I’ve always admired the creativity of moms like Kat Maderazo (she comes up with amazing bento box ideas in her Instagram account: @bentobykat). She effortlessly creates incredibly appetizing themed bento boxes that are also yummy and nutritious. I cant even begin to imagine how to decorate Tristan’s bento box baon when he starts going to school. Like, creating something cute and delicious might be a little difficult at 5 in the morning!
So okay, the Baby Barangay moms (that’s me, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Cat Juan-Ledesma, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, and Patty Laurel-Filart) were invited by Gold Seas Tuna to a bento box class and guess who our teacher was?! KAT MADERAZO! She was so nice and patient, and allowed us to explore our creative side, while teaching us the tips and shortcuts for making our bentos look amazing.
We had all our ingredients properly chopped up and prepared (which helped make the class smooth and easy) and we each had a complete set of tools and our own workstations! It was so much fun–I was nursing a headache that was quickly turning into a vertigo episode but I soldiered on. I didn’t want to miss out on this!
So this is how our individual workstations looked like. All the ingredients were in nice little containers, which I think helps make the bento box decorating process a whole lot easier. So yes, if you want to get into bento box making for your kiddos, make sure to: (1) prepare everything the night before and separate them into glass containers, like above.
Before anything else, you will need a legit bento box to put all your wonderful creations in. These ones from Yumbox (IG handle: @yumboxlunch) are so cute, so easy to clean and really organize and separate each food group. No mess or spills with this one. So be sure to (2) pick up a bento box (like this) because of course, before you get into bento box baon making, you need a bento box!
Another important tip I learned from this class: (3) invest in bento box making tools! You will need all the cute molds, punchers, mini scissors, tweezers, small knives and spiralizers to create your masterpiece easily. Yes, you can actually do without these but you will surely have a difficult time creating that theme you’re envisioning in your head or copying your son or daughter’s favorite cartoon characters.
The most important thing I learned is (4) how to incorporate healthy ingredients into your kiddo’s bento boxes. This is the part where you can make use of colorful vegetables and fruits, which your kids need to eat anyway. Kat taught us how to use natural coloring for the rice to make it more appetizing–you can use ingredients like turmeric (yellow) and edible flowers (blue). And using cut up seaweed sheets to create an outline of a face/features. Gold Seas Yellowfin Tuna chunks can make cute tuna mayo sandwiches or can be fried to be make tuna nuggets!
And lastly, (5) be creative with your presentation! Kat suggested to draw the design you’re envisioning in your mind. This not only helps organize your thoughts, but also allows you to come up with the right proportion for the bento box, as well as know what ingredients you need to create it (so you can prepare and do the groceries beforehand).
Oh, and don’t forget to have fun and keep practicing! Your kids will surely appreciate all your efforts.
The Baby Barangay loves Gold Seas Tuna Chunks and Kat Maderazo!!!