Now that the back-to-school craziness is over, you might be getting used to the new routine of the new season. Whether you sent kids to school, went back to school or are just settling back into the office after a summer vacay, coming up with all those lunch options and putting them together day after day can be as hectic as cooking dinner. That’s why we’re big fans of the bento box lunch. You’ll be amazed how simple and effortless it can be to BYOB (bring your own bento).
2. Hot Dog Bento: Hot dogs for lunch? You don’t have to ask us twice. If you’re not all about the tubular meat, there’s an egg salad recipe included, as well. A piece of lettuce is all you get for the veggie category, but hey, sometimes protein and carbs are all you need (or want). (via Quality of Life by Juna)
3. Sesame Beef Bento: Korean beef bibimbap and a Japanese rice bowl have come together and the result is flavor overload. Want to make it healthier? Sub brown rice in for the white stuff. (via RedBook Mag)
4. Pasta Bento: Make life easier on hectic mornings by packing a super easy breezy lunch. All you need is a little leftover pasta from last night, veggies and fruits. When getting ready to head into the office or drop the kids off at school, never underestimate leftovers. They can be a busy mama’s best friend. (via Wendolonia)
5. E is for Egg and Elephant: One of the best ways for a kid to learn their ABCs is from the food they like. Fill a bento box with alphabet-themed ingredients. In this case, an E-shaped turkey sandwich, hard-boiled egg and elephant decoration get the job done. (via Becoming a Bentoholic)
6. Pesto Noodle Bento: Want to eat a warm lunch, but don’t have any way to heat it up? Buy a box like the one above. It will keep your pesto pasta hot until it’s time for grubbing. Hot and cold lunch is served in one little box. (via Snixy Kitchen)
7. Happy Little Panda Bento: Roll up ham, cheese, avocado, green olive tapenade and greens in a whole-wheat tortilla. Cram more veggies and fruits on the side, and lunch can’t get much healthier. The panda egg is just the icing on the cake… or the protein in the box. (via Happy Little Bento)
9. Toddler Rainbow Bento: Have you ever wondered how in the world to get your kids to eat all their fruits and veggies? It’s all about the visuals, people. This bento box is the ultimate solution. Not many can deny a rainbow of sliced fruits. (via Jill Dubien)
10. Karaage Bento: This is what a traditional Japanese bento looks like. Fried chicken is one of the most popular ingredients in the Land of the Rising Sun. Pack some cherry tomatoes, a root vegtable salad and Japanese-style omelette. Hey, look at you! You just made your first authentic Japanese bento. (via Suzu7310)
11. Healthy Vegan Bento: Spinach risotto and mashed sweet potatoes oughta fill ya right up. Throw some arugula and avocado together to act as your salad. Then don’t forget to pack homemade trail mix (in this case, almonds, goji berries and pistachios) for a mid-afternoon snack. (via Food52)
12. Butterfly Chicken Salad Bento: Since Giada de Laurentiis had her daughter in 2008, she has expanded her territory from Italian cuisine to effortlessly flavorful kids meals. This butterfly bento is a great example of her signature style of cooking, which keeps it simple while making it fun, colorful and stylish. (via Giada Weekly)
13. Li’l Taco Bento: This will be your go-to make-your-own lunch idea from here on out. Not only is it fun to assemble little tacos for yourself, it also prevents that crispy taco shell from getting soggy, ’cause nobody wants that. Just pack your leftover protein, leftover veggies and anything you have in your fridge and turn it into a tiny little taquito. (via Greatist)
15. Paleo Salad Roll Bento: It’s another paleo lunch experience right at your desk. This time, you’re making a salad roll using a coconut wrap. Just grab your fave veggies and fruits, and consider lunch served. Easy, healthy, tasty — it’s everything you ever wanted in a nooner. (via Pacific Wanderlust)
16. I Love You Sammie Bento: What a cute way to tell your spouse, kiddo or yourself, “I love you.” All you need are some alphabet cookie cutters. Cut out ham, cheese, veggies, fruits… CUT IT ALL! (via Jill Dubien)
What is your favorite lunch from the list? Which will you try this coming week? Give us your comment below!