Bento is a Japanese term, which roughly means a single-serving of multiple course meal. The Japanese have these special Bento-boxes, which are compartmentalized to hold each course of the meal.
Some photos to help you see.
I came across Bento while following some mom-blogs and they use the Bento concept to create wonderful, healthy, nutritious, beautifully presented lunch food.
Again some photographs to enthrall you.
Once I had seen and read about Bento, I was immediately hooked on, as it is an amazing way to present food to the little ones and it actually entices them to eat the food while in school or day care.
Making Bento requires some basic equipment, like cutters, rice-shapers, sushi rolling mat (we can use this to roll rice or even sheera or upma), there are tiny pans in all cute shapes for shaping those pancakes (think Dosa, Uttapa here), there are some egg-moulds, I think one has to put in a boiled egg inside the mould. The orange and green paper you see in the first photo is actually edible, and is used to make leaves/flowers, animal ears etc.
Once you have some basic equipment one can experiment and come up with ideas for lovely creations. I went to the '100 yens' store in SS2 section of PJ and got myself some. In Singapore you can get it at 'Daiso'. I hear there is a 'Daiso' at 'The Curve', but I have to check it out to confirm. Basically any store where you can get Japanese stuff. Isetan is also a good option.
These equipments are not at all expensive, and the good thing is that they can be used for a really long time so your cost is actually just one time.
The above photographs are from some of the Bento blogs that I follow. These are moms who take all the trouble to make these amazing meals for the kids, and most importantly never forget to photograph them. One needs creativity, enthusiasm, whimsical, patient to do Bento. But at the end its great fun.
Some blog links for you to look up more Bento:
Do visit them for endless inspiration!!
I've got mine, and with the newly acquired Bento equipment in hand, I am ready to try and brush up those creative skills of mine !!!