Beginning Bento

Recently I have been intrigued by the idea of making my own bento lunches. I have a bento cookbook, and I’ve been perusing bento blogs and web sites. I am so charmed by people’s healthy and adorable lunches — I bet I could make them too!  I probably won’t be able to make anything like these adorable bunnies just yet, but I’m giving it a go.

So I bought my first bento box, complete with adorable owls:

I also got one with playful bunnies on it to pack Jack’s lunch in.  It came with an elastic band to hold the lid on, and it did that quite well while it was over the very center of the oval.  Sliding it off to the side made it FLY across the room and we haven’t found it yet.  I expect it’s behind a bookshelf.  I sense some scrunchie-like crafts in my near future.

One of the most striking things about the box is that it’s pretty small!  Probably around 5 x 4 x 3 inches, and it has two tiers inside.  The reviews claim that with some clever packing, you can fit a regular-sized American lunch in there, so I pressed on.  I also got some little silicone muffin cups as dividers. I filled them with the sorts of snacks I usually put in my lunch, though fewer of them fit than I usually pack:

Maybe the secret is to fill all of the space, without all that air between pieces of food? I chopped the carrots into pennies to try to condense them:

Nope, same number of carrots fit.  Actually slightly fewer, as one of the carrots pieces rolled away while I was chopping.  Onward!  Will a sandwich fit in here?

Doesn’t look like it.  Maybe if I cut it up?

Well, it does fit in there, and there is still some extra space! Maybe I could
move the grapes down from the top tier.

OMG. Fish head. At this point, I started crying I was laughing so hard. It just kept staring at me.  Maybe not the grapes just there. I also like pickles with my sandwich so I thought maybe they’d work better on that tier.  I tried very hard to arrange them randomly where there was space and make no recognizable design. Jack can still detect some hint of zombie/lizard man:

Too bad.  That’s what I’m bringing for my lunch tomorrow.  I’ll see what I can come up with for his in the morning.


The morning made me revisit the problem of the missing elastic band.  The lids don’t really snap on in any way; they are held in place by gravity.  Not ideal for traveling in a backpack!  I grabbed some fat quarters from my sewing stuff and made little furoshikis:

I wrapped everything up before remembering to check if my sandwich got soaked with pickle juice overnight in the fridge, but that will be a discovery for lunchtime.

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1 Response to Beginning Bento

  1. Julene says:

    I love the fish faces! (:

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