Why make a bento lunch if you work at home?

Like a lot of web-monkey types who sit in front of their computers all day, I work from home at least several days a week. But I still make a bento lunch in the morning for myself whenever I can. Why bother? you might ask. There are lots of good reasons for it, but here are my top five.

  1. It’s a time saver. If I’m making a bento for someone else anyway, it takes almost no extra effort to make another one for myself. So it saves me the time and effort of scrounging up a lunch for myself later in the day.
  2. It makes me a better bento maker. If you only make bento for your partner or kids, how do you know if the bento you packed is really good at lunchtime? If I make one for myself too, I can really see how things taste after some time at room temperature - I can find out if something that is good when it’s just made turns blah, or if something really holds up well.
  3. It helps me start the day off in the right frame of mind. It’s easy to get rather sloppy and sidetracked if you are working at home, but making the bento lets my brain know that it’s a working day, and it’s time to get down to business.
  4. It keeps me out of the kitchen! Instead of aimlessly wandering into the kitchen and scrounging around for something to eat, I have a neat little box of prepared food to eat at the proper time. You know the pose: bent over, peering around around the fridge, vaguely waving your bottom around …it leads to mindless snacking. Not good if you’re trying to watch your weight. (You can even make little snack bentos for yourself if aimless noshing is a major problem.)
  5. It keeps me on track nutrionally. Instead of getting hungry at lunch and grabbing any old thing that fills up the belly, I have a pre-planned, nutritous meal just there ready to go. It’s a lot tastier than stale crackers and cheese too.

Whether you’re a telecommuter, own your own home business, a student cramming at home or a stay at home mom or dad, bentos make sense!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Bento Congrats!!!!

Every opinion counts.It will be best when two opinions matches. I love reading your posts in your both sites. I am not japenese still enjoy your recipes to bookmark. Thank you for sharing.

I like your word” web monkeys. Gourmand monkeys.’

It does make sense...

…but I’m not used to cooking in the morning. I’ll try it anyway, since I do sit in front of my computer all day and I want to give a shot at this sensible, rational approach. Not sure how it’ll turn up, though. Oh, well.

it's like any habit

It’s like any habit…it gets easier and easier the more you do it. You can even start with a simple pb and J sandwich, an apple and your own ‘brown bag’! Lunch is done, you can go on to the next task.

Ok, so I tried something

Ok, so I tried something this morning. Since I live by the sea, I went for fish. I wanted to experiment with one thing to make this a bit fun, so I bought some fresh mackerel which I tried to fillet (kind of). So eventually I got this: rice, braised mackerel fillets with lemon juice, and my reliable broccoli sauteed in black sesame oil, white pepper and garlic.

On the whole it took me 45 minutes, cleaning included. Not bad for a first try, I guess.

wow

wow, that looks great, especially for a first effort!

Everybody Bento

As a working stay-at-home Mom, I know from experience that if I don’t treat myself well, it’s highly unlikely that anyone else will during the day. My Bento = My Time. It’s my gift to myself, and helps justify all the cute Bento accesories I’ve purchased “for the kids.” I Bento for my Day Care children, in keeping with the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines. They eat healthy lunches that are cute, too. They probaly eat better because of it.

great idea! I eat a healthy

great idea! I eat a healthy lunch whenever I go and work in an office somewhere, but the days I work from home… well… lets just say I’m familiar with the aforementioned butt wiggle. :(

telecommuter bento

Good points about making bento for home. I expect to start telecommuting in a couple of months, working in a little building in the garden, and packing bento for lunch would keep me out of the kitchen — excellent! I’m way too good at the refigerator butt-wave.

This is a wonderful site. I discovered Just Hungry a few weeks ago, and today I followed a link from Lunch in a Box to Just Bento. It’s good to have so much information and inspiration when I’m trying to stop my driveby lunch habit.

awesome

Wow, thank you for the great ideas! I’m going to get a bento box today!

home office bento

I work at home every day and make myself (and daughter) a bento every day, for all of the reasons you outlined, but also to make sure I eat enough. If I don’t have a bento then I sometimes forget to eat and then I’m starving and eat too much “easy” and bad food. Plus, making bento for myself is me taking care of me, which is a fabulous thing.

great idea!

Hi, I work at home and I think making bento for lunch is a great idea! Will try it tomorrow :D

I do this, too!

I’m a free lance writer and I make bento for myself from time to time even though I eat lunch at home most days.

same here!

when you work from home you usually have no time to cook!!! So you end up eating whatever is left over or doesn’t lay right ! haha! I definitely choose the easy way when it comes to eating these days!

couldn't agree more

I’m working at home, but eat lunch outside. I know nothing about cook.

Oh, too true....

My husband and I both work at home, and we eat out for lunch only 1 or 2 times a week. I have noticed that we both tend to forage in the kitchen, often on not-so-healthy foods… packing a morning healthy bento is a great idea! We have to pack lunches for our kids in the morning, anyways, so I should start the habit of packing lunches for us to eat… will certainly save time and idling indecision in front of an opened fridge!

Love the article! I am on a

Love the article! I am on a strict dietary system that I completely do not follow (can’t eat a lot of things, have to eat every so many hours) but things like this have convinced my inner cook that bento would be the perfect way to motivate me to avoid junk snacking or just skipping lunch and getting a coffee instead which I somehow have never learned to stop doing on an empty stomach.

Re: Why make a bento lunch if you work at home?

I work from home 2 days a week, and i always seem to skip lunch. Now when i get up in the morning I make a bento box, and take a conscious decision to talk a walk, or go to teh local park for an hour, to force myself away from the PC!

Re: Why make a bento lunch if you work at home?

I make them for myself at home when I make my husband for work. It saves time since I'm already cooking so why not make two lunchs instead of one. He has a really thin and long bento which can be a challenge to fill. Also I have dirtying up my pots and pans for just one person. I live in Japan so it really easy for me to get supplies.

I just bento and just hungry as well, keep up the great work

Luna

Re: Why make a bento lunch if you work at home?

Thanks for this article! Yes, working at home in pajamas and eating whatever is in the fridge sounds like something familiar. We just moved to a rural part of the East Coast from Hawaii, where bento lunches were easily obtained and furikake and sanbai zuke were readily found in grocery stores everywhere. I miss these grab-n-go neatly packed lunches in clear plastic boxes with a thin paper napkin and wooden chopsticks secured with a rubber band, and sometimes even a little packet of Aloha shoyu. I want to start cooking the foods that I am homesick for, thank you for presenting the recipes in an everyday, practical, "non-exotic" way. :)

Re: Why make a bento lunch if you work at home?

I make my bento at night, since I am terrible at getting up early and cook most nights anyway. I'm getting better at fixing multiple things at once, too. Sometimes I end up with food that's about to expire so I'll cook a ton in excess, then either freeze it, or at this rate, tell myself to just have a bento on Saturday even if I'm going to be home all day. It does save time and money! I like that I'm eating out less!

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