When people ask me, “Why bento?” this reason has never popped into my mind. But after today, I think I might be bento-ing as long as my kids allow.
The New #1 Reason I Bento: SAFETY
My son has a Clone Wars lunch box. The same one that every other kindergarten through second grade boy carries.
My son also has a peanut allergy. We have been diligent in teaching him to keep his lunch in his lunch box, to not share food, to not touch anyone’s lunch, to not trade lunch items. It never crossed my mind to teach him to actually look at his lunch before he eats. And honestly, he’s usually so hungry by lunch hour, I’m pretty sure he inhales without looking.
It looks different. His containers are uniquely his. Well, maybe not. I’ve converted a lot of local people to my favorite Lock ‘n Lock box. But once he gets his box open, his lunch is pretty definitely his. He seldom gets sandwiches and if he does, they’re usually arranged in a way that require him to dig around a bit.
Which might just save his life.
Today, one of his classmates who also has a peanut allergy, grabbed what he thought was his lunchbox out of the lunchcart. He opened his ziplock bag and took a big bite of what he thought was his sandwich.
You guessed it. It was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I think he’s okay. After a trip to the nurses station for whatever his allergy plan protocol states, he went to the hospital as a precaution. That’s pretty standard if epinephrine is given, so it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
Now my son, plus his two classmates with peanut allergies set their lunchboxes on the teacher’s desk. My stomach is still bouncing. But believe me, tomorrow and every day after for as long as I can convince my son, I will be packing him a bento lunch.