Just what I was looking for. My child suffers from allergies and I wanted to be able to bring healthy packed lunches when going out, rather than eat the usual chicken nuggets, chips and beans which are on every child's restaurant menu.
The bentos are so cute and easy to make. There are hundreds of ideas, from complete boxes to little individual dishes sorted out by colour so you can pick and choose. My 3 year old definitely eats more when food is presented in this way. It does take more time than making a sandwich, but do you do feel proud of your work afterwards! It's nice to be creative once in a while. I even take pictures of my good ones and my friends are always impressed. Each meal probably takes about 20-25 minutes to make. I am a stay-at-home mum so that is not a problem most of the time.
I don't follow each idea slavishly, rather, I use the book for inspiration and adapt as necessary. I use the ideas for everyday meals as well, not just packed lunches.
Overall an excellent bento book for kids' meals, but only if you have time and like the Japanese way of eating (rice based meals). Not suitable if you have to rush out the door at 7.00am with kids in tow, unless you get up early.