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I wish my childhood lunches had been filled with more delightful and evocative images, so I could recount to you complete sensory detail, my memories of elementary school at noon. But alas, I had a lot of bologna on white bread, American cheese on white bread and peanut butter and jelly... on white bread. Not that my mom wasn't awesome, but she lacked the time and the... culinary creativity to spin brown bagged meals into flavorful memories. But, what I lack in personal experience in my youth, I've more than made up for in living vicariously through other people's lunches. Betcha Can't Eat EVEN One!
Here's how our good friends, the Japanese, manage to stay fit and trim so that they can continue to hand our Cheetos-enhanced behinds to us in the cuteness department: Food so adorable you don't want to eat it. Go ahead -- you order a plate of this stuff and see if you aren't still staring at it three hours later.
If you've never been to Cute Overload, you'll realize the second you click the link above why the site deserves its name. I nearly fell out of my chair before I could scroll through the entire post. The sheer creativity is stunning. My personal favorites include the adorable cat pictured above and this little guy in a boat with a asparagus spear oar. And speaking of bentos, if you've never seen one before today, do yourself a favor and do a Flickr search for the term 'bento'. You can thank me later. All Star Corn
Next to the meatballs are some "All Star Corn": fresh corn-on-the-cob, cooked and cut into rounds, topped with cucumber and carrot stars. I filled in the open spaces between the corn with blanched green beans.
I've been reading Jennifer McCann's blog, Vegan Lunch Box since she was nominated for (and won) the Weblog award for 'Best Food Weblog' in 2006. She never fails to make creative and healthy meals for her son, which are photographed, documented and rated in her posts. She has since published a cookbook of her favorite lunchtime recipes and her blog has also become an excellent resource for lunch tips and other food ideas. Lunchbox
Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. The time some refer to as back-to-school, but which I lovingly call the make-a-tasty-and-creative-lunch-everyday-for two-kids, pack-everything-in-little-tupperwares-since-the-school-has-gone-green, don't-forget-the-ice-pack-or-imminent-death-may-result, did-you-already-have-peanut-butter-and-jelly-this-week-and-if-so-who cares? will-the-leftover-spaghetti-be-nasty-by-noon? oh-crap-i-left-the-spoon-for-your-yogurt-at-home, blech-this-water-bottle-stinks-to-high-heaven time of year.
Do the two previous blogs seem a bit too ambitious for your daily lunch preparations for the kids? Fear not, there are others out there actively seeking ways to make the brown bag more interesting without making it more difficult! Our thanks to Cheryl Sternman Rule for asking the question... now... what do you fill you and yours kids' lunchboxes with?