Gav started preschool yesterday and even though it's only six hours a week with no need to pack a lunch I thought it would be a good time to practice creating healthy, fun and less waste lunches. Waste-free is a little too strong of a term for me right now (I may use plastic wrap or something else now and then that will need to be thrown in the garbage) so I'll stick with "less waste" for the time being.
I've found major inspiration from Melissa at Another Lunch. She makes beautiful and fun bento lunches. I suggest checking her blog out, it's fab. Along with inspiration though, I've now got a major bento bug and can't stop shopping for the perfect lunchboxes. I seriously can't stop... I've already bought a few that I've changed my mind on and continue to find more. I also have a trip to Japantown in SF in the near future planned which I know will result in even more purchases. All this in only a few weeks. I'm in trouble!
Pictured above is a bento-style lunch I made for Gav in honor of his first day at preschool. It was waiting in the fridge for him when we got home. He loved it, especially the car shaped piece of cheese. Oh and he seems to love opening the box. Unlatching the hinges and taking the lid off adds to the fun for him!
I'm new to creating bento lunches so I have a long way to go in the cute and creative categories but so far the boy is digging it. It's such a great medium for making healthy food look more beautiful than it already is and that's especially important for picky little eaters. Bento-style meals fit right into my medium food lifestyle - they're simple to prepare, considerate to the environment, give me a creative outlet and a neat way to showcase my mix of homemade snacks and healthy convenience items. I've also bought boxes for the hubby, baby and me. I'm officially bento crazy!
Medium food for thought: On average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school. (wastefreelunches.org)