Bento boxes are a popular to-go lunch tradition in Japanese culture, going all the way back to the 16th century. Their preparation involves tightly packing together elements of various textures, flavors, food groups, and colors to make an appetizing, well-balanced, and aesthetically pleasing meal. In America, the image most popularly associated with the bento is that of the kyaraben, a cutesy style of bento-making that originally began as a way for parents to encourage their kids to eat their veggies, but has since grown into a popular Instagrammable pastime. Some examples from Instagram and beyond:
If you’re interested in crafting your own bento like the ones above, get ready to break out the tweezers, stencils, and scissors, and be prepared to dedicate some time to getting all the elements ready. While most recipes that you’ll find online mention that the bento takes between 20 to 30 minutes to make, a beginner may take quite a while longer.
For those with kids, making a kyaraben bento is a great way to make nutritional meals feel more fun and interactive--yes, there is a clever way to get them to eat all that extra pumpkin and squash! Making a bento is meant to be an expression of love, a way for parents to convey to their kids that they wish for them to be well-fed and cared for.
Or on the flip side of this, you can be these parents; two types of parenting styles.
Sound off on how you’d construct your own spooky bento box in the comments!
Featured Image: Love at First Bento
Get Into the Halloween Spirit!
- Bake some creepy treats.
- Check out a scary coloring book.
- Break out the brushes and paint on a new Halloween look.