|Lettuce with a small amount of Italian dressing, carrots with fat free ranch for dipping, cheesy potato slices, rice, mixed veggies, half of a puff pasty chicken pocket leftover from last night's dinner, and cheese cut into shapes.|
I have a picky eater. It is frustrating with how picky he is. For a long while all I could get him to eat was chocolate milk, cheese, and Cheetos. Horrible. I know. I have tried almost every conceivable way to get him eat and try new foods. Most attempts were unsuccessful. It wasn't that I wasn't offering other foods, he just refused to eat them.
While browsing around a few kid's food blogs, I ran across Bento Boxes. For those of you who don't know, a bento box is a Japanese style lunchbox. To me, there really isn't any difference between a plate and a bento box except that they LOOK really tasty and fun.
So I decided to try it and went off into internet shop land and bought a few things from Bento USA. I just got a few things that looked fun - a $2.50 two tier bento box, a couple of shape cutters, an egg mold, and some food picks.
I started off with foods that I knew he would eat - like cheese and pepperoni - cut into shapes with cutters. Then I began adding similar foods like turkey, ham, chicken, and other types of cheese - food that he had refused to even try before - cut into fun shapes as well. I added carrots and bread, and he ate them! I gave him rice, beans, peas, lettuce and other things and he ate them! My picky eater - who would only eat a handful of different foods just two weeks ago - was eating REAL food.
Now when he comes to the table for lunch (I do bento boxes for dinner sometimes too) he is excited to see what is in his box and for the most part, he eats everything. I add new foods for him to try every few days. He still refuses to eat new foods at first but after a day or so of giving it to him, he warms up and gives the food a try.
I am amazed at how well this worked. Presentation changes everything in children's eyes. If you have a picky eater of your own, give Bento-ing a try. You don't have to go out and buy a bunch of fancy stuff, you can use a small Tupperware and some cookie cutters that you already own.
BentoLunch.net is a blog that I follow and they host a link party called "What's for lunch Wednesday." I will be participating in this from now on. Go check out what other people link up. I am new to bento so mine are rather plain, but other people make some amazing bentos. I wish I was their kid lol...
If you are wondering, these are the items in my Bento collection so far...
(images and items from Bento USA)
Vehicle bread cutter