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Topic: What do you put in your Bento?  (Read 5022 times)
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Radickle
« on: October 08, 2009 12:49:06 PM »

I recently acquired a Bento Box (actually I've had it for almost a year, and just recently discovered what its for) and I am very excited to try it out, but I'd like some ideas on what exactly to put in it.

I know about the rice:veggie:meat:fruit ratio, but for those of you who actually USE a Bento, what are your favorite things to put in it?
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LadyDeath2007
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009 08:10:47 PM »

I love riceballs, japanese pickles and lots of thing
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kstaron
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009 05:46:49 PM »

That's the beauty of bento I put nearly anything in mine, from last night's left overs to sandwiches to proper Japanese style food.  For artsy stuff I like cut up tortilla wraps (nice design and color), A lot if times I raid the salad bar at the grocery store for small bits to put in.  Think small cute food.  I've done mini cupcakes, cherry tomatoes, a hot dog with the ends cut before cooking so it looks like an octopus....

Anything goes (I rarely have more than 10 minutes to design a bento/prepare my lunch for work, so I rarely take japanese inspired food) , Take food you like and make it cute.  The bento is art, so think of your food as craft supplies.
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010 07:53:51 AM »

I am looking into getting myself and my kiddo a bento box..and was wondering is there anything about them you dislike, or would recommend when looking for one?
strap over clasp closure? any online stores you like or where did you get yours?

THe idea of the hotdog occtopus is so neat!  I will have to try that with my kiddos turkey dogs!

She is a picky eater so i am hoping that making food that is cute and artistic may help her try new things Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010 12:36:32 PM »

The most important thing is to get one you will use.

Things I think about before I buy:
Most of them aren't waterproof (unless they are the thermos type)
Size (a lot of them are too small for a full meal for an adult - so plan on a piece of fruit to go with)
How many pieces - for a little kid I would say simpler is better


I prefer the belt to a clasp because a clasp can break. I then put the whle thing in a furoshuki (not sure if that's spelled right...) a piece of fabric tied up like a bag.

One very helpful tip for small children is to not send any garbage. That way nothing gets thrown out by accident.

There are some great bento sites out there, like lunchinabox.net (kids) and justbento.com (adults) Just do a google search. I LOVE the bento flicker groups.
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010 01:45:14 PM »

THanks for the info and links! I will have to check out the flicker pics for sure too!
In the meantime, i just got a piece of clear-ish, frosted colored, rubermaid typperware in a rectangular shape from beneath my cabinet and got my perm markers out and drew a cute little picture on it...
then made sweet potato mini muffins to go inside!  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2010 11:48:52 AM »

I am looking into getting myself and my kiddo a bento box..and was wondering is there anything about them you dislike, or would recommend when looking for one?
strap over clasp closure?

My daughter is in kindergarten and she easily manages a 2 tier stacked bento with an elastic strap. One thing I would suggest is unless your kid is older and understands very clearly, do not send things in it like silicone cups. My daughter was doing great with bringing them back home until one day one of the teachers saw and convinced her that it was trash and needed thrown away Sad so now I buy little miniature paper muffin liners for her lunch, just in case.

She is a picky eater so i am hoping that making food that is cute and artistic may help her try new things Smiley

Just remember, if you put something she isn't willing to try, that is a day she goes undernourished, which can be a bear in school. I try to reserve trying new things for at home, or other times mommy or daddy are present, and send food that I know my daughter is comfortable with when she goes to school. That way, I know she is getting what she needs to make it through the day. My daughter normally has a simple lunch of a sandwich, some chips, fruit, yogurt or a cheese stick, a small treat and her drink. Sometimes she asks for something different like a hot dog or some noodles, but I have to pre-plan, taking into consideration that she has no way to warm her meal at school, so it has to start cold and stay cold until time to be consumed.

I hope this helps out some!
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2010 10:28:39 AM »

You can also make bentos for fun to eat at home with your child. Which can be a lot of fun!
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010 04:01:07 PM »

Yep, i am doing the eating at home bit and of course making a little something for road trips. Smiley picnics and such for fun.
So far, it has not worked much in trying the new stuff, but its still fun. I always put a mixture of things she likes as well as new things to introduce them, so perhaps one day she will pick it up and give it a whirl.
 Smiley
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stargazer13
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010 02:43:02 PM »

Ooh I have such a hard time trying to get the bento filled.
I like adding potstickers because you all ways get a lot when you buy or make them and they're fast to cook. They also add meat, which I find is always hard to add.
I also like boiling brocolli for 2 minutes then filling in gaps with them.

Honestly you should see what you have in your cabnets and fridge. I ended up wrapping carrots with egg for a bento for my friend as filler and she liked it. Bentos are good to experiment with flavors.

Question:
Do you think a bento box that's 3inX2inX2in is too small?
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2010 10:52:42 AM »

There are some great bento sites out there, like lunchinabox.net (kids) and justbento.com (adults) Just do a google search. I LOVE the bento flicker groups.


One of my favorite things to do is scour flickr and look at the bento pictures. They look yummy and cute! Plus they give me ideas of how to pack things I want to take or what to take.

I usually put in some left overs, sandwiches, veggies, fruits and cheese. I'm a dork and I actually have a spreadsheet listing out the different foods I can add to my bento. I guess it's so I can remember?!  Cheesy I don't use my bento box a lot right now since I come home at lunch but I plan on using it more during the spring and summer.   
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010 03:48:38 PM »

Dorayaki are very yum, plus they're pretty indestructable. And you can cut them into nice shapes if you're feeling creative.
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2010 12:21:50 PM »



Just remember, if you put something she isn't willing to try, that is a day she goes undernourished, which can be a bear in school. I try to reserve trying new things for at home, or other times mommy or daddy are present, and send food that I know my daughter is comfortable with when she goes to school. That way, I know she is getting what she needs to make it through the day. My daughter normally has a simple lunch of a sandwich, some chips, fruit, yogurt or a cheese stick, a small treat and her drink. Sometimes she asks for something different like a hot dog or some noodles, but I have to pre-plan, taking into consideration that she has no way to warm her meal at school, so it has to start cold and stay cold until time to be consumed.

I hope this helps out some!

omg this helped me soooo much, your advice is invaluable. my daughter starts proper school in sept this year (i think you'd call it kindergarten, she'll be 4 and a half) and is a picky eater for lunch.

i bought her a bento box with a strap so she can do it herself (we have a couple of boxes with clips and she can't manage them) and we're going to be taking bentos for picnics over the summer to get her used to the idea. she's quite picky, but i think we'll do well because she loves potstickers and sushi rice hahahaha!
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