The first real bento that I've ever packed! ^_^ I am quite proud of it.
It has in it, counter-clockwise from top right: Italian turkey sausage goyoza with a little sauce pig containing soy sauce, tuna goyoza with two sauce fish filled with mirin, two salmon-seasoned onigiri with star-cut kiwi in between, and a cup of star-cut carrots. Yummy "filler" food consists of a mini onigiri roll made from the leftover seasoned rice, and sliced red bell peppers.
I used mini cookie cutters (they were labelled as being for fondant but handled the carrots fine) to cut the carrots and kiwi into the cute little star shapes, and put a little plastic turtle pick in there to help with the kiwi - They're kinda slippery, so chopsticks might be a problem. The goyoza are from last night, and I packed them on paper towels and added a bit of baran grass as an extra soaking surface and to add a splash of green on that side. The silicone baking cups holding the star-cut stuffs are really flexible, and are also a good way to add filler. I had a bit of trouble organizing it, but once I saw how well the baking cups could bend it came together really well. My only regret is that I didn't pack the carrots in a blue cup, because orange and blue is Brian's favorite color combo. But, the red/green does tie together well all over the bento, so that's okay.
The thing with bento is that it's as much about how it looks as it is about nutrition. The bright colors from fresh fruits and vegetables are not only good for you, but good to look at. There are repeating shapes and textures, and the whole thing should come together as a whole. I tried to do that with the red cup and the red peppers, making the whole thing zigzag up to the carrots. I didn't need the baran grass in the goyoza boxes, but it ties in nicely with the green cup and makes the goyoza look better.
There's also a belief that the good feelings you put into making a bento are transferred to the one eating it. They're supposed to make you smile. It's kinda like putting a little love note in someone's paper bag, but on a grander scale. ^_^ I can understand that, because I knew it would make Brian smile, and it was really fun punching out all the little stars, even if it was a bit after 7 am.
Also, it makes me eat a healthy breakfast. I'm not going to toss the perfectly good little kiwi and carrot discs with the stars cut out of the middle away! I had kiwi for breakfast, with a bit of carrot, and shared them with the bunnies. There is nothing cuter in the morning than a bunny happily munching on a carrot or kiwi round that has a star punched out of the center.