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Posted on Jul 23, 2007 in Bento, Tips, Tutorial or How-to | 6 comments

Links: Packing by color


1. Pack by color: Washington Post article

Ever heard the saying, “a colorful meal is a healthy meal?” The thinking is that when you’ve got lots of different naturally colored foods on your plate, you’ve got a good balance of nutrients. Not surprisingly, the Japanese have turned this into a 5-color rule of thumb for packing a bento lunch, as explored in depth in this excellent article in The Washington Post. This is just a general guideline that I’ve mentioned before in comments, though, nothing written in stone for everyday lunches. I don’t always achieve this ideal color balance in each meal, but it’s something good to aim for as you’re putting together a meal for nutritional balance and aesthetic appeal.

2. guide: Packing a bento lunch

Here’s a new tutorial on packing a bento lunch with all Japanese food, by a woman who lived in Japan for a couple of years. You might find it interesting — I like the nicely organized presentation of information!



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  1. I just found your blog last week, and have already gotten lots of great ideas. I’ve been amazed at how much you can put into those tiny boxes, so thank you for the size and packing info - it’s just what I needed. :)

  2. What an amazing blog you’ve got. Plenty of ideas for a dull lunch day! I just discovered a lunchroom selling athentic japanese lunch boxes - Toto-ya in Amsterdam.

  3. @1 from oh_mom:
    Welcome to the site, oh_mom! Glad the bento box size guideline post was helpful (I think?) — be sure not to miss the Top Speed Tips page linked at the top. I’ve linked the more important/useful posts there.

  4. @2 from kel in Amsterdam:
    Thanks for the kind comment! If you’ve found a good local store for bento stuff, be sure to comment on the Geographic Shopping Guide over in the LJ bentolunch community (shopping guides linked at my Shop page) to share the info with the larger bento-packing community.

  5. I haven’t visited the site for a while - it looks GREAT!

    two site comments (and why I haven’t visited for a while) -

    1) I’m on a sloooooow dial-up connection at work and your pictures are very slow to load. I suspect you could optimize them for faster loading and not lose any detail. Even the best monitors don’t resolve at a very high dpi and the rest is wasted bandwidth.

    2) at work i have access to broadband, however they have a block on flickr. I don’t know why, but it’s non-negotiable even though I’m visiting the site in part to get food ideas that will appeal to the kids I work with.

    BTW, I finally ordered a tiffen from a site posted originally here and it is fantastic - a wonderful solution for those of us who aren’t crazy about plastic.


  6. @5 from jan:
    You read my mind — I just found out about optimizing photos and today’s post will have optimized photos. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll go in and optimize photos in previous posts as well.

    Not much I can do about your company’s block on flickr — I’m sorry that’s in place. :-( Glad you like your metal tiffin!! Did you get the To-Go Ware of the Chinese metal 2-tier?