Friday, June 15, 2012

Bento boxes: Some FAQs

Hello!  I've not posted about our bentos for a while, so here's an update in pictures.  I'm hoping to answer some FAQs along the way in this post too, so here goes:

Qn: Why bother?  Everything gets messed up and goes into their tummy anyway!
I started making bentos (and other bento-style meals) in an attempt to tempt Junior J to eat more.  He was a fussy eater, and it was a challenge getting him to come to the table at meal-times or self-feed, and he wasn't keen on eating meat.  Making the food look attractive seemed to increase his interest in eating and self-feeding, and helped him to eat better.  And I must admit I do get a sense of satisfaction making those meals!  (Bento-making seems a little like scrapbooking: Its about colours, cutting and punching!)

Qn: He actually eats raw greens and salad?  How do you get him to do that?
I must admit I have no magic formula in getting him to eat greens!  The boy is a little strange in his dietary preferences.  He loves all things sour (he munches lemon slices, and steals spoonfuls of vinegar from our sauce dish at Crystal Jade!) and he likes vegetables (salads and asparagus, but broccoli not so much).  He however, doesn't like to eat chicken/pork/beef.  I think the only advice I can give regarding greens would be to let your child try stuff off your plates when you are out, to see what they like, and you may find they do enjoy certain veggies... meanwhile, veggies can be made more palatable by giving dips like greek yoghurt and applesauce, or hidden in soups. :)

Q: What are those little containers that you use, and where do you get them?
Those are muffin cups, and they are made of silicon, which is great since it means they can hold relatively hot food.  They're re-usable (unlike the paper ones that tend to get soggy!), and I find them a lot more versatile than rigid plastic containers or dividers, since they can be bent to fit varying spaces.  Oh, and they are from Daiso, which is where I get almost all my bento stuff like food picks etc!

Q: How on earth do you find the time to make bentos?  Doesn't it take a lot of time?
Except for days when we eat out and I prepare a lunchbox for the boy (I do this usually when we eat Asian food, since the boy is sensitive to MSG in food), he gets the food we are eating.  So for most of the time, I just cook our meals, and take 10 minutes or so to just dress up the food a little, usually by adding food picks, or cutting some of the food using food cutters.  Some example of the meals we have include stuffed pasta like ravioli (pictured above), beef stew with bread and asparagus...

... fried rice:

... and rice with soup (usually I spoon out the ingredients like minced pork and spinach, and serve his soup separately):

On busy days, we sometimes just have sandwiches for lunch, and I just dress it up by using a sandwich cutter!

Q: Then what about those themed/cutesy bentos?
I'm not up to that standard yet!  But here are a few that I've tried making:

Snail, using mashed potato and a sausage.

Diplodocus and her nest of eggs (those are beans!), inspired after a visit to the
Natural History museum!

More photos and FAQs to come next week, meanwhile, have a blessed weekend!


  1. Nice to read about your bento adventures although it's so not what like to do at the moment but I think if it helps Jude to eat more, it's worth the effort!

  2. i love this! i would love eating your bento :)

  3. Joanna: Haha, that's what I try to tell myself!

    Loveourchildrennow: Thank you! :)

  4. Just wondering, can yr boy finish all his bento? it seems pretty portion :)

  5. So fun to meet another fellow mum who is into bentos too! *gleeful grin* Yours are beautiful! Here are some of my attempts:



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...