What a fun and great response to our Halloween Bento Giveaway. Thank you for all for entering our giveaway. We read all your comments and enjoy everyone of them. (^_^)
Congratulations to Romina, our lucky winner from entry #97 from our blog’s comment.
I would suggest sandwiches as a simple food to start with, along with fruits and veggies. Tools that would be helpful are sandwich or cookie cutters and silicone baking cups.
..Romina entry #97
Also, congratulations to Krista from our Facebook entry, who will be also receiving this adorable bento box set. We will contact both of you by email that is registered in your account. Please respond to our email by 13 Oct 2011, 11 am PST. If we do not hear from you, we will sadly have to pick another winner.
Have a Happy Safe Healthy Halloween! (^_^)
30 Healthy Bento Idea for Bento Beginner
We are working with the community to share idea and to get more people excited about eating healthy and getting more involved with family lunch time. Below are some healthy bento lunch idea from our community. One of the best way to learn how to make healthy bento lunch is to learn from each other.
Bento’s combine health,food and ART.
Perfect combination for a healthy,creative and fun family activity.
My advise for a new comer into the art of Bento would be to
pick a theme and to stick with it. – 1 or 2 Sushi rolls ( filling of choice) – carrots – cucumbers – cherry tomatoes – colorful fruit of choice – and cheese.
Combine these into an art scene and you have a lunch that includes all the food groups in one setting. Can’t get more healthy than this. For those who have cookie cutters ( food cutters of any shape or size experiment with what you got and if you think Bentos are for you then return here and add to your Bento accessories collection…Cynthia
I follow a diabetic diet, so I keep my carbs low and vegetables high. I normally put 1/2 cup of rice in the smaller tier of a 2-tier bento, then use the remaining space for protein like tamagoyaki or a lean meat. Then, I use the large part of the bento for veggies. I don’t put fruit in a bento, because they are very high in sugar. This makes a bento of around 300 – 400 calories. Very healthy even in a 1200 calorie diet like mine…Brianna
The best advice I have for new at making bento meals is to keep it simple and pack it dense. If you do it right, you can fill up on a relatively small bento box. To keep it healthy and get the most nutrition and variety from your lunches, try to make sure you have at least one item of each of these 5 colors (red/orange, yellow, white, brown, blue/purple/black). Also, try to include in each box: carbs, protein, veggies, fruit, and a small amount of fat (usually a little container of salad dressing for mine, but can also be nuts, dessert item, chips, etc). That will keep you going through the day better than just veggies or just protein….Lily
Beans! Very healthy, very easy to prepare. Easiest is canned beans, you can also cook big batches ahead of time and freeze in small portions. It can be as simple as just the beans with some salt or a little soy sauce Bento bottle. Or add a few ingredients to plain beans and store several days’ worth in fridge. Mix beans with any or all of:
1) Black beans- cumin, frozen corn, green onions, chopped garlic, cilantro, a little olive oil, salt/pepper.
2) Cannellini (white) beans- canned tuna, chopped garlic, Italian parsley, chopped red onion, olive oil,salt/pepper.
Leftover brown rice can be added to any bean dish also.Fill the largest portion of your Bento container with the bean/rice mixture.
For kids…a VERY quick way to make any lunch into a “fun Bento”, even if you don’t have time to cut and decorate food (usually, in our case!), is to add colorful Bento piks or sauce bottles…they LOVE this and eat almost ANYTHING this way!…Lisa
I’d suggest to keep it simple at first. A bento doesn’t require extensive preparation and cooking to be good. I like bentos because they make it easy to eat healthy and keep the proportions decent. So yeah, I’d recommend cooking a batch of plain (whole grain) carbs (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa…), to have nice deli meats that are nitrite-free (or hardboiled eggs, canned fish), veggies (can be baby carrots, sugarsnap or snow peas, frozen green peas and frozen corn, etc) and fruits. You can use mustard, ketchup, bbq sauce, mayo etc for the meat, sesame seeds, soy sauce, chopped nuts, nori, etc for the rice, and maybe salad dressing or hummus or a dip for the veggies. Not all together of course, but to vary and keep it interesting by changing the seasoning often.
Using leftovers is also very nice. That’s my two cents!…Eve
I love bentos because they are so great for healthy lunch ideas. I like using a base of brown rice, either packed or in a rice ball, with cucumber or zucchini slices as dividers, completed with any number of healthy homemade sides like pickled veggies, fruit, curried kidney beans, or tamagoyaki slices and some daikon radish, or more. I haven’t yet found an end to healthy bento ideas, so awesome!…Risa
This week, my daughter’s favorite tip would be… put it on pizza and make it a fun shape!
