A Bento Box is a traditional Japanese lunch box. Bento boxes can contain any number of food items and types. Traditional Bento lunch boxes are filled with a 4:3:2:1 serving ratio; 4 rice, 3 Meat, 2 Veggies (pickled vegetables usually. They don't have to be dill pickles but you can use them if you like.) , 1 desert. The items and arrangement in a Bento is dependent on the function and sometimes on a theme. In Japan Bentos are very elaborate and are works of edible art. They even have contests for creativity and taste. Types of Bentos are also dependent on they type of vessel or "lunch box" you chose to put them in. I have chosen a Tiny Chuck E. Cheese tin (Metal lunch box) that my daughter received at her first birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. You can use a traditional Bento box (They can be purchased online or at Asian Markets), or any storage container with a lid. Think of a theme if you like, such as cartoon characters, sports, or nature to name a few. I will be creating my Bento for my toddler.
Step 1: Step One (Gathering Materials)
First of all you will need a box/container for your Bento. I have chosen the tiny Chuck E. Cheese Tin of my daughters. Also I am using tiny little storage cups with lids that fit perfectly within her tin. ( I bought them 10 for a $1.00 at the dollar store). Gerber makes a t.v. like dinner for toddlers that is microwavable, the little plastic dish is durable and I have even cleaned it in the dish washer. This little "tray" is great for a toddler sized Bento.
Your materials will depend on what kinds of food you want in your Bento. I chose Toddler safe items that are my daughter's favorites. I will list the items I used, but you may substitute your own. Everything I used can be purchased at Walmart and most grocery stores. You can include items that aren't asian if you like, anything that will fit in the Bento. Such as little sandwiches or even left- overs.
Match book Carrots
Multi grain Cheerios
Long Grain Rice
Imitation Crab legs
Athens Mini Fillo Shells
You will also need to gather all your cooking utensils and appliances you will need to prepare these items properly.