There is a new craze in my house. My kids are headed back to school this morning and are proudly toting Bento Boxes.
These compact Japanese style lunch boxes are almost all they can think about…
Who else will have one?
What ingredients should we buy for filling the bentos?
How will they “design” their lunch each day to look special?
It’s a lot to ponder for a 9 and 7 year old.
Although their bento addiction is a little over-the-top at the moment, Lt. Dan and I have determined it is a good thing. Traditionally bento boxes are filled with lean protein, rice or noodles, fruit, and veggies, often raw.
That sure beats PB & J every day, with potato chips and a cookie.
We eat very healthy about 90% of the time, but in the past, school lunches have been a grey area. There are just so many “convenience” options that have great marketing tactics, yet when you flip the package, are loaded with junk, junk and more junk.
The fact that my kids are asking for red cabbage and bean sprouts to improve their bento designs can only be positive.
Reasons for Startinging a Bento Addiction:
- Bento Boxes tend to be small, encouraging healthy portion sizes.
- Bento designing promotes healthier food choices.
- Bento designing is a creative outlet.
- It’s fun for kids to pack their own lunches.
- Bento packing and cleaning builds personal responsibility.
- Bentos are earth-friendly, cutting down on plastic baggies.
Our current plan is to make time each night for the kids to pack their own bento boxes and place them in the fridge. This will save time in the morning, make them feel proud of what they’ve made each day, and allow the ever-present mommy guilt to subside a bit in the lunch department.
It’s a win-win.
Get ideas for bento box packing on my latest Pinterest Board, The Bento Box.
You can buy all sorts of unique bento boxes online, but the best prices I’ve found are at your local Asian market and at World Market Stores. They tend to sell bentos and tiffins (metal Indian lunch canisters) for $5-10.