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It’s fun to play around with different designs for the children’s lunches, and it often helps my boys to get more excited about their meal and eat fruits and vegetables more readily. Seasons and holidays make an ideal theme, so I decided to make over a normal lunch into a Springtime Bento lunch for the kids.
I shopped at Morrisons to stock up on some fruits and vegetables to include in the lunch. Their Market Street layout includes a green grocer section with plenty of fresh produce to choose from. I included carrot, cucumber, red pepper and grapes in the lunch along with some store cupboard supplies that we always keep available at home.
Previously when I’ve made Bento lunches, I normally tend to go with sandwiches but cut them into shapes and add a few fun details but I have seen some brilliant bentos made using rice so I took the chance to experiment with this instead.
My children love rice, daal and boiled eggs so I decided to make over this plain meal into a fun springtime themed lunch by including a few fun shapes and details.
First, I shaped the rice using an egg cup to create two egg shaped mounds in the lunch box. This is plain cooked basmati rice, made in my rice cooker in the usual way. To make sure the shape forms properly, pack it down into the egg cup firmly using your hands.
Many of the rice based bento lunches that I have seen, didn’t seem to include any liquid to go with the rice. I’m not sure whether those may be Japanese style rice which could be different, but since we are mostly used to eating in a South Asian way rather than East Asian in our family – I decided to include some daal (lentils). We almost always eat daal along with our rice in our house, unless it was Biryani.
The great thing about Bento style lunch boxes is that they do have many different sections to include elements of the lunch separately. I filled one small container with daal and then added a sunshine on top which I had cut from vegetables.
This simple sunshine was made with thin slices of carrot for the sun’s rays and then a round circle of red pepper for the centre of the sun. I cut this by hand using a sharp knife rather than relying on any cookie cutters, or fruit cutters.
Next I transformed our plain boiled eggs into really cute and simple spring chicks, which my kids loved seeing in their lunch. To make these, chop your hard boiled egg into two halves, which will make two chicks. You will need a small triangle of carrot for each beak, and two black seeds for the eyes. If you don’t have black seed then you could improvise with any dark coloured vegetable cut into tiny pieces. It’s amazing how effective this is for something so quick and easy.
You can also see here the fruit and vegetable skewers I added to the lunch. I took inspiration from this site on how to make the tulip fruit skewers and these were also really quick and easy to prepare, with just a couple of cuts to each vegetable with a sharp knife. I added a red pepper butterfly and portions of grapes onto fruit skewers too.
These skewers would also work well as a fun snack for after school.
I hope you liked this fun springtime Bento! Make sure that you’re following our healthy food board on Pinterest for more fun and tasty healthy meal ideas:
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