There's a new Times article that's been making the internet rounds...and yes, it concerns bento box nutrition! Sadly, everyone is posting and forwarding this because of the charaben images...not the written piece! Samantha Storey doesn't mention charaben, but she does touch briefly on the concept of face food:
“I have to make her food look like something she recognizes,” said Ms. Chen, 42, a stay-at-home mother in San Leandro, Calif. “If her boiled egg is shaped like a bunny and it is holding a baby carrot, she’ll eat it.”
With cookie cutters Ms. Chen makes her daughter star-shaped vegetables; and with decorative skewers, a plastic top hat and pieces of nori (dried seaweed), cherry tomatoes become smiley faced, mustachioed creatures.
Her ruse includes assembling each meal in her version of a bento box, a Japanese lunch box, decorated with cute cartoon characters.
It might seem like silly kids’ stuff, but that sense of fun has helped make bento boxes — obentos as the Japanese call them — increasingly popular with grownups in the United States, too.
I wouldn't really call it a ruse - it's more of a method.
Anyway, while I'm happy to see the Times picking up on the growing number of non-Japanese bento fans out there, I'm bothered by the lead-in, which a) is the most interesting bit of the entire article and b) an editorial excuse to use tons of charaben images in the slideshow. Come on, New York Times - you can do better!