Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bento Mementos #1

Believe me, I fully support kyuushoku and its efforts to feed the hundreds of children in My Japan. In fact, there are many benefits to the school lunches around here:
  • Inexpensive meals for how much food one receives.
  • Less stress on parents to pack a lunch for their child(ren).
  • Everyone has the SAME THING, which Japan loves doing.
  • The lunches are much more healthy compared to those in American schools. Don't even get me started on that issue!

However!!! Gone are the days of me taking part in this daily ritual. I came to the decision to stop eating kyuushoku, beginning with the new term. I bring a bento instead, which so far has been quite successful. What are my reasons for bringing bento, you ask?

  • I like to know exactly what I'm eating.
  • Kyuushoku has a high calorie count (750-900) for my dietary needs.
  • While the school food is "healthy," sometimes it includes fried foods and other carb-heavy dishes.
  • Many schools serve it cold (not on purpose, but still), which is extremely unappealing.
  • Yes, I'll say it -- sometimes there's weird stuff in it that I don't like! (Hello, tiny dried fish.)
  • It's a little taxing to ask 8 different schools to please remember I'd like the portion size of a kindergartner, thanks. (By the way, if you're under the impression that Japanese portions are "always tiny," you're DEAD WRONG!)

I've been taking bento for 2 weeks now, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. It gives me a task to do in the evenings, and opens up a new canvas for creativity. Mine aren't even that good yet (in the artistic sense), but they are nutritious and cute. Right now I'm managing my time to allow for more experimental cooking with bento recipes, and eventually hope to work my way up to kyaraben, character bento. I also want to invest in some more bento boxes and other tools / accessories while I can, since the cost of importing them is quite expensive, especially with the exchange rate. Anyway, I'll try to do a bento post every month or so to track my progress!

In the meantime, here's some cute kyaraben inspiration for both myself and others. These aren't mine!

Rilakkuma & friends

Pink Domo-kun

Hello Kitty - looks sakura themed!


  1. Now I feel bad, my bento usually looks less elaborated. Instead of "yeah I got something to do in the evening" I am more like "oh no I have to clean the rice cooker or I will starve tomorrow" .... The result usually looks like an earthquake happened while i was putting it together...

    And that was one of the more prettier ones ;-)

    1. I think yours looks glorious! :) Love the different ingredients you have going on there!

  2. Aw those look so cute!

    I finally got all of my schools to remember I want 1nensei portions, and at middle school I have just been like 'Screw it I am putting some back!' I find it kind of funny since before I came to Japan I made Japanese-style bentos everyday, and now I live in Japan I almost never make them ^^;


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