Rachel from Coconut Crumbs interviewed me for an article that she’s working on about nutritious bentos. I happily included my two cents and also volunteered to make a couple of nutritionally balanced bentos. I have to admit when it comes to actual food group portion sizes, I had no clue! I had to ask Rachel for guidance and she provided me with great information as well as links to the USDA site and CDC’s fruit and vegetable calculator which I found extremely helpful. I always (well at least try very hard to) ensure that my kids eat a balanced meal but I wasn’t sure about the exact portion sizes recommended by the USDA. Along with a cup of milk per meal, this is the recommendations that Rachel gave me to prepare Paige’s bentos today:
1-2 oz of whole grains (1-2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1/2-1 cup cooked rice/pasta).
1/2-1 cup of vegetables
1/2 cup of fruit
1-2 oz protein (1 egg, 1/4-1/2 cup cooked beans, 1-2Tbsp humus or PB, 1/4-1/2 cup tofu) Note: Most meat/fish, if shaped like the size of a deck of cards, equals 3 oz.
For the first bento I made whole grain peanut butter sandwich bento which consists of:
- 2 ounces whole grain bread
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1/4 ounce of cheese
- 1/2 cup of fruit
- 1/2 cup of veggies
- 1/2 pint low fat milk
My second bento was a veggie fried rice bento which consists of:
- veggie fried rice (1 cup brown rice, 1/3 cup of peas and carrots, and seasoned with a little bit of oyster sauce, garlic, pepper, and sea salt)
- poached egg flower (egg cooked well) with a small cheese circle
- 1/4 cup of veggies
- 1/2 cup of fruit
- 1/2 pint of low fat milk
I made the eggs using this flower silicone egg poacher which was awesome!!! It cooked the egg perfectly and the flower slid out of the mold without effort. I got this set at the Ward Executive Chef for $8.50! If you like eggs, I highly recommend you get one!
Please check out Rachel’s site, Coconut Crumbs for great recipes and nutritional tips! Also make an effort to check out this post of hers…I am on a mission to make a beautiful nutritionally balanced pizza like that! Thank you Rachel for teaching me a lot about nutrition!