I started Basic Bento around 2010, when I needed to start packing lunches for my Toddlebug to take to preschool. They're basic compared to a lot of other bento (Japanese-style lunches) you'll see online, but they met our family's needs.

Now my Toddlebug is a Tween, and a gluten-free one at that. Starting in early 2018, our house has been entirely gluten-free, as directed by a doctor. That means no wheat, rye, spelt, triticale, barley, oats unless they're certified GF, couscous, nothing that "may contain" or is "processed on shared equipment with" wheat. We already didn't do food coloring, as a result of negative effects.

I also have increasingly chosen to move our diet in a plant-centered direction for both environmental and health reasons, and we try to limit our household trash output. (If you'd like to learn more about any of that, check out Drawdown, see whether your library has How Not to Die, and look up Bea Johnson, respectively.) We have not gone all the way to vegan, and we still put out a gallon or two of trash each week, plus kitty litter. A bit of progress is better than doing nothing!

I'm a Plan to Eat affiliate, meaning if you click there from here and then sign up for their 30-day free trial, and at the end of it you choose a paid subscription, I may get a small amount of money back. I've found it worthwhile for keeping my recipes in one spot, searching for them by tag, putting them on the calendar, and getting a shopping list so I don't forget anything.

I'm not affiliated with Klean Kanteen, Ball canning jars, Amazon/Whole Foods, Facebook, King Arthur Flour, Bob's Red Mill, Arrowhead Mills, Udi's, Glutino, Daiya, or other brands you may see mentioned in posts. I was a Laptop Lunch and Oliver's Labels affiliate in the past, and still use their products personally. My spouse works for a brand that's a household name, but it's not food-related, so I don't expect ever to mention it here.

If you ever find anything on this site you'd consider worth paying for--instead of setting up a tip jar, I'm going to invite you to help me feed my neighbors. Thanks.

 - MH