Kyaraben Is The Japanese Art Of Making Lunchtime An Adventure
This mom has mastered Kyaraben, or character bento, without any training. And you can too!
All photos courtesy of Etoni Mama via Instagram
Kyaraben (short for “Character Bento”) is a food art that centers around turning food into cute characters and scenes, often from popular culture, to make lunchtime a fun, engaging, and colorful adventure for kids (and, let’s be honest, grownups too). While it likely originated as a way of turning fussy eaters into foodies, it’s become a pastime the whole family can enjoy, with more and more unbelievably creative food artists making bento lunches that are as fun to look at as they are to eat.
One artist who is at the top of her game is the Tokyo-based Etoni Mama, a mother of three children aged 12, 10, and 8 (“Etoni” is a combination of her kids’ names, Eko, Toko, and Niko) who started her journey making cute and vibrant food art as a way of helping her middle daughter become less of a picky eater. Since then, she’s mastered the format, becoming a star on Instagram and even releasing a cookbook of her creations. Most importantly, though, all of her children have become much more excited about eating — and it’s easy to see why.
Check out some of Etoni Mama’s wonderful creations, then follow her on Instagram for inspiration you can use to make incredible lunchtime worlds of your own.
Try these recipes as a family for a colossal cupcake, an extra-big pretzel, and an epic pizza slice — all super tasty, and surprisingly easy!
Making an extra-big pretzel to fuel extra-big adventures make seem tricky, but don't worry, it's KNOT as hard as it looks!
Yep, that's a pizza slice the size of a kid's head. Life's dream: ACHIEVED!
Ever looked at a cupcake and thought: "Hm. Looks yummy. But what if it was ENORMOUS?"