What is "bento"?
Bento is a way of packing meals in a compact way in a single container. Bentos should be visually appealing and be comprised of assorted foods - smaller portions of each, but providing more variety over all.
Why pack their lunch like that? What's wrong with regular old baggies?
I pack my kids' meals this way because we think it is fun! Their whole meal is presented to them at once, similar to how a meal would be on a plate. I have found that they eat more of their food this way, since they don't have baggies and several containers to fuss with or get in their way, there is no packaging that is tricky to open. I also like that their lunches are waste-free. A box of sandwich baggies lasts my family of six a whole year! Less waste is not only good for the environment, but it saves money too! :)
Doesn't all the food get all jumbled up after you close the bento box up?
By packing the food compactly there is less space for the food to move around. It's important to use a bento box that is the right size, not too big, so that it can be packed fully with food. Both my bento-carrying son and daughter have lunchboxes that hold their food upright, rather than on the side, which I think helps keep food from shifting too.