A couple of years ago my husband traveled to Japan for a film shoot. One of the gifts he returned with was a bento box for our daughter. I had heard of bentos before, but wasn't really familiar with them. In Japan bentos are used as lunch boxes. If you do enough hunting around the web, you'll find amazing bento creations. Once bentos become a part of your life, you'll want to make beautiful lunches.
Beautiful lunches? Yes. Beautiful lunches.
With the arrival of our first bento, in the photo my initial reaction was, but it's so small!?! Is it a snack bento? No it wasn't a snack bento, after using it a few times I was actually amazed at how much food a bento can hold. Packing a bento lunch is truly going against the grain of how I was raised. Everyday in my lunch box, my mother would pack a sandwich in aluminum foil, small bags of things in ziploc plastic bags, or fill a thermos with soup.
But with a bento, the possibilities are endless. You see a bento is a container that has compartments. The bento pictured has a lower compartment and an upper compartment. The lower compartment has one open space and the upper compartment has a divider in it. Typically I would pack a sandwich or quesadilla in the bottom of the bento, then in the upper compartment pack a fruit and a grain. The possibilities are endless but my main go-to's are grapes, mandarin oranges, annie's cheddar bunnies, veggie straws, or crackers.
I promise I will dive deeper into how to pack bentos in the posts coming. I just wanted to share with everyone my love for Bento lunches, for they've changed my perspective on packing a lunch.
Bonus of bento lunch making; eco-friendly (no need for plastic bags or aluminum foil for that matter), small portions to create a variety of foods to offer our children allowing them to indulge in more food groups without being bored, and it's fun, easy, simple. Bentos bring whimsy into a world that we all know can turn dull within weeks of the start of school. Bentos aren't just for kids. I pack my husband bentos as well. Trust me, once you start packing bentos for lunch, there's really no turning back. It becomes a hobby really.
Celebrate food, pack a bento! Welcome to my journey into bento land...