My facebook page is exploding with pictures of food. Cheese shaped flowers are blooming next to broccoli forests. Bear shaped eggs are nestled in colourful containers. Kabobs and star shaped crackers merrily share space with checkered apples.
The pictures are brilliantly creative. The bento boxes are adorably neat and tidy. The raves of how easy it all is jockey for position with burgeoning bento mums clambering for information.
And I sit, my eyes wide while I wonder…
Their kids aren't still hungry after eating those six tiny cheese stars and four goldfish?
That thought is quickly followed by…
Really? It takes no more time to make this lunch than it does for me to slap together two turkey sandwiches, a container of grapes, a bag of baked chips, a box of raisins and then try to figure out how to cram a water in with it all?
At this point, I have lunch making down to three minutes. I timed myself to see if I could get an extra ten minutes sleep in the mornings by making lunch the night before.
And no matter how these mums try to convince me that bento box beauties are quick and easy, I'm not buying it.
It takes longer than three minutes to carve a "J" out of a BabyBel cheese. I'm sure it takes even longer to turn an apple checked.
This is one of those instances – of which there are many – where I'm content to be a slacker. Because as cool as those bento boxes may be, my son is happy if I cut off the crusts. I don't want to raise the bar to panda carved bread.