5 Bento Box Essentials

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Back in the day when I was teaching sophomore English literature, I would set my alarm clock the night before and allow myself enough time to prepare a homemade lunch to bring with me to school every day. 

When I was teaching in the city, I did not own a car. Every day, I would get up extra early so I could catch the bus in time. I never really had any difficulty waking up and preparing for my school day in the mornings, but what often made it more grueling was that I set my alarm an extra 30 minutes earlier so I could allow myself time to pack a lunch! In time, I learned to love my daily routine and  I learned I found peace while I stood in my kitchen preparing my bento lunch box before everyone else was awake. The benefits of bringing a lunch to school every day far exceeded any reasons why I would want to hit the snooze button a few times--I had saved quite a bit of money by bringing my own lunch every day, and I developed healthier habits than some of my teacher counterparts who often complained about feeling sluggish from eating the cafeteria food. 

Even though I am not getting up every morning to catch the bus to go to school to teach, I still find myself reveling in my morning routines. I have always found joy in preparing lunches, and today, I am sharing five bento box essentials that got me through my long days at school and helped me establish a morning routine!

5 Bento Box Essentials

#1 Something Fruity

Fresh fruit (or vegetables) is an essential for any bento lunch box! I like to find whatever is in season and stock up at our weekly farmer's market, and enjoy a small bowl of fruit with my lunch throughout the week.

#2 Something Hearty

Whether you prefer sandwiches, wraps, tacos, pinwheels, or even just a portion of protein, including something hearty in your lunch box will keep you feeling full longer and give you more energy throughout the day.

#3 Something Sweet

Sometimes I like to indulge in some chocolate, but I usually opt for something sweet to drink. Juices and fruit-infused water are great ways to incorporate something sweet into your lunch box without giving you a sugar rush.

#4 Something Cheesy

Cheese--need I say more? I usually opt for string mozzarella cheese or small bites of cheddar cheese to go along with my lunch. 

#5 Something Crunchy

My go-to crunchy treat with lunch is usually Snyder’s of Hanover on-the-go packs in 100 calories. Sometimes I like to switch it up and bring Lance Sandwich Crackers, or even a small bag of potato chips. I like to stock up on all of my crunchy lunch snacks at Safeway--that is where I get my Snack Better Variety Pack (4 different varieties, 16 count), my Snyder’s of Hanover on-the-go packs in 100 calories, and Lance Sandwich Crackers in all sorts of varieties and sizes. No matter what I choose to pack in my bento box, I always make sure to include something packed with love that I am sure to enjoy--and I do love my crunchy snacks!

We really like how the Snack Better Variety Pack (4 different varieties, 16 count) has a really diverse selection of different snack options, so Adam and I do not find ourselves fighting over the same bags! Plus, they are packed into such convenient sizes and already in ideal portion sizes.

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  1. These look so delicious! I love easy but healthy and nutritious lunches and these boxes look like they have it all!

  2. I love bento boxes so much! I love the compartments! You made it look extra special good, too!

  3. this year I only have one lunch to make. My HS student still doesnt want to buy in the cafeteria.

  4. I love those Synder's pretzel packs. They're the perfect work snack!

  5. Definitely everything I would put in the kids Bento box. I love that Snyder's comes in a snack pack. So handy!

  6. I love bento boxes! Theyre so perfect for portioning meals and snacks!

  7. I am always struggling with ideas for lunch. Kind of tired of the usual sandwich & water/juice combo. I have never actually tried to put bento lunches together so this post definitely gives me that inspiration to do it :)
    xox Nadia

  8. You make lots of effort with your lunch box. I don't make lunch for myself but I do it for my kids and I don't put in nearly enough effort! Must try harder!

  9. Love a bento box idea, I need to do this for lunch. I love how you put fruit in your water, I need to do that!

  10. Love this idea. It's almost time to get back into the routine of making lunches everyday for school.

  11. I love Snyder's pretzels! They're the best!


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