I had been stuck in a lunch rut for, well since I started packing lunches.
Last Spring our family began to be more conscience of the food we put into our bodies. After watching the first couple of episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Season 1 my kids stated that they would never again eat a school lunch.
So we started the lunch packing the only way I know how; sandwich, snack, fruit. Now I would try to make sure there was a protein, dairy and fruit or vegetable, but it soon turned into the same old same old. PB&J, apple and granola bar was the most common because of the cost at the grocery.
Meagan is not a fan of peanut butter or jelly, but she would get PB&N (Peanut Butter Nutella). At first she loved it, saying it's “Like a Reese cup sandwich, Mom”. But one day she announced “My lunch doesn’t have any PIZAZZ.”
That got me to thinking about a cool “new to me” way of doing lunches I had seen a while back. My friend April had tweeted a link to her blog The Fragrant Hand talking about her own sons lunches. In that post, she linked to Wendolonia.com and I was introduced to Bento boxes for the first time.
I fell in love with the idea immediately!! I would look at the pictures she posted over and over and wish I was packing such attractive, creative lunches for my kids.
I tried for a few months to budget some money to start this new idea for lunch packing. Soon after school was out for the summer and the idea was filed away for a later date. At the beginning of the new school year it was easy for me to fall back into what I knew best. It wasn’t until Meagan’s pizazz comment that I even gave bento style lunches another thought.
After much discussion with Cliff we decided that the initial cost for supplies would be an investment in our kids. Each of the kids picked out their own box and they are excited about this new way of packing lunch. And all the ideas we have as to what to pack in them.
So, one day I packed my first bento lunch. Since McKenna is in half day kindergarten she eats lunch at home and packs a small snack for the afternoon. So this is her snack with several option for her to choose.
I really feel we are on the right track. As Meagan was examining her box she said, “I feel healthier already, because of the size. I know only so much food will fit in here.”
We have been using the boxes for months now and aside from some peer pressure feedback, the kids love it, as do I. We are packing healthy meals that are colorful and creative. And I know I am teaching my kids something so young that it took me so long to learn. Food is fuel for your body, but that doesn't’ mean it can’t be fun and attractive at the same time.