Awww, sad bentoing today! My little boy told me that the reason he brings lots of his bento food home is that the other little boys tease him about his 'silly' food. That made me so sad and sorry for him. He's been keeping it to himself so that my feelings wouldn't be hurt. After we talked about it I asked him whether he'd like to just take sandwiches instead and he said "NO!" that he enjoys his bentos and he's going to keep taking them. I'll have a chat with his teacher tomorrow, to see if we can make lunchtime more enjoyable for him. I think the children in his class would respond well to just talking about the bento meals out in the open, so that they are less strange and 'silly' to them. Here's hoping. Luckily, my daughter is having the opposite reaction from her classmates, who are all really interested in her lunch designs and food.
For today's bento I wanted to make something that would tell Toby that it's alright to just be who he is and enjoy the things he chooses to enjoy. He doesn't have to follow the herd and shouldn't let people get him down. He knows I make his bentos with love. There's a lot of my love in every one of them, even the plainer ones! It's about caring about his nutrition, his enjoyment of food and experience of new things. It's also supposed to be about fun. What a shame that the fun has been forced out of them by thoughtlessness in other little children. Unfortunately, I couldn't possibly convey all of that strong sentiment with a piece of vegetarian sausage and leftover stir fry...
What I've done instead is simply personalise the children's lunches with a love heart and their initial (they share the same initial). On the way to school tomorrow, I'll chat to them about what I meant by putting their initial in there and hopefully we'll get some good feeling back into bento meals for my little boy.
Along with leftover vegetable stirfry and noodles there are slices of vegetarian sausage and some rocket leaf salad with a cheese heart. In the second layer are slices of sweet pancake spread with jam and sprinkled with sultanas. My wonderful daughter made these pancakes all by herself! I'm very proud.