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mamichan 2:28am, 3 August 2007
Just curious to find out why we all make bento.
How did you start/find out about bento and what keeps you going?

I'm Japanese, and my mother made bento when I was going to high school in Japan. When I started working, I'd sometimes bring in my lunch, but it was always just thrown into a tupperware. A few years ago, I remembered my school bento and asked my parents to send me a bento box. The cafe at my work is overpriced and not that great, so I started to get into bento again. It reminds me of my family and living in Japan, and I definitely eat healthier and save money but not eating out every day.

What about you guys?
silverthoughts 14 years ago
I always packed something for lunch when I lived in Canada but it was mostly sandwiches. When I moved to Hong Kong, I could eat at the cafeteria at work but they always serve really big portions that I couldn't finish and there were times they served food I didn't like. So, I packed my own (rice centered since rice is cheaper than bread here) but realized that since I lacked cooking skills, I started to pack the same thing over and over again. Which got more than slightly boring. I started this for variety, to push myself to learn how to cook and to eat more balanced meals.
Rei Rei- 14 years ago
I live in Japan and I make bentos for my hubby. We used to eat a strict macrobiotic diet so it was difficult to eat out anywhere. Making lunch made much more sense at the time. Now, it's just fun, cheaper and healthier. Hubby is a much better cook than I, his bentos probably taste better but I think mine are cuter =)
alicial_77 14 years ago
I started because I work the overnight shift (11pm - 7am) and the only thing open is fast food. I am tring to eat better and I really dont care for sandwiches. I came across Biggie's page and I was hooked. I always have something interesting and it is so much more appetizing than just a sandwich and a bag of chips (which I dont even pack anymore).
FusionJosie Posted 14 years ago. Edited by FusionJosie (member) 14 years ago
My husband would not eat a sandwich for lunch, he wants a hot meal , otherwise he does not eat or simply gets some chocolate. So to avoid that , when we started living together I started to pack his lunch.

Eventually the transition to a bento was inevitable, I have always liked cute containers and scoured the internet and the shops for new lunch gadgets. I have a collection of thermal lunch boxes.

I love cooking and being Italian , mine is a total adoration for healthy and nutritious food.

When I discovered bento, I had totally found my heaven! Shame Japan is so far away and there aren't many Japanese bento suppliers here in London....
FrenchBento 14 years ago
there's a discussion here about the same question:
www.flickr.com/groups/bentoboxes/discuss/72157594581872521/
titled how, why and when did bento got you?

plenty of interesting answers there.
NoelFigart 14 years ago
I got into bento after getting a wild hare to make my children onigiri once. We all really enjoyed them, and I got to thinking that if my kids liked a meal of onigiri, fresh veggies and fruit so much, then maybe a bento would be a good way to make sure they ate healthy lunches.

And then I got a bento box for myself because... well, making the bento is fun, and eating such a healthy, pretty lunch is fun!
mamichan 14 years ago
moniki -- thanks for pointing out the other discussion! I totally missed it when I was looking through them last night. Will also head over there to see what people say.

Interesting that many of us don't care for sandwiches -- I don't either.
devlyn 14 years ago
I actually really enjoy sandwiches, but the ones I like tend to need to be eaten right away. I love Japanese food, and especially like onigiri with furikake - so much fun to eat and so tasty! So following along to making bentos was a natural progression. I had a couple of bento boxes that I had purchased laying around for over a year, so that was handy when I actually started taking the time in the morning to make bento. ^_^
Awetumn 14 years ago
I got into bento a while ago. I've always had a deep respect and admiration for Japanese culture and cuisine. I especially appreciate the attention and care that goes into japanese food- in it's nutrition, and arrangement. Most of the time over in America, people don't put such time and consideration into their food, and often eat food with bad nutrition. I guess you can say bento has inspired me to really appreciate and evaluate what I eat.
MaluhiaPapaya 14 years ago
I grew up in Hawaii so was familiar with a lot of great Japanese food. As my daughter has grown up and shown her sensitivity to a lot of additives, etc. I've found it is easier to make her a healthy lunch she'll eat than have her having reactions to preservatives and such. And I love to cook - so it's another excuse.
hugegoddess 14 years ago
I got into bento because I'm vegan and there are no eating options near my workplace. So I pack breakfast, lunch and snacks, everyday. I transitioned into a bento frame of mind, in order to make them more appealing, and as a little reward for me.
gfbentomom 8 years ago
I am American and my husband is Japanese. I started bentoing for my son when he started Japanese pre-school in the USA. It was required to send a packed lunch and I wanted him to have a similar experience with the others. After that kiddo continued to request bento over American style bagged lunch and it was healthier than the school cafeteria food and cheaper so I was happy to provide as completely empty lunch boxes came home. :) We stopped bentos in Jr. High, for the most part, as it became uncool even to send onigiri. However, I developed numerous food allergies and found bento a good way to cope with meals outside the home and still do. My son is now in High-school, how time flies! and eats cafeteria food most days but still has an occasional bento day.
Nordic Bento 7 years ago
Interesting to read why people do bentos.
I have a lot of food allergies and problems finding food outside the home and must always carry food with me. One day I was looking for new ideas for a packed lunch and came across Biggies blog "lunchinabox" and was hocked immediately. I already packed rice in a similar way to the bento and was surprised to discover that my way was only one tecnic to pack rice. The bento offered me a pleasent lunch with more fruits and vegestables than I used to pack.
I am surprised how few know about the bento in Denmark, where paked lunches are a part the culture, traditionally with rye bread (which I cannot eat) and you are often expected to carry lunch with you for school and work. I have packed rice for about 10 years before I heard about the bento and I wish I knew about the bento before, because I helps me to follow my strict diet by offering me a complex meal.
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