School Bento

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I don’t know if my kids really appreciate it, but I’ve been on the Bento bandwagon for the past year or so. It’s a great way to add interest and variety to otherwise dull schoolyard lunch.

The Bento, or a single serving meal usually prepared in an enclosed container, comes to North America by way of Japan. It can be found commercially prepared almost anywhere food is sold in Japan–from convenience stores to train stations–but it is very commonly prepared by homemakers and those on the go as a healthy alternative to fast food and restaurant meals.

While perusing the local Korean market sometime ago I found these handy divided snap lid containers and began my Bento explorations at home. For today’s post I’ve taken a shot of a somewhat typical kids’ bento that I prepare daily. While many bentos found online fall into the kawaii (cute) category–complete with cut-out animal shapes and flowers created from shaved carrot pieces–my early morning preparations often involve just repackaged leftovers from the previous evening or when I’m short on time, preparing neatly cut sandwiches or something like today’s bento–burrito, fruit, crackers and vegetables. To this I will add a container of milk or yogurt and usually a piece of easy to store and eat fruit such as an apple. A relatively healthy meal consisting of a protien, a carbohydrate, two or more servings of fruit and vegetables, a dairy product and usually a little treat.

I’ll add more bento creations here as time goes on, some very cool and some very simple. In the meantime do checkout some of the bento oriented blogs listed in the “Blogs I Follow” section to the right of my posts.

Aaron

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