Bento lunch box ideas
Tired of the traditional packed lunch? Make it your mission to shake things up in 2017 with the bento box.
This simple, inexpensive swap can help reinvigorate lunch hour and help you steer clear of the sandwich day in and day out.
The bento box is a popular fixture in Japanese cuisine – it’s a single-portion takeout or meal box, typically divided into several small compartments intended to hold rice, fish or meat, along with a serving of pickled or cooked vegetables.
It’s popular with school children and commuters – it’s an easy way to create a balanced meal that’s aesthetically pleasing, too.
The origin of the bento can be traced back to the 12th century Japan, and by the 16th century people were regularly eating from wooden lacquered boxes that closely resemble the style still used today.
While it’s been commonplace in Japan and other countries in Asia for hundreds of years, it’s only in more recent years that it’s started to become more prevalent around the UK.
Packing your own bento
The bento box emphasises several smaller portions rather than one large serving. The idea is by packing a few different foods you end up with a more balanced meal – it’s a chance to use up leftovers, incorporate more fruit and veg into your lunch hour and experiment with new foods.
If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve pulled together some resources to help you get started with your own bento. Try:
- 25 healthy bento box lunch ideas from Greatist
- 20 easy bento lunch boxes perfect for children from Parenting
- Grownup bento lunch ideas from Redbook
- 12 bento box lunch ideas to get you through the week
What do you think of the bento box? Are you inspired to give it a go?