What’s in Your Lunchbox?

Most of us are probably familiar with Japanese bento meals, boxed repasts with small portions of carefully prepared munchables. Some ambitious bento preparers go overboard arranging the foodstuffs, turning their creations into something more akin to art than a meal (as we’ve discussed here before), while others obsessively blog their efforts to pack precious lunches for the kids.

The UK Guardian has the scoop on one such bento blogger. In an article titled “Little Boxes of Love,” it profiles Japanese-born Mimi Ito, now residing in the United States, who blogs her children’s lunches each day. “Food has always been very important to me, and I’ve always wanted my children to enjoy and appreciate good food,” she says. Her kids feast daily on soba noodles with Lilliputian bottles of dipping sauce, sushi, or mini pita bread with smoked salmon. It puts the old PB&J-and-apple to shame.

“Packing a bento for my kids is like making them a little present every day,” Ito says. “Making bentos, and home-cooked meals in general, are one way for me to fulfill my maternal impulse even though I am not a full-time [stay-at-home] mom.”

Ito is just one of many bento bloggers whose lunchbox artistry is impressive—and sometimes completely over the top. They craft sushi into the shape of pigs to celebrate the lunar New Year (pink, of course), or mold rice into little fish. Ito says she spends an average of 20 minutes to make her lunchbox creations, but it can take up to 45 minutes.

For those who want to jump on the bento bandwagon, there are resource sites that can tell you all you need to know. For the rest of us—are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Where can I get a bento-blogging mommy?

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