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The Japanese Bento

vs our Dutch lunch box
Bento Box, Lunch, Dutch, and Asian
Bento side

What do you need?
Vegetables
fruit
bread
cheese
meat
egg

Hello Kitty lunchbox at Blokker € 6.99

Photo on the right: chop the left-overs to use on a salad.

Bento side lll

If we look at what we give our kids for packed lunch to take to school we can be short. A carton of juice or yoghurt drink, a sandwich and an apple or banana, and that's it. For centuries they do it very different in Japan.

Not only are there in the Bento (lunch box) only healthy things to eat, there is so much variation in the food! On top of that everything looks very attractive and beautiful, no wonder kids love to eat it. Without wanting to imitate Japan - Bento's are works of art over there! - it would be nice if we were to make the childrens lunch healthier and more appealing. For example by using cookie-cutters.


For picky eaters the Bentobox gets result too, we also like our food better when it looks attractive. The Japanese adults are used to taking their (home cooked!) lunch with them to work too. The Bento Box isn't just for children!

This is how you make a Cat lunchbox

Bento 01
Bento 02
Bento 03
Bento 04

Cut straight strips of cheese.

Cut a cat, fish and flowers.

Cut shapes from a carrot.

Arrange the food neatly in the luchbox.

  • Put a paper cupcake case with washed strawberries in a corner of the bread box.
  • The sandwiches - here one with lean steak tartare and one without spread - to go with the cheese + lettuce - in the opposite corner.
  • Fill in the gaps with lettuce and carrot figures and with the cheese cat, fish and flowers.
  • Do not forget press faces in the animals and other figures, that is typical Bento.

How to make an Autumn Bento

Bento 05
Bento 06
Bento 07

Start wit a raisin bun and a sandwich.

Spread peanutbutter on the sandwich.

Cut acorns from sausage.

Bento 08
Bento 09
Bento 10
Bento 11

Cut tree leaves from a cucumber.

Autumn leafs carrot slices.

Mushrooms out of bell peppers.

Arrange the figures on the bread.

Bento 12
Bento 13

Place some dried cranberries in a cupcake case.

And some apple bunnies (with lemon juice to prevent discoloring).

These are just examples of what foods to use. Change the content to the season, to what you already have or what your kids like best. Do they not like bell peppers, use a tomato. Do they find cranberry unappetizing? Give raisins instead. While you're at it you automatically get creative ;D


More Bento ideas later!