Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bento Box Revolution

School is starting next week and while looking online for lunch boxes for Elliot I noticed that bento box blogs are all the rage. Bento is about reducing waste (no plastic or wax bags, certainly no Lunchables) and it's about making lunch so visually appealing that kids are tricked into eating it. Some bento lunch designs are so intricate, I can only stand back and admire. Bento is basically wacky food art that's nutritious.

Last year, Elliot barely ate at school. He'd have one bite of lunch and then run out to recess. I'll give bento a try, there are enough recipes online that something has to work. Lunch in a Box has tons of tips and recipes: Lunch in a Box: Mommy's Lunch Manifesto

Dallas Daily News: Bento-Style Boxes are Just Right For Kids' Lunches

Faux sushi: Cut the crust from a piece of bread, spread cream cheese on the bread, top with thinly sliced deli meat and roll tightly. Cut into ½ -inch slices to resemble a sushi roll. (From Shannon Carino.)

Fruit sushi: Cut the crust from a piece of bread, spread with pineapple cream cheese, add a banana, roll and slice.

Salad roll: Remove the thick rib from a romaine lettuce leaf. Top with favorite salad dressing, a thin slice of Muenster cheese, a thin slice of roast beef. Roll tightly and secure with a pick.

Sandwich on a stick: Alternate chunks of ham and cheese, separated by squares of bread. Finish with a strawberry.

Tortilla roll: Spread a tortilla with refried beans. Top with cooked chicken, shredded lettuce and grated cheese. Roll and slice. Use plastic skewers to secure.

Muffin cup: Layer the cup with shaved turkey, shredded lettuce and carrots.

Polenta pizza: Slice store-bought polenta, brown both sides in a skillet and top with tomato sauce, freshly chopped herbs and cheese; warm until cheese melts.

Alphabet pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss with freshly chopped vegetables and butter.

Mini stromboli: Slightly flatten canned biscuit dough. Spread with small amount of tomato sauce on half, top with chopped pepperoni, fold over and crimp edges with fork. Bake in a 350 F oven until golden

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