Why do I say that? Whole grain pizza dough… apple sauce instead of oil, slip in grated carrots. In the sauce, lots of pureed veggies and diced ones (zucchini is one she only eats in sauce still, but we’re working on it), goat/feta cheese for her since she can’t have dairy, then spinach and mushrooms as toppings… cut two heart-shaped pieces for her, send some salad and fresh apple slices, with one borrowed to make a face on her salad (cucumber eyes, apple slice smile, cherry tomato nose)
so sometimes you can hide extra veggies and fruits to really amp up the nutrition in a kid’s lunch….Katharine
I would fill the bottom tier of this little hep cat with leftovers (spicy noodles with pork and veg today), plus a couple extra broccoli florets to make it look nice. The top tier would hold raw fruit and vegetables, and maybe a dipping sauce or salad dressing. And a piece of Halloween candy, I can’t forget that!…Deborah
I usually pick a theme & then create the food around it. For example, I use a heart punch to create a sandwich out of wheat bread (fiber) & turkey (protein). I’ll use a red or pink food pick/skewer for raspberries & strawberries (fruit). Add carrots also in heart shapes & a berry go-gurt and all the food groups are covered. Finally I’d add a small little sweet treat e.g. Hariboo candy, cookie or wafer treat as well… M
To create a healthy bento I try to follow the protein/carb/fruit or snacks and veggie formula. I make sure all of them are represented with the largest portion being veggies. ‘Large’ is a relative term of course. This helps keep me on track for packing a balanced lunch without straying too far into carb-fest land. I found using dips and fun picks really helps me, too, even as an adult! When the food looks fun I can’t wait to have lunch and don’t mind the smaller portions!..Alma
Bright colors and balance. Reds, greens, yellows make bentos look more inviting and less boring. An all brown bento makes me feel “meh”. Don’t overload a bento with one item and stick a random grape or green bean in there as your fruit/vegetable….Serena
I would have a meal planned out in groups of colors. Green cucumber, orange carrots, red pepper, white rice, pink fish.. the assortment of color can go on and on with any fruit or veggie you like…
I like to eat things that are appealing to the eye…Shannon
Well I am brand new to bento and just started with my order from your company this past week. My 5 year old loves it for her afternoon school snack! The lock & lock container with the 4 section containers inside is perfect to start. It has been simple so far, any small fruit like blueberries or cut up pieces of others with an adorable pick (I bought the pink and white bunnies and a set of the animals) is a big hit. I used the cutters to make bear and bunny shaped cheeses, and throw simple things like rice cakes, mini cinnamon bun, etc in the others. The 4 compartments are a good reminder to put in something from each food group as well. She is so excited to know what is in her bento box each day….Autumn
You can’t go wrong including something from all food groups, but I always add 1 little Hershey’s kiss in the box as well– a kiss from mommy in the middle of the day definitely gets a smile from both of my kids. As for what to buy to get started, you cannot go wrong with cookie cutters and food coloring markers. You can do all kinds of fun shapes and with the markers you can add faces to anything and everything!…Amber
You don’t really need much to make a healthy, fun bento lunch. I’ve only been making it for a few weeks and have a handful of sandwich cutters, some nori (for faces and small details), some sharp scissors and a couple cute foodpicks. It mainly boils down to how much love you put into the bento – I make them for my son and I swear you can see he can feel the love in a bento as he eats (:…Amanda
For a healthy bento, i like to use sliced bread for carbs, a tortilla with mixed granulated soy for protein, and lots of veggies. I always use my shape cutters and try to make everything somewhat bite-sized. Gotta love bento lunches, they are the best! \(^.^)/…Catarina
Don’t get hung up on making the most complicated bento creations when you first start out. Buy a fun bento box and just try it out. You’ll notice that it makes you smile. My first one was a ninja panda. I did nothing more than put sliced carrots and cukes in it and took it to work. It made me happy. Then I started collecting the vegetable cutters and condiment bottles and other fun additions. Now I look at food differently…thinking whether or not it would be bento friendly. Almost anything can go in a bento box and EVERYTHING can be decorated to a lesser or greater degree. I’m still a beginner and bento lunches or snacks continue to make me smile…Linda
I would recommend starting simply & add a few cute touches. For example, make your jelly sandwich but then cut out shapes with cookie cutters to make it interesting. Mayonnaise cups are also great for small treats (i often place jelly beans, marshmallows)…they are just the right size for something special; look cute, so the child is excited; and a reasonable portion size as compared to when you buy treats from the market. My one product I MUST have is my onigiri mold! When we have rice for dinner, I make extra & make her some rice balls for the next day. She has never complained about the rice being “old” and when you add some nori strips, an “easy” version of tamago, some veg & fruit, you have a healthy, simple, easy meal that took no time to make….Melissa
My 8 year old daughter loves to have salad for lunch. I make her a green salad and use star, heart and flower cutters for the cucumbers and arrange the tomatoes into interesting shapes. Then I make a heard boiled egg and use the egg mold to make either a star or a heart. Lastly she will have either cottage cheese or orange slices! Plus she only drinks water with her lunch. I’m pretty sure my daughter has the cutest and healthiest lunch at her school!…Dana
What you would recommend to create a healthy bento lunch?
