A while back we ate dinner at IHOP and Orson got super excited about their chocolate pancake with a face made out of whipped cream, chocolate chips, and cherries. Not something we’d let him order every time, but sometimes you’ve got to give in when they are that enthusiastic! It took him about three days to eat the whole thing, and the whole time he happily chatted away about his ‘candy face’ pancake.
Seeing him that excited about food with a face reminded me of these cute face punches that I put on his Amazon wish list a while back. You can use them on sheets of nori (the seaweed used for sushi) to quickly add a black face on lots of foods. And with three faces you can mix & match a little bit, like turning the eyes from the middle punch sideways to create a wink.
I let the punches sit around for a week or two before I finally pulled them out & used them. Pandora likes to wake up right at Orson’s lunch time, so trying to get everyone’s food & milk ready at the same time can be a little crazy. I felt a little ridiculous for putting it off ~ they only take a minute to use! So one day I cut a hot dog in half, made some slits for legs to turn them into octopus, and punched out a couple of faces while it was in the microwave. A super cute lunch in no time!
Unfortunately toddlers are a finicky bunch. As I was assembling them Orson started screaming that he didn’t want them to have faces. Panda joined in on the wailing, ready for her bottle. I snapped a few photos & told Orson he could take the faces off if he didn’t want them, and he started complaining that he didn’t want them to be octopus & I should put them back to ‘normal’. He finally agreed to eat them only after all of the legs were ripped off and dubbed ‘tiny hot dogs’. By the end of it I was grumbling the equivalent of, “This is why we can’t have nice things!” Oh well. I know he’ll appreciate it one day!
Shortly after this I discovered the blog Just One Cookbook, which is filled with tons of yummy Japanese recipes and some really good posts about bento box lunches. Hers are not the over-the-top kind where you spend hours cutting licensed cartoon characters out of food stuff (Google “Bento art” to see what I mean), but simple lunches that made bento seem possible. Of course I would add a few cute touches here & there! Since then I have spent a lot of time browsing bento supplies on Amazon, eBay, and my new favorite ~ BentoUSA ~ and tacked several items on my Christmas list. With Orson starting Pre-K next year I figured a little practice wouldn’t hurt! (though there my be some whining involved)