Seven Reasons Why You Should Bento for Yourself


For a few years when I was still in the workforce, I used to prepare bento lunches religiously. To the point where work colleagues used to ask what was in my lunch that day. During those years, preparing bento was a source of pride, satisfaction, and all good things. People asked me how I managed to put it together in the mornings—even now I ask myself how I used to get by prepping on a daily basis—but I guess if it’s something you enjoyed, you’ll make the time and effort for it.

Why Bento?

Bento is a nice creative challenge. Take this mice-themed bento.

1. Bento is cheap.

Don’t listen to people who say you have to have this and that doodad and thingamagig. At its heart, bento is a packed lunch that’s put together nicely. It doesn’t have to be expensive and when you stick to the program, it comes out cheaper than going out for a fancy schmancy work lunch.

You can simply set aside portions from dinner and save it for tomorrow’s lunch. No fancy food shopping, no fancy bento gadget shopping needed. While shopping for bento gadgets is fun (I confess, I have loads of said unnecessary doodads and thingamagigs), you can get away with putting together a satisfying bento lunch with just the normal tools in your kitchen and a container to pack your lunch in. Heck, charaben even, as long as you’re handy with a knife.

2. Bento is healthy.

If you strictly follow the Japanese parameters, you’ll be having a well-balanced meal each day. It’s usually 3 parts carbs, 2 parts vegetables and fruits and 1 part meat. It’s like the food pyramid in packed lunch form.

Some may argue about carbs, especially if you’re on a special diet, but that’s the beauty of it. Since you’re preparing your lunch yourself, it can be as healthy as you want it to be. You can control what you put in, so you can stick to your dietary restrictions, something that’s not as easy to follow when you’re buying lunch at a shop.

3. Time-saving

How did time saving get here? Sure it’s extra effort to prepare it in the morning, but like I said, you can always rely on leftovers that don’t take extra time to prepare with your other cooking.

And it’ll save you extra time when it matters, like during that crazy lunch hour when everyone has the same idea. Instead of walking out of the office and lining up somewhere to grab some grub, you’re already eating. If your office allows it, you can even eat at your desk. That was something I found useful, especially when I needed to work over lunch for some rush requirements.

Why Bento?

A bento made completely from restaurant leftovers

4. Appetizing

Because you choose what you eat, it’s bound to be something you find appetizing. I doubt you’ll pack something you don’t find appetizing, do you? Since bento tends to offer a variety, you also appease your appetite for different flavors, so I’m sure you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger.

5. Creative Outlet

I’ve always found bento to be a creative challenge. My mind is forever churning out food combination ideas, plus creative uses for ingredients to depict images. What may be a simple onigiri to some, can easily be transformed into a samurai onigiri. Have a tomato slice? With some squinting (and a bit of nori), it can be a cute little ladybug!

Why Bento?

6. Portion Control

Trying to lose weight? Bento is the perfect choice for you then because it’s a great way to practice portion control. Instead of packing humongous slabs of meat, bento requires a more moderate hand, relying on manageable portions and variety. You get small helpings of various things, making that standard matchbox-sized portion of meat nutritionists preach seem actually feasible.

7. You Are What You Eat

Because you are what you eat! And with that in mind, I’d rather be a trim, well-balanced, healthy, beautiful person than a sloppy, unhealthy mess right?

Convinced? Get started with bento! Join the Kitchen Cow 7th Anniversary Bento Giveaway!

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6 Responses to Seven Reasons Why You Should Bento for Yourself

  1. Kaye Catral says:

    I agree totally! Now to walk the talk and start bento-ing again. LOL! I’m gonna print this out and post on my kitchen cupboard for inspiration. I have too many tools, but I procrastinate too much, too. Hehe. Oops.

  2. I’ve always found bento so intimidating. But whenever I see your bento, they always inspire me instead of intimidate me. Not that yours look easy — I mean, anyone can see how detailed they are! But there’s such a lightness to them that makes me want to try making my own.

  3. Bea says:

    Agree. The healthiest part of my life was when I’d bring baon to work.

  4. Winona says:

    I never thought doing bento could be so fun and easy. Your work has always inspired me in doing bento :)

  5. hannah amor says:

    Hi,

    I would like to prettify my lunch just like in bentoing…where can i buy bento items online..am based in cebu.love what you are doing..so nice..

  6. Julls says:

    Hello bento friend! It’s been a while. :) I love this post! I was thinking about bento the other day at Daiso. I told the hubby that it’s a shame I don’t make bento anymore now that there is so much bento paraphernalia out there. We used to comb through the very few Japanese grocery stores then just to find a bento doodad! Now that everything’s available, no more bento. Lol. My old bento blog was even eaten up by Vox, forever lost in the innards of the Intarwebz. Anyway, glad you’ve come back to it again! I’m looking forward to seeing more of your bento posts.

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