I’ve written about my Bento packing here on the blog a few times. I have seen this trend towards making fun lunches take my lunch packing for my children to a new level of creativity. Even The SoMoms are starting to have fun with this new to us (but old) way of packing lunch for their own children. Some of them have even blogged about their experiences as well. As part of our continuing growth and learning, one of the activities I look forward to with the SoMoms is our #BetterMe sessions. Recently, we were able to attend a Better Me session with The Bento Mommas which was sponsored by Oreo.
If you are a regular visitor here to the blog and follow me on Instagram, you already know how much I LOVE Oreos, Gia and I have made Oreo cupcakes, we have experimented with Oreos and chocolate chip cookie dough, and when I don’t feel like baking, Oreo is our “go to” dessert with ice cold milk.
Why is learning to pack your child’s lunch box in the bento fashion considered a #BetterMe activity? Well, anything that makes me a better mom, better wife, or better person not only enriches my life, but the lives of those I love. Hence, the whole concept of #BetterMe…
So, during our workshop we were all challenged to make our own bento box lunch incorporating Oreos as we randomly chose from a variety of animals. I really wanted to make an Owl, so of course I asked help from the Bento Mommas to make sure I “picked” my favorite animal!
To get started on your bento making you only need a few tools. I suggest separating your bento tools from the rest of your kitchen equipment. I prefer using the same cutting board (that I received as part of my kit from my workshop with The Bento Mommas) each day for my bento packing. This way I know that there is no chance of the kids getting sick from contamination of cutting boards. Incidentally, my cutting boards are color coded, yellow for onions and garlic, light blue for meats and fish, green and red for veggies, white for fruit, and wood for bread and cheese. It’s just part of my normal kitchen routine to train the household staff in the color coding for cutting boards, because I feel it’s so much easier and cleaner.
While there are a ton of different tools you can invest in for your bento needs as your skills develop, I feel like these are the basics that most anyone could use with ease. I couldn’t find my scissors (go figure because my kids are always taking my scissors) for the pic. Some of the other tools that are in my kit are sandwich cutters. I pack sandwiches on most days, but on the rare occasion that I pack rice I try to make it fun too. I love using “picks” to dress up the boxes, especially if I have packed finger food. However, keeping that in mind, you know that “all you really need to get started is creativity and your imagination.” -The Bento Mommas
I forgot to take step by step photos when we were together in the workshop, so I am recreating an Owl bento just for you.
So to create your own owl all you need to do is this:
1) Choose two different types of bread. I used whole wheat and chocolate breads.
2) Use a rolling pin to roll your bread out flat. Roll all three pieces of bread out flat.
3) Use a round cookie cutter or a small glass to cut the body of the owl out first.
4) Oreo Cookies for wings and Big part of the eyes.
For the inner part of the eyes you can roll out some more bread and use a scissor or cutter for a smaller inner circle.
5) For your food glue you can use any condiment. You can use mayonaise, Cheez Whiz, or peanut butter.
6) I don’t have space for any branches for this owl to sit on because he fits perfectly in my Easy Lunchboxes container. If you needed to add fillers, you could add any kind of fruit, veggie, cubed cheese, or even pretzel sticks. You just have to make sure that your sammie is snug as a bug in a rug. You don’t want movement in a bento. That spells room for disaster when your kid opens up his lunchbox.
7) Slice your apple in four. Let it rest in a little bit of Sprite. I used to use calamansi squeezed into ice cold water, until Kaye from Bento Mommas taught me this trick. It doesn’t alter the taste of the apple so much.
8) Score the skin and lift the skin off carefully. It gets easier each time you do it.
9) Use a carrot and cut a thin slice off for the beak and the claws. I just used a pairing knife to make these triangles and then shape them into claws. Don’t forget to glue!
Add the rest of your fruits and fillers and you are done! You now know how to make an owl bento!
You know, many of the SoKids were at our Bento Workshop with us. In fact, most of them made their OWN bentos to take home and enjoy later. Making bentos is not just a way for Mommas to get creative in the kitchen and feed our kids nutritious lunches. It’s also another way for our kids to get INVOLVED with making healthy choices on their own.
Check out Kris DeGuzman’s daughter from OC Mom in Manila making her very own Bento!
Happy Bento Packing!