Gallery of cute lunches that Heather makes for her son

Lba Stitch-1

Heather Sitarzewski says:

I decided this past summer that I wanted to make a fun bento every day for my son's lunches this school year. I dug around online for a bit to see ideas and found some very fun sites that have recipes and tutorials for how to manipulate food into shapes and patterns that you don't envision initially when you think about it.

Day one I put together a cute, generic style bento. I knew immediately that I wanted to do Disney characters and other fun imagery. But little did I know, that crazy idea I had during the summer would be received so warmly with my Facebook friends. I started posting them daily there and got so many requests for a place to see them all at once. A book, a blog... a tumblog.

One day a book may be in order. But for now they can all be seen in one place at Lunchbox Awesome.

Lba Hungrycaterpilar
Lba Snoopywoodstock
Lba Mater
Lba Angrybirds
Lba Wallacegromit
Lba Preplanding
Lba Misspiggy
Lba Pinoch Jiminy
Lba Pherb Perry
Lba Jackzero
Lba Frank
Lba Spongebob
Lba Goofy


  1. I’m pretty sure my kids would love to take these to school and show them off, but how do you get them to *eat* it with all the foods touching each other like that? I especially love the Phineas and Ferb Sandwich!

    1. Even if the kids aren’t particularly picky eaters, I wonder *how* they would eat some of those… Does the child just pick it all apart bit by bit? (that’s probably what mine would do). The ‘sandwiches’ in particular seem difficult – do they assemble the bread and sandwich meat at school, or just eat it piecemeal? 

      Regardless, someone has a very patient, creative, and loving mommy. :)

    2.  You must be one of those “my food can’t touch people.” I only know…MAYBE two people in my life like that, none are children. Obviously, if one’s child feels that way, there would be a problem. Obviously, in this case, the child doesn’t have that issue.

      1. I’m not picky about food touching, but about lots of other things. When you put two picky parents together you get picky kids, so no surprise there, really. And I’m not hating on these, they are delightful and fun. Just my first reaction was my kids would never eat them. 

      2. I am picky about my foods touching-but for a good reason. I’m picky about things like my kiwi touching the bread of my sandwich-possibly creating a quick acting ejecting device called the gag reflex. No one wants chicken and muenster on kiwi flavored bread (as ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL as kiwi is… Kiwi flavored bread could only be POTENTIALLY appealing to a very hungry, very hormonal, very PREGNANT woman.”

      3. As a student of psychology and a nurse; this is actually a known psychological stage that MOST children go through called just right syndrome and it follows the pattern of someone with OCD. it passes after a year or two and then the children are normal, but it is also a very NORMAL part of childhood and the rude comments are unnecessary. I know children and adults alike who are picky. Everybody’s tastes are different. Relax people!

    1.  Yes, dangit!  The principal function of food is to be eaten; to fashion it into something visually aesthetic (or even anthropomorphic!) is to run violently contrary to this function.  (I’m sure there must be dozens of humorless graduate theses on this subject.)

      1. “to fashion it into something visually aesthetic (or even anthropomorphic!) is to run violently contrary to this function”

        Why does designing something visually pleasing run contrary to this function? “Because I say so” is not a convincing argument!

      2. Are you seriously going to argue that giving food visual appeal runs contrary to it being appetizing? Have you ever eaten a gingerbread man?  Pretty sure that’s the most delicious configuration for gingerbread.

        1. I do love gingerbread…
          But take it up a notch to a gingerbread HOUSE! Those things are seemingly endless! It’s fantastic!!!!!
          Well… Endless until you get to like the last bite… Then it’s just heartbreaking…

    2. I think you are right.
      Many who see this kind of food prefer to starve. It is a shame to put this nice art in your mouth

    3. Agreed. I mean, the majority of the food- SEPARATELY- in these boxes are delicious. But like I said to some other guy, no one wants kiwi flavored sandwich bread, but it would inevitably happen.

    1.  Your friend’s Bento boxes are cool but honestly? The ones above look more like something a loving mother would give her child. Your friend’s look like an artist expressing creativity with the perfection of the art being more the purpose.

