As you can probably tell, I love bento! Back when I had a day job, packing cute bento lunches was one of the things that helped me power through the week, and it’s what inspired me to develop my Lunch Kits. The thing about bento, I think, is that people see photos of gorgeous, intricate bento lunches and think there’s no way they can make something that cute on their own. To that, I say boo! Anyone can create a cute, bento lunch. Here’s how.
1. Pick a theme.
Your theme can be vague or specific, as long as you have one. Maybe you really want to create a Hello Kitty bento or you’re just feeling inspired by the flowers in your spring garden. Whatever the inspiration, this is what you’ll use to guide the rest of your lunch-making!
2. Have the right supplies.
You don’t need a ton of supplies to pack a cute bento lunch, but a lunch box with dividers and some mini cookie cutters for fruits and veggies are both a big help. The food you have on hand also falls under supplies, here. Rice or noodles make a great base for creating scenes, and you can arrange fruits, veggies, tofu, nuts, seeds, and seaweed to get just the cute lunch you’re looking for. I’ve seen some folks cut shapes from seaweed with a knife or kitchen scissors or even using a hole punch!
3. Think cute!
This almost goes without saying, but, at least for me, a bento lunch is all about cute! Mini versions of things, hearts, flowers, kitties, and bunnies are all no-fail additions to most bento boxes.
4. Keep it delicious.
It’s easy to sacrifice tastiness in the name of art, but remember that your’e also packing a lunch. You want the finished product to be tasty and filling. That might mean sneaking a handful of cashews in there somewhere, including a small container of sauce alongside your lunch, or even packing a side dish to round things out. Cute goes a long way, but it doesn’t fill your hungry belly at lunchtime!
5. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
That first bento lunch might not come out looking exactly like your vision. Or maybe you’ll have a tough time coming up with a theme at first. Don’t fret! You’ll get better in time as you get used to looking at food as components in a tiny, edible art project. Just keep on packing those cute bento lunches!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by gamene
Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced “stree-pee,” like “sleepy”), and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. My life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Check out my new book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!