7 Bento Box Ideas To Brighten Up Your Lunch

bento box, fruit and vegetable bento box, carrots, celery, apples, crackers, mango

Although the bento box originated in Japan, it's become a widely embraced, fun and creative way to pack to-go meals filled with whatever you’re craving. Think of it as a way to create your own multi-course lunch, or a tasting menu. Get jump-started with some inspiration featuring 365 by Whole Foods Market opens in a new tab favorites and see just how exciting — and wallet-friendly — these bento boxes can be. (Want to make lunch even easier? Shop for lunch box favorites for pickup or delivery opens in a new taband save a trip.)

Pinwheel Bento Box

Take lunch for a spin with wraps that are fun to look at and fun to eat. Avoid gluten and dairy by layering 365 brand Almond Flour Tortillas with slices of 365 brand Non-Dairy Cheddar Slices and romaine lettuce. Then roll up and slice into short logs for little hands. And on the side? 365 brand Double Feature Trail Mix (sold in convenient single-servings, too), cherry tomatoes and snap peas. Add a mandarin orange to your bento box for a sweet, healthy dessert.

Hummus & Dippers Bento Box

Do the dip — the hummus dip. Pack 365 brand Single-Serve Hummus cups and slices of your favorite dunkers: Fuji apples, cucumbers and carrots. For a sweet, salty and crunchy spin, try 365 brand Pea Crisps.

Boost Bento Box

Add a new creamy favorite that's not peanut butter: sunflower seed butter. You don’t need bread to complete this bento box — pack dippers like celery, carrots and apples instead. Single-serve 365 brand Organic Dried Mango Slices make a soft and chewy sweet finish.

Breakfast-for-Lunch Box

Waffles: not just for breakfast. Drop 365 brand Organic Homestyle Mini Waffles straight from the freezer into bento boxes, and they’ll be thawed by lunchtime. Get crazy and sandwich them with peanut butter! Yogurt tubes can be frozen, too, and defrost in about two hours (just in time for the lunch bell). Kite Hill has an option with no dairy. Try 365 brand Organic Goldenberries: a fun alternative to raisins.

Veggie Noodle Bento Box

Adults like a fun lunch, too. Make a bento box starring sweet potato noodles, avocado and sunflower sprouts, and finish with Maldon sea salt flakes and ground black pepper. Add a quick lentil salad made with chopped parsley, diced carrots and red onions. And finally, a not-your-run-of-the-mill fruit salad with sliced figs, kiwis and plums with walnuts.

Chicken Salad Bento Box

Our Sonoma Chicken Salad is a long-standing favorite from our Prepared Foods department made with tender chicken breast, crunchy pecans and sweet grapes.* Place that (or a chicken, tuna, vegetarian or vegan salad of your choice) over Bibb lettuce and serve with crackers of your choice. Add rainbow-hued carrot sticks, kiwi wedges and sliced star fruit.

Nuggets and Egg Rolls

Call it a new kind of takeout — the kind you take to work or school. Crispy, flavorful egg rolls take this bento box to the next level. Fear not, we’ve done the work for you — you can find a variety of egg rolls in our Prepared Foods department.* Don’t see any there? Look for options in the freezer aisle. This bento box also includes 365 brand Frozen Chicken-Style Plant-Based Nuggets, cheddar cheese cubes and cherry tomatoes and 365 brand Cape Cod Trail Mix.

Exclusively for Prime members in select ZIP codes.

Think Outside the Bento Box: Thermos Lunches

An insulated thermos is your secret weapon for packing unexpected lunches. The key is to prep it for either hot food (fill with boiling water for 10 minutes) or cold food (fill with ice water for 10 minutes) which will ensure the food stays safe to eat. Then drain the water, quickly pack it with piping hot or chilled food and seal immediately. Then just remember to pack a fork or spoon! Need some thermos ideas that aren’t simply soup? Look no further.

  • Hot dogs: Wrap heated hot dog in foil before adding to container, and pack a hot dog bun in the lunch box.

  • 365 brand Organic Cheese Tortellini: Toss with butter or marinara

  • Vegetable fried rice

  • Meatballs: Toss with your favorite jarred marinara

A note on food safety: Make sure your hot foods are brought to an internal temperature of 165°F before packing. If your food does not contain liquid, like a soup or stew, it should be eaten within 2–3 hours to keep it at a safe temperature and cut down on the risk of bacteria forming.

*Availability of various prepared foods varies by store and region.

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