Autism Awareness Comes in Cute Bento Sandwich Shapes

Match and Munch puzzle shapes

When I broke my arm a few months ago I couldn’t prepare my kids lunches for school every night. I had a cast up past my elbow on my right arm (I’m right handed) and was pretty much unable to do anything for anyone. (That I could no longer style my own hair kind of set me over the edge, but that’s a whole other post…) I ultimately ended up with surgery to put a metal plate in my arm (I’m looking forward to setting off alarms at the airport) and the whole healing process from break till now (I’m about 80% back to normal) has taken about four months.

Being the control freak concerned parent that I am, I like to make our daughters’ lunches so that I know they’re getting good nutrition, and this way, I get to make sure all the fruits and veggies in the fridge get eaten before they spoil. But my little broken bone meant my family had to do things differently. Change is a good thing… my kids are now packing their own lunches! School is out now, but our 10 and 12 year old daughters go to different summer programs and take lunches with them.

Since launching EasyLunchboxes, I’ve become enamored of the different bento bloggers I’ve come across. They make such whimsical and fun lunches using cute tools. (Collecting all the bento gadgets is part of the fun!) As a long time ‘crafter wanna-be” with no patience, I knew my (patient) daughters would love the idea of making fun bento lunches. So I had them peruse many of my favorite bento sites. I even bought them a fabulous book to refer to. My plan worked – they were hooked! We bought a few tools and they’ve excitedly jumped into this new hobby.

One of my favorite bento blogs is Another Lunch, and Melissa, who pours her heart and talents into it, is the blogger behind the pretty lunches. We’ve become friends. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – the internet brings people together in  amazing ways and that’s one of my favorite perks of owning EasyLunchboxes. In reading one of her recent musings, For the Love of Lunch Punch, I was struck by the fact that a bento blog post could touch so many people, especially it’s author.

Melissa’s passion for bento is rivaled by her passion for spreading Autism Awareness (one of her four kids is autistic). And during Autism Awareness Month this past April, as she was struggling with how to combine the two topics on her blog, she stumbled across the Lunch Punch, specifically their puzzle shaped sandwich cutters. The puzzle shape is the recognized symbol for autism (I learned this from her post) and she was thrilled to have found the tool to help her make bentos all that month with an Autism ‘theme’.

Puzzle shaped fruit leather for Autism Awareness Month

Melissa’s goal during Autism Awareness Month, was to post bento lunches featuring the puzzle shape and write about Autism – sharing facts and quotes to spread awareness and compassion. The readers that responded to her, in many cases with their own stories, often brought Melissa to tears as they warmly reached over the web in solidarity.

puzzle piece for autism

Melissa’s post about the Lunch Punch, it’s very generous and intuitive owner Kiersten, and her passions for bento, blogging, and Autism Awareness is a great read. I’m sharing it here simply because I’m touched by her heartfelt words and the disparate worlds she so eloquently combines. Strong mommas with big hearts and a lot of talent win me over every time.

What shape does your passion come in?