Bento Frequently Asked Questions
What is “Bento”?
In the tradition sense of Bento – it is a Japanese-style packed lunch, consisting of such items as rice, vegetables, and sashimi.
However, Bento in my own mind means a healthy meal in a compartment box or lunchbox with dividers with lots of variety Fruit, Vegetables and Protein, Carbs, Dairy with minimal waste.
Can you show me how to use your products?
Yes! We have a YouTube Channel – subscribe and you’ll get all our fantastic videos to help you make awesome lunches!
Are all Little Bento World’s products BPA Free?
Yes. As far as I know from speaking to the manufacturers, all products are BPA Free. However that does not mean all products are microwave or dishwasher safe, due to thinner plastic (like egg molds) that will warp out of shape if placed in a hot dishwasher. Each product will have a note if it is dishwasher/microwave safe.
What do you suggest I buy first?
A sandwich cutter, egg mold and packet of food picks are a great place to start on your Bento journey.
What lunchbox is suitable for my child?
This is ultimately your decision. I always ask if they are a big or small eater, do they have fruit provided at school for morning tea (usually kindy) or do you need a separate snack box for crunch and sip. This way you will be able to choose from a small or a larger bento box suitable to their needs.
How do you cook rice for Sushi and Rice Balls?
Sushi rice is the best for molding rice. However I have used Jasmine and Basmati aswell, just ensure it is piping hot when you mold.
Wash rice thoroughly.
1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water ratio.
Use the absorption method on the back of the packet.
Rice Cooker: Wash rice thoroughly until the water runs clear, atleast 2-3 times. Pop water and rice into the rice cooker and switch on. Take out once cooked and pop into a container straight away to prevent crusting at the bottom of the rice cooker.
On Stove: Wash rice thoroughly until the water runs clear, atleast 2-3 times. Bring water to the boil in a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Once the water has started to boil, add rice and boil gently (partially covered) for 5 minutes or until holes start to appear in the surface of the rice. Cover completely with the lid (do not remove the lid again until rice is completely cooked) and turn the heat down as low as possible. Cook a further 10 minutes. Remove the pan completely from the heat, without opening the lid, and leave to stand, still covered, a further 10 minutes before finally removing the lid and serving.
How to mold an egg?
One of the most utilised item in a bento lunch box is the egg mold!
You must use an older egg – as new eggs cling to the shell and don’t peel properly.
Pop your egg into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 8-9 minutes and then take out. While hot, peel under running water and then pop the egg into the mold. Leave in mold for 5 minutes before taking it out. Otherwise pop mold into cold water to cool down quickly then leave in fridge for up to 5 days in the mold to pop into school lunchboxes.
How to stop cut up fruit from browning.
When I cut up fruit for the lunchbox, I always pop them straight into a bowl of apple juice. Any acidic juice will work – Pineapple, Orange, Lemon and Apple. This will stop the browning. If you are worried about “wet” fruit, you can still dry it on a paper towel before popping it into the lunchbox.
How to stop losing Food Picks at school.
I pop a little plastic container into the lunchbox – the one I use I have from my hair lacky ties. This is clear and my children know when they take out their food picks to pop it in here. No loss of food picks!
Best bread to use for Sandwich Cutters
The best bread to use is a big square style. You will often find me feeling the top of the bread to make sure it is not falling down in the middle. This will give you a clean cut with a square sandwich cutter to ensure maximum using the most of the bread
How do I use Foodoodlers?
My advice to get a clean look on the sandwich with stamps is to use the foodoodler and colour in the stamper with your foodoodlers (not the bread), and then press the stamper down onto the bread. This way you get a clean look on the sandwich.