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Wednesday, May 16, 2007So now that I've unloaded on you with my sob story about occasionally feeling crushed by the responsibility of breastfeeding, it's time for a little bit of fun. (NOTE: this post is just full of pics. Click on any of them to go to the Flickr image with full descriptions.)
As you know, we've really been working toward healthier eating here. We're at about 50% organics these days and almost no "packaged" foods. I cook about six nights a week now plus a big lunch on Sunday so we've also got plenty of good, healthy leftovers to snack on or make lunch from.
That said, two challenges remained.
1.) Portion control. For me, that means eating smaller amounts at each sitting. For Greg, it means getting enough food into him during the day so that he doesn't scarf his weight in food at an 8pm dinner.
2.) Getting up the gumption to start packing healthy lunches for Greg again. He was up to eating out 2, sometimes 3 times a week if he couldn't find some box of leftovers sitting in the fridge.
That's when I spotted a post at Tiffany's blog about "laptop lunches." (Oh Tiffany, if only you knew what you'd started over here...)
Thus started me on my journey to reading about bento boxes and bento lunches. Journey? Maybe more like an obsession. (If you haven't guess, I don't really manage to do things on a small level...) So I began reading. I began browsing Flickr groups. I began drooling over eBay auctions. I marveled at the creative food presentation and the adorable containers. Then I bought a Mr. Bento.
For about a week, Mr. Bento was enough to satisfy me. Preparing lunch for Greg was fun. Plus, I was getting all sorts of healthy foods in him and packing quantities that gave him a nice sized lunch and then an afternoon snack. He wasn't coming home starving any more and I was throwing away less leftovers.
Then I started exchanging some emails with Lactivist reader Abigail. Abigail is living in Japan right now.
You know, Japan? Home of bento boxes and Japanese dollar stores?
So what did I do? I begged her to go shopping for me.
In the past week, three giant boxes have arrived. They've all been STUFFED with supplies. There were 8, yes EIGHT bento boxes. (Including an adorable Hello Kitty box for Elnora!) There were sauce containers, mini forks and spoons, side dish containers, bread and cheese cutters, food dividers, basically, boxes of bento-y goodness!
As such, I found myself spending about 20 minutes each night packing bento while cleaning up dinner. 20 minutes of creativity and peace while Greg watched the kids leaving me with not only a fully packed lunch for Greg, but also a clean kitchen. It's given me reason to experiment with new foods and to find new ways to pack healthy food for Greg. We've discovered that after years of hating salads, he absolutely LOVES salads made with baby spinach instead of lettuce. I discovered kumquats and Greg discovered fresh apricots.
Even Elnora is getting in on the action, enjoying sandwiches (the kid loves bread) cut into a variety of shapes. In fact, yesterday she ate her lunch out of a bento box that I'd packed for a play group that we didn't make it to.
This stuff is fun!
Well, if you hadn't guessed...I can never just stop at "fun."
So this week, I'll be building my new site...www.bentoyum.com. (It's not live yet, so don't bother checking it, I'll let you know when it's up.) My original thought was to simply put up a bento blog with pictures of each bento and the occasional recipe or packing tip. Then I thought about how neat it would be if I could convince Abigail to open shop and sell bento supplies. Oddly enough, as I was thinking that, an email showed up from her with the same idea.
So Abigail and I are going to be partnering on a new business. I'll do the blogging and will help her learn about marketing and she's going to be putting together bento kits, selling bento supplies and putting together some ebooks on the subject. Should be fun, especially for those of you looking for a way to inspire some healthy lunches for yourself, your spouse or even your kid.
Which leaves me with my question... Would you like the very occasional bento post here if I come up with something really cute or interesting? Should I ditch the MyBlogLog widget for a Flickr widget that rotates through pictures of the bentos? Or should I leave everything as is and just let you know when Bentoyum.com is up and running?