Easy Low Carb Bento: Master the Mini-Meal

Bento box lunch with low carb food options: curried chicken salad, peas, string beans, cherry tomatoes, chicken salad roll ups wrapped in deli chicken slices, lettuce garnish.

Boost your lunch design AND stay on your low carb diet.

Low carb Bento is the perfect mini-meal: a rich balance of taste, nutrition and art.

With low carb Bento, you can assemble a low carb harmony of flavors and keep food spoilage to a minimum.

What is Low Carb Bento?

Low carb Bento boxes are filled with playful designs of nutritious foods, presented in a variety of flavors, shapes and colors.

The low carb Bento box above features snowman made from rice (substitute chicken salad or shredded cheeses for a low carb version) wearing a mushroom cap and “wrapped gift packages” made from cucumber, carrots and lettuce.

On the right, a sliced cucumber Christmas tree with more “veggie packages” and round, meatball patty “ornaments.”


Making Low Carb Bento

Making low carb Bento is a unique family cooking activity, and an excellent way to encourage kids to enjoy healthy, low carb food choices.

Creating a special lunchbox is a great way to surprise your child, and a way to sneak in a few vegetables.

Low carb Bento box meals are colorful, healthy and fun to eat on-the-go.

Below:  A lower-carb Bento box with sliced green beans, eggs, cherry tomatoes, salmon roll-ups, meatball patties, pineapple-kiwi and panko breaded shrimp.

A Bento box with snap peas, egg slices, cherry tomatoes, salmon roll-ups, meatball patties, kiwi and panko breaded shrimp.

Low Carb Bento: Inspiration To Go

A daily low carb Bento box, filled with delicious, energy packed foods is crucial for on-the-go low carb eating.

This energetic, pre-packed meal allows low carbers the freedom to eat low carb away from home, in a visually beautiful way. Browse our Bento visual journal for video and design inspiration.

Break free from your typical boxed lunch and try some gourmet low carb foods arranged in unexpected ways.

Need Bento design ideas?

Download our Low Carb Bento Design eBook:

Kids Low Carb Bento Design Ideas Photo eBook Cover

Click to Download Low Carb Kids: Bento Design Ideas eBook:

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Enjoy Fine Art Foods, Low Carb Style

Traditional Bento box design concentrates on carbohydrates, grains and  for the bulk of the meal.

Luckily, with a few easy substitutions, anyone on a low carb diet can enjoy this fine art of food!


Nutritionally Dense Low Carb Bento

Best Low Carb Foods for Bento

Building a better, low carb Bento box is to simple. Reduce the portions of carbohydrates and grains, and substitute protein/fat food options:

  • Chopped vegetables with olive oil and shredded cheese is a unique low carb substitute for rice.
  • Finely chopped salads work wherever rice appears in traditional Bento.
  • Chopped squash and onion salads, seafood salads and shredded cooked meats are easily molded into fun shapes, and keep their form once refrigerated.

Three low carb Bento boxes.

  • Switch from white rice to brown, and use sparingly. Brown rice provides fiber and nutrients. Combine a small amount of rice with sunflower seeds, vegetables or shredded chicken to easily form shapes.
  • Wrap low carb rice mixtures in a sheet of nori seaweed, sushi-style. Seaweed enhances the nutritional value of the meal by adding essential amino acids and vitamin C.
  • Pack sweet potato cubes, which are slow carbs and high on the nourishment scale. Include the skins when possible for extra vitamins. Roasting or baking the potato lessens the leaching of nutrients and vitamins.
  • Below:  Roll up sliced deli meat with thin vegetables and cheese. Or, cut the tubes into one inch sections for colorful spiral patterns.

Sliced ham and romain leaf lettuce rolled up and skewered with a toothpick.


Zero Carb Bento Protein

Try grilled chicken, steak, salmon or tuna mini burgers. Chicken/tuna/seafood salad and shredded meats are perfect substitutes for rice.

In your low carb Bento box lunch, feature an egg along with another protein.

  • Do you like tamagoyaki? Tamagoyaki is a low-calorie Japanese omelet filled with healthy vegetables and high quality protein. Rolled up Tamagoyaki are sliced or shaped to substitute for bread and rice.
  • Try miso marinated boiled eggs. The miso adds a delicious touch of savory flavor and more nutrients.
  • If you are a vegetarian, beans, tofu and soy are important sources of protein.


Zero Carb Bento Fats

On a low carb diet, fats are the body’s main fuel source for energy and endurance during exercise, so make sure to add enough to your box.

  • Fats and oils are naturally included in some protein Bento ingredients. Eggs, fish, nuts and olive oil contain “good” fats which are important for heart health.
  • Cheese comes in many colors and is an easy food to form into shapes. Slice with a knife, use cookie cutters or press crumbled cheese into a candy mold.


Low carb Bento vegetable options: Herb infused cream cheese stuffed shells with cherry tomatoes. Zucchini sliced length-wise into long strips and fanned out.

Low Carb Bento Vegetables

  • Hands down, broccoli is the most versatile, delicious and highly nutritious vegetable to use for low carb Bento “greenery” designs. Broccoli is very high in nutrients, and easy to prepare and package. Roasting is preferable with olive oil and seasonings.
  • Fold, roll, tear or shred spinach, romaine and darker vividly colored lettuce leaves.
  • Roasted brussels sprouts with lemon are a refreshing meal-time flavor. Sprouts are easy to slice, and are firm enough to hold their shape. Whole sprouts add an interesting round element to any low carb Bento design.


Low Carb Bento Fruits

Fruits offer valuable nutritional and vitamin C benefits, and should occasionally appear in the low carb Bento box.

Use fruits sparingly to keep the box low carb. A few slices of kiwi or orange gives your lunch a splash of color, and you a forbidden treat.

Learn how to indulge and add 43 different low carb fruits to your diet using our complete guide (Plus a free, versatile low carb fruit recipe eBook!)


Bento-making tools: a ,knife, paper cups and shape-cutters. Two hands arrange the food into a Bento-style work of edible art.

Low Carb Bento Fillers

The empty spaces in the low carb Bento box are for the fillers: sauces, small vegetables and shaped or rolled lettuces.

  • Leftovers from any meal, even a one or two ounce serving, are perfect fillers.
  • A single slice of fruit is low carb diet friendly and doubles as a sweet finish to any meal.
  • Red and orange foods such as cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks are easy finger foods that add an instant accent of color anywhere in the box.
  • Whole or sliced marinated olives are spicy, tangy or savory treats that fit in tiny spaces.


Hot Low Carb Bento Accessories

The gorgeous designs you’re making for low carb Bento lunches deserve to be in unique containers.

Or, if you lean to the more functional/practical side, these air-tight containers are inexpensive and won’t disappoint.

Hover your mouse over any item to pause the slideshow and see the best online price.

Do you have a great idea for making low carb Bento?

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Category: Devour: Low Carb Food Ideas

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