Monday, February 01, 2010

Health Promotion Board : Bento Making and Healthy Eating among children

[This is an invited session by the Singapore Health Promotion Board no monetary reward. Just a bento goodie bag  :-) ]

I was invited to a very very interesting session organised by the Singapore Health Promotion Board held last Saturday morning. Hmm... I wonder if the Health Promotion Board has been monitoring what I eat! My healthiest meal is breakfast (this link shows what I eat for breakfast 6 out of 7 days!) and that's probably it for the whole day! You all know what I eat the rest of the day!

The session was a mummies day out! It was a room full of mums! I was the only male participant in the room!

The session started with a talk by a nutritionist from the Health Promotion Board. Yikes. I hope the info she talked about is meant for children nutrition and not for me. I would have failed miserably if it's not.

Healthy Eating for Children

Now, how do you entice the little ones to eat healthy stuff? One way is to pack very cute home-made bentos for them. This is Angie, a mum who wakes up at 5 am every morning to prepare bentos for her kids before she goes to work! 5 am? How is it possible? Angie proves that it's possible! You can see her list of over 100 bentos at her blog at

Angie of

Here's my maiden bento making adventure!

We were given a door gift when we arrived. Inside the nice little bag was two plastic bento containers with some bento tools, a recipe book and a book written by Angie. ( I forgot to get her to autograph it!)

Door Gift

Each participant got different bento tools. The lady beside me had 'stamps or molds'. It's to encourage participants to exchange tools. If you are wondering where you can get them in Singapore, Daiso sells them.

You might be wondering where were we? This was at the Cairnhill Community Centre's Kitchen Classroom and not in Kitchen Stadium in the Iron Chef show.  The atmosphere here is not so intimidating. We were ready for the session!

No, it's not Iron Chef Stadium.

Our task was to prepare 1 bread bento and 1 rice bento in around an hour. I have absolutely no idea how to make bentos! Even little Ivan here with her mum Levine knew what to do and started work pronto! I walked around being a nosey parker.

Kids making their own bentos

I went to ransack Angie's bento tool box! I saw this bear shape tool. To make it easy, I reckoned 1 tool is all  I need. I took 2 slices of bread. (1 whole meal and 1 white bread) and 2 slices of ham. I started to press out patterns.

It's like an art and craft session!

I realise I did something really really silly! One of the kind lady told me, to save time eg doing it early in the morning, stack your bread and ham up first. Press them all at one go! Now you know why they say mums knows best!

This is my bread bento, 2 slices of bread with ham, 4 cherry tomatoes and some broccoli. You think kids will eat them?

You think kids will be tempted to eat this?

For the fruit section of the bread bento, I had 3 strawberries and 2 slices of kiwi. I figure that should give them enough Vitamin C ya? One thing I am sure is the bed of butter head leaves below the fruits will not be touched by children!

I took too much time for the bread bento and I had like 15 mins left for my rice bento. For the rice bento, I had half a container of rice, broccoli, an happy face egg, rolled carrot strips (i wanted to make a flower, but I could not figure out how!), and cucumber. I tried to make pattern rice balls, but it was so so ugly! So I flattened the rice to make it a base for the deco.

Now..... If there's a huge scoop of sambal on top of the rice, I think adults will eat it right? It will be a healthy nasi lemak bento! I had only 5 mins left to prepare the fruits, so it was just cutting the fruits into small containers.

What do you think of my bentos?
(I think they are ugly. LOL)

My two sets of Children Bento Sets

Visit the Health Promotion Board ( to read more about Healthy Living.

If you want to talk to a Nurse Advisor about your health issues, the Health Promotion Board has a toll free number, 1800 223 1313 where you can call. The service is available in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. More info here.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Zannnie said...

Keropok, I think your maiden bento looks great! it's not ugly at all! :D

Nice post!

Anonymous said...


Ciki said...

they're lovely.. sigh.. i'd eat em;)

Geokshan said...

Haha.. Your bento are actually really nice! I'm inspired to make some bento too!

Maxine said...


Pearl said...

Your bentos look absolutely cute! Think kids will like them! =)

Stevie said...

I love the way the hard boiled egg was grimacing!

Jer Lin said...

you can find really pretty kyaraben at (: your bentos look great by the way!

Anonymous said...

u opened up my eyes to great ideas for packing my son's lunch box. Dunno
where they sell those in L.A.? =(

Leonny said...

your bento is soo cute! :D

Camemberu said...

This looks like so much fun, and your bento looks great! I always marvel at bento-making parents - such dedication to making food look good!

Maybe I should start making some for Nadine for her snacktime in school! Oh what am I saying...I barely have time to even blog these days!

Anonymous said...

your bento looks vibrantly cheerful!!

Deborah said...

on the contrary they look tempting! hahaha

Angie said...

you are being too humble. your bentos are one of the nicest ones in the session! i thought you had bento-ing experience!! *thumbs up*

Health Guru said...

Hi... I think your bento looks great! Being a health fanatic I think this is a wonderful idea - and a great way to get children excited about eating healthy food.

Kenny Mah said...

Oh the last pic is simply too cute for words! :)

Unknown said...

U think they look nice? Thanks for your words of comfort.


Really? I have never 'touched' my food so much in the preparation.

You know what would best as an add-on? A product that has lots of calcium. B&J Ice cream!

(now, I wonder if there's any way to store ice cream in bento boxes)


Thanks. Next time when I have kids, I hope they will love them. hehe..

What a cheeky egg eh?

Thanks for the link. Will go visit it.

Anon 2,
Japanese shops should sell the boxes and also all the 'tools' for making them.

Yours was not bad too!

I am sure Nadine would love it! Her friends might be eating out of Nadine's snack box too!

Hope the renovations are done by now. ;-)

Really? hehe..

Thanks Shifu!
Last weekend, I went to Daiso and bought many of the bento making tools! The 'egg transformer' thingy, 5 diff types of nori sheet cutters, etc. I hope I can make my 2nd box soon!

Health Guru,
Thanks. Bento making is such a good idea eh? ;-)

Are you going to make bentos for 'D'? hehe...

rinaz said...

Pwah cute! Next time I go to Singapore, I'll get the cutters!!!

Unknown said...

Daiso sells them, each item at $2 :-)

Anonymous said...

just curious, what do you do with the leftover bread, ham, cheese after cutting them into mickey mouse faces?

Unknown said...

During the session that day, I ate up the leftover. Straight into my mouth...

I think most of the time, mums that made the bento, they eat the leftover while they give the cute ones to their children. :-)

BentoBoxUK said...

Really cute! I love the idea of stacking all the teddy shapes down the length of the box! I have subscribed to your blog. You can follow me back on my Bento Box Blog if you like! Keep up the good work :o)

Unknown said...

Thanks Bento Box.
I glanced through your blog last night. I have added it to my google reader list ;-)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin