Friday, July 16, 2010

Thinking Out of the Bento Box

A Happy Mom = A Happy Family. 
A Hungry Mom + Busy Day - Food = Miserable Mom...and well you can see where this is going. There's nothing that fouls my mood up faster that being hungry and/or unable to obtain nourishment--quickly and I need something that's actually good for me. Daily, often routine tasks seems so much more difficult to accomplish when I'm starving to death. Did you ever notice that people are unbelievably annoying just before you eat (a late) lunch? Well, I discovered a very cute solution.

Having an affinity for all things Asian, I recently splurged and bought a lovely, lacquered bento box online. Love, love, LOVE IT! A bento box is a Japanese lunch box that is compartmentalized and designed to store a variety of foods in one handy-dandy adorable container. Bento boxes are traditionally packed with rice, vegetables and some type of meat or fish but I don't want to limit myself to the standard Asian fare (although it's my favorite). I like taking leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day, so it fits the bill. These boxes are great idea for kids, too. If school-age children help pack their own with good food choices that an adult provides they are more likely to actually eat the stuff and preschoolers can be suckers for a "gimmick". Case in point: My toddler won't touch his egg foo young unless I feed it to him with my chopsticks...interesting.

I'm due back in the office soon, as my maternity leave will be coming to an end (sigh...) and I want to do my best to eat healthy when away from home. I plan to pack (besides leftovers) fresh, raw veggies, fruit, nuts, hummus, cheese, crackers and whatever I will need to get through a 10-hour work day. I'm a busy mom who doesn't need to put any extra strain on her system by eating take-out every day, which can be tempting when you have a whole hour for lunch, lots of restaurants to choose from and boy, do I like take-out! With a belly full of orange chicken or "super nachos" I can achieve nirvana and I am often at my most spiritual while slurping down an extra-large Coke with lots of ice on the way back to my desk. Unfortunately, these kinds of food come back, bite me on the butt and stay there...on my butt.

You've got your work cut out for you, my adorable new bento box. It's time for me to get creative with my lunch so I don't get hungry, bored and run to the nearest taco shop. I'm gonna pack that little sucker so full...

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