Pack My Bento

Bento boxes have got to be the cutest things I've ever seen! I've been so curious about creating my own bento box lunches for some time now, but haven't actually started. Back in March my mom got me a Mr. Bento for my birthday upon my request. I imagined myself packing little lunches for work the night before. But, then two weeks later I started working from home and Mr. Bento was left in his bag.

What is a bento box?
(Photo Lunchinabox.net)

From my own definition they are Japanese inspired food boxes with compartments and dividers for food. They are basically smaller versions of meals to fit in compact spaces. They range from very creative and quirky to very simple. I think when people see these they might automatically assume they are just for kids.

Me? I think they are perfect for anyone wanting to have a healthy and portion controlled meal. When I first discovered a few blogs written by moms packing lunches for their toddlers going off to preschool I couldn't help but see the advantage of these meals for those of us trying to eat better.

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I think at first the idea of packing a bento can seem daunting or difficult. Or maybe thats just me. But, I'm really determined to give this a try once I get settled into our new place in VA. This is great way to bring your lunch to work, but I could totally see this working at home too. The appeal to me, is that you can enjoy some of your favorite foods, just smaller. I think taking care to pack a nice meal for yourself would make the process of eating more enjoyable even if in smaller amounts.

The ideas are endless. I think the key to bento boxing is a little bit of planning and organization. I really like the idea of making things like mini pressed sandwiches, fruit, and a salad. Or you could make mini casserole-type foods in muffin tins and freeze them in advance. For me, when I had an office job I ended up eating all of my meals at work except for dinner. With a larger bento, you could pack breakfast in one layer, and lunch in another.

If you like muffins on occasion which we all know are very calorie dense (450+ calories each) you could make mini muffins over the weekend and pack one or two on occasion for the mornings. That would end up being about 50-100 calories each. You could use the rest of your space for things like yogurt and fruit. You could also make mini quiche, egg fritata's, or even turkey sausage. Mini pancakes with a small container of syrup with strawberries. The options are endless. I'll admit I'm really excited about bento boxing, but we'll see how it goes when I actually start doing it.

I can really see the diet benefits of a bento lunch.

If you want more ideas check out these useful websites:

Lunch in a box
Ichiban Kan- cheap bento supplies
Flickr search: bento box

Do any of you bento?

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Anonymous MizFit said...

have a buncha different styles saved in my favorites as well.

now I need to get a job where I dont work from home.

(love the laughing cow :))

cant wait for your update post (hinthint) on the bento'ing.


11:22 AM  
Blogger Ginger Delicious said...

I love my Mr. Bento!!! I bought two, one for me and one for my husband. When I come into the office in the morning, my co-workers say, "Hi, Mr Bento!"

I've even found that if I pack soup or a stirfry, it will stay pretty hot come lunchtime...love that!

For some fun ideas, google "bento porn." There's a whole flickr site dedicated to Bento inspired meals. Fun!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Krissie said...

I don't have any, but I sure want some now.

how is the packing going?

11:23 AM  
Blogger FAT BRIDESMAID said...

I saw these on one of the mighty sites (mightygoods? mightyhaus?) and fell in love. I need to get one ASAP. And mini muffins?! That's a great idea!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Jem said...

I love this idea! And I love my Bento I recieved today! :)

What a great idea!


9:57 AM  
Blogger Herbalife Diet777.com said...

If it helps. . . why not?
Keep rockin'
Rich at Diet777.com

5:38 PM  
Blogger sallyb said...

These are awesome! I am going to be taking care of my mother when she gets out of the hospital. She's diabetic and needs five small meals a day instead of 3. These would help me to be able to pre-make her meals for convenience. Thank you!

4:28 PM  
Anonymous M said...

I heart bento boxes, they appeal to my love of Japanese cuteness. But they take a decent amount of energy to maintian. Most foods do not come in that small or that neat--It takes some effort.

Adorable though.

10:58 PM  

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