I was perusing the MyFItnessPal Forums when I came across this thread for Bento Lunches and I think I am in love with this idea! I looked through the amazing photos on the thread and decided I needed to know more.
Bento is basically a style of packing your lunch to make it compact, well balanced and look amazing! Many of the boxes available have smaller containers that fit into a larger container, but you definitely can pack in a Bento style without a Bento specific container. If you don’t have a bento container you can just use what you have on hand and use cucumber, peppers, cherry tomatoes as spacers to stabilize the food and keep it from mixing during transport. This means you can try Bento lunches without having to invest in any containers.
For those Beach Body followers, this sounds much like the 21 day fix, as the smaller boxes help limit portion sizes and make it easier to track how much you are eating. The only difference here is that there are no designated colours that tell you how much you should be putting in each container; however Bento does have some basic guidelines for how much of which food to put in.
One guideline suggested a 3/1/2 ratio of carbs/protein/fruits & veg, but I saw another guideline that suggested 1/1/2. So I don’t think you are really limited as to what ratio you put in. You find out what you need in your diet and use that ratio.
There is also no limits on the type of food you use. You can basically use anything you want. One recommendation would be not to use wet or moist dishes because they don’t pack well with other foods, however that can be overcome by packing those in a separate container.
There is also a more artistic style of bento where you basically make your lunch into a piece of art by cutting the food into various shapes etc. This form is more about the visual effect and less about balanced nutrition, so it is not what I am interested in. Plus I definitely don’t have the patience to do that to my food all the time!
I sometimes get bored of my usually work lunch of a soup and sandwich, so this seems like a great way to mix things up. I think I will give it a shot this week. Wish me luck!
For more information on Bento lunches here are links to the forum post on MyFitnessPal and a website that offers information on how to Bento.