Bento in Japanese is a fully cooked, complete meal in one box. An ideal bento should contain rice, meat or fish, vegetables, and a small dessert. In a traditional Japanese family, the mother prepares lunch for her children and her husband to bring to school or work the following day. Convincing young children (and perhaps stubborn husbands) to eat all of their vegetables is not always an easy task, and thus the art of deco-ben was born. Deco-ben has enjoyed increasing popularity overseas as well, resulting in the creation of numerous blogs and Instagram accounts dedicated to the art of bento.
Thin slices of fish cake are cut into the shape of roses to put the finishing touch on this nature-inspired bento.
A bear and a chicken can get along just fine as long as they wear matching top hats.
The characters in this colorful lunch are made from dyed mashed potatoes and vegetables.
This bento is inspired by My Neighbor Totoro, one of the most famous Japanese anime films of all time.
So cute, you almost feel bad about eating it. Almost.
Mom managed to sneak an English vocabulary lesson into this one.
A little food dye goes a long way.
The famous character Anpanman comes to life in this lunch box.