Bento box better than ban on "junk" food ads

In the UK, we ban “junk” food adverts to get kids more interested in eating healthily.  In Japan, they have the art of  box meals.

Check out the Flickr side of mimiito’s photos  which records the stylish “packed lunches” prepared by one US mum.  Or read the  for this site which is almost poetic: 

apple avocado avocadosalad babybel bbqchicken beefsoboro bento bentoblog broccoli carrots cheese chexmix chickennuggets corn cucumber cucumberandtomatosalad cucumbers curryrice edamame favabeans grapes gyoza hamburger inari ingengomaae ingengomae iridoufu kamaboko kampyomaki llttleplasticbottle littleplasticbottleshapedlikeabunnyrabbit makizushi mango meatballs nashi networkedpublics nikudango onigiri peanutbutterandbananasandwich porkginger potatosalad quaileggs ranch salad shakegohan shakeonigiri smokedsalmonminipitas soba spinachgomae spinachtamagoyaki strawberries sukiyaki swisscheese  arakoonigiri tomatoes torisoboro tunasandwich turkeymeatballs umeboshikonbugohan veggiesticks yakisoba

The reports the bento boxed lunch is an art form – but it can also be fun as well.   There is clearly a lot of love that goes into preparing the meals every day.  Unlike the vast majority of food advertised to children – hence the Committe for Advertising Practice apparently intends to expand the restrictions on “junk” food and drink advertising to under-16s beyond television to cover print, internet, poster and cinema adverts from 1 July (according to the although no story yet on the site).

Not surprising maybe given that levels of obesity in the latest government Social Trends report show an increase (from 1975 to 2005) among boys aged 2 to 15 in England from 11 per cent to 18 per cent, and among girls of this age from 12 per cent to 18 per cent.

Some other interesting figures show that in this 30 year period consumption of fresh and processed vegetables (excluding potatoes) fell by 4 per cent (and the amount of fresh potatoes and potato products eaten fell by 43 per cent – said to reflect a greater move to pasta and rice).

But we’re apparently increasing our fruit intake – up 60%, mainly reflecting more fresh bananas, grapes, stone fruits and pure fruit juices – but fewer fresh oranges,
apples and tinned fruits.

Now if only more parents prepared such beautiful love tokens as mimiito – I’m sure we could get children more interested in eating well.  See  for inspiration.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.