It's time for a round-up of the best bento box lunch ideas! Bento boxes are a great option for packing a lunch or snack on the go for school or work. You can curate healthy and balanced lunches - and they look pretty cute and organized too!
What is a Bento Box?
A Bento Box is a meal packed neatly into a lunch box, typically separated by various containers and dividers. They've been a regular part of Japanese culture for a long while, but they only became popular in the Western world a few years ago.
If I had to guess, I'd say they resonate so much with people because they're cute, convenient, and offer a lot more variety than a sandwich. In one lunch box, you can get small portions of a bunch of different foods!
Also, Bento Boxes allow for a lot of creativity, as many people enjoy organizing and packing their lunches in an aesthetically pleasing way.
My Bento Box Journey and Tips
I lived in Japan for a year and I packed Bentos for myself and Zac for the entire time. Then, I brought my bento box back to the states and packed it for work and school for myself every day for the next 3 years! I've come up with a lot of ideas about what works and what doesn't. So, since I keep talking about how they're puzzles (add whatever fits!), I thought I would show you exactly what I mean and provide ideas for how to make your own!
Obviously, what you can put in your bento box depends on what kind of lunch box & bag combo you've got. I have a bag that keeps my lunch sitting upright, so things never spill, which is why I can pack salsa and such. Zac's bag goes vertically into his backpack, so he can't have liquids.
We just use regular containers with various silicon muffin liners. We have three flat "Bentos" and about 20 silicon muffin cups. We also have a sliding divider which you'll see in some pictures.
Simple! Hopefully, this will help you get ideas for planning your & your kids' lunches. Any additional ideas in the comments are welcomed!
20 Real Food Bento Box Lunch Ideas
Canned Salmon and Avocado
Canned salmon mixed with mashed avocado, a hardboiled egg sliced in half with mustard and bacon, banana bread, kiwi, carrot & apple slices.
Black Bean and Guacamole-Salsa Wraps
Black bean & guacamole-salsa lettuce wraps, carrot-banana bread, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and a hard-boiled egg.
Whole Wheat Mini Pizza
Whole Wheat Mini Pizza, homemade hummus, peanuts, carrot slices, and a dark chocolate Kit Kat.
(Additionally, these are some of the earlier bento box attempts. They're not as pretty, but they've still got some great ideas - dark chocolate brownies, anyone?
Plus, it's always good motivation to show the pretty & the not-so-pretty, right? It's still good food!)
Whole Wheat Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
Whole Wheat Blueberry Yogurt Muffins, cherry tomatoes, Sesame Steamed Green Beans, salmon onigiri rolls.
That's it! I hope you can find something delicious & helpful for packing your healthy real food lunches.
I hope you enjoy these recipes - and if you make them, please be sure to leave a ⭐️ review and comment below!
For videos of different recipes from my blog, please check out my YouTube channel!