My girls despise school lunches, and who can blame them. The choices are for the most part fried, greasy, starchy and institutionalized. And of course, just plain gross.

If they had no choice, the only thing the mini-diva will eat is the baked potato with butter and cheese. Period.
The littlest diva eats a little more variety, but only because she forces herself, not because she particularly likes it.

Now anyone who knows me knows mornings are not my best time. And there are other days no time is my best time when I am not feeling well, but I have committed to making two fancy lunches a week for the girls.
For years now I have sent them with lunches and I tried to make them a little more fun by having variety, but was limited somewhat because they didn't like this or that as it got smooshed in their lunchboxes or didn't travel well or whatever.

This year, my newest obsession is Bento boxes.

Obento is the Japanese word for packed lunch in a box and depending on where you look there are different rules for packing a bento box.

One is that each meal is 4 parts grain, 3 parts protein, 2 parts fruit & veggie, 1 part pickled veggie or dessert.

Another would be that each box has to have each of 5 colors- red, yellow, green, light & dark.
Yet another would be 1/2 grain, 1/4 protein, 1/4 fruit & veggie.

I am going to go with the definition I most prefer, and that is a variety of (mostly) bite-sized food that is arranged in a way that is pleasing to the eye as well as the taste buds. Food art, if you will.

Although we are trying more and more foods that are new to us, we do have very American palates and I don't want to send the girls with things they won't eat, plus, if it is too rigid and structured I will get bored and go back to the same old same old.

That being said, this will be my very Americanized version of the bento box as well as links and ideas that I find interesting.

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