Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas Themed Bento Box Lunch Ideas

My little boy's reaction to this bento was just priceless. These animated bentos work really well for  special occasions or birthdays! This looks like a lot of effort but trust me it's not. The only thing that you need for this is Japanese rice which can be found in most large supermarkets (sometimes it's called sushi rice). Japanese rice is a short grain sticky rice so other types of rice won't work as well as the rice needs to stick together to create the rice balls. After following the instructions below and making the snowman you can use whatever ingredients you have at home for the rest of the lunch box fillings. Try to make the lunch box as colourful as possible and include ingredients from all the food groups to make a balanced meal if possible.

You'll need

Any type of kid's lunch box
Japanese rice boiled 
Bowl of water
For the lunch box fillings:
2 cooked cocktail sausages or slice of ham
2 strawberries
2 cherry tomotoes & cucumber pieces
Few pieces of steamed brocolli & carrots
Few peas/ and or sweetcorn
2 thin strips of green pepper

Nori (seaweed) sheet or sesame seeds

How to create your bento:

1. Click here to see how to prepare and make Japanese rice.

2. Dip your hands in the bowl of water. Then take a small handful of the cooked rice and form the shape of a ball using both hands. This rice ball can be used for the body of the snowman. Repeat again to make a rice ball for the snowman's head, this time take a little more rice.

3. Place both rice balls in the in the middle of the lunch box, the bigger rice ball sitting on the smaller rice ball to make the shape of a snowman.

4. To create the snowman, place 2 boiled peas on the lower rice ball as the buttons. Place the sweetcorn on the upper rice ball as the nose. Cut  two small pieces of nori in the shape of a smiling eye and place on the upper rice ball. Cut a long thin strip of nori and place on the upper rice ball as the mouth. Place the two thin strips of green pepper on either side of the lower rice ball as the arms.

8. Now you can start to filling the lunch box with other fruit, veg and meat to make a complete balanced meal. For this bento I've included cocktail sausages, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, boiled carrot pieces.

I used nori for the eyes and mouth but there are lots of other fruit and vegetables that you could use instead if you don't have nori at home e.g. raisins, outer skin of a cucumber etc. 


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