Some Boy's been getting really picky about his food all of the sudden, so I've started dabbling with kids bento lunches. Cute, themed plates of food help get him into mealtime mode, so I can relax about his nutrition. I don't know what the deal is with kids being strangely tricked into eating a plateful of food if it's dressed up like a cheesy scene from Sesame Street, but whatever. I'll play along.
Even our beloved chicken nuggets have to be somehow decorated in order for Some Boy to sit still long enough to eat a full meal. I personally think nuggets are interesting enough as they are (what's not to love about bite-sized all-natural chicken patties rolled in delicious crunchy stuff?), but this kid's hard to impress.
I have a feeling I'll be decorating his meals all the way to college. I'll top off his lunches with frilly napkins reading, “I heart my little monkey! Luv, Mommy.” His girlfriends will LOVE that.
Sunshine Chicken Nugget Kids Bento Lunch
- Chicken nuggets
- Broccoli florets
- Orange slices
- Lettuce leaves
- American or cheddar cheese slice
- Black olives or seaweed sheets
- Cook the broccoli and the chicken nuggets together according to the chicken nugget package directions.
- Arrange the lettuce towards the bottom of a blue plate to look like grass against a sky.
- Arrange the broccoli florets to look like small trees, with the chicken nuggets in between the broccoli florets.
- Create a beak for the chicken nuggets out of the triangular corners of the cheese, and eyes out of pieces of the black olives or seaweed sheets.
- Use the condiments to create ranch clouds and ketchup and mustard sun rays.
I used broccoli pieces as trees for our sunshine-themed kids bento lunch. Just get them a little wet and then nuke them for about a minute alongside chicken nuggets so they're soft enough for little mouths.
Lettuce leaves serve as grass, with cheese and nori seaweed pieces as the chicken beak and eyes. Olive pieces work well if you don't have seaweed sheets. Although, really, everyone should have seaweed sheets. They're great snacks. I even use them in place of bread and turn sandwich lunches into super-healthy wrap time!
A round-cut orange piece serves as the sun, with ketchup and mustard rays and some fluffy ranch clouds against the blue plate sky.
Tada! Food is fun! I'm such a cool mom. Time to pat myself on the back. And watch The Bachelor. And drink some wine. What else do the cool moms do? Oh, right, take a girls' weekend and head to the spa. I totally deserve that.
Since the theme of this kids bento lunch is sunshine, we let Some Boy eat it outside after playtime in the pool. He thought that was pretty neat, and I enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to clean up all the crap he spilled all over the floor. We just left it for the birds. I'm now realizing that the thought of birds eating leftover chicken nuggets is a little sadistic.
Oh well, can't win em all.
How do you keep your kids interested in mealtime?