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Bento 101: 10 Easy Bento Box Lunches

Published on: September 10, 2012

Submarine bento box

Bento 101
Bento, what? Who has the time? Well, if you’re packing your kiddo a sandwich with some sides, then you’re already practically speaking a bento master.  Check out this bento box featured on Lisa Storms blog to see how easy bento can be. With fish-shaped crackers and a flexi-straw periscope, a simple lunch is turned into an underwater submarine adventure. Oh, for easy! We love the lone fish swimming in the “sea” of blueberries!

Pita bento

Beep, Beep!
Move over, complicated bentos! This idea featured over at won’t take a minute longer than assembling a typical lunch, and it packs the fun too! A balanced assortment of an egg salad pita pocket, veggies, and fruit is topped with a cheesy car cutout. Momma Shannon lets her kids personalize their lunches with simple add-ons, but stick to the basics for the main ingredients.

Spaghetti bento

Spaghetti Star
Spaghetti leftovers are boring, but a sprinkling of cheddar stamped stars makes this bento box featured on Adventures in Bentomaking truly shine. Also included are mini sausages and shelled edamame — sounds tasty to us!  Head on over to the full blog to get inspired by the many tutorials, tips, and recipes this go-to source for bento boxes has to offer. We especially like the “Everyday Lunches” category that highlights tons of ideas for transforming common leftovers.

Cutout bento

ABC - 123
For those busy mommas who laugh at the idea of putting together a lunch with more pieces than a board game, this bear-y good idea from Wendolonia will inspire you to try your hand at a little bento. By letting the containers handle the creativity, bento queen Wendy makes a PB&J masterpiece. A cookie cutter helps shape the sandwich, and colorful dividers corral the veggies, raisins, and crackers.

Taco leftovers bento

Taco Repeat
How many taco nights have you had go by with extra fixins’ gone to waste? We love this idea for taco bento boxes featured on the Keeley McGuire blog. Tacos are usually such a hit the first time around, so ride the wave into lunchtime tomorrow by letting the kids prepare their own lunches during dinner cleanup! This blog is jam-packed with ideas on how to pack both kid and parent lunches using the same ingredients. We learned from this blog that silicone cupcake holders are the star of a bento box toolkit and are worth every penny.

Silly salad bento

A Silly Salad
We’ve been inspired by the family behind the Meet the Dubiens blog for a while now, and we love this simple idea of a silly salad for a beginner bento box. By getting a little creative with the placement of ingredients, anyone can bento it up! Anything that can put a smile on the kiddos’ faces and get them to eat the green stuff is good in our book!

Frog sandwich bento

Frog Prince
Getting more comfortable with the bento basics? This bento featured over at Another Lunch will help you earn a few more style points. Creative cookie cutters are a great tool for beginner lunchbox artists. With a few embellishments and multiple compartments, your boxes will come to life! This stainless steel container is so clever that you’ll want to order one to hold your own busy-mom bentos.

Pizza bento

Petite Pizzeria
Have you seen those sad little DIY pizza lunches in the refrigerator section of the grocery store? Laura over at the MOMables blog saw one example and decided to make her own healthier (and yummier) version for her kiddos. Using whole wheat rounds, fresh cheese, and nitrate-free pepperoni, she put together a bento box even the slackest of slacker moms can conquer.

Dinosaur bento

Spiky Snacks
Here’s a perfect lunch idea for the dinosaur lovers in your house featured over at the Bent on Better Lunches blog. Mom of five Cristi puts together a prehistoric scene of a peanut butter stegosaurus in a fruit and veggie landscape. Yummy and healthy! The full blog includes dozens of other (realistically doable!) creations Cristi has dreamed up for her bento-blessed brood.

Salmon bento

Lost in the Forest
If a tree falls into a bento box, does it make a sound? In this forest-themed lunch featured over at the Happy Little Bento blog, we imagine the edible creatures would sing a happy tune! Salmon, rice, and fresh fruit round out the lunch, and just think about what other leftovers you could sneak into the mix! Overall, we’re thinking this is a great beginner-level bento box to tackle.

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