Playing with food

Today within minutes of receiving this book in the mail, my youngest two daughters were sitting on the couch together turning the pages and squealing delightedly over nearly every picture. Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches is well named.  The pictures are great, and the food looks wonderful.

After thumbing through the book, I couldn’t quite picture myself fussing so much, especially over the numbers of plates I serve in a meal.  However, between us, my girls and I easily came up with the ingredients for at least one bento-ish meal.  I laid out the ingredients, called the kids together and gave them the fun of artistically assembling their own lunches.

After their initial surprise– since when does mom let them play with food? — they got into the spirit and embraced the challenge.    Several of the kids really got into it, adding their own flourishes to the book’s suggestions and taking a good long time to assemble their plates.  See that palm tree in the bowl on the right? And the feta cheese sprinkled like sand around the rocks?  And the grin on the face of the artist?  Good fun.

Everyone enjoyed the project, even mom.  I was pleasantly surprised to find how simple it is to turn a carrot coin into a goldfish. Also, teriyaki meatballs are wonderful with blue rice, raw carrots, and raw spinach.  Who knew?   I will be thumbing through this book for more meal inspiration in the future.  And I’m pretty sure that will please my kids.

Art + food.   What could be more fun?


  1. Have you heard of Bento egg molds? I think they are so cute, but there is something strange about them, too.

    They are available on You take a freshly hard-boiled , peeled egg, and you press it in a mold. You run the whole thing under cold water and 10 minutes later, you slowly remove the egg.

    Very cute.

  2. I’ve never done the cutesy (kawaii) bento lunches but I love reading the regular bento blogs. You’ll get some great ideas for packing lunches.