Friday, December 10, 2010

Toddler Lunch

We are researching and touring daycares around home and work now. We plan to send little Caterpillar to daycare next year, so she can have more social and play time. Don't get me wrong, our nanny is great. The fact she doesn't like to take my girl outside is killing me! She has tons of toys and books at home to play with, listens to Chinese kids songs or classic music all the time. But I still think she needs some fresh air, and some little friends to play with. By next spring she will be over a year and half, so we think she is ready for school. Anyway, while we were researching, we realized some daycare offer breakfast, lunch and snacks, while others only have breakfast and snacks. Some help them warming up their homepacked lunch, others just let them eat cold food or you have to use thermal lunch box. I am not trying to offend anyone, but I do think regular American kids eat too much junk food and cold stuffs, not good to their stomach or overall health. And I always dreamed about packing those cute cute bento box for my kids, even when I was younger myself. How much fun will it be to eat something like this?(source Happy Little Bento)

OK, I found a couple of great blogs about bento boxes. I really think Japanese people have mastered cuteness thing in both crafts and food! One of the site is called Lunch In A Box, I probably featured her a long time ago. She has so much knowledge about how to pack a fast and nutrious bento box for little kids and shares her resources all the time. While I was reading her blog, I saw this post, How long does your schoolkid have for lunch. I was totally shocked! This country complains about the weight issues and diseases related to that all the time, tons of media coverages on healthy diet and life style, while our schools are teaching kids to eat faster (not wise nor healthy) and 'forcing' them to eat 'junk' food. And from what I learned from the comments, lots of school have recess after a very short lunch. How do you expect kids to finish their food when all they want is to go out and play with their friends, and how do you expect them to keep their food down while hanging upside down on a monkey bar or something? This is just wrong. When we were growing up, back in China, everyone gets a two hours break around noon time, to have lunch and nap or play or do your homework, whatever you want. Lots of European and Asian countries still have this long seista time during the day, it's actually great for work efficiency, believe it or not. Here in America, people try to eat less to avoid food coma, and never take naps. Such a tragedy! Now this posting got me so worried, I might start training her to eat faster before she goes to daycare, so she won't go hungry all the time.

One of the daycare center we really like do not provide lunch. Then I started thinking all the great food I can pack for her. I got so inspired by Biggie, and was thrilled to find another great blog all about bentos, Happy Little Bento. Here are just some more cutest boxes she packed.

Hello Kitty Ninja Bento
Rudolph and Misobutterfish Bento
Mummy Turkey Dog and Candy Corn Egg
There are tons of other unbelievable cute bento boxes on her blog, you just have to check it out. Even if you don't have kids, you can always pack yourself or your lovely other half something cute and special once a while. She even make them for different seasons and holidays! How amazing is that! I am definitely going to try these out. First I need to buy some of those supper cute bento boxes! I know H mart at Burlington MA carries them, and most of the Chinese grocery stores sell them too, but they may not have the very cute ones. Anyone lives around Boston area and know a good source for cute Japanese bento boxes? Please share.

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