The Week in Bentos: January 17-20, 2012

by Wendy Copley on January 20, 2012

Before I dive into the photos I took of my kids’ lunches this week, I want to make a slight detour and share an article with all you bento packers and everyone else who is trying to feed their children healthy, appealing food. Earlier this week, my friend Whitney shared an article with me about what sorts of meals most appeal to children. The article references a study that found that children gravitate toward plates with seven different foods in six different colors while adults prefer three foods in three colors. There are other interesting facts in the article too, including this lovely tidbit:

“While plates that are designed with partitions aren’t necessary for preparing a diverse set of foods, Japanese style bento boxes would match better with our findings since they tend to have significantly more pockets.”

Needless to say, I love this article because it provides scientific confirmation that this way that many of us parents serve food to our children isn’t coddling, indulgent or “a waste of time” (a phrase I’ve heard just a few too many times).

Science! Yay!

Now, let’s get to those photos!


Holiday! No lunches.


Second Grader Bento #532

On Tuesday, Wyatt’s lunch was packed into the Laptop Lunch Box: rainbow goldfish crackers, raisins, half of a gigantic whole wheat dinner roll, green grapes, deli turkey, crackers, and a Laughing Cow cheese.

Fancy Lunch #6

Augie was home sick from preschool on Tuesday with a bad cold and he had almost no appetite, so I pulled out all the stops to try to get him to eat a little. I ended up putting together this little woodland scene inspired by Hey! Jen Renee’s plate lunches (I even went out and bought the IKEA cookie cutters last week): soy cheese trees, squirrel and hedgehog pb&j sandwiches and grapes. He was delighted!


Preschool Bento #211

On Wednesday Augie had sliced deli turkey, carrots, sugar snap peas, rainbow goldfish crackers and green grapes. It was packed in a bento box very similar to this one (the only difference is the color).

Wyatt was home sick on Wednesday and we ate mac and cheese for lunch.


Preschooler Bento #212

Thursday, Augie had salami, crackers, grapes and apple chunks that he asked me to put in for his dessert. 🙂 This was packed in a single layer box with a hinged lid. You can see more examples of lunches packed in these boxes in the Bento Box Gallery.

Second Grader Bento #533

Wyatt’s lunch was packed in an Easy Lunchbox: salami, whole wheat bun, tortilla chips, grapes and clementine wedges.

When I opened his lunch box in the afternoon to clean it out, this is what I found:

Big Kid Bento #533: After

There was barely anything gone! As usual, he told me that they got to the lunch room late (which seems to be routine) and then on top of it two kids in his class kept trying to reach into his lunch box to eat his food so he had to fend them off. I was SO annoyed. The poor kid must have been starving.


Preschooler Bento #213

Today Augie got a special bear lunch. His nicknames — since before we even brought him home from the hospital — have always been some form of “Bear”: Augie Bear, Little Bear, Mr. Bear, or just plain old Bear. My new IKEA cutters included a bear cub, so I had to use it on a PB&J sandwich. I also included grapes, clementine wedges and fish crackers. The idea is that the bear likes to eat fish, see? I thought about including a honey stick, but I knew his preschool teachers would hate me for it so I left it our. I also think it would have been cool if I’d had blueberries to put in around the bear but we didn’t have any. Of course, this was sent in the panda bear bento box!

Second Grader Bento #543

And finally, Wyatt’s lunch today was another dinner roll, clementines, fish crackers, grapes, salami and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

Have a great weekend!

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