How’d you come up with your blog name?
When my firstborn was a toddler, there was this one evening when I was rummaging through the pantry and asking him (or really, myself) what we should have for dinner. “How about pasta? How about chicken? How about…”
“How about cookie?”
It was his first full sentence, and I’ll never forget it. It’s taught me a couple things:
1. Be honest.
2. Dream big.
How did you start getting into bento?
My aforementioned firstborn has always been a great eater. My second one, not so much. So when he started kindergarten this past year, I knew he’d need some incentive to eat lunch at school; fun lunches that are packed neatly made sense, and I wanted him to feel like he had a piece of home with him even though we were apart. Most of the lunches I pack aren’t cutesy; I save that for the food art plates the kids eat during snacktime.
How long does it take?
Nothing I make takes longer than 20-30 minutes. School lunches mostly take 10-15 minutes. What takes the longest time, actually, is the brainstorming, and planning components of the meal before I even set foot in the kitchen.
What do you do with the scraps?
This question comes up a lot. I usually eat the scraps that are left over from cutting shapes out of fruit or bread. Otherwise, I freeze bread scraps for a later time.
How do you come up with these ideas?
You’ll see that I don’t like to do a lot of character-specific food art, because I want it to be conceptual and relatable. I like to keep it open-ended so that my kids learn to see new things and new shapes out of old things. So a lot of my time is spent just thinking about the form or shape of the food and seeing how it can become something new.
Are your kids good eaters?
Food art and bento doesn’t “cure” picky eating. My kids are definitely a lot more prone to try new things thanks to food art, but even grown-ups have preferences and likes and dislikes, so we should respect that kids have the same. However, if you’ve found a way to get your kids to love tomatoes, I’m all ears.