A Bento is a single portion meal you pack at home. It’s common in Japanese cuisine and it’s becoming more and more popular in North America. You might have seen photos of cute Bento boxes on various social media sites. I’m here to tell you how to build and create these adorable meals. 

A traditional Bento meal consists of rice, meat (including fish), and cooked vegetables in a box container. The adorable Bento meals that have been showing up on social media are called ‘oekakiben’ or ‘picture bento’. These meals have food shaped and decorated like people, animals, places or plants.

First step to making an adorable and yummy Bento meal:

Buy a Bento box! There are a lot of places online you can find cute, geeky, and/or pretty Bento containers. Some even have a couple containers that all snap together. Amazon, ThinkGeek, ModCloth, and JBOX all have some great options! Bento boxes can be found in stores as well, especially as they become more popular.

Second, buy food accessories to shape and decorate your food:

JBOX has a TON of accessories that can be used to shape your food into adorable animals and other things. There are plenty of food picks, paper wrappers, and stamps to ‘decorate’ your food. Of course you don’t have to buy special Bento box tools. You could always use cookie cutters to shape your rice, sandwich or cucumber slices. Cupcake liners and toppers would also work. The options are endless if you let your creativity fly!

Third step is to photograph your Bento box before eating it:

Photograph and share your creation! You never know who you’re inspiring with your cute Bento box meal.

With school started, no matter what your age, a cute Bento meal is a great way to brighten your mid-day lunch break. Plus, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on a child’s face if they don’t know what fun-shaped food lies within their Bento lunch box.

Have you tried making a Bento box meal before? Please share your photos or tips in the comments!

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