Low Carb Bento Box Lunches for School and Work | Atkins

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   Low Carb Bento Box Lunches for School and Work


Written by Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. on September 22, 2022.

Scientifically reviewed by

Jonathan Clinthorne, PhD  Human Nutrition

September 22, 2022

Low Carb Bento Box Lunches for School and Work

Take your “brown bag” lunch to the next level with low carb bento box lunches.

You can make lunch fun and appealing again with a bento box, Japan’s answer to your basic brown bag lunch.

What is a Bento Box?

A bento box is a container with a secure, re-closable lid that features dividers so you can put food in different sections. It is a convenient way to transport yummy bite-sized foods for balanced meals on the go.

Very often a bento box may come with accessories like forks, spoons, chopsticks, mini skewers or toothpicks and silicone food cups or baking cups. You can order bento boxes online, and there are plenty of options and configurations to choose from.

A traditional Japanese bento box may contain rice or noodles with fish and meat, but we’ve come up with some low carb bento box lunch ideas that will elevate your “brown bag” experience.

Low Carb and Keto Bento Box Lunch Recipes

These low carb bento box lunch recipes focus on textures, colors and flavors, with an emphasis on delicious and satisfying lunches and snacks that promote stable energy levels.

Keto Sushi Stack

Treat yourself to a sushi lunch in your bento box, featuring heart-healthy canned salmon, creamy avocado, cauliflower rice and a drizzle of sesame oil and dusting of sesame seeds.

Low Carb Thai Turkey Rice

You can turn almost any recipe meant as a bowl into a bento box lunch. You’ll find out why when you dig into this Thai-inspired turkey rice recipe.

Low Carb Veggie Rainbow

This plant-based bento lunch features a plethora of veggies: cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower rice, bell peppers, avocado and fresh herbs. It gets its crunch from roasted pumpkin seeds. If you’d like, you can add your choice of protein, such as tofu, hard-boiled eggs, fish, chicken or meat.

Keto Turkey Tacos

This kid-friendly lunch is suitable for the whole family. Feel free to include baked tortilla chips on the side for the kiddos, as well as sour cream and salsa on the side.

Keto Chicken Caprese Salad

Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar give this lunch an Italian twist, while asparagus, spinach and roasted chicken make it a hearty meal.

6 Tips for Building a Better Bento Box

Presentation is key when putting your bento box lunch together. If the food is beautifully arranged, you’re more likely to enjoy eating it. Veggies may even become appealing for your children.

A bento box lunch doesn’t require expensive, fancy food. Tuna salad, chicken salad, ham salad or wraps are budget friendly. You can make a batch of meatballs, and that turns into protein-packed finger food for lunch. Follow these tips for building an appealing and tasty bento box:

  1. Start with protein: Rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken, grilled meat, canned tuna and salmon, prosciutto, salami or deli ham and turkey, tofu or hard-boiled eggs all fit the bill.
  2. Add cooked and cooled veggies: Steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets, blanched green beans or cauliflower rice add fiber and flavor.
  3. Raw veggies are a go-to: You can whip up a salad with fresh greens (keep the dressing separate so your leaves don’t get soggy). Zucchini noodles make a great cold pasta. Celery and carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, cut-up bell pepper, sliced cucumbers, snap peas and edamame are also easy to pop in your mouth.
  4. Don’t forget fruit: Peaches, apples, berries and grapes all add a burst of color. Try these fresh fruit kebabs for a fun, yet low carb, sweet treat. No utensils required!
  5. Sneak in some savory snacks: Nuts, seeds, keto crackers and low carb tortillas make for great snacks and add a little crunch. Olives and cubes of cheese are also perfect finger foods.
  6. Do some dips: Perfect with crackers, chopped veggies or slathered on a low-carb tortilla. Hummus, tzatziki sauce or nut butter are great, as is guacamole. You can’t go wrong with an easy salad dressing like ranch or vinaigrette for dipping.


Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc.

Vice President of Nutrition & Education

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. is a former Director of Nutrition at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City. With 20+ years of experience as a nutrition expert, the NY Times best-selling author is the current Vice President of Nutrition & Education at Simply Good Foods Company.

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