Redesign your low carb lunch. Bento is the perfect mini-meal – a rich balance of taste, nutrition and art. Assemble a harmony of flavors and stick to your low carb diet.
- Make your Bento lunch low carb
- Best low carb substitutes for rice and pasta
- Free Bento Design Ideas eBook
- Low carb Bento protein, veggies, fats and fruit
Bento boxes are filled with playful designs of nutritious foods, presented in a variety of flavors, shapes and colors. Bento is a perfect opportunity to try new or exotic low carb veggies.
Many Bento lunch box designs feature pasta, grains and rice. Low carbers use foods with similar textures, such as chicken/tuna/egg salad or shredded cheese.
Low Carb Bento Design Ideas
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.
Bento Designs for Kids
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. Download our Low Carb Bento Design eBook.
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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.
- 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.
Roll up sliced deli meat with thin vegetables and cheese. Or, cut the tubes into one inch sections for colorful spiral patterns.
Low Carb Bento Protein
In your low carb Bento box lunch, feature an egg along with another protein.
High Fat Meats
Try grilled chicken, steak, salmon or tuna mini burgers. Chicken/tuna/seafood salad and shredded meats are perfect substitutes for rice.
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.
Low Carb Bento Fats
On low carb, fat is our main fuel source for energy and endurance during exercise.
Be sure to add enough healthy fat 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 Veggies
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Hands down, broccoli is the most versatile, delicious and highly nutritious vegetable to use for low carb Bento designs.
- Broccoli is very high in nutrients, and easy to prepare and package.
- Roasting is preferable with olive oil and seasonings.
Lettuce and greens are excellent fillers, adding fiber and instant color.
- Fold, roll, tear or shred spinach, romaine and darker vividly colored lettuce leaves.
Sprouts, not Pasta
- 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 thin slices of kiwi or orange gives your lunch a splash of color.
Indulge yourself. Try a few of the 43 low carb fruits to your diet.
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.
Keep Calm and Low Carb