Podcast #48 Released on July 8, 2015
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What to Pack in a Bento Box That Is Good For a Kidney Diet
Welcome to the Renal Diet Headquarters podcast with your host, Mathea Ford, CEO of Renal Diet headquarters. This is our weekly talk about how you can succeed with a kidney diet. Brought to you by renaldiethq.com, a website whose mission is to be the most valued resource on kidney disease that people can use to improve their health.
Hello. Welcome to the Renal Diet Headquarters podcast number 48. I am here to talk to you about things that are healthy for a renal diet. And today I want to talk about bento boxes. You can find all the information I'm going to talk about today at www.renaldiethq.com/048. Again, that's renaldiethq.com/048. So today, last week we talked about vacation healthy eating, and I gave you some ideas on how to stay healthy on a renal diet during your vacation. And today I want to talk about bento boxes because I think they are the best thing ever, first packing your lunches, but also just for controlling portions. So let's get started. First of all, what is a bento box? You may have never heard of it. You probably don't even know how to spell it. It's bento box. A bento box is a style of packing meals for lunches, etc. So, typically there are multiple small containers or compartments inside of a bento box. These allow for variety as well as healthy portion sizes. Bento boxes are reusable tupperware style dishes. They cut down on a lot of waste, which can save you money as well as help the environment.
So, it's like a bigger box and then there's little nesting boxes within it and they're different sizes and they have lids. So, that's what I think makes it so great for portion control, easy packing. It's probably a six by eight or a twelve by nine depending on. It's not as big as a piece of paper. I'm sitting here looking at mine. It's probably a six by eight size box. And inside you've got the smaller boxes, like I said. So, bento boxes are perhaps one of the easiest ways to pack a healthy and portion controlled meal to go. Bento boxes can be purchased from websites such as laptoplunches.com and I'll put some links in there to some good portion control ones or other websites and Amazon as well. So, I will put links to some different good bento boxes that I like. You don't have to have a special lunch box to make a bento box, though. You don't have to buy one of those. You can do your own using some small tupperware containers. Packing your lunch this way makes packing lunches or other meals super easy and can help guide you with better portion sizes.
So, instead of putting just however much you feel like is probably enough for the if you're eating almonds, you can use a small bento box container and know that okay, only so much goes in there and that will help you keep your controlled packaging, your portions. Each of the boxes is a different size, so you may have some really small ones that only hold a tablespoon or two tablespoons, like for your salad dressing. And then you have maybe a two cup in there that will hold your lettuce and maybe some chicken on top. And so when you are ready to make it, you would take it out, get your lettuce box out, put your salad dressing on it and eat it. And then you'd have a couple of other little bento boxes as well that might have some fruit in them, might have peanut butter, might have your other little dessert that you're going to have, or some other types of meat if you're eating another kind of meat. But it keeps everything separate. So, you can actually even store your snacks in there and you just have to keep it refrigerated. So, let's talk about some kidney healthy options for a bento box.
Kidney healthy options for a bento box are going to be ways to keep your meal interesting as well as control your portions. You'll have many different options available to you in one meal, but there will be small amounts of each type of item. Fill each compartment with a different healthy and delicious option. So, these are going to be ways to put together a box of fruit or food that you want, but you just get little bits and we've talked about that. Just getting enough of a taste to satisfy that need. So, here are some great ideas for kidney friendly bento box options. Putting berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, in one or two of the little boxes. Putting sliced apples, peaches, pineapple in a box. And remember, you're always going to put the lid on so if there's a little juice, it's okay. Carrot sticks, celery, zucchini. And then in another box you can put some of your healthy ranch dressing or another type of topping that you want to put on those carrot sticks or celery. You can have a kidney friendly chicken or egg salad and sandwich fixing. So, you could put your salt free crackers and your chicken salad in a separate little bento container.
And that way you have it to eat at dinner or at your meal at lunch. Grilled chicken, turkey or shrimp. Great if you have some leftovers. So, you might have some leftover chicken and you can dice that up and put it in one of the bento boxes. And then like I said, another box for lettuce. Put that on top of there. And that also allows you with most bento boxes to microwave that chicken and get it hot. And then you have the hot chicken to put on top of the salad if you want your salad. If you want the chicken on the salad to be warm, fresh salad, you can use cabbage, radish, carrots, onions, celery, cucumber, lettuce, all those different things. You could put those in separate bento boxes and mix it together at the end. You can use them for liquid, like I said, partially liquid. So you can have cottage cheese, you can have fat free yogurt. You can even put if you're eating eggs, you can have a part of a hard boiled egg in there. You can have a whole hard boiled egg in there. And then you may have like a pasta in one and a kidney friendly sauce in another.
So, if you're making some pasta with some pesto sauce on it, you could have a little pasta salad in there. And remember, you always can do like crackers or whatever, but they are just perfect because you can just get little bits and you can prepare it the night before, put it in your fridge and then pull it out in the morning and it's small enough to stick in your bag. So I'm just giving you some ideas. I love bento boxes. I think they are awesome and I think they're great for using that portion control that you sometimes and I have sometimes difficulty with. So, variety. Having so much variety has multiple purposes, all aimed at helping you maintain a healthy diet. First, the visual display of multiple options keeps you interested in each available option. So you open this up and you look at it and you're like, wow, I've got so much food. But it's just a variety of different foods that you get a little bit of. This encourages you to eat the meal you packed instead of making less healthy decisions. Second, it helps you maintain proper food portions so you do not overeat.
And like I said before, you can do nuts, you can do crackers, you can do all types of things in there. It's great for kids and for adults. So, if you happen to have a child with kidney disease or you're an adult with kidney disease, if you're going to be on dialysis, this is a great little way to take and eat one thing and then eat another little thing. And you're not kind of having everything everywhere and you don't have to get out a whole tray. You just open your bento box, open the lid and you can eat it and you just pack a couple of silverware in there. Whether you're using them for breakfast, lunches or dinner, bento boxes are a great option. Packing food this way certainly makes on the go lunches easy and delicious. But you can use this style of eating for any meal that you're out. So, we've been talking about picnics for the last month and I think these make great ways to put three or four of these in a picnic basket and have them go with you. Presenting meals this way can help entice picky eaters to eat much healthier.
So, learning to follow a healthy diet and putting healthy things into a bento box and then eating those is a great way to start getting better control of your kidney disease diet. So, I want to strongly encourage you to think about some options that you have. Go check out the options that I put on there for bento boxes and think about if you have the tupperware or whatever to make it on your own or if you want to go ahead and buy one. Again, if you purchase through one of my links, I get a percentage of that. Usually it's very small, so I just share it with you. So I'm looking forward to talking to you again next time and I hope you have a good week. That's all I have to say today. Remember to send me a note at [email protected], if you have things that you would like to hear more about. Thank you. Talk to you later. Bye bye.
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