I have a confession. I am not a fan of the American version of a lunch box. In case anybody here hasn't seen one before, here are examples of the kind of bento box lunches I pack for myself when I travel.
Mine aren't as pretty as those, but I like to have a really good meal in the case of either an airline meal I cannot eat or the worst case of no meal TO eat. The best instance was on a flight across country when a child (about 4) next to me looked at my bento, looked at his mom and announced politely - "Can I please have what she's having?" We split my dinner.
Can you start making my lunch too!!!!!
I'm a bento fan, too! Two of my fave sites are Wendolonia and Just Bento. I usually shop for supplies at Daiso, since I'm lucky enough to have one nearby.
Just Bento is a terrific site. I'd never heard of Wedolonia before! Thanks for the new link! I don't have a Daiso store near me, but started packing lunches in old Tupperware for my son when I realized that some school districts consider ketsup a vegetable (Seriously, some do.). When he got bored of sandwiches, I started looking around for more variation. Learning how other parts of the world pack lunch was a real eye opener for me.
You're welcome - Wendy (we went to college at the same time, but I rediscovered her after searching for bento sites) has two sons and great photos of their lunches. Have you heard of the book, French Kids Eat Everything? It's on my list of things to read, but sounds like the concept might be interesting to you as well.
From Just Bento, I've made the carrot rice and want to make the beef and vegetable rolls.
For the record, I don't have kids but enjoy bento-style lunches for myself and my girlfriend!
I just figured out what I'm doing this afternoon!
Originally Posted by tCook
Originally Posted by tCook
French children (I used to be one) are given smaller portions of the family meal and have to eat their savory food before getting any dessert.
As a matter of fact, dessert entitlement is withdrawn for many kind of infractions.
In France, like everywhere else, some children are picky eaters, light eaters, voracious omnivores (like yours truly as a child), some are candy addicts and some eye pastries like Carrie eyed Manolo's shoes and Samantha everything in uniform or not . ;)
Some food addictions, in France as in anywhere else, are brought on by a too strict upbringing, where a child is forced to eat something he or she truly dislikes. I have witness this and find that some parents serve the hated food just out of authoritarian behavior something I vehemently disagree with.
The school meal samples I have seen in the author's blog reflect the socio-economic level of the towns the schools belong to.
I doubt she will ever see the gruel that is served in "banlieus" schools, the European equivalent of the inner cities,
A decade ago, there was a scandal about repackaged ground meat by a supermarket chain (cheap generic stuff with the brand name of the chain's owner type of outfit).
If some schools get their food from that supermarket chain, I can assure you that the oldest foods are going to be gotten rid of that way.
Many private school have no standards when it comes to feed their students.
Luckily, I ate my grand-mother really nice fresh food until I went to University.
There the food wasn't bad but it wasn't fancy.
One thing I appreciated and try to stick with is the daily meals rhythm I grew up with: hearty breakfast, lunch, sweet snack at 16:30, light dinner at 19:00.
At times, my lunch was quite heavy and my friends at University used to tease me about it, I would be offended as I brought back to my desserts for the evening meal, usually taken in the dorm because by the time I came back from class it was usually dark or it was final times.
We were not allowed a fridge in the dorm room.
Just trying to give an authentic French perspective.
No kids here either but I look forward to your bento-style lunches inspiration for 2.
What is your favorite brand of bento boxes?
@backpack: my favorite bento boxes are the sealable ones (sometimes they have lids with clips built in, too) from Japan. I'm not a huge fan of the stacked tier bento but that's just a personal preference. I always just buy the run of the mill ones at Mitsuwa (when I lived in Portland, Uwajimaya was my go-to).
I'm not sure how practical this one is, but it is stinking cute. I love the little guy who's hanging out on the aubergine (that sentence will make more sense if you click on the link, trust me).
@backpack: I've gone through a few favorite bento boxes, and like Badger my first choice is anything that seals tight. That said, my current favorite is a GelCool that I was given as a gift. I do wish it was a tight seal, but I love the built in gel pack for keeping things cool, as well as the size.
The first box my son used (grades k-6) was similar to this, but an earlier version. It's still perfectly useable, and my only knock against them is that they're bulky and that not all the cups have a tight seal. His only knock against it was that it was in rainbow colors that he outgrew.
This is the same as my son's current box. I wouldn't pack soup or stew in it, but it's served faithfully for the last few years without incident.
Having just gotten back from our trip to Japan, I can say bento boxes rock!
In addition to reusable ones, you can often buy packaged bento boxes at train stations, etc. I ate a bento lunch at the Tokyo Dome this Sunday when we went to watch the Yomiuri Giants play baseball against the Nippon Ham Fighters. Good fun, good food!
I truly enjoyed the links to Bento boxes blogs, tCook. I was also glad to find out about the French eating habits book as it pointed me to other books written by American about France. :)
I love the Just Bento site and actually have her cookbook in my cart on Amazon awaiting my next order.
I have a small collection of Bento Boxes and use them all the time for taking snacks/lunch just about any and everwhere. My favorites are my Hello Kitty box (very small), and my Laptop Lunchbox (very big).
Does anyone knows which is the best fitting Bento box for the lower pocket of the Synapse?
There are so many (hundreds? thousands?) that it would be hard to give a definitive answer. I have about 6 and it think at least two of them (Hello Kitty and Peter Rabbit) would fit. I'm sure several of the LunchBots boxes would fit as well.
backpack, there is a video of a Lunchbot bento box fitting in the Synapse:
Originally Posted by backpack
Tom Bihn Synapse Backpack with the Lunchbots lunchbox. - YouTube
A bonus to this bento box is the fact that it's not plastic. It's on my to-buy list. I am slowly getting rid of my plastic bento boxes :)