Have you joined the bento craze yet?
My friend Jenn recently started a blog called Bento Yum. Frankly, I’d never heard of “bento” so I checked it out just to see what in the heck she was going on about.
Turns out, bento is basically an artistic method of packing a portion-controlled, healthy “brown bag” lunch that’s popular in Japan. Only there don’t appear to be any actual brown bags involved — bright colors and Japanese-style graphics abound.
Now, to be honest, you don’t have to spend the money on a real bento set. With some creative packing, you can create attractive and healthy lunches using nothing more than reusable snap-lid plastic containers (think Ziplock, Gladware, Rubbermaid or Tupperware) and an insulated lunch bag.
In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing for some time now. I just didn’t know it was bento. ;) And I don’t usually get quite as over-the-top artistic as true bento. Call it semi-bento. “Bento lite,” maybe. But it’s the same basic principle: save money, limit portion size and eat healthy.
So anyway, at Bento Yum Jenn and her friend Abigail offer genuine-from-Japan bento box sets and accessories, and Jenn shares photos of the truly impressive bento lunches she’s put together for herself, her husband and her two kids. Whether you plan to get (or already have) a real-live bento set or you’re going to keep on using your “plain Jane” domestic plastic containers, you can still get some great ideas for how to keep your and your family’s packed lunches from getting boring.
Even if you’re not planning to start carrying your lunch to work or school, it’s still fun to take a look at Jenn’s incredible creativity. And the Bento sets are pretty darned cute!
Check it out!