Announcing the first bento course for 2013! Bento101: Getting Into the Bento Habit

In 2008, we held a very successful Bento Challenge here on JustBento, which got a lot of people started with bento making. A lot has happened since then - many more people are aware of the advantages of making bentos a part of their daily lives for one thing. But after reading through all the questions posted to the previous open thread, and elsewhere, I think there is still a fair amount of confusion about what exactly is required to ‘get into bentos’. In addition, many people have gone beyond the basic things and are looking to expand their bento making skills.

Therefore, this year I’ve decided to try something new: a series of somewhat structured Bento Courses, as well as some Basic Cooking courses over on Just Hungry. Here’s how they will work:

  • Each course will be around 4 to 6 weeks long, and focus on a particular aspect of bento making.
  • Participation will be via the comment section of this site, as well as our Facebook page, plus photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Instagram as needed. If you have a blog, all the better. (Note: I wish the forum was working properly, but it still isn’t, so hopefully these other venues will do.)
  • During each course there maybe reading and writing assignments as well as hands-on assignments.
  • The objective of each course will be stated before they start. There will also be some supplies required.
  • There’s be no grading or individual (1 on 1 private) instruction; your resuts and questions will be shared with the group, so that everyone can benefit for each other.
  • The time required will depend on the course (I’ll try to put up an estimate of how much time you should allot beforehand.)
  • It will of course, all be free!
  • It is of course an informal course, so no formal credits or whatever will be earned, but you will (hopefully) be learning some very useful bento-related skills.

I am planning to have at least a couple of beginner courses, as well as more advanced level ones. (It does rather depend on the success of the first couple of courses, which I have already planned out, so we’ll see how it goes!)

So, here’s the first course, which will start in February.

Bento 101: Getting Into the Bento Habit

  • Level: Intro/Beginner
  • Aim: For people who have been thinking about trying out bento making, but have not tried it yet or made just a couple of stabs at it, to get to a level of making at least 1-2 bento box or packed-from-home lunches per week without too much strain.
  • Course duration: 4 weeks
  • Course start date: the week of February 4th
  • Time required: Approximately 2-3 hours a week; 1 hour or so for reading and writing, 1 to 2 hours for hands-on projects. (The more time and effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.)
  • Materials required: To be announced within the next few days

I’d really like to see how much interest there is in this, so if you think you would be interested in participating, let me know in the comments!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Sounds interesting. I just got your book a couple of weeks ago. I would love to take the course.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Your timing is perfect! I'd love to participate.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm keen to take part. I love to take Bento-style lunches, but when life gets crazy, I slack off & buy lunch. Times like those are when I really need to be eating healthy Bento lunches, both for my waistline & my budget. I bought your book for myself for Christmas & I love your website. A course focused on learning to Bento would be just what I need to jumpstart our new school year that begins on 1st February.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Not a beginner, but always have lots to learn. Plus, I'm hoping to start work again soon and will need to call on my youchien bento making skills, minus the cute sausages. Could use a Grown-up oriented bento course.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Aloha,
Count me in... I just have to veganize the recipes!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd audit 101 and get more involved in a subsequent course. What a great idea, thanks for offering your time, talent, and experience!
I don't consider myself a beginner because I've been packing lunches for over a decade. And though I only recently found out about bentos, I think my lunch philosophy is similar, except I try to pack MTW on Sunday night, and ThF on Wed night. I know that's not bento-y but it works for my partner and me (and I like seeing the 6 healthy lunches stacked in the fridge, ready to go). So I'm interested in expanding my repertoire and I'm trying to keep my lunches plant-based. Even adding a new tidbit to the side of my lunchbox is enough make me smile when I open it. Amazing what a radish or pickle can do. Gomashio (sp?) and other furikake are other new secret weapons for me. I love your site, glad you're on the mend and back at the keyboard!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm totally in! I have your book as well, and am trying to motivate myself to get up early and use it ( have to wake up at 3 in the morning for work at times) so any time saving tricks will be a blessing!

