(Photo courtesy of juanknowsspanish )
My husband doesn’t like bentos but he does like things that he can assemble at work for a couple of days. So he has some turkey burgers with avocado, cheese, ketchup, and mayo on flat bread for lunch along with some carrot sticks. And also a couple of snack bars and pretzels for the morning and afternoon.
I think this is a nice solution for people who are resistant to the idea of (or their idea of) a bento in a neat box, or for kids who might be teased if they have a traditional-type of bento at school. You can still get variety into their lunch and make it healthier than something they might buy (not to mention the money savings).
Some other not-very-traditional-bento like bento lunch ideas, none of which are based on rice:
Keep in mind that a bento does not have to be rice-based. All of the above would, in Japan, still be called bento! In our household, we have on average about 1 or 2 non-Japanese bentos per week, just for variety.