Once a Japanese culinary hobby, the Bento lunch box has caught imaginations around the world. Kids and parents can create food art with healthy edible ingredients in lunch boxes. These yummy balanced meals are visually appealing with their cute character ideas and bright colors. Bento boxes are a fun way to pack to-go meals, banish boring lunches, and please even the pickiest eaters. The designs can be simple or elaborate, with the objective of showing kids what a balanced healthy meal looks like. Kids can decorate sandwiches with eyes and mouths to look like cows, bunnies, frogs, flowers, and many more cute characters. With the sandwich as the main attractions, kids can surround it with small amounts of several different foods. Using leftovers or making organic slaw, pasta, quinoa, lentils, or rice ahead saves preparation time. The ecofriendly lunch boxes come in different materials: wood, metal, and plastic. The traditional cedar boxes have a wonderful aroma; the metal boxes are sturdy; the insulated box set keeps food warm with smaller side dish containers; and the plastic box with a domed lid protects the bento designs. Special tools are available, such as cutters, punches, and sandwich presses to make the designs; bright colored silicone cups to hold small portions of fruit or salad; sauce bottles and cups to pack salad dressings or soy sauce; and antibacterial sheets that come in a wide variety of cute designs for food dividers.
Kids can make a healthy lunch by filling half a bento box with rice and half with salad greens. Kids can use a flower cutter to punch flowers out of slices of cooked vegetables, such as carrot, butternut squash, and potato with string beans cut on a diagonal to create leaves and piece of cooked broccoli for a bush and place them on the bed of rice. Kids can add raison eyes to cherry tomatoes by making a small slit in the top for the raison and cut a small wedge from each tomato to create mouths with sesame seeds as noses. Place the tomato characters on top of the salad greens mixed with a few cooked garbanzo beans. Kids and parents can choose something from each food group and from each color group to make a pretty meal with healthy ingredients and lots of love.