Everyday Bento + a giveaway! / by jen geigley

A few years ago, I found myself trying to feed a picky toddler. Oh, what fun that is! My little girl was super choosy and in an attempt to help her branch out and try new foods, I turned to bento. I did the usual Googling (this was pre-Pinterest) and found lots of complex bento box ideas ... mostly containing foods she would be hesitant to try. Many of them were extremely detailed, with teeny tiny bits of egg yolk cut into intricate flowers and faces made out of single grains of rice. It looked fun, but yikes. And that was when I stumbled upon Wendolonia. Aha! Approachable, doable bento for people like me! Her ideas were adorable and creative. She had compiled lists of foods to try and supplies to buy. Magic. Every bento lunch I've made ever since has been inspired by Wendy. 

Through the magic of blogging and the internet, Wendy and I became long-distance pals and I was thrilled to find out that she was writing a book! It's available right now and it's called: Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go. If you make lunches, you definitely need a copy. If you have picky eaters, you need this book. If you just like to play with food and make cool things for your kids, you should probably check it out as well. I'd love to share a little bit of what's inside, along with a few lunches I made last week that were inspired by this book. (If I can do it, you can too!)

Right off the bat, Wendy has included bento box basics, techniques, supplies and tools you may need. If you're a total bento rookie (or if you've been packing bento boxes for years) you are bound to learn a thing or two. There are lots of fun, tiny things to play with as you start to embark on your bento journey, and Wendy breaks it down for you with thorough descriptions and photos. Next are invaluable bento box idea lists and food ideas, grouped by color. She's really thought of everything. I often find myself getting stuck in a rut when I make school lunches, and this book is going to be such a handy resource when I go grocery shopping.

Wendy provides lots of step-by-step instructions with fantastic photos to help you make ordinary foods into something totally fun. She includes bento ideas for busy mornings, super fun themes for mornings that aren't as busy, seasonal and holiday bentos, and even bentos for adults.

All in all, there are 50 bento box ideas inside ... plus tips and ideas for so many more. You'll be inspired to create. Everyday Bento puts the fun back into packing lunches. I swear. The chore I used to dread has become something I daydream about and look forward to. My daughter loves opening her lunch box at school every day. (And ... she's not quite as picky anymore!)

Anyway, here are a few school lunch bentos I made for Lo last week.

All of these lunches were inspired by Everyday Bento!

Totally fun and totally doable. 

So. Would you like to win your own copy of Everyday Bento? I know you would.

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me how you'd use this book. (U.S./Canada only, please.) Do you have a picky preschooler? Are you stuck in a rut with your school-aged kid's lunches? Do you need some cool new ideas for lunches that you can pack for yourself for your work day? Really, any reason is a good reason to play with your food.

A winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, March 8th at 12:00 a.m. CST.

Thanks for reading and good luck! 

(P.S. If you'd like to see more of my blog posts about bento (and see pics of tiny Lotus) click here.)