I reached out to Nikki after seeing about her amazing talents as a food artist on Instagram.
Read about how she used her creativity to fight picky eater syndrome.
This is one Instagram account you’re going to REALLY want to follow, so find her accounts below!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Nikki Garcia, a recent stay-at-home mom of 3 with a background in accounting, although I’ve always loved the arts, crafts and all things creative. But like every other parent, I never found time to sit and complete any of the craft projects because it would take time away from my kids, chores and things that needed to get done around the house.
With bento and food art, I allow myself to be creative, but my kids are able to benefit from the time I spend making their fun and healthy lunches.
What inspired you to start making lunches this way?
I’ve got 2 picky eaters. Before bento, I would eyeball it and serve them random amounts of food, then they would pick at it and say they were full. I needed a way to accurately measure how much they were eating. Bento allows me to do this and at the same time, serve healthier food.
I came across creative kids lunches online (Pinterest and Instagram) that looked intimidating at first, but the food ingredients they were using were easily accessible and the steps seemed pretty straight forward.
How did you learn how to make these? They look very intricate.
I started off with sandwiches, fruits and finger snacks. I would just plate them nicely; almost like painting a picture or telling a story. The kids seemed to appreciate it right away by showing more interest during meal times and finishing their snacks more or at least trying the new food I would add in their bentos.
With little kids running around, is it hard to find time to make these lunches?
Bento making and food art have recently become a passion. Before going to bed, I sketch bento designs in my bento journal. Luckily, I am a morning person so waking up a couple of hours before my kids do, gives me the peace I need before the hustle and chaos of the day. This quiet time in the morning allows me to make the bentos without interruption.
Do you have any productivity tips for other creative parents?
Making a bento can take as much time as a regular packed lunch. The secret is planning. A complete grocery list of your child’s favorite food, ingredients you want to use in your design, plus the colorful fruits & veggies you want to pack in there too. Start with simple cookie cutters, a lunch container with built-in dividers or silicon cupcake liners. The Japanese dollar store has a ton of fun and affordable tools you can use to easily make creative bentos.
Other than your awesome Bento’s, what other ways do you use your creativity?
When time allows, I love everything DIY; from costumes to party decorations and recreating old furniture pieces and accessories. Everything I do is geared towards my family and with 2 under 3 (years old) everyday demands a bit of creativity
Any funny, or embarrassing stories about making your bento box lunches?
My toddler is very much into princesses and ponies. She even has a pink lunch container and cutlery to match. One morning, my husband ran-off in a hurry to work and grabbed the wrong lunch bag. Needless to say, he had a “Pinkie Pie” sandwich for lunch, while my daughter was forced to eat his chicken curry.
Here are all of the other places you can follow along with Nikki’s family and creations:
Personal IG: https://instagram.com/ulismom
Bento IG: https://instagram.com/nikkimbento
Here’s some more, of my favorites, just for fun!