Bento- How to Get Your Kid to Eat Vegetables

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1. Bento 2/25/09 Rain Rain Go Away, 2. Bento 10/14/09 Rilakkuma Family Totem~, 3. three pigs bento box, 4. Bento 02/26/09 Sunshine + Rainbow, 5. Bento 03/31/09 Spam Musubi Cheddar Giraffes, 6. Panda bento box, 7. Bento 12/09/08 Snoopy, 8. Doraemon bento , 9. Me and My Mom, 10. Penguin Santa, 11. Hannari tofu bento, 12. Bento 08/26/08 5 Little Piggies, 13. Pinga bento, 14. Madeline bento, 15. Merry Christmas bento, 16. Matryoshika bento

So I recently ordered a bento box for Andrew and a bento book. The bento box isn’t here yet but when it gets here I am going to have a little fun making some creations. I know mine will in no way resemble the awesomeness that is shown above but I am going to give it a shot.

According to Wikipedia, “Originally, a decorated bento was intended to interest children in their food and to encourage a wider range of eating habits.” This is exactly why I want to get into this. Yes, it will be time-consuming but being a SAHM I have the luxury of spending an hour on my kid’s lunch if that’s what I want to do. My goal this past year has been to get Andrew to eat and enjoy vegetables and we have succeeded. Last night he had red bell pepper (raw) for part of his supper and he often eats it for part of his lunch. I don’t know many adults who would eat that!

Red bell pepper is at the top of the list as far as “bang for your buck” vegetable-wise. You get the most nutrients out of it for a small amount of food. If you have a hard time getting your kid to eat vegetables, try some bell pepper sticks and if you have to, offer them some dip to dip the sticks in. A year ago we started Andrew on red bell pepper and “ranch” dip but now he eats it without the dip.

Another “trick” that worked for us was to grow our own sugar snap peas. We let Andrew plant the seeds, water the plants, and pick his own raw peas to eat all the while emphasizing that they were SUGAR snap peas. My mom told Andrew, “MMMM these taste like candy!” He agreed and ate them all summer long. Now that the garden is over, we buy them in the store and so he eats them from there, used to the flavor and knowledgeable about where they come from.

I think the thing to understand here is that practice can in some cases can make perfect and creativity helps! Of course there are certain foods Andrew will probably never like- he seems to have a real aversion for broccoli no matter how I prepare it, but I am not giving up! Persistance may pay off in this case. It would also help if his father would jump on board with some of these vegetables. HINT HINT Josh! I might have to start making two bento boxes every day.