      Don’t get me wrong, as a kid I would’ve been thrilled with ANY of these…but one feels “warmer” than the other… YMMV

      1. Warmer because of the copyrighted characters? C’mon! :D

        Koocheekoo’s friend bentos look far more nutritive than the ones from the entry…

      2. More “warm,” absolutely. However, the other one actually appears palatable.  These ones make me gag just looking at the flavors that would inevitably combine together over the hours just sitting there in a box that is probably not refrigerated-before opening it again.

    2.  And I’m sure your friend would be so appreciative of your sharing her works while bashing another person’s work!  Well done!

    3. was it really necessary to bash this mom in order to spread the word on your friend doing this as well. because of your lack of tact, I’ m not even going to look at your friends stuff.

  2. Yeah, they don’t mention that the kid eats saltines and bread slices when Mommy’s having one of her “depressive” episodes.

  3. Gosh, y’all are crabby today. These are cute and fun; yes, the kids will eat them. Don’t be such a hater.

  4. I’m  glad she’s documenting these. Fun bento lunches are on the ephemeral side. It would be fun to see what kind of things she does as his interests change over the years. My guess would  be less Disney, more  anime. When I was 13, I would have gone ape for a lunch that looked like the 1st edition of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide.

  5. Yeah, I’m not bemoaning the fact that I never got to eat soggy oreos mixed in with salami and raw broccoli when I was a kid… yeeg!  Interesting art medium, but I don’t think it makes for good eating..

  6. I find her claim disingenuous: that she just sort of thought it up and poked around a bit online to get ideas but really had no idea people would be so interested.

    Veganlunchbox was probably the grandma of them all (started around 7-8 years ago) but there have been many others.

    For those who wonder about how things might shift en route to school: there are special lunch boxes made for this.  The individual boxes are small and short and the lids hold everything in place (pretty well).   Laptoplunches is a good example.

  7. these are the awesomesauce! not sure why everyone’s hating today.

    also, the link to “Lunchbox Awesome” doesn’t work.

    1.  Here, let me get rule this jotted down…

      “Taking photos of something one has created somehow implies that the documentation of the creation was the ulterior motive.”

      Okay, got it.  Thanks!  That’s a very handy rule to keep in mind when looking at any of the billions of creative things documented online!

      1. No… but this parent is trying to be “cute” at the expense of the child… How appetizing is  olive touching egg, touching pretzles, touching pinapple, all underneath bologna?  WTF?  

  8. This is the cutest idea EVER! I wish I had childhood memories that included lunches like this. I just got crappy salami & mustard slapped between bread and fruit snacks…ugh.

    1.  I agree, what a bunch of debbie downers commenting! Could you imagine how excited this kid is to get to lunch and open up his box and see his favorite cartoon character?!  I bet the other kids loved seeing his lunches too!  The lunches all look nutritious and I am sure delicious, as no mother wants their children wasting food:-)  I think everyone is jealous are intimidated by this moms creativity!

  9. I guess the haters commenting here didn’t learn to play nice in the sand box while they were in school.  How about seeing these Bento lunches as a loving expression of a mom to her child – a child who obviously doesn’t care if their “food touches,” or their Oreos are in the same container as their salami, or who would probably gladly eat saltines because mom is depressed because she is being sued by Hollywood lawyers (duh!?!) because of her “smug” lunches.  I think they look amazing!!

  10. No one doubt that the mother means well, but I think they are simply more disgusted by the food combinations and touching.  

    I really can’t imagine any of the boxes making it to school without being soggy with everything tasting like the cheese and meat juices…    ::Squirm::

  11. While is a great idea in theory, I remember very vividly as a child not enjoying when my different foods touched each other. I also remember a lot of other children being just as picky as I was. If her child isn’t as picky, that’s wonderful.

    That being said, I agree with many of the other commenters. Things will be jumbled by the time the child reaches lunch (unless s/he is well trained and only carries their lunchbox very carefully so as not to jostle anything around) and everything will be soggy. The sweets will have impacted the flavor of the savory and vice versa, making it practically inedible in my opinion.

    I guess this is just a case of “it’s the thought that counts.”

    1. The things are not jumbled because of the special boxes that are used.  Also, the food isn’t soggy.  I have made a couple of bentos for my son and if you make them just right, they work out just fine.  Her son loves these lunches, doesn’t mind if the food touches, and is NOT a picky eater!

