The Bento Lunchbox
The Bento Lunchbox
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There’s nothing more disappointing than opening your child’s lunchbox at the end of the school day to find nothing has been eaten. You might find yourself wondering how your child survives a full day of learning and play on a single bite of a sandwich. Parents want the best for their kids and knowing they are enjoying a nutritious meal while away can give a great deal of peace of mind, and also makes all the effort packing them worth while.
The bento lunchbox trend could be the to be the answer and here’s why.
The bento lunch box comes from the Japanese tradition of a single-portion home-packed meal and essentially it caters beautifully to a child’s natural want for choice and love of creativity. Many parents who pack their kids lunches bento-style admit it can take a bit longer but the effort is worth it when it means the lunch gets eaten. The other great thing about the bento lunchbox is that it helps you pack nutritious, eco-friendly lunches using minimal plastic wrap waste.
While we would all love to create lunchbox art perfection every day, the reality is that we just don’t have time. The bento lunchbox idea doesn’t need to be a laborious task each morning, so keep it simple and stick to what works – the kids will be thrilled to try something new.
How to pack a bento lunchbox:
- Choose a simple, small bento box layout that gives you options. Small is good as you want to pack your creations tightly to ensure they stay in one spot
- Select some ‘tools’ to help create your masterpieces. Simple everyday kitchen items such as, cookie cutters, skewers and silicone baking cups will give you lots of creative leverage. You can also buy lots of affordable bento accessories if you really want to get into it.
- Bento boxes call for neat, tidy layout and simple cute shapes. Use colour and pattern and layer foods to create your magic
- Giving food ‘life’ works a treat when creating bento food. Adding ‘eyes’ or personality to food will give your kids so much joy
- Pack your foods in nice and tightly and be sure to include any ice packs and things to keep the food fresh and edible.
How to pack a nutritious lunchbox:
Regardless of how much or how little effort you go to make lunches interesting the food needs to be nutritious and well balanced. This is essential for satisfying their appetites and providing them with the energy and nutrients to concentrate, learn and to play happy.
Here are our 5 top tips:
- Choose quality carbohydrates e.g. wholegrains, quinoa, legumes
- Include protein e.g. lean meat, chicken, canned fish, eggs, cheese, milk
- Pack vegetables e.g. salad fillings on sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, veggie sticks
- Provide fresh fruit instead of fruit juice or processed fruit snacks
- Include water as a drink
The full article was first featured in our Spring 2014 issue of our Magazines. To find out more about our popular magazines or to purchase online see the links below:
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