What is bento?

Bento is a box lunch. The term is Japanese, although it has gained ground in English usage.  I’ve seen a lot about keto-bento, low-carb bento, and of course, kawaii (cute) bento.  

In college, I took Japanese for a year and then was an exchange student, living with a Japanese family.  I never used bentos, as my University cafeteria provided my lunch. I did see though how hip and trendy “cute” is in Japan. 

Being creative, I am drawn to try my hand at kawaii bentos. The sizes seem bari- friendly, and if I’m spending a lot of time thinking about the cuteness (and enjoying same), then that is time I’m not actually eating 😀

So here are some things I have acquired through Amazon: 

A bento box (iphone5 for scale).  Bento boxes come in many styles and don’t have to be cute. The double-sided fabric is called a furoshiki, used to wrap the bento and serve as a place-mat.  I sew, so I made this one. The fabrics make me happy, and remind me of summer. 

Inside the lid it came with a spoon and fork but I’ve replaced with baby versions. Each section comes with a lid, and is microwave safe (removing steam vent first). Inside the food will be separated with these silicone molds. 

I’ve probably gone a little overboard in buy kawaii items, but it makes me happy. Here are some cutters for meats, cheeses, fruits, and veg:


Egg molds- place them in peeled and warm, then refrigerate.  Can also dye the peeled egg first. 

Cute picks and soy sauce containers:

Last, but not least, a rice mold and nori (seaweed) cutters. I’d used cauliflower rice. 

I bought 1 book, Yum Yum Bento, and found this food pyramid. I think if we followed something similar, there’d be a lot less obesity in this country. 

How do you do lunches for bari-friendly eating?


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