As with others, simple is best. I also find that going for colorful is not only a good way to make it look pretty, it also ensures you have a variety of foods in there (particularly when it comes to fruits and veggies). Also, don’t try to stuff the box. It may look small, but when it comes to eating you will find there is plenty to fill you up–I’m 27 and a non-stuffed small/kid’s bento provides plenty for me on lunch…Caiti
Start with your favorite protein. Add a carb and a rainbow of fresh fruits and veggies. Cookie cutters work great for making sandwiches fun! Use silicone cups to contain small foods…Annie
My son loves corn on the cob, sliced into small sections, cherries, and peanut butter and banana tortilla roll ups….Beth
A balanced bento meal comes from striving to add all the colors of the rainbow …Megan
Bento boxes can be really cute but for a beginner trying to make something so detailed would be difficult and time consuming. So I would tell them to stick to the basics. My favorite simple bento includes rice, vegan meatballs, brussels sprouts, little soy sauce containers (these are a must and make it cute without effort) and some kind of a sweet for dessert. Once you’re more experienced with bento packing you can get creative, but you have to start simple!…Perri
I would recommend starting with rice – it’s so easy to pair so many other things with. I’d also suggest using the containers of a bento to help think about the portions you should be packing in your meal…Elizabeth
the easiest and most successful tool at our house is the bento picks. my daughter will eat just about anything when she’s got a fun pick to eat it with!…Carrie
For a balanced bento meal ( as with any other meal )
always have one part protein, one part carbs and fill the rest of the box with veggies. The more differents veggies you have the more colorful it looks…Kassandre
Well for starters I would start out explaining that a bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. I would then recommend starting out using a regular tupperware container then move on to buying a bento box(if they dont want to spemd any extra money on a bento box since some tend to be expensive). I would recomend using carbs,protein,fats ,fruits n veggies. I would advise the new bento creator to start out making traditional bentos then move on to themed bentos. This is what i’d tell the new bento creator.(ps im still kind of new to bento making.)…Jose
I am also new to bento, but as with any meal it is important to keep the meal fresh and colorful! The more natural color the better, so that means using fresh produce. When making my two year old a bento lunch I try to include foods I know he will already enjoy with an artistic and cute edge. I take tiny fondant cookie cutters and cut his carrots and cucumbers into stars and hearts. I use whole grain breads and peanut butter that contains omega 3′s and make him cookie cutter sandwiches. I wish I had some of those SWEET sauce bottles and lidded containers! That is how I would add yogurt ranch dipping sauce or low sodium soy sauce. I also love to cut the wax in baby bell cheese to give them little faces. the possibilities are huge!…Sydney
I started doing bentos to give my girls healthier options than what they can get at school. Since I am not there with them, I knew it would have to be something fun or they would just pitch it. . .bentos have been a great solution! One of my girls is overweight. The bentos are helping a lot. . .not only with what she eats, but with her awareness of food.
My girls’ favorite bento is when I make Banana Dogs (banana on hotdog bun with peanut butter). I fill up the box with fresh veggies and a boiled egg for some protein…Juli
My daughter loves having fresh or frozen fruits and veggies in her lunch. She’s milk intolerant, so having dairy free cheeses are essential and one reason she always takes her lunch. Cute cookie cutters to shape sandwiches, the rice molds to hold peanut butter or ketchup for dipping, and some cute animal pick forks to use instead of a regular fork and she’s happy as a clam…Katharine
When using a layer bento, I’ll always delegate the smaller section for carbs and protein while filling up the bigger part with yummy fruits and veggies! For me, it’s the perfect combination…Sarah
Lots of veggies. When I started a few weeks ago, veggies were the #1 item in my boxes! Also, as odd as it sounds, plastic wrap. I hand-form my onigiri and freeze it, so it’s wrapped in the plastic anyway. I don’t have a little one of my own yet, so Im not bothered by making the boxes all that pretty at the moment – I’m still trying my portions right!
Brown rice is a staple for a healthy bento. I always try to get a 2:2:1 ratio 2 parts carb, 2 parts veggie and 1 part lean protien.
When someone asks me how to get started with bento I always suggest to start with a box and go from there. Bento doesn’t need a million bells and whistles, just some yummy food presented in an appealing way. A happy tummy is always the best sing that the bento was a success…Melissa
I do not think you need many tools for a bento basically just a box with one or two compartments(tiers). I would recomend simple things for an easy begginer- friendly, and healthy bento~ One example would be like basic white rice, and a hard boil egg. You can put 2 small pieces of seaweed on it, and cut a small wedge out and then you have a face! Lol and then if you have room, put a small little salad just tearing up some lettuce, and strategically placing some cherry tomatoes and using a small sauce bottle to carry some light dressing. I would call that a healthy and filling bento!~…Michelle
My suggestion for the bento box would be to have variety. You can have a small rolled up sandwich, fruit veggies crackers cheese. I love the utensil kits that include chopsticks and I love love love the piks so that the kids little fingers don’t get all messy with pieces of strawberries etc…Maria
Halloween is the perfect time to be creative with bento art using our 2-tier black cat lunch box and Halloween shaped tools. Here are some suggestions to get you started. These are super easy, taking about 5 minutes to complete. Click at the image to see step-by-step instruction.