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Posted on Nov 1, 2008 in Poll | 40 comments

Poll: Who do you pack lunches for?


Who do you pack lunches for? I’ve been writing about our family lunches for a while now, so you all know that I now pack bentos for my four-year-old to take to preschool, and I used to make them for myself and my husband sometimes. But enough about me, how about you?

Who do you pack lunches for on a regular basis? (Check all that apply.)

  • Self (61%, 1,013 Votes)
  • Spouse or romantic partner (27%, 451 Votes)
  • A child (27%, 451 Votes)
  • Self plus someone else (21%, 357 Votes)
  • An adult (16%, 269 Votes)
  • No one, I'm just reading about it (9%, 156 Votes)
  • A teenager (8%, 131 Votes)
  • Other family member (child, sibling, parent) (7%, 121 Votes)
  • Just someone else (3%, 49 Votes)
  • Friend (2%, 39 Votes)
  • Other (describe in comments) (1%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,665

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  1. I pack a lunch/snack at least 5 days per week…
    5 days - bento lunch & snack for my 6yo,
    4 days - bento snack for my 4yo,
    2 days - bento lunch & snack for my 2yo,
    1-7 days - lunch/bento for my husband,
    1-2 days - lunch/dinner for my mother (she hates to cook & is underweight after chemo, radiation, & stomach surgery from cancer 2 years ago.

    I received a beautiful 3-tier bento for my birthday this year that I have yet to use because I never have the opportunity to pack one for myself. I can’t wait for that opportunity when I can get out of the house without kids along!

  2. Wow, veganf, that’s a lot of lunches! Kudos to you.

    I pack just for myself, with the occasional baking project for the cow-orkers’ benefit. Rarely a formal bento assembly, though, just a bunch of small containers with this and that. which I suppose amounts to the same thing.

  3. I am working up to packing/serving in bento boxes several meals a day for myself (I am home full time due to disability and can use the built in portion control).

    Very very rarely I pack one for my son - though we are working up to at least one day a week and we use the concepts for other meals at home (other than breakfast).

    I will also look at how it can help make some of our camping/cooking issues easier for us.

  4. Self Child and baby — baby has only 2 teeth and is still taking bottles but has solid food too.

  5. I pack for 2 children, husband and myself every weekday.

  6. i pack 2-3 times a week (somehow things always come up so that i have not HAD to pack one 5 times a week) for my husband. sometimes ill pack the same for myself, sometimes not.

    this site has definitely helped! i am learning as we go and i have gotten better. still stress out a bit but im getting better!

  7. I pack for the kids (8 yo and 5 yo boys) and myself 5 days a week. I usually pack for my husband a few days a week.

  8. I pack for my husband and myself when we travel. Because I do not have Japanese supply places where I live (San Fernando Valley, CA)I make do with containers from the 99cent store and stuff I have been able to bring back from trips to Japan.I love their 99Yen stores!
    My most recent take-along was the envy of both fellow passengers and the attendants.
    In a bright turquoise box with one large and 2 small compartments, I had 4 small artichokes, potato salad w/o mayo, “ham” and cheese sandwiches on lightly toasted bread, cut in strips and set sideways in the largest compartment. These colors were all set against the turquoise box and looked really attractive.
    I learned about nice food presentation in Japan and enjoy doing this both at home and when we travel.

  9. I bento for myself. I also pack lunch for my teenage daughter, however, it is not bento because she wants disposable. Sometimes she might get a cute veggie or mini japanese treat, but for the most part it plain ol american (in ziplocks) for her.

  10. I make bento for my husband up to 6 times a week to take to work. He never knows when I’m actually going to do one for him so it’s always really appreciated when he has a yummy lunch ready to go to work, instead of a sandwich in a zippy. On the plus side, he usually loses weight when I make them regularly. I make bento for my daughter to take to preschool 2 days a week, unless she really likes what they’re offering for hot lunch. My brother is a big supporter of my bento-hobby and loves when I pack him one up. I make one on the rare occasion for him, though more often lately, and really like that I can pack him the more unusual “experiments” like quail eggs, spam musubi and nori accents. I find my motivation is really tied to how clean and organized I can keep my kitchen.

  11. I started packing everday when I went back to work in September and I make one for my grandmother 2-3 times a week so she has something healthy and tasty for lunch.

  12. I pack bento for my daughter (5yo, kindergartener) and for my husband (37yo, working stiff) every school/work day. Sometimes they get completely different lunches, but usually their lunches have a lot of items in common (if not presentation).

    My son (10 months) has a teeny little snackbox I use to port Cheerios or other baby snacks in. I guiltily admit that I have already bought a full bento set for when he is older and going to preschool.

    I pack bento for myself very rarely — only if we are going to be out of the house long enough to picnic, really. As my son gets older, it’s likely I’ll pack lunches for us to take to the park.

  13. I pack a bento for myself 5 days a week for my school lunches. I also pack bentos for my 9 year old sister a day or two a week. She sometimes prefers school lunches.

  14. I pack 4 bentos a day — 3 for my kids (10 and two 7-year-olds) and one for my husband. IF there’s leftovers, I’ll pack one for myself and my 1-year-old.

