Putting together a beautiful array of food choices in your kid’s bento box can seem like a huge waste of time – but trust us, it’s not.
One keen mama has found that pretty bento boxes are the key to getting her fussy eater to actually eat her lunch. In an initial act of desperation, Kirti Malik has changed her daughter’s eating habits and is having a whole lot of fun in the process.
Whether she is adding seaweed faces to her rice dish or chopping her veggies into flowers, Kirti has created hundreds of picture perfect bento box lunches for her daughter. She has taken to Facebook to share all of her creations.
“Before we eat, our eyes see the food and sends a message to brain. So, I believe presentation is important specially for kids,” Kirti explains.
Fussy eaters drive parents to such measures
Many parents can empathise with that deflated feeling of being unappreciated. You know, when you’ve slaved away over your kids’ lunches and then they refuse to eat it.
“Lunch boxes that I was packing were coming back as such.”
Many parents get to a point where they are willing to jump through hoops for their kids to just eat their darn food. This is was sparked Kirti’s interest in bento box lunches.
“I ordered a few basic bento boxes and bento accessories. It worked like a charm….my picky eater started showing a lot of interest.”
Love it, like it or learn it
Instead of worrying too much about ticking all the boxes with each food group, this mum follows a mantra outlined by dietician, Ashley from Veggies and Virtue.
“I follow a very beautiful concept of “Love It, Like It & Learn It”
“I pack 2-3 items of Love It & Like It (food which my kid loves or likes – familiar food) and 1 item of Learn It (new food)”
“Don’t worry if it comes back untouched…. try for at least 10-12 times before removing that “Learn It” food from your lunchbox list. You never know, your kid might put that food in “Love It or Like It” list.”
Being organised is paramount
To survive being a bento mum, it is imperative that you are on the ball. This means planning ahead and ensuring minimal preparation is left for the morning rush.
“Mornings for me are only for assembling the bento box and cooking a few things like pasta, waffles and pancakes”
When it comes to grocery shopping, it is all about planning ahead and writing lists.
“Give your kids a few options at the beginning of week and plan your weekly menu accordingly. I use LunchBots weekly planners.”
“Write down the food items you will add in each compartment of the bento box. Take these food items on your Grocery Shopping List. Never go to a supermarket without the list.”
Worth a try!
Trial and error seem to go hand-in-hand with being a parent. Kirti tells parents not to stress out too much about ticking all the boxes with their bento creations. Juggling food groups, vitamins and minerals and whatever else we need to grow, feeding kids is basically one huge source of stress for many parents.
“If your kid is not eating veggies in their lunchbox, don’t worry, you can include veggies at dinner or snacks.”
In fact, she suggests having fun with your own bento masterpieces.
“Bento Accessories, fun sandwich shapes, cut out fruits and veggies are some ways I use for my kid’s lunches”
“It might not work for all kids, but a mother can always try.”
Looking for some ideas to fill up your bento box? Try this mini-quiche!