Certainly it was the Kawaii or Cuteness of the Bento which attracted me in the first place, but now I appreciate the functionality of it all. My six year old son is certainly happy for extra lunch option too. I broke down and opened a second Bento set for him to use. It is the same pattern as his first set only smaller, with no chopstick compartment. This suits me just fine for him because he's not quite ready for using them just yet.....at least not with any speed or efficiency. Today, lunch was a boiled egg with Caesar dressing to dip it in, rolled chicken breast deli meat, strawberries, Gouda cheese, and some cookie type snacks. He finds these "little picnic" lunches fun and fairly quick to eat which is good because he's a pokey slow eater with only 15 minutes to do it in. The small blue strawberry shaped container holds the salad dressing and is just the right amount. It was also in it's first use today. My nice friend Christine brought a set of four of these containers back for me along with some other Bento supplies from Daiso in Vancouver. (Thanks very much!) I'm really love'n the Bento:)To separate the different food groups in the layer, I have been using cupcake liners with fun kid prints on them. I also have a set of blue silicone liners but have not yet got in the habit of using them. Typical food choices for Ike's Bento style lunch so far have been: 1)sandwich cut into 1 inch squares something sticky like PBJ or devilled ham is best 2)rolled deli meats 3) pickle chunks 4) olives..go figure 5) grapes, cherries, fruit chunks 6) boiled eggs with dip 7) cherry tomatos or veggie chunks with dip 8) goldfish crackers or pretzels 9)cheese chunks 10) pepperoni stick chunks.
I have always tried to separate the moist layer from the things like crackers just in case the crackers would absorb moisture and flavours. I have not received any complaints from Ike so far, and judging by the contents of his Bento on his return.....I'd have to say it has the Ike-a-roo seal of approval. One of these days I'll get a mold for shaping the boiled eggs, and I'd also like to get one of the Bento weiner cutters....but for now we'll stick with the quick and easy!