Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bento! - Go Green & Stay Healthy

We've got some great Bento Boxes and accessories with dealer #206. Here at The Coop we are always encouraging everyone to think Green: Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle or Upcycle, and Renew. Instead of disposable styrofoam, aluminum foil, plastic forks you throw away, and all the other waste products of packing a lunch, why not consider doing a Bento.

The Bento Box is a traditional Japanese reusable packed meal idea. They are compact, sleek, and everything from the silicon divider cups to picks and flatware, is all washable and reusable.

Bento Box accessories can be very plain, very sheik, or very adorable. They can be a perfectly sophisticated uptake on brown-bagging to your office. And they can be fun for kids to take to school.

Part of the cool thing about the Bento idea is the health benefit. If you have a great little lunch packed, you've controlled your portions, and you've already planned for your day so those vending machines don't start calling your name. Healthy choices that save you money - now that's pretty cool.

If you have a child with a gluten or peanut allergy, or if you simply prefer to know they're having a healthy snack or lunch, get them involved with picking the Bento pieces and making their lunch. When they are involved, they will be more likely to want to eat their own lunch and not be just curious or even envious of what everyone else gets to eat.

Some people take Bento to a new level: creating very crafty artsy lunches. It really does make you want to create your own, rather than order in, spend that extra cash, throw away all that take-out garbage, and still wind up without the nutritionally sound meal you could have made yourself.

Bento Boxes come in all sizes and styles, from slick aluminum that can strap to your bike, to big family size boxes.

I've borrowed and back linked the images above to share some ideas from the most simple to the more elaborate Bentos. The Bento Boxes below are with dealer #206 at Scranberry Coop right now. The large boxes are great for picnics, the Drive In, car trips and other times where the family might want to snack. A healthy allergen-conscious inexpensive and non-wasteful choice for everyone. Plus, food is just so much more appetizing when it's arranged with love and care. What's that saying, it's all in the presentation? Very true! Accessories for Bento Boxes include silicone dividers and cups, tiny salad dressing, condiment or spice containers, food picks, chop sticks and small flatware, plus all kinds of preparation tools like little hard boiled egg presses, punch outs to make faces, rice ballers, and more. Everything can be washed and reused safely. Go Green, Go Healthy, Go BENTO!


Lillian said...

I can't believe you have some bentos!!!! great news! I have 2 children and I pack their lunches and snacks everyday for school. they would always bring hom half eaten food and complaining. It is amazing the difference since i started doing bentos last year. They pick out the foods - often it's just left overs or pbj's, just simple foods, but it's their job to fix their bentos. I oversee it and make sure it's balanced and healthy. But they do all the work with only minimal help from me for faces and shapes. Since we've been doing this we talk about nutrition. Plus they enjoy eating their school lunches now, there's never left overs and i know they had a decent meal. And the savings! Another big plus for our budget. I never thought about the gogreen aspect but that is so true too. Everything is washable and you use it over and over. some of the little side accessories you can pick up in the dollar store for little containers. This is a great post! I can never find big bentos that would be good for snacking on car rides and help us avoid the mcdonalds stops.

Scranberry Coop said...

Thanks Lillian! That's great that you and your family have been doing the Bento Box thing for so long. There are some great sites to help people get started and share ideas. Flickr has a couple of Bento groups for pics. There are blogs and things too. Maybe your kids would like to take pics of their Bento creations and share them.

I used Bento Boxes when I worked in an office. It was so much classier looking on my desk then a big styrofoam bucket of crap, and it was healthier and cheaper to pack my own.

Yup, the family sized boxes are impossible to find. Grab 'em when you see 'em!

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God. This is such a cool idea. I have been checking out pics on Flickr since I read this. They have Hello Kitty, Tarepanda, all kinds of cute designs. I'm so excited about this. I want to Bento!