Making a bento lunch for a child may satisfy a parents desire for a healthy lunch. But it also serves the purpose of hopefully making that child crack a smile when he opens up that healthy lunch away from home.
Often as parents creating lunches, we think about what our children like, and even what their peers like, when deciding on a theme for the day's lunch.
With less than a month to go until most schools are back in session, I've started thinking about what to make during those first days and weeks. There are various sources I draw inspiration from, but mostly I just look around at what my children like to do, what they like to play with, & what they enjoy for entertainment.
Two year old Maia will be taking a lunch to preschool 2 days per week starting in September. Aside from the very obvious Hello Kitty bentos that will inundate this blog, I've been mulling over what other things she likes. Swinging, ice cream, Littlest Pet Shop, Team UmiZoomi, the beach, the farm, slides, her blue bear and Jessie dolls, pirates, pink hats, boots, pickles. That's probably enough to get me through Thanksgiving!
Nate will only need a small snack 4 mornings per week, so I probably won't go the bento route often for him this schoolyear.
But both AJ and Ryan will be eating in the school cafeteria at the same time this year. This will be AJ's first year bringing a lunch, and he is very excited. I foresee a more laid back approach for Ryan, but definitely some Bakugan, Toy Story, ZhuZhuPets, Pikmin, Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros., Monopoly, math, pizza, and the inevitable SpongeBob Squarepants.
Something that might be fun during the first few weeks is to create bentos around the theme of "What I did over summer vacation", such as: camping, croquet, letterboxing, Harry Potter, banana splits, Lego, pool, karate, mini golf, etc.
I haven't purchased any new bento boxes or equipment, so I will rely on my creativity and the kids' requests to guide me. How do you decide on your bento theme for the day? Do you plan ahead or wing it? What are your kids' back to school must-make themes?