Have you always wished that your kids will finish everything that you have prepared for them in school? Or are you always worried about your child not getting enough nutrition? With bento-making, you will be surprised to find your kids look forward to recess in school and getting their much-needed nutrition.
What is Bento?
Bento is the Japanese word for boxed-lunch. Simply put, bento is lunch packed with a variety of different types of food with different flavours, colours and textures in a box-shaped container. It is also usually packed to be visually appealing and appetizing. Research has shown that food presented in an attractive manner can help to better stimulate children’s appetites and encourage a picky eater to try out new foods and even eat food that they used to hate!
Benefits of Bento Making
Bento making can also help to foster bonding between parent and child. Kids usually enjoy watching their mum put together food and somehow magically come up with characters or animals they like. What’s more, you can teach your child the various types of foods that make up a nutritious meal so they are more open to eating unfamiliar foods.
How do I prepare a bento?
#1 Divide your meals proportionally
A bento usually contains several small portions of food – rice for carbohydrate, meat for protein, vegetables and fruit for fibre etc. The traditional layout for bento making follows a 4:3:2:1 ratio (4 parts of rice/any other starch, 3 parts of protein, 2 parts of vegetables, and 1 part of dessert). However, you are free to vary the ratio and substitute with more familiar ingredients for your kids.Choose brightly coloured food items
#2 Choose food items that are more solid in colours.
The greater the visual impact of your bento, the more likely your child will be attracted to their lunch. What’s more, brightly coloured food items usually contain more nutritional benefits. Everyone knows that the brighter the vegetables are, the greater their nutritional value – bright orange, green and red vegetables are known to have more nutritional content.
#3 Pack the foods tightly, especially if your bento box does not have built-in compartments to prevent the food from shifting within the box
Rice or other starch should fill up half of the lunch box, followed by food items that are bigger in size in terms of shapes or arrangement. Vegetables should go into any large remaining spaces while small and sturdy items such as cherries should fill in the gaps and accent the bento.
#4 Make your bento lunch box look more appealing by using cute accessories
Here’s the time to unleash your creativity! You can decorate your bento according to any theme you like.
Make interesting food items with cutters
Make fancy patterns in your bento by using food cutters. Cutters are especially handy for cutting nori (seaweed/sushi paper), vegetables, fruits or sliced tofu/meat. Who doesn’t want little carrot stars or animal shapes on their lunch?
Picks can add fun to a simple bento
Don’t have time to prepare elaborated lunch boxes? You can add a splash of fun to simple cooking such as snacks or finger foods with food picks. They come in various designs, shapes and colours and are usually small in size and can fit in most lunch boxes.
Small sauce bottles come in handy for picnics
Want some sauce to go along with your lunch? You can bring along a sauce bottle that is small enough to fit into any lunch boxes. They are also prefect to fill in any small gaps in your lunch box. No more worries about your food turning moist
By Kitchenique Team
Kitchenique aims to provide unique and quality kitchenware/bake-ware at affordable prices. They that the kitchen should be a place to unleash one’s creativity to the fullest instead of merely for cooking purposes.
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