A creative mum has amazed the internet with her incredible bento school lunches that she makes for her daughter daily which look like works of art.
While many of us were sent off to school with a boring sandwich-and-fruit combo, Kerry Bandy ensures every lunchtime is exciting for her little girl by creating stunning arrangements in her lunch box.
“I remember when I was in school I’d always just have a Vegemite sandwich, an apple and muesli bar every single day,” high school teacher Kerry said.
“It was always pretty boring and I was never excited about it, but it was the same for most kids back then.
The 38-year-old, from the Central Coast, began crafting the artistic lunches just over a year ago when her daughter Camilla, six, started primary school.
“When she was in childcare, she had food provided, so it was the first time making school lunchboxes,” she said.
“I was always on Pinterest and Instagram, and was really inspired by what other parents were doing for their kids.
“I started trying it out, and it became an obsession. I think of different themes, and style them if it’s a holiday such as Halloween, Christmas or Easter.”
The mum-of-one says whipping up these beautiful bento boxes is a fun outlet that lets her harness that creative spark inside her – and after posting her designs on social media, Kerry rapidly gained thousands of followers who love to see her new creations.
“I do make them the night before, as I’m not a morning person and we have an early start,” she said.
“Her teachers have told me they love to see what her lunches look like every day too.”
The boxes usually consist of some type of sandwich with protein, fruit, vegetables and a form of dairy – while sometimes also including special treats in moderation.
Kerry said making these special bento lunches has helped her daughter be more open to trying different foods.
She added that each bento box lunch takes around twenty minutes depending on how intricate they are.
“It does take a little bit of extra time than throwing things together, but I find it really worth it and very enjoyable,” she said.
“I also always eat whatever scraps are left, so nothing goes to waste.”
The mum says she has an entire drawer full of fun cookie cutters and other bits and bobs that help make Camilla’s lunches extra special.
But Kerry added that parents don’t necessarily need these and can still give bento boxes a go without any of the extra utensils.
“You can definitely do this without any utensils, you can use cups to make a circle or roll the sandwiches up. There are no rules,” she said.
“I go to the discount stores, and they’re all only $1 or $2. I’ve never spent a lot of money on this.
“I get the little edible eyes, which helps the characters come alive, in the cake section. There are also edible markers that I use to draw on the bread.
“Little vegetables cutters are great too, I find kids are more likely to eat them when they are prepared this way.
“I know creating these lunches might not be for everyone, and that is totally okay. I do it because I really enjoy it.”
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