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Old 11-06-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Lunch ideas for Kids (Bento Boxes!)

Getting kids to eat a healthy meal can be a challenge. One way of getting kids to eat healthier is to make their meal look attractive. Bento meals can help you do that. A bento meal is a compact, balanced, visually appealing meal packed in a box. Historically, it’s a Japanese box lunch, similar in concept to the Indian tiffin, the Korean dosirak, or the Filipino baon lunch. In Japanese, “bento” or “obento” refers to the packed meal, and “bento-bako” refers to the bento box itself. Bento meals are quickly becoming popular in the United States. Parents, desperate to change their childrens eating habits are trying to make their meals attractive as possible so it will entice their child into eating this really unique boxed meal. What can also help is to enlist your child into helping make the meal. Kids tend to eat what they make themselves so get them involved in creating the best Bento meal they can! Even the pickiest of eaters will be tempted by the attractiveness of a variety of foods.

Kids especially respond to the fun aspect of the Bento meal, and children who are picky are more likely to try foods presented in a fun, appealing way. This can be as simple as adding cute food picks or other bento accessories, or including a little container of a dip for fresh fruits or vegetables (kids love dipping). For special occasions you can try your hand at kyaraben food art where you sculpt faces or animals out of food, but don’t feel that you need to do this every day. Who has the time?!?

What you need to create a Bento meal:

Although fancy bento boxes and cute accessories from Japan aren’t at all necessary to pack a bento-style lunch, once you get into it you might develop a hankering for them. To start you will need a box! This can be a shallow tupperware type box with a good seal or a locking lid. Cookie cutters in assorted sizes and shapes, molds, food stamps, a paring knife and little reusable containers such as silicone cupcake holders are great for keeping food separated and fun to hold some of their lunch. Plus they are flexible so can bend to fit around your other containers. Assorted sizes of containers to fit into your Bento Box. Gel cold packs to keep their food cold until lunch time. You can even find online sources that have complete Bento kits that include the box and several separate compartments or inner container sets that sits perfectly inside the box.

Here are a couple video's showing step by step how to make a couple Bento Boxes..




This is a slide show with a lot of different Bento Boxes that will give you some GREAT ideas!!


Here is a collage of Bento Boxes to give you ideas as well.. I really hope this helps!!

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Old 01-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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Really cool
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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I made bentos for my kids, but I no longer have time as my work hours have increased by 3x. I blogged about them for a while. Mine got more fun to make. I made an angry birds one that was fun.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:36 PM   #4
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This is great info. Thanks Cheri.
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