Oh, bento!

I faced my first challenge as a wannabe Japanese mom the other day. It was obento day at school. For those who may be hearing the word ‘obento’ for the first time, it simply means a lunch box. But, in Japan, people take it to a whole new level.

Go in any dollar store, supermarket, or department store and there is always a massive obento section, full of various boxes, chopsticks, accessories, and super cute adornments for both inside and outside the box.

Japanese mamas have turned obento almost into an art form, with incredibly intricate designs (almost all edible) and creative designs. All this for KIDS! Small humans who will gladly eat what they find in their noses. Small humans who can laugh about the word ‘poop’ for a good five minutes.

But hey, when in Rome, do as the Romans.

So, I went to the 100¥ shop, and spent a ridiculous amount of time standing there, deciding what to buy to ‘decorate’ The Kid’s obento. Way too much time. Definitely a waste of time.

Then it was the question of what do I put inside? What would the other kids be eating? What would be suitable?

Finally I decided on a menu, and ta-daa! This is what it looked like:


I have to tell you a secret though — I totally cheated. I obviously didn’t bake the bread, but I also didn’t make the meatballs. Or the omelette. I bought them at the Family Mart (along with a 6-pack of beer. That was for me, not for The Kid. Because Bento Day is stressful. For me.) But I did steam the broccoli… I swear!

Anyway, Bento Day is once a month at school and apparently kids really love it. And they’re curious to see what the other kids have too. I’ll post pictures of Bento Version 2 in June.


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