Monday, February 9, 2009

My first foray into Charaben!

Rocket and June Bento

I am a firm believer in food presentation. I believe that food should be cute. =D And so, I love bento. I follow two bento blogs, and have been inspired by them both. Wendolonia makes preschool bentos for her son, which is where I first got the idea for making bentos for Eliana. Healthy variety, cute color... What's not to love for a wee one, right? The other bento blog I've been following is Anna the Red. I've posted one of her bentos here before. She makes beautiful, amazing bentos, and really does charaben quite well. Charaben is the art of making the food in your bento look like characters.

Well, this morning I was reading Anna the Red and Ellie came over to the computer and said, "Oooh! Bento!" when she saw the picture. This particular one was a Calvin and Hobbes charaben and it just warmed my heart to know that Ellie responded so warmly to bento. Strange, I know. But it did, so I decided that we would make a Little Einsteins charaben this morning, just for her.

Now, most of the charaben I have seen is made with traditional rice and seaweed. But one thing I have learned from Wendy of Wendolonia is that you neeed to fill kids' bentos with foods they will eat. Not necessarily unhealthy foods, but foods that they like. Otherwise your bento, no matter how cute, will not get eaten. So today's bento base is macaroni and cheese (with hot dog chunks, chopped up from what was leftover after I made June's body). There is a celery and broccoli tree, and Rocket is made from an apple, with a soy cheese headlight. June's body is cut from a hot dog, and her face is made of ham. Her hair, shoes, and dress are cut from fruit leather, as are her pupils and earings. Her mouth is ketchup, and the whites of her eyes are mayonnaise. I realized after Ellie had already started eating it that I'd forgotten June's headband, and I think that would have made her look a little more like, well, June. But it's too late now, I guess, and I'm not altogether unhappy with how it turned out. After all, it IS only my first foray into charaben!


Jaime said...

I loved the Wendolonia blog! Definitely motivating and fun, easy ideas. Not so keen on the other one because they are absolutely impossible! But, I loved your take on a neat look with foods our kids will eat. I hope you'll do more! (No pressure...) :-)

There's definitely something to be said for presentation! Thanks for sharing!!

Wendy said...

Oh my goodness! This is *adorable*!