The Anatomy of a Bento Box

One bet that is probably safe to make for the future is that people are going to be busy. Whether they are attending culinary school online or heading to work, mobile food options will be necessary. The bento box is a Japanese food storing system that is making waves in the States. People enjoy the box’s mobility and the tasty Asian dishes they can pack inside. So you can be in the know of this food trend, here is the anatomy of a bento box:

More than a box
Bento is more than just a box to put your lunch or dinner in. It’s a compact version of a well-balanced meal. It also should be visually appealing. One reason bento boxes are so popular in the States, is because they reduce the need for plastic lunch bags, thus the boxes are a sustainable option. These boxes also help people master portion control and limit their calorie intake. Lastly, when you bring lunch from home you are saving money because you aren’t buying expensive restaurant dishes.

Bento portion control
The bento packing rule is three parts carbs, two parts fruits and vegetables, and one part protein. Keep this in mind when you are building the box to create a balanced meal. If you pack the box with healthy food items, without leaving any spaces you can create a 600-calorie meal.

Bento boxes don’t have to be filled with Japanese food, however you should eat some of those dishes from time to time to expand your palate. For your carb portion you can fill the box with rice or pasta. Opt for brown or whole grain versions to ensure you are eating something packed with vitamins and nutrients. However, if your diet plan gives you less of an allowance of carbs, cut back on them and fill the gap with produce.

Fruits and vegetables
Fill your bento boxes with a range of fruits and vegetables. While lettuce is great, don’t stick to one kind of leaf. You can toss in arugula, spinach and other leafy greens. Fruit like strawberries and grapes are great for filling in any spaces in your bento boxes.

If you’re aiming for a healthy meal, opt for lean proteins. Turkey, chicken and fish are all good for you. Limit your intake of red meat for a heart healthy lifestyle.

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