  12. I think they’re very sweet. Lucky kid to live in a house full of love and creativity. Moms know what their kids will or won’t eat and it looks like this kid eats a nice healthy diet. Better than Lunchables ANY day.

  13. If my mother made this for me, you can bet that I will be carrying it carefully to school each day. It would be show and tell every day at lunch and I get to be the coolest kid! As for food combinations? what better way to get your kid to try different kind of foods? Childhood should be more about fun, imagination and creativity, and less about what food should not touch other food. If fact, this would make a wonderful adult lunch, I would be the envy of the lunch room… 

  14. speaking from a child’s point of view, i would totally eat that. you guys need to calm down and just appreciate the fact a mother put effort into making her kid’s lunch a bit more interesting. so the food is touching and the kid might have to put a sandwich together or play with the food a bit, but isn’t that what children do? if anything, this is only going to make the kid happier since he now has reason to play with his food. and its healthy. why are you complaining? its not junk food. at least we can rest assured that this kid will learn to eat healthy.

    1.  I’m with you. My first reaction was “christ, she’s gilding the lily”, but then I noticed how much fruit and veg she’s apparently encouraging her kid to eat. Good work.

  15. I have to say that I know the person that makes these Bento boxes and she is a very amazing, creative person and a wonderful and loving mother.  Her son eats everything that she puts in the boxes.  She picks foods that HE will eat and enjoys eating.  Not all kids are picky eaters and not all kids care if their food touches!  It makes me upset to think that some of you felt the need to pick on someone that obviously takes time out of her morning and puts real thought into her son’s lunches.  Why be so mean?  It’s okay if your child just gets a PB&J AND it is okay if my friend’s son gets creative Bento boxes!  Oh, and the reason she has documented them… her FRIENDS asked her to share the pictures.  More and more people asked to see them, so she created LunchboxAwesome.  So, maybe before jumping to conclusions or being mean (or maybe actually jealous), you might want to just live by the old rule… if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!

  16. Why does everybody care about food touching?  What’s the big deal?  Have you all never seen layered dishes, where they put a steak on top of mashed potatoes?  What do you guys think a hamburger has air gaps in between the lettuce/meat/bun?  “The principal function of food is to be eaten”…so be quiet and eat!  

    1. I think all those complaints are regarding the Oreo cookies specifically. Your example of steak and potatoes is irrelevant, because those two things taste excellent together.

      Oreos soaked in meat or fruit juice… not so much.

      I honestly don’t see it as a problem here, because if you’re careful in arranging and have a box that holds everything stable there won’t be any unfortunate mixing.

      I like to mix various foods together. To go back to your example, if I’m eating steak and potatoes I like to put some vegetables (green beans are best for this), some mashed potatoes, and some meat all on the fork at once. It’s great. 

      If you’ve ever experienced a bagged lunch where everything got soggy and the flavors all mixed by lunchtime then you understand where everyone’s concerns came from. Not inedible, but certainly very unappetizing. If you haven’t experienced that, you’re very lucky :)

  17. Oh my — I have never read such ridiculous comments. Obviously a lot of you have nothing more to do than criticize anyone for anything. I am absolutely disgusted with some of you.
    I have to agree with iliveforwdw and the others who have posted positive comments and feedback. I am assuming that some of you who are so negative and critical are clueless as to the history of Bento, its containers, its concept, etc. I have known the person who does this for well over 10 years as well as her husband and  their soon to be 8 year old son. She is extremely talented in many medias. They are a close loving family who tries to eat healthy including snacks. My kids would have delighted in having lunches like this. We would have far fewer picky eaters if more parents would introduce their kids to this type of lunch as well as healthy food from day 1. Get a grip people — you don’t wait until your child is a teen-ager before you introduce them to a decent diet. I’m a firm believer in iliveforwdw’s comment — if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

  18. I would like to say, when I was a kid my mother use to made me and my brother and sister pancaked in the shape of micky mouse, and the imprint of goofy faces on french toast and I couldn’t WAIT to eat them. I bet kids would scarf these down. I know I would.

