The Art of DIY Bento: Tips & Tricks for Packing and Decorating


Food is more than just fuel. It’s an art form where creativity and functionality go hand-in-hand. Bento, also known as a packed lunch, is an excellent example of this. A beloved tradition in Japanese culture, these well-balanced, visually appealing meals have gained popularity all around the world. In Hawaii, the bento culture is thriving, and for good reason. A DIY bento is a perfect lunch solution for busy people who value health, taste, and style. In this blog post, we’ll explore what goes into making a DIY bento that you’ll look forward to eating every day.

Choose a Theme: Start by choosing a theme for your bento. It can be anything from colors to shapes or ingredients. For example, you can make a bento with all green ingredients or one that’s shaped like a cute animal. A theme will guide your decisions and give your bento a cohesive look. You can also change it up every week for variety.

Balance the Nutrients: When packing a bento, aim to include a balance of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Include a source of protein like chicken, fish, tofu, or eggs, carbs such as rice, quinoa, or pasta, and healthy fats like avocado or nuts. For micronutrients, add some vegetables and fruits.

Make it Pretty: Presentation is key in a bento. Use cookie cutters to shape rice and sandwiches, and add colorful vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and cucumber. Don’t forget to add a touch of green with some parsley or cilantro. The more colors and textures you have, the more visually appealing your bento will be.

Pack it Right: When packing your bento, make sure to use secure containers and separate wet from dry ingredients. Keep the sauces and dressings in a separate container and add them right before eating. This will prevent soggy food and keep everything fresh. You can also add a small dessert like a fruit or a cookie for a finishing touch.

Experiment: Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and techniques. You can try making onigiri, sushi rolls, or bentos with international cuisines like Mexican or Korean. The possibilities are endless, and the more you experiment, the more you’ll discover what works best for you.


In conclusion, a DIY bento is more than just a lunch – it’s an opportunity to express your creativity and nourish your body. By following these tips, you can make a bento that’s delicious, visually appealing, and packed with nutrients. Whether you’re a busy professional, student, or a bento enthusiast, packing your own lunch is an excellent way to save money, eat healthier, and have fun in the process. So give it a try and see how a little bit of creativity can go a long way.

What do you think?