What the heck is a Bento Box?

If you are looking for a creative way to pack lunches for yourself or your kids, you will most likely come across something called a Bento Box.  They allow you to pack appealing, colorful and fun and make lunches.  You will want, no, have to have one.  I did!

But what is it, exactly?  Well, in short, the idea is a healthy and balanced meal packed neatly in a box-like container.  These boxed meals originated in Japan and are now spreading like wildfire in the US because of their ease and appeal.  The use of a reusable partitioned box to hold the entire meal facilitates portion control, variety, and reduced waste.  Moms around the country are raving about this trend and I couldn’t agree more.

My job provides complimentary meals to staff, and while it is a huge perk, the food is often heavy and laden with sauces.  Most times I opt for a salad or prefer to bring my lunch.  But, packing my lunch used to be a chore – I never knew what would be good or what would keep me full throughout the afternoon.  For this, Bento Boxes are really easy.  With a little research, I think I nailed it:  protein, grain, veggies, fruit/nuts, and a snack to keep you satisfied.  I really look forward to making my lunch (and making it pretty) the night before work.  The possibilities are endless. 

I recently splurged for a stainless steel Bento Box from Lunch Bots – $26.99.  I say splurge here because, to me, that is a pretty pricy lunch container, but that is around the cheapest I could find.  (The container I have now isn’t leak proof between sections, so keep that in mind when you are shopping around!)  But I like it – it’s convenient, washes easily, and has four perfectly sized portions for a well-balanced lunch.

You could also use the containers you already own.   Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix containers come pre-portioned with the amount of carbs, veggies, and protein that should be considered appropriate.  It’s super easy to fill up a set and pack them in a lunch bag.  Or you could use a bigger container and divide portions using silicone cupcake or baking cups to keep food separate and prevent leaks.

Bottom Line:  Bento Boxes are pretty cool, help make lunch packing a lot easier, and the portions are just the right size to satisfy and prevent over eating.  If part of your “new year, new you,” mantra is to eat healthier, this would be a good start.  I love mine!

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