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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bento, Baby!

Image by Japan It Up

Let me be the first to say that I do not have our household completely "green" by any stretch of the imagination. I still buy some of our snack foods packaged individually. I still keep non-organic cleaners with chemicals I would rather avoid locked away for those really tough jobs that my organic or homemade cleaners just don't seem to get. I still use throw away napkins when I'm certain my reusable ones won't make it back home (school lunch, field trips, family outings that last all day). That being said, I try to be conscientious of our environment and the waste we create in many, many ways.

Recently, I've been enamoured with the whole Japanese-inspired Bento style of packing lunches. In a very simplified nutshell, the idea is to pack food in such a way that it is pleasing to the eye, appetizing, and incredibly waste-reducing. Through some of my super sweet buddies on Twitter, I was introduced to another lunch, my new favorite go-to spot for great lunch ideas for my littles. Melissa has such creative ideas for making lunch and snack times yummy, fun, and eco-friendly!

I'm a firm believer in good nutrition throughout the day and feel better about the lunches and snacks my kiddos eat if I know exactly what ingredients are in them. Needless to say, we pack rather than buy when eating at school (and, truth be told, my kids prefer it that way). In an effort to cut down on waste (AKA: plastic baggies, etc..), I decided to pack today's lunch "Bento-style" (just for clarification, while Bento is a name brand for a certain style of meal packing box, it is also used generically to refer to the style of packing meals).

After I packed the basic box (which was a Lock-n-Lock box vs. a brand name Bento Box or Laptop Lunch Box), I put a folded napkin over the food and layered the yogurt tube and wheat crackers (in their reusable snack bag!) on top...double decker delights! I also tucked in a little chocolate square for dessert :) If this were a fully "green" lunch, the yogurt and applesauce would have been bought in bulk (vs. individually wrapped) and spooned into their own cup/container. However, my first grader's new lunch box from California Innovations (which I love!) stands upright rather than laying flat (not good for semi-liquid goodies).

I popped on the lid with its rubber gasket, added a sweet note, and got a big "awesome!" from my little guy :) I have my eye on some super cute mini alphabet steel cookie cutters that I'm planning to use to up the fun factor in lunches to come!


  1. Don't you just love packing lunch like this! We are totally addicted to Bento. My guys are excited every morning about what's going into their lunch boxes.

  2. Yes, Heather...I love, love, love it (and so did my little guy)! Still need a little practice on my packing skills, but it makes everything a little more fun ;)


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