWabbit. I’ve learned a lot and have really enjoyed being creative for fun (and not for work).¬†Because time doesn’t just magically appear, I traded in time that¬†I normally would have spent on practicing ukulele, or taking a hot bath, or ¬†read, etc.¬†in order to make fancy bento lunches.¬†The sleeping also suffered too,¬†because chores like laundry just isn’t going to wash/dry/fold/hang/put away themselves¬†(my least favorite chore). Additionally, MoWabbit’s enthusiasm for the high effort lunches have declined over the last week or two.

It’s time to optimize for the outcomes:

  • Fancy bento lunches will no longer be a daily thing so that:
    • Bettering my ukulele playing skills becomes a priority again
    • More sleep is possible again
    • Making fancy¬†bento lunches does not become and feel like a chore/no longer fun
    • Posting¬†all previous fancy bentos to¬†this blog in details will actually happen for reals
  • Fancy bento lunches will appear once a week and on special occasions or when I have the extra time to be creative, so that:
    • Both myself and MoWabbit will appreciate the times fancy lunches are made
    • I have more time to think about and prepare for even more awesome future bento lunches

Introducing the new normal lunch:

The New Normal Lunch

The new normal lunch can be made within 10 minutes or under. Still cute yet simple to create.

What do you think?

Bento 52: Crown and Jewels

This was fun to make but did take a lot more time. I free hand cut out the negative space in the crown and layered a few pieces of pepperoni behind it. Mayonnaise can be used to stick foods together (cheese on cheese) or stick light weight foods down to the bento. ¬†Additionally, before we take the bento out of the house, I would wrap a piece of napkin up with Seran wrap so it doesn’t get wet and use it to fill the gaps between the food and the closed lid. It helps a lot with keeping food in place until kiddo opens it.

Bento 1: Pandas!

This was the first bento I’ve ever made in my life. Hubby surprised me with the panda rice molds after¬†I told him that I was thinking about pouring the creativity I once had for making cake pops into making bentos for MoWabbit. Inside each panda there is a piece of grilled spam. I’ve since learned that working with rice is much more difficult than working with bread (based on the type of sandwiches I make).

bento1-pandas

Bento 50: Heart In the Right Places

The hearts in this bento were moved around about 11 times before I settled on the layout of the bento. I didn’t really have anything in mind today except I knew I wanted to use the heart shape and finish up as quickly as I can so that I can get more work done this evening. It ended up taking more time because I wasn’t living in the moment and my mind was wandering elsewhere instead. How appropriate that at the end, the theme of the bento turned out to be a life lesson reminder (again): live in the moment, put your heart into doing the thing you’re doing when you’re doing it…

Bento 49: Sea Side Friends

MoWabbit went grocery shopping with me today and insisted on us buying a can of Vienna sausages for her lunch tomorrow. Turning the tiny sausages into octopuses is pretty easy and the whole thing only took about 15 minutes to make today. I’m getting faster ūüôā

PS I took the goldfish crackers out after I took the photo. Crackers and cookies don’t fair well overnight in the bento in the fridge. I will put them back in the morning when we are ready to go to school.¬†

Bento 47: Dolphins at Play

Bento 47: Dolphins at Play

Last Friday, MoWabbit’s teacher told me that kiddo has become really good at drawing dolphins and was teaching other little kids how to draw dolphins. Proud mama here as I have spent time teaching MoWabbit how to draw and she is now doing the same with her friends, and she is barely four years old!

The UX of Bento Lunches

Back in May, my kid started a new school and it was a school that required each kid to bring his/her own lunch every day. The old school provided lunch and her daily report from school indicated that she ate all or most of her food consistently. But since I started¬†packing¬†her a lunch everyday, I also started seeing that she wasn’t eating much food at all at her new school. Upon investigating,¬†her teachers¬†told me that kiddo¬†is very social and often favored chatting and playing over eating. Hmmmmm…

The Challenge:
How do you get a 3-year old social butterfly eat at least 80% of her lunch during lunchtime/social hour?

The Solution:
Improve kiddo’s lunching experience¬†by making super cute lunches that she’ll be proud to show her friends and that she’ll want to¬†eat¬†ūüôā

Real-Life Outcome:
Bento #26 (Love is On Your Side) Before:
#Bento 26: Love Is On Your Side. <3

Bento #26 After:
What's left of today's lunch #Bento 26

Time Investment:
I’ve optimized my bento making process to about 20 minutes. The more complicated designs take much longer. If my memory serves me right, Bento 26 took at least 40¬†minutes.

Planning Ahead:
Grocery shopping needs to be well planned ahead. I need to buy food in terms of color, texture, shape, size, and variety, in order to be creative and make sure that I have what I need to turn an idea into an edible reality.

Tried and True:
Improve the UX¬†and you’ll¬†improve the outcome!

Tonight I created Bento #46. I’ll be posting new bentos on this blog from now on and will need to take¬†some¬†time to back-post all the previous bentos. Love and thanks to my friends who have encouraged me to blog about my bentos. ‚̧