Thursday, April 1, 2010

a happy bento for Autism Awareness Month!

April is Autism Awareness Month!

Autism is a pretty big part of my life, being that one of my fantastic kids happens to be autistic. :)  My second child was diagnosed with autism when he was three. Life with my sweet boy is always an adventure. His development is one of peaks and valleys, with the valleys being low points that are riddled with frustration and questions, and the peaks being such great highs that our hearts explode with pride and joy! Parenting a child with autism is not a bleak and hopeless task, it is a journey you walk on a different path, with alternate scenery, but it can be just as beautiful, and certainly, without a doubt, the most rewarding. :)

I wanted to share a photo of my gorgeous boy, but when I attempted to take his picture yesterday he had other ideas:


You just never can tell with him. :)

But, wait, the title of this post is "a happy bento for Autism Awareness Month"!

Well, I've wondered for several weeks about how I was going to incorporate Autism Awareness into bentos. I needed a tie-in. A friend suggested making Gluten-Free and Casein-Free bentos, as a lot of children with autism are on a GFCF diet, but I am wholly inexperienced with GFCF foods and even if I managed to make a couple I wasn't sure my kids would want to eat it. :) (My hat is off to parents maintaining a GFCF diet for their kiddos - it's not easy!).
I got lucky and stumbled across a cool tool that would give me just the kind of tie-in I had hoped for. As you may know, the standard logo for autism is a puzzle piece......
Autism Awareness preschool bento box

My little girl's preschool bento today has puzzle pieces of peanut butter & honey sandwich with a fruit leather heart and a cereal bar; strawberries, cucumber slices with hummus, and organic yogurt covered raisins.

Puzzle piece sandwich bites! Cool, right?!  
This cool sandwich cutter set has four different puzzle cutters, by The Lunch Punch. I love it!!
You will be seeing LOTS of puzzle pieces in bentos this month. ;-)

Supplies used to make this lunch:

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Jon and Jennifer said... [Reply to comment]

Where do you buy the organic yogurt covered raisins??

I just discovered your blog this week and LOVE it!!! Waht great ideas! My twins will be 2 in July and don't need lunches packed yet but I love looking at all of your ideas!!

You can email me back at or leave a message on my blog at

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

You totally rock! :)

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Jennifer - I get the organic yogurt covered raisins at Whole Foods, they are in the bulk bins. I think I've seen them in smaller packs there too, but they are definitely less expensive in the bins (less waste too!) :)

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