  15. I pack lunch for one or both kids everyday unless it’s a holiday, for breaktime meal (about 10.30am). They go to school about 8.30am and have lunch in school.

    I pack for my spouse about once or twice every week.

  16. I pack bentos for myself (a teenager) five days a week for school. I really enjoy it, especially with the time-saving tips found here, as I rarely have more than ten to twenty minutes to prepare my lunch. I find I’m eating healthier, too, always a plus.

    Thanks for a wonderful site, Biggie.


  17. I pack bentos 3 days a week for work for myself(A teenager). And also for my Mom twice a week at most. And will pack lunches for siblings when they’re going somewhere during lunchtime.

    I usually pack up the night before and I’m eating a lot better. Your site is mostly the reason I started bentoing. Thanks so much for keeping up this site! So much inspiration! :D

  18. Lunches (well, dinner for me, I work nights) for myself and two school-age kids, five days a week.

    The ideas I get here really give my lunches a shot in the arm-and they need it! Thank you-

  19. Nice poll Biggie!
    I pack a bento for myself everyday (5 days a week) and the SO gets bento 4 times. He likes to make his own bento on the other day (rarely) or eat out with his collegues on Fridays.

    On Saturdays when the weather is decent here we pack a bento lunch for both of us on our road trips and pack a small cooler with sugar free peach tea or water and juice and have a satisfying lunch and/or snack.

    My husband loves the bento he has during the workday because I prepare it the way he likes it in the right portions. Sometimes it’s leftovers from the previous night and sometimes it’s a combo of leftovers and a pasta salad or soup and fruit etc…

  20. Well, not yet packing any bentos for me or someone else but currently I am collecting bento boxes and accessories and searching for bento’s suitable recipes and ideas. Maybe soon I will packing bentos… :D

  21. Me, Myself and now my 5 week old. That is who pack lunched for. Well not my 5 week old yet, but I have to feed him, so does packing a bottle of breastmilk count?

  22. Self plus 5 year old niece who lives with me. She’s in kindergarten and if she waits in the line to get buy her lunch, she won’t have enough time to eat.
    Most of her classmates that buy their lunch end up throwing a lot of the food away.

  23. I pack for myself, and sometimes I’ll make a little something for my BF when we travel. I have celiac disease so it’s almost impossible to find gluten free food here in Hawaii. And forget trying to find food in an airport that’s safe. I don’t make them everyday though. I only drive into town once a week or so and I usually make one then. I also keep a very small bento in my car with
    crasins in it.

  24. Myself, but it tends to be more standard american lunch food (apple, pb and j sandwich..) with a bento presentation. The main reason I got into bento at all was because it cuts back on waste (a resuable box instead of a series of baggies that get tossed) and I try to be very eco-concious. Plus it saves me money and is healthier then eating at my work’s caf all the time

  25. I pack for my 17 year old son, my 7 year old daughter and my husband, each 4 days a week. Tuesdays hubby eats out with co-workers and friday’s the kids will have the school lunch.
    I have on rare occassions packed a bento for myself if I remember when I am going to be out running errands all day.

  26. I often pack “regular” lunch for my spouse. But he sometimes accept that I hat a bento twist. He always have good comments about them, though.


  27. I pack lunches everyday, using bento boxes, but not Japanese food. I like to use the Japanese-style bento boxes, as they are fun and cute, and make me want to pack my lunch instead of buying lunch, hopefully eating healthier this way. My daughter has started an Environment club at her school, encouraging other children to pack litterless lunches. We use our Laptop lunchboxes most days, but we also have Japanese boxes too. I just bought a bunch more sets from an Ebay seller from Japan, and I am putting them aside for Christmas gifts. It’s more expensive to buy from Ebay, but from where I live in Ottawa Canada, I cannot find ANY bento supply stores. Once you get into bento, it is quite addictive!!

  28. I pack for myself only. I would not mind packing lunches for my hubby if he ate the same foods that I do… but he’s much more a pizza and hamburgers guy, and I’m a seafood and curry chick. I get most of my ethnic food kicks at lunch :) At least the ones that I’ve managed to cook. I still don’t have the hang of Indian food, but I admit I also do not try recipes that require so much work more than once every few months. Thai curries I do quite regularly and are much easier!

  29. I pack lunches for myself and a co-worker once or twice a week. My work group used to go out for lunch every day, but that was getting expensive, repetitive, and often unhealthy. I share an office, so he and I have an agreement that if one of us brings lunch, we bring enough for both of us. It’s a great trade-off.

  30. i pack for my 12 yo son (lunch), 9 yo son (lunch plus morning snack), and 41 yo husband (lunch)

  31. I pack for myself, and several days a week I pack for my FI (neither of us would like it as much if I did every day, I think).

    Apparently I’m challenged by the concept of “check all that apply” - I didn’t check the “myself and someone else” box. Sorry for screwing up your data!

  32. I pack a bento each day for my 7 yo, 4 yo and 2 yo, even if the two younger ones are eating at home instead of daycare/preschool. I use American food, but try to follow the “rules” of the bento philosophy. They love it and their teachers and classmates look forward