  19. Wow do you hear yourselves? I never comment on anything on the internet, but I had to say something. You all sound so pathetic. Get a life. I can’t believe you really wasted, what? About 24 hours arguing about all that?!! Who cares? Lol. She made it for HER kid and pretty sure she knows what her kid eats… It’s just for fun. Who made you the judge? ANYWAYS…

    With that being said…

    PERSONALLY, I would have used different ingredients, because my kids ARE quite picky as they take after their father…so unfortunate. But very cute ideas!! And I think it is a great way to make different ingredients that they are not used too, more fun and exciting. What is that blue stuff it looks like fruit roll ups?? I love this and my kids would love to show off their characters at school. 

    Great job and don’t let the haters bring you down, they’re only making you famous! Literally!! Haha. 

  20. if your kid won’t eat this he’s an ingrate, picky, crybaby.

    they look awesome, and obviously you eat it how you would eat anything else, the point isnt for it to stay a work of art, its to make the kids lunch hour a little more bright by having his fave cartoons in his lunchbox before he snacks on em.

    negative nancies on here goddamn haters

  21. Your kids are pretty fortunate to get something like this. When I was growing up, my family couldn’t afford the time nor ingredients to produce much more than a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, and neither could any of my friends’ families. And that was okay. None of us even knew what we were missing. We weren’t even the poor kids.
    I don’t know what this talk about pickiness is about. That’s a new one for me. When you’re perpetually hungry it seems awfully silly to pitch a fit about something like an olive touching an egg. Both are healthy, tasty items. I can tell that the fine folks that have made a comment thus far on this post have probably never seen their mother lie down a plate of crinkle fries on the table for dinner, face wet with tears because that’s the best they could do. That happens thousands of times a day, in America.

  22. I have a bento recipe I’d like to share:

    1.  Create a base layer of ham and mint oreos.
    2.  Arrange marshmallows and pretzels attractively in an abstract design.  Get creative!
    3.  Carefully place seaweed and hardboiled egg accents.
    4.   Shake vigorously.
    5.  Allow to set unrefrigerated for three hours.
    6.  Enjoy!

    1. That’s a jello salad minus the jello. People have been eating that in middle America since the 1950s.

  23. Without being dismissive about your talent as a designer, I would find it difficult to eat from any of the lunch-boxes. Totally unappetising food. I certainly couldn’t feed my kids this stuff when they were that age. And my kids are not picky, they certainly couldn’t be bothered if one food item touches another. The only thing that they insist on is that the food be tasty. this food certainly doesn’t look tasty by any stretch of imagination.

  24. You know that saying, “It’s the thought that counts”? That applies, here. My dad used to draw me Bill The Cat on the napkins my mom included in my lunchbox. She packed the lunch, and he drew on the paper napkin. Neither were spectacularly innovative, but I didn’t care. I knew that my parents loved me, and that I had something the other kids didn’t. (Even if they didn’t get the Bloom County jokes, because I was a nerd and they were Muggles.) That was great. It wasn’t normal, but it was great.

  25. Wow! I think these are really neat!
    Wow! Why is everyone so seriously down on these lunch boxes?
    You all go on about if your mom made this for you, you wouldn’t eat, or you would love it. You lucky bastards! I had to make my own lunch. It usually consisted of an orange or apple from the yard. I wouldn’t know what to do with a note in my lunch. I never got that kind of attention from my mother. The only problem I had with food touching was when the fruit crushed my sandwich. I ate it anyway because I knew I would starve if I didn’t.

    I wonder about the kid growing up on these lunches. Does he out grow them? Or does he eventually have difficulty eating food that does not resemble art? I can imagine him as an adult sitting to eat, but first sculpting everything on his plate.

    “I eat my peas with honey
    I’ve done it all my life.
    It makes them taste quite funny
    But helps’em stick to my knife!”

  26. Know what I love? How many people are saying “my kids wouldn’t eat that”. Know what? That’s GREAT. Feed your kids what they WILL eat. Last time I checked, this mom was making this for HER kids. NOT yours. Personally, I was a picky eater as a kid (still am actually) and wouldn’t even eat most of the ingredients now. Does that mean I can’t see the value for a kid that likes all these things. If the kid eats it, which he CLEARLY does, then who they hell are all of you to give a shit?

  27. This is a display of a Mothers love which may help just ONE other Mum get her child to eat his or her lunch! Absolutely brilliant! 
    Sounds like the “green eyed monster talking” – all the negativity!
    Good on you Heather! 

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