No longer just for kids, bento box lunches are a fun option for adult lunches, too!
Here’s what you need to know about packing your own bento box lunch, plus plenty of delicious recipe inspiration.
Picking a Container
When it comes to choosing a container for your bento box lunch, look for ones that are large enough for your midday meal needs. You want a box with enough compartments so that you won’t be hungry come 3 o’clock, but not so big that it’s cumbersome to tote to and from the office.
Bento boxes come in either plastic or stainless steel options, and you can sometimes find glass bento containers if you hunt really hard. If you choose to go with plastic containers, look for those that are BPA-free for increased food safety. Some bento containers will include cutlery for even more convenience, and some have movable partitions for changing the size of the compartments.
If you’re only going to invest in a single bento box, you might prefer a dishwasher-safe pick in order to make daily cleaning easier.
Search Flipp for deals on bento box lunch kits — you're bound to find deals this time of year.
Hack Your Own Bento
If shelling out for a fancy bento box just isn’t practical, or in your family’s budget, you can easily hack your own bento with items you probably already have lying around the house.
For example, using muffin liners (either paper or silicone) inside of a larger container can let you sort your foods bento-style. Toothpicks make excellent skewers for fruits and veggies, and you can use any cookie cutters hiding deep in your baking cupboard for making foods into cute little shapes.
If you have a small craft box or even a tackle box lying around, you can even use that in place of a traditional bento box.
Choosing Your Foods
A staple of Japanese culture for years, the people of Japan use a ratio of 4:2:1:1 for packing a balanced bento box of carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruit each day. This typically looks like a noodle, sashimi, and salad of some kind, but is fully customizable to your tastes and any special dietary needs.
For more western tastes, you can pack a shaped-sandwich or pinwheel rollup as the main course, along with some fruits and veggies cut into fun shapes or stuck on skewers in the other compartments. Pop in a healthy homemade energy ball for a sweet treat, and you’ve got a well-balanced midday meal that should have you feeling full until dinner while keeping blood sugar stable.
Another option is to pack any leftovers from the night before as your bento lunch the following day. Leftover roast chicken with rice and green beans, some Sunday roast with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes, or even a vegetarian option like bean salad with crackers and sweet pepper slices are all tasty options.
If you’re ever short of bento box lunch inspiration, there are endless ideas at the tip of a quick Pinterest search.
After you take stock of the items you've already got at home, don't forget to add everything to your Flipp shopping list to find the best prices in your area. Saving on groceries will leave room in your budget for a super cute new bento box the next time you’re at your local department store.