Bento boxes are a traditional type of Japanese lunch box that have seen new levels of popularity in recent years thanks to their appealing and efficient design. We’ve put together a Bento Box Planner so you can become a master of lunchtime organisation and adopt the ancient wisdom of Japanese healthy eating for the whole family.
Although a staple of Japanese culture, the word “bento” actually originates from China, and means “convenient”. This is a great way to get to know, and think about, bento boxes, as that’s the brilliance of these lunchtime treasures.
They’re compartmentalised to keep different aspects of your lunch separate. Typically they’ll have a larger segment where rice or noodles go, with smaller sections for meat, fish, pickled veg and so forth.
But that doesn’t mean you have to put those particular ingredients in your bento box. We’re a progressive bunch here at Provident, so we’re all for swapping out wasabi for peanut butter and sushi for sandwiches! These are versatile vessels, and we’re here to show you how they can simplify your life, streamline your spending and awesomise your lunch.
To help you become adept at the art of bento, we’ve put together a lunchtime planner for you to print out and nail to your fridge.
We’ve gone with simple, three compartment bento boxes in the planner, but depending on your lunchtime container you might be looking at four, five or even six different sections. But let’s start off simple with three sections, and give your kids a great mid-day experience when they pop the bento’s lid.
Write in what you’re going to put in each compartment of each day. We’ve offered up a few suggestions, with the “Mains” list giving you a few ideas on what could go in the biggest section of the bento, and then a few thoughts on “Snacks” to fill up the two smaller ones.
Obviously we want to hear all about any other great ideas you come up with for filling your kids’ bentos as you start planning their lunchtimes, so drop by on Facebook and Twitter to share your newfound bento mastery with the world.
Here are a few great combinations from our Bento Box Planner that’ll get the kids (the whole family!) through the week in lunchtime splendour.
Just remember to take the size of your bento boxes’ compartments into account when you’re preparing the food. Cutting things into smaller pieces (including things like cereal bars and fruit) is encouraged in the art of bento, which helps with diet, money and preparation all at once!
To further fuel your new found passion for bento, we want you to join us over on Facebook and Twitter and share your compartmentalised lunchtime creations so we can all embrace the awesome world of bento box appreciation!