schoolIf you have small kids or even big kids who keep shying away from eating healthy, then the best way to get them into it is to make the food pretty. Most kids who are into their teens would not eat big meals, and the smaller ones hate vegetables in most cases. So in order to combat all these different preferences of the family, a good looking meal is essential. But this good looking meal also has to have all the necessary required nutrients and vitamins to make everyone happy. The best solution for this is the bento box. Bentos were made to be light but fulfilling and it has evolved to become one of the trademark items in a typical Japanese school or kindergarten Deception Bay lunch.

Hamburger steak bento

The classic style of a bento is to fix the meal with whatever you have but enticingly. This hamburger steak bento uses the traditional burger cut into pieces (your kid’s usual sizes) and then adding some rice and with seasoning and vegetables. Usually you can add boiled broccoli, tomato, celery sticks, potatoes and such (or just go for mashed potatoes). Add some corn for the sweet taste. When you are making the burger try not to go for the traditional boiled burger, and marinate it or do something new with it. Kids might not like the usual taste but since the bento only needs a little amount of the burger then you can experiment with the different tastes. Usually boiled rice with seasoning (furikake from the local Japanese mart) is added. But you can make some wild rice your kids love into it. For younger kids going to kindergarten, add a separate cup with their favorite fruits and sweets for dessert.

Tri color or rainbow bento

To make this bento you need to decide on a color palette and then pick your food items. It needs to have a meat, vegetable and a fruit. You can arrange these on the bento box to make it seem like a rainbow or just colorful. Sweet ground chicken, scrambled eggs, ground beef sautéed, smoked salmon, strawberries or blueberries and such usually go together. Pick vegetables and fruits that have bright colours and unusual appearances (like the dragon fruit, star fruit and other exotic ones). You can add bread, noodles or rice as the carbohydrate base to place these decorative items on.

When making food items for the bento, experiment with the ones you see online. Bacon wrapped asparagus, apple bunnies, bacon wrapped rice balls, onigiri (rice balls), octopus sausages are some that are easy to make.