Tuesday, August 28, 2012

O'Bento for Nina / Box lunch Japanese style

I decided to make box lunch for Nina this school year. Instead of letting her to have school lunch.  Educating children what and how they should eat to develop their body and mind healthy has been very important for parents in Japan. Schools are very serious about what school lunch they serve for children, and teach them about nutrition, Japanese food culture and the background of ingredients etc. This education is called "Shoku-Iku" in Japanese. "Shoku" stands for "Eat", and "Iku" means "Education". I would like to treasure this idea even I am outside of my country.

O-Bento is the word for box lunch in Japanese.  If you are a quilter, you might have heard the word "Bento box quilt pattern" which is my favorite. Right now, making O-Bento very cute and fun by decorating with some elaborate technique is very popular among many Japanese Moms. This was my first try to make those "Kawaii (Cute)" O-Bento for Nina.

Rice balls and sausages look like faces decorated with Nori (Seaweed sheet).

That's not so bad for the first time, isn't that?

Sorry for the poor lighted picture. Its still dark when I wake up to fix O-Bento at 5:30am. This one has a cheese bunny on rice, sausage flowers, and potato balls with Edamame in it.

Waking up early is not very pleasant. But it is kinda fun for me to think how I can make every O-Bento fun and surprising. Though I only make these Kawaii kinds every other day so far. I make sandwiches and just simple rice balls sometimes. But never forget about nutrition. I hope I will make some very good O-Bento for sharing with you guys soon again. Happy O-Bento making!


  1. We could use a SERIOUS amount of "Shoku-Iku" here in the United States. Thanks for sharing this cultural lesson. 3 of my kids have graduated from high school but I made them a nutritious lunch EVERY day that they were here. Now I have only one child left to make lunches for. We always pack them in reusable lunch sacks with lots of little reusable containers inside and even tho. they are teenagers, they still like it when I decorate sandwiches for them but I was never as inventive as your beautiful decorated lunches. I'm sure your daughter will love all your hard work and her friends would wish for such lunches too! Melissa Goodsell over at the One Crafty Mumma blog is doing a series on school lunches that started yesterday!

  2. Those are so fun! I am going to become a follower of your blog for a couple of reasons but one of them is I have an aunt that is Japanese. She married my uncle and moved here in the 70s. Her amazing sewing and crafting talents have always awed me and I love to hear her stories of her culture. I only see her a few times a year. So, now I can "cheat" with your blog.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. What a lucky little girl! I'm sure all her friends will want a Bento box lunch now!