Friday, April 4, 2008

The Exquisite Humiliation of Bento

There's nothing like a well-packed Bento Box to make you realize what a totally inadequate lunch-packer -- and let's face it, parent -- you are. Thought you were doing a good job, did you? Putting a lot of love into it? Thinking about what your kids like and how to maximize the moment of suprise and happiness when your kid opens up his or her lunchbox and sees -- aww, a yogurt-squeezie! Maybe a fruit leather!

That's okay. I'm more than willing to realize my inadequacies as a lunchbox-packer (and parent) so I am able to fully enjoy the art of Bento. Or Face Food. Or let's just call by its best name: Bento porn.

These pictures are from
Another favorite, more american version is

In between bouts of awe and shame, I have garnered little tips from the Bento-packers, like trying to fit everything into one box (sometimes) so that everything is visible at once. This also means you can put in a few little things, like a couple cherry tomatoes, a couple carrot coins, or whatever.

AND ... I've adopted the Octo-DOG. This is a classic lunchbox fixture in Japan. My four-year old loves these. I stayed away from hotdogs because - yuk, hotdogs! - until a friend at my son's bustop told me she was using organic chicken dogs with no nitrates.

So.. voila: my daughter's new favorite lunch time treat (posing here as an afterschool snack)

If I hadn't shown really amazing awesome Bento before I showed mine, would my octo-dog have been more impressive? Luckily, my daughter has never seen the real stuff.


Jamie said...

So... you're saying that my deviation from the turkey sandwich and venturing into the land of peanut butter on crackers is not something I should actually be proud of?

Anonymous said...

You know I am totally against the entire ideology behind homeschooling, but the thought that I might have to pack lunches that involve this degree of complexity is making me change my mind.

doodlysquat said...

Cheese and crackers are a fine accomplishment, Jamie. I seek to achieve it myself someday.

Anonymous, I would recommend not moving to Japan. I think you're safe here with pb&j and a juice box.

Annelies said...

Your octopus is SO totally cute! And I like it best of all the pics you featured on your entry, because let's face it - the octopus is actually doable by most of us. Thanks for sharing the great idea!