Hello - I'm Rebecca and live in northern ontario in Canada - which makes finding bento supplies and some ingredients a challenge. I make a couple of trips to Toronto every year for tournaments and know that I'll be stocking up on ingredients that I can't find here during those trips.
I became interested in bento when I found this site while looking for a japanese-style recipe for a pot luck dinner for my karate club (I am shodan-ho and in training for my black belt). I was especially interested in the portion control and weight-loss potential as I am a diabetic and have struggled with my weight all my life despite having an active lifestyle.
Since I started using bento for my lunch (and sometimes supper as well) about 6 weeks ago in combination with weightwatchers, I have lost 10 lbs. My blood sugars have been great. I allow myself no more than 1/2 cup of rice in my bento and that has been working just fine.
My teenage son has also become interested in bento. It suprised me when he asked me to make him a bento lunch for school. More to my suprise is 2 weeks into school,, his bento lunches are coming home empty and his additional snack for his second nutrition break has also been eaten. I lost track of how much food was wasted last year in his lunches because he didn't eat them.
The bento and cooking the food has also been useful in that my son attends a nut free school. When I make the food myself, there is absolutely no question of nut products. Which makes life easier - as you have to read the ingredient list of Every Product EVERY Time when buying prepared foods. I wish I'd discovered bento earlier while my son still had his peanut allergy. He has outgrown it, but I am especially careful as I know how dangerous and nerve-wracking for parents food allergies can be.