Tried to convince your child to eat their veggies–and failed? Made one-too-many meaty and oily lunches? Well, for the Japanese, eating healthy doesn’t seem to be a problem. Japanese moms make lunches known as ‘bento‘, which means ‘a meal served in a box’ or in Filipino terms a ‘baon‘. The obvious difference is that a bento includes a variety of healthy foods that transform dull-looking veggies into cute cartoons, anime and animals that your kids will surely love!
What’s even more amazing is that the art of making a bento starts from planning a nutritiously balanced meal filled with vegetables, proteins and fruits. This isn’t just for children, either. Adults and teenagers bent on eating a healthy diet can eat it, too! A bento can look simple or classy depending on your personal taste and how you make it.
What are the benefits of eating a healthy bento?
4 Reasons Why You Should Eat A Healthy Bento
4. It’s Healthy!
The formula for preparing a bento is fairly simple. Just divide your food container into 4 parts: 1 part should consist of protein (fish, chicken, egg), 1 part should consist of carbs (rice), and the last 2 parts should be filled with veggies. This ensures that your meal is nutritiously balanced! How you divide it is all up to you, though. It’s also a great way to limit too much meat, calories and fat in your diet! A bento is great for picky kids to eat healthy. Just cut up some vegetables into cartoon characters and your kids will surely give their veggies a try!
3. It’s a Great Way to Introduce New Foods.
Bento boxes are a good way to widen the palate of your children! Including small portions of one dish will surely introduce them to new veggies and dishes that they don’t usually eat.
2. It’s Good for Weight Loss!
A bento requires you to avoid candy, junk food and oily food. It’s also a great way to monitor your calorie intake. Make sure you follow the general rule: 1 part should consist of protein (fish, chicken, egg), 1 part should consist of carbs (rice), and the last 2 parts should be filled with veggies. Packed tightly, the milliliter size of your lunch box will be the same as the number of calories you consume in one meal. A simple method for a healthy diet!
1. It’s Homemade!
Given the extremely hot temperatures in the Philippines, food spoilage is not an uncommon incident. A contaminated meal may cause diarrhea. A bento prevents this incident because everything’s made fresh from your own home. What better way to ensure your kid’s safety than by preparing the meal yourself?
Photos by Cosette Cruz
A bento is a great way to enjoy a healthy diet. So, what are you waiting for? Start making a bento– your own creative lunchbox. Got any bento experiences to share? Comment them down below!