Bento Box: a great idea for eating healthy
August 14, 2014  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

Japan is one of the country´s with the lowest obesity rates in the world. And one of the main reasons is due to their diet, based mainly on raw vegetables and fish. Have you ever wondered how children can become accustomed to eating this type of food? Aside from being a society in which it is important to transmit culture and habits (including eating habits), Japanese have a wonderful way to displaying food so the little ones will be drawn to it. We´re taking about bento boxes, a lunch box of sorts that present tiny piece of food in a fun way. A great idea if you want your children to learn to eat healthy. The best thing about Bento Boxes is how easy they are to make. Children can even create their own.

The success of Bento Boxes in Japan has to do with the fact that children “eat with their eyes”. The ways in which the fruit and veggies are cut as well as the colour combinations attract their attention. The key is to get that plate looking great.

Besides, Bento Boxes are not only a good way to get them eating things that they might refuse otherwise but also they´re great to motivate them to discover new tastes and ingredients, from other cultures.

Japanese children prepare their own Bento Boxes each day to take to school. This teaches them to become responsible and they learn to value the effort that is put in daily tasks.

Well known Bento recipe books are Yum-Yum Bento Box and Hawaii’s Bento Box Cook Book (they also provide inline recipes) and there are plenty of utensils and moulds for cooking. To start making your own however, we suggest you try these simple recipes and get your children to do them with you, as if it were a cooking collage. This will not only spark their curiosity but it will get their creative juices flowing. Once you´ve started and can control the basics, you can incorporate your children´s favourite themes or characters such as Hello Kitty, Pikachu, Sponge Bob, etc.

Here are several websites that offer recipes with different levels of difficulty:

Bento Box: Easy

Bananas, carrots, kiwi and berries are the only ingredients you´ll need to prepare tis simple Bento Box. Keep in mind that the key is how you place their different pieces of fruit.

Another idea, with a more elaborate design is this one, in which fruit is camouflaged into hearts. It also includes rice, milk and pieces of ham. This box combined with a fresh glass of fruit juice is ideal for breakfast.


Bento Box: Intermediate

Bento Boxes include fish, meat or egg, which entail more work, but you can choose a simple decoration so it still looks appetizing. Check these 5 recipes out.

Bento Box: Difficult

If you´re having a hard time getting your children to eat peas and broccoli, try making this fun Snail Bento with bite sized meat tarts. You can also add flowers made of cucumber and carrots.

At you´ll be able to find fantastic recipes like these hamburgers in the shape of fish, a ladybug cheese sandwich or a monster sandwich.

What do you think of Bento Boxes? Is it a good idea to get your children to eat and stay healthy?

PhotoCredits: Gamene

PhotoCredits: Anotherlunch


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