I'm oddly addicted to making my lunches colourful, cheerfully and cute. I pack bento style lunches every chance I get and post them over on the lunch box only blog but I thought I'd post them over here for Mofo along with some lunch packing tips.
Lesson One: Big Lunch, Small box
Compared to my childhood lunch boxes my bento boxes are pretty small and I get asked if there is enough food in them to keep me going. There is and here are a few tricks I have up my sleeve to keep me full.
Pick Your Box
The size of your box (and therefore size of your meal) depends on how much you want to eat. There are different boxes available and it's a good idea to think about what you'll need to eat to get you through the day. If you're really active you'll want to eat more. It's also a good idea to think about calorie density. Think about a simple green salad compared to fried rice. To feel full you'll want a greater volume of salad than rice. I have a larger box for days when I want nothing but greens.
Pack It Full
Thinking back to my childhood lunch boxes I remember them being huge (of course I was smaller then) but they only had a sandwich, pack of crisps and a yogurt or something in. Each one was in it's own little container and around it was air. A lot of air. Making a bento you get away with a small box by filling it full of food. Delicious and easy to carry.
Cut It Small
There is a really easy way of fitting more food into less space and that is by making it smaller. Put the shrink ray away. All you really need to to do is chop things into smaller bits. Take these grapes. They are ready to burst out of their container in the picture above. Below you can see them snuggled all the way down and fitting fine.
This has the added benefit of looking adorable, making your box tidy, cute and delicious at lunchtime. Sometimes you don't even have to employ a knife. I have a special bag of small macaroni I use for pasta salads in my lunches.
Next week in lunchbox school I'll be talking about how to make sure your lunchbox looks great and stays looking great all the way till lunchtime. That will be on friday but the'll be plenty of Mofo fun until then.