A traditional bento box, common for lunch in many Asian cultures, typically contains rice, noodles, fish or meat, with pickled and cooked vegetables, and sometimes even a small treat, creating a bright assortment of flavours and textures.
In other words, a bento-style lunch is a well-rounded, colourful and nutritious combination of foods tightly packed into a box with little need for plastic wrapping – It might already sound like the perfect lunch to pack for your kids!
Unfortunately, we tend to pack much more plastic into our kid’s lunches than we realise. Research suggests a child’s average lunch produces three pieces of rubbish every day, which amounts to about 30 kilograms of waste per child, each year. We know that plastics are harmful to our environment, and can be toxic to our bodies, and our children.
A traditional bento box provides a fun, healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to a traditional lunch.
If you’re interested in trying your luck with a bento box, there are only a few things you’ll need to get started.
The first is the box itself; you can purchase a box specially designed for bento meals, which will range from the cheaper plastic variety to thermal lunch sets. Of course, you can pack any container bento-style, so long as you fill it right up to the rim to prevent the foods from meshing together in transit.