I am in!

Great idea, Maki, I've been bentoing for 4 years now but will still take the beginners course as I may have forgotten the basics. Thanks for investing all this time and energy on us, it is appreciated. I look forward to it :)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm in!!!!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yep, this sounds perfect for me! I've been lurking bento for awhile now, and made some attempts- it's one of the healthiest ways to get lunch when you don't eat dairy. But I normally make them for a week and then get distracted! So I am in! Hopefully it will provide some great tips to a beginner like me!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes, I'm interested. Thank you for doing this!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Yes Please I would love to participate in the Bento course
I have tried making a few and love them

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd love to participate! I'm aiming to bring lunch to work at least once a week (starting slow), and this would just be the perfect opportunity to gleam some idea on where/how to get started!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I love the idea! This could be exactly what I need to get me to make bentos more regularly. I tried a few times last year but never got it of the ground for long. I am not a natural early riser so a course to give me a bit of extra focus would be good.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

great idea! i'm interested!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I found your site during the period you were ill and I have the book. I use it not only for Bento but everyday inspiration for light and simple meals. I look forward to your informative writings as well as your classes.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

that sounds like fun! I'[ve been watching your blogs for a while, so I hope the challenges will insire me to try and make some bentos! -)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Lookig forward to it!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Count me in too!!! :3

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm definitely interested and love that you are doing this! Thank you so much.
I really feel like it is a healthy way to introduce new foods to my 5 year old son and anti-veggie husband!
Looking forward to the start of the course!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Love this idea! I've been doing this for about a year, but since I jumped into it feet first, I'd love a "do-over" intro. I probably missed some basic stuff!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I am very much interested in a begginers course. Thank you.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

This is exactly what I need to really get started. Looking forward to it.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Please count me In!!!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm in! I'm so excited!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I, too am interested. I haven't put together a bento in a couple of years and need to get back on the bento wagon! Count me in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Count me in. I'd like to try this.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Count me in! My new year resolution is to pack lunches and I was starting to run out of ideas. I would love to learn something new!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

mmm yes please! This is a great idea

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm interested! I just started learning about making bentos and it would be great to have a course to follow to get me started.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

It's in my planner in pink! Can't wait!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Hey... just following the ideas if not the recipes took me from 210+ to 180-185...

Count me in

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I am in!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

A great idea with the bento-making-courses! I'd like to participate in a beginner's course.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

What a great idea. Thanks for starting this, I'm going to take part.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

You can count me in!
I've been doing bento from time to time for years, but never regularly as there simply wasn't need to.
Now that I started working and feel like I'm certainly not eating enough proper food, I decided to go for bento! To get used to making them on a regular basis, that course would be perfect. :)
(My main issues are paranoia about food getting bad, seriously……)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

this is a great idea, maki! i'd definitely participate, if only just to build up my bento-making repertoire. ^_^

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'm interested!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Would love to give this a shot and stop eating out as much as I have been.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I love your blog for a long time and I'd love to take this course!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Hi, can anyone across the globe participate in this course? I am based our of India and I am extremely interested in learning bento art. Please let me know. Thanks

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I bought your book I love bentos so much. I just don't know where to start so this looks like it's right up my alley. I've even set a calendar reminder so I don't miss it!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Sounds like a great idea. I've fallen off with taking the care to make nice bento lunches in the past couple months, so this would be a great way to get back into it.

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I'd be very interested!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would love to participate!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Count me in! My son loves bentos and a refresher course where I can learn new things is a great start to the new year. Thanks for doing this!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

Made a couple of attempts, but need to make it a habit. Let's go!

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

We are vegeterian, no eggs also... would like to join and share this event!:)

Re: Announcing the first bento course for 2013: Getting ...

I would like to participate because i just stared my college education recently. i will be waiting for news from the course. thank you. :)

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