Category Archives: Bento

Bento Day after day Japanese food kids

Coming soon: Day after day of bentos

A chronicle of packed lunches for my first-grader in Tokyo during the summer

Challenge: To make a bento for my 1st-grade daughter to bring to gakudo (after-school club, which runs sort of like a day camp in the summer) for three weeks in a row.

Background: Thanks to the great healthy and well-balanced school lunches provided by Japanese daycares and schools, I have never been in a position where I had to pack a lunch for my daughter everyday. For daycare, we had to pack occasional lunches for day trips, but those were rare, so I would try to make them special and cute (see the penguin bento above). However, I don’t think I can do that day after day. How do other parents pack a lunch every single day for days/months/years on end?!? I need to develop such stamina and skills, and streamline the bento-making process while ensuring they are nutritious and appealing.

I will be posting my attempts at bento-making throughout the summer holiday, which is only 3 weeks long this summer because of the altered school schedule due to COVID-19.

Wish me luck!

Baking Bento Recipes Vegan/Vegetarian

Peach ginger crumble – bento friendly!


Fall’s bounty is hitting the markets, and yesterday, I found the most beautiful, and absolutely huge, apples and peaches.

Since I was turning on the oven to roast a chicken, I decided to add a baked dessert to the menu too. Fruit crumble is so easy to make, and baking these in individual servings make them very bento (and portion size) friendly!

Apples and cinnamon are natural together. For the peaches? I decided to experiment by adding ginger. Yum yum! It turned out moist and gooey on the bottom, and slightly crunchy on top, with a touch of sweet ginger heat. I might use ginger again as an alternative to the cinnamon that permeates so much fall and winter baking. Although, I’m not sure how it’ll pair with ice cream (one of my recipe books says that apple crumble must be eaten with vanilla icecream – it’s the law!

In this tray, I made six apple crumbles and six peach crumbles (half recipes of each). The measurements below are for full recipes.

Filling for apple crumble:

4 medium sized apples
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup currants (optional)
Filling for peach ginger crumble:

4 medium sized peaches
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar

¼ cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
Line cupcake pan with muffin cups. Large cups are better – makes bigger servings Seriously though, small cups will make the serving minuscule!

Peel and core the fruit, and dice into small pieces. Mix well with the rest of the filling ingredients. Spoon into the muffin cups, about 3/4 of way full.

Melt butter, and stir in the sugar. Mix well with the oats and cinnamon. Spoon over the fruit filling in the muffin cups. Press down firmly, and keep filling until it reaches the top (as it bakes, the crumble sinks a little, so next time I’ll try heaping more topping on top.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 mins.

Bento tip!
This is my bento the next day (chicken, roast potatos, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, and peach crumble).

And for saving to enjoy later, I froze some of the cups in slight wedge shapes, which can easily be thawed and transferred into bento boxes.