I make a lot of bentos for my family. I get a lot of feedback from my family too. And not all of it is good.
This isn’t down to packing horrible food, it is down to people’s personal preferences. And wow do they have a lot of preferences.
I have mentioned about fussiness in the past but I thought I would give some tips on how to work around different preferences and make bento-ing a bit easier.
– Remember preferences – as you are the bento maker, unfortunately it is your job to know what people like, primarily to reduce waste. Also if you know what people like you can tailor the whole process around dishes that cater for everyone.
– Don’t be afraid to be boring sometimes – most of my family like standard sandwiches with the same (healthy) sides every day. That’s ok, as long as they have a healthy lunch they will eat, the purpose of bento is fulfilled.
– Always have a range of vegetables for bento sides – it’s always a good idea to have lots of veggies available when you are trying to be healthy and even better when everyone you make lunch for likes a different vegetable in their lunch!
– Question their preferences – my familys lunch preferences can change quite frequently so I usually question their reasoning for the new preference. If it is justified I will suggest replacements or a solution to their preference. I am adamant that the lunches I make will have a healthy side ‘dish’ in them. So if my brother states he would prefer not to have red pepper as his side due to not liking them as much now, I would ask him for a replacement vegetable to use instead. In this case it was celery. No veggie, no lunch! (Maybe that sounds a bit mean!).
– Warn them before you pack new things – again it’s about reducing waste. Letting your family know about new foods in their bento will give them chance to state their preference of the new food and suggest either a different time to try this new lunch food or a different food in its place. When I say new foods, I don’t mean foods they have never tried before ever, just bento snacks that they may not have carried around in their lunchbox before.
Remember, bento is all about healthy lunches 🙂
Have you got any tips about dealing with fussy bento eaters?