[Edit, added later at my mom's suggestion]. These lunch boxes will keep their cool until you’re ready to eat. I have 4 kids (10, 6, 4, and 5 months) and I have been looking into using these. I teach preschool and the 4 year old and baby are with me and we pack lunches everyday, there is no other option. My kids’ lunches are cold at lunchtime and in fact, if they’ve brought home unopened yogurt containers, at 3pm the yogurt is still cool and we can repack it the next day. (I've seen a couple of French bento cookbooks that use raw-fish sushi. Don't forget about your hands either! Often there is so much talking, etc. % of people told us that this article helped them. Love your blog, Love Josephine, Thank you so much Josephine! roast beef that's pink on the inside) is usually ok, but when in doubt pack such foods with an ice pack to keep them cool. “Will kids eat “hot food” cold, or at least… at room temp?”. You’d bring it home (without washing) and wash it at home. Super cool idea . One method of keeping the lunch box cold is to use an insulated lunch box. Vinegar is also a preserver. I always have trouble with my food, since i am used to eating a huge plate of whatever my mother cooks for me. If you are not familiar with this topic, please read Food Safety Tips for Bento. I’ll look for some of those containers here in Hong Kong. There are some basic, time-tested precautions to take to ensure that your bento box meals will be tasty and safe when you tuck into them. I forgot and I could locate the article , on what order of food goes into a 3 tiered bento box, does the hot food go bottom right? I apologize. Meat that has been cooked on the surface (e.g. You can also find antibacterial bento sheets designed to be placed on top of the food. Get it as soon as Wed, Nov 11. There are some tricks to use when making food that you intend to eat in a non-heated bento though. Leave it to my bento blogging mama friends to share their secrets! Read on for some tips about keeping food cold, using a thermos for foods like soup or chili that are best served warm, and packing BOTH hot and cold food in the same lunch. Hi Hannah! Umeboshi may have antimicrobial qualities, as do (supposedly) shiso leaves. As pointed out in the comments, don't forget to wash the gaskets and edges of the lids and so forth too. Ana of Becoming a Bentoholic: “The most important is the bag to carry the box upright. (Here's an old commercial for the McDLT featuring Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on Seinfeld.) Lunch Box … . Hi Rebecca! The kids love the presitation, and I would have never thought of it if I had not found your blog! Thank You for this post! I can’t wait to give them a try this school year. Easy, delicious, healthy bento recipes, how-tos & more. The best way to re-heat things in my opinion is in a pan, rather than the microwave, because the surface is where the microorganisms are likely to have formed, and the high heat of a pan will kill those off immediately. at lunch time, even if a meal is served hot, it quickly cools yet still gets eaten … Read on for some tips about keeping food cold, How to pack a lunch box with cold food and hot food, using a thermos for foods like soup or chili that are best served warm, Which Cooler Bags do EasyLunchboxes Food Containers fit into? Not quite sure the best place to post this question, but bento FAQ seems as good a place as any! I can’t wait to make my first lunch from it. Salt is a time tested preserver, so the salt you put on the surface of onigiri is not just for flavor - it's to keep the rice fresher longer. I also “pack” some lunches to eat at home (or at least begin eating at home.) Don't use your fingers to pick up food and put it in your mouth while you're making onigiri for example. http://en.bentoandco.com/collections/wooden-boxes, https://www.justonecookbook.com/how_to/how-to-freeze-rice/. You could also pack it in a zip-lock bag.). If the workplace has a microwave, you can heat up or eat it at room temperature. Occasionally, my daughter loves the yolkiness of a soft-cooked egg, but I worry about the time stability. . I’m trying to use your recipes but my biggest issue is trying to figure out what groceries to buy on the weekends. I use cloth napkins, so they don’t get too wet and dissolve! A traditional portable bento box meal is meant to be eaten eaten at room temperature. The lunch jar fits in the carry-on bag with enough space for a cold drink. I've edited it and added some more information, especially since more and more new people are coming to the site. Completely dry any containers after washing and before use. I would like to be able to buy groceries that I can use for multiple meals/dishes but not sure how. Hi Michelle! I recommend preparing bento the morning of the day you are planning to eat because some foods suffer texturally from an overnight stay in the refrigerator, and it’s also not ideal in terms of food safety. My aim is not to scare you off of making bento lunches by any means. She’d eat the foods if I DIDN’T cut them into cute shapes or add faces. Like waffles and the cute make your own pizzas? . I love your recipes and so does my family. Do your kids eat the things that are normally served warm/hot at home cold at school? The bottom line is to pack various kinds of food in the box. (An umeboshi onigiri (rice ball) will even keep for a couple of days.). It can also become inedible quite fast if it goes a bit dry and hard, especially in the desert-like atmosphere of a typical refrigerator. What do you mean “how do you get the containers returned and washed properly” means? Check the portion to make sure you don’t have too much of one item. Often there is so much talking, etc. Thank you so much!!!! This is particularly important with meat, fish and even vegetable proteins. Favorite Answer. … Hi Mrs. Tee! The sleek jar can keep liquids hot or cold for up to 12 hours. (Yes you might have been ok eating leftover sushi, but you were lucky.). Your website is filed with so many helpful tips. But when I tried it with crispy food, they said food gets soggy (from warmth and moisture trapped inside). Certain meats such as pork and chicken always need to be cooked through when used for bentos (and for other purposes too mostly. If the tofu smells or tastes sour or rotten or 'off' in any way, it should be tossed. 1. pack the food into the box tightly 2. pack the food right up to the rim of the box. I’m so glad to hear you enjoy cooking my recipes. In Japanese, bento (弁当 bentō) or obento (お弁当 obentō) refers to a compact, nutritiously-balanced, visually appealing meal served in a box (we call the box “bento-bako” (弁当箱)). , My kids are still in elementary, and so far no one really mentioned about bento (except for positive feedback from their friends and teachers). Thank goodness, we live in a non humid area and the kids haven’t gotten sick because of my food preparation. I notice that some of your bento pictures sport beautifully glossy soft-cooked egg. Design by. The basic bento in Japan is meant to be eaten at room temperature, and is still very tasty (insulated/keep-hot bento containers are not that widespread in use, despite the efforts of manufacturers). Like, really cold. If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #justonecookbook — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! It’s important to start with cold food in the cooler bag. And of course, you should wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food. You can carry the frozen rice as-is in a block (especially in hot weather), or heat it through completely in the microwave or by steaming, and cool down completely. You may have to do a little bit of trial and error, but many recipes that your child enjoys hot, will be equally enjoyed cold or at room temp. Wonderful! Bentos should make you healthier, not sick! But you might think about sushi. Lunchables or Momables… Who’s Influencing Our Kids? Give 'em the good stuff. A friend of mine wants to buy her own bento box but wants to buy a wooden one. Sadly, kids in middle school make fun of almost everything, ruining it for the sensitive ones! xo. Freeze a water soaked sponge and place it in a Ziploc bag to create a no mess ice pack. ©2007-2020 Makiko Itoh. But I also do it for ME. Oh and a quick question, Can i eat a bento for both Lunch and Dinner or is it just for lunch time? Highly recommend to re-heat pre-cooked/leftover food before packing. Add hot boiling water, drain (I do twice to make sure it’s super hot), quickly wipe and add hot food and close. If you're carrying a bento meal that's meant to be consumed more than a few hours later -- e.g., a bento packed in the morning meant to be eaten in the evening for a night class -- use an ice pack to be on the safe side, or use the foods that keep food fresher longer listed below. (I've been expermenting a bit with freezing sliced tamagoyaki recently; I'll report back soon with the results. Aside from some food that's designated otherwise, we are geared to thinking that food that's cooked should be hot. Re-heating cooked food helps to kill off any micro-organisms that may have started to grow. . Right before lunch, reheat the bento using a microwave oven. Keeping your bento lunch safe (Reviewing bento basics) Thoroughly re-heat then cool any cooked food before packing. Remember, 1) re-heat thoroughly, 2) let cool completely, and 3) keep it cool with ice packs until the mealtime. And sure, you can go with a theme for the whole box or use it to simply compartmentalize the foods—both approaches work. Just the same concept – balanced meal in the bento box. OmieBox makes sure their food looks and tastes great! Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 12,118 times. I live in Washington State, and our trip to school takes all of 5 minutes, so food safety is not as much of a concern for me as it would be for someone whose child who took a long bus ride to school somewhere with more extreme temperatures – keeping my kidlets’ food hot or cold is more for their preference than to prevent spoilage. wikiHow's. Please read my disclosure policy for details. Wash and dry everything thoroughly before you use them again. And just pick and choose (like a buffet) to make each bento. Aside from some food that's designated otherwise, we are geared to thinking that food that's cooked should be hot. Around Halloween, when I posted an amazing collection of Halloween-themed lunches, the first comment I got was from long-time reader Alison who had been dying to ask her burning question: “What do they look like by the time your kids open the boxes? I have deleted the discount code. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Traditionally, _umeboshi_ (pickled plum) has been used in bentos and as onigiri filling. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I have been using the ziplock “wannabe’s” but after reading Jamie Oliver’s blog, walking in high cotton, I am convinced I must try these. We love karaage that is hot, but we are also okay if it’s in the lunch box and at room temperature. In some cases it can be okay to pack food direct from the refrigerator, such as pre-made salads, instant pickles, and so on. I’ve found that the smaller ice blocks and “pillow” type ones don’t do the job as well. Give 'em the good stuff. Powerful Insulation Every bowl inside OmieBox is made of 2 layers of food grade stainless steel and vacuum insulated to deliver the most powerful insulation. Use an insulated food container like a thermal lunch box to keep hot foods hot. Then middle can be the main dishes, and the top can be fruits and light dishes. What I’m saying is that, whether you prepare lunches the night before or in the morning, if you start with a lunch container full of cold food, that is the most important thing. If your bento box is thermos, you can keep your food warm. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Fresh, nontoxic green leaves used as dividers and wrappers are also supposed to have antibacterial qualities.