I must live under a rock. I recently was reading Amanda's Blog and she was talking about some kinda contraption called a "bento". A few clicks of google and my desire to learn anything and everything bento began.
Bento is the Japanese word for lunch box. Neat! I cannot find any here in town - trust me, I tried - so I set out to find something as close to it as possible.
At Dollar Tree I managed to find the Hello Kitty pencil box that kids were using as a make-shift bento. It was cute, green and a buck. I had to have it. It will make a great snack bento.
At Bed Bath & Beyond I found this nifty container. It has a web site you can join with message boards and exercise and food trackers.
At Ross, I picked up a Vac-u-seal container. This puppy is neat! I may have to go back and get some more. You lock down the sides and then press in on the lid. The vacuum is formed! There is a dial with numbers on the release valve so you can "date" your food. How neat is THAT?!
My kids are use to my crazy obsession with anything new that I learn about. I love to research and learn. I wanted a bento, but also wanted to Americanize it. In doing so, I also discovered lap top lunches. Cool! Right up my alley with the less waste and all. If I still worked outside the home, I would snag this box up in a heart beat.
You may be thinking if you don't work outside the home, why would you even consider a bento?? I love containers and organizing. And I love saving money. Bnto obsession fits the bill. During the holiday shopping frenzy, the kids and I get hungry. We keep a knife in the truck and some napkins from the fast food places. We will buy a block of cheddar, a summer sausage, crackers, some spicy mustard and a drink. We head to the truck and nibble away. The kids love this picnic. And every year when they spy the first summer sausage all they can do is talk about our picnics.
This year I will be even more prepared. I will get all the picnic supplies and pack them in my make-do bento boxes. I'll get some grapes and cherry tomatoes too. Oh, and toothpicks to spear the foods. What a great way to spend some time together, eat healthy, save some money and cut back on waste.
All kinds of times the bento would come in handy was running through my brain: Car rides, at the park, shopping in general, on hikes, field trips, running errands.
Let's face it, with obesity in our nation, we could use all the help we can get. This is a great way to help with portion control too. Eating should be enjoyable to the eyes and the palate. Some bento creators are so artistic. Let your imagination run wild.