Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Counting down to Back-to-school Bento

It has come around faster than I'd have liked, and the day after tomorrow the children will be back at school! We're well prepared for it at least, with new uniforms already hung out and name-tagged, shiny shoes waiting and books and pens organised into their bags. I always find that first day of sending them back to school difficult, even though, all-in-all, I've had school aged children for seven years. It never gets easier being apart from them during the day for that first week back at school. Their company is so delightful. Thank goodness that this first week is a short one, with only two days of school before the weekend.

My almost eleven year old daughter has revealed a new bento creating challenge for me. Although she is technically still a junior for another year, at their school the last year of juniors is incorporated into the senior school. She informs me after her senior department taster day that her lunch break will be a little shorter than she's been used to, and the lunch culture of the department is a lot more serious. This means that really complex looking food art creations might be out and needing to be replaced with simpler fare. I'm hoping that this doesn't mean I need to completely avoid a little touch of cuteness here and there, but I'll see how it goes. Since she still wants to take in bento style lunches, 'serious' ones or otherwise, I'm just pleased she'll be having her usual nutritionally balanced lunch.

As well as back-to-school bento, I'm going to be making my office bento a more regular thing. I will often go to great lengths to create healthy bento for the children and then let myself down with a lunch of a quite unnecessarily huge pot of leftover pasta or rice. All carbohydrate. It usually leaves me sleepy and unable to concentrate after lunch on those bento-tardy days.

Here is an example of one of my office bento over the summer. Leftover thai red vegetable curry and sticky rice. Not terribly attractive, but it was a controlled portion size and quite nutritious.

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