The Bento Box

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The new way to do lunch

Bento Box … we’re guessing this name may not be ringing any bells for you and if not, you can definitely be forgiven because these fancy pants packed lunches are actually a Japanese trend. Popular there since the 80s you can get a ‘bento’ pretty much anywhere you go in Japan, while over on this side of the world in the last few years people have really begun to pick up on the idea.



So what is it?

Well a Bento Box is usually made up of rice, fish or meat and vegetables all held together nicely in a square container. Sounds pretty straightforward doesn’t it? Well here’s the catch: they look incredible! The work that goes into them shows, so much so that you would almost feel guilty for eating them at all. Almost.




In the past a traditional bento box was made from either wood or metal but nowadays inexpensive, disposable boxes have replaced most of these. Usually the ones made at home are wrapped in a cloth, which can then be used as a bag and also a tablemat. They’ve really thought of everything haven’t they?





“Character bentos” are also really popular and are usually designed to look like cartoon or film characters.


Ok, so suggesting you spend an hour or more each night “preparing” your lunch for the next day isn’t exactly realistic or doable for most people (and going into work with pictures on your food may turn a few heads, for the wrong reasons) but the general purpose of bentos is to make food look more appetising and surely we can all do that.



There are loads of ways that you can incorporate this trend into your daily life; they’re also a really good idea for parents whose kids are fussy eaters. Some extra planning and a little TLC will go a long way towards pimping out your packed lunch. Think colour, creativity and charm and you’re on the right track. Give it a go!