You may or not know this about me, but before there was wedding porn on Offbeat Bride, there was Mr. Bento Porn on flickr.
Back in 2005, the Indiebride message boards introduced me to Mr. Bento — a bento lunch jar thinger with four stackable containers. It was love at first sight. I've always been a fan of compartments and containers, and the idea of compartmentalized food made my brain insanely happy. I was so obsessed that I started taking pictures of my lunches in Mr. Bento, and eventually started a group on Flickr dedicated to photos of lunches in Mr. Bento-style lunch jars. My obsession knew no limits — and I wasn't alone. There are over 8,000 photos of Mr. Bento lunches in my old Flickr group.
You see, I don't really cook, but I like arranging food — and bento containers are all about arranging. I also found that bento lunches encouraged me to be more thoughtful about what and how much I was eating. The containers were compact, and so I used the space thoughtfully and was very precise in my meal planning. I wanted my meals full of color, which often meant way more fruits and vegetables. Of course you can pack junk food into a bento box, but somehow… I never did.
As a walk down memory lane, I thought we'd take a look at some lovely bento containers and scheme some lovely lunches. Let's do it!
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Of course I'm a little biased toward my thermos-style lunch jars like Mr. Bento and his related friends. I love the water-tight containers and insulated thermos to keep food warm:
In other pragmatic-style bento containers, there are the Laptop Lunchboxes:
These have the advantage of being metal or melamine, for those who like to avoid plastic. The downside is that they're totally not water-tight.
OMG ADORBZ bento containers
If you want to get into super cutesie containers that may not hold liquids, heat, or much other than SQUEE!, then your options get pretty amazing. These kind of bento containers are pretty much just adorable tupperware, but they're much cheaper than the insulated/water-tight bento options, and there's no arguing with the cuteness:
And don't forget the accessories!
This is where bento lunchmaking can get both fun/insaaaane. We're talking little smiling sauce containers the size of your thumb, fake green grass, egg molds, and so much more.
And the books
So, what are YOU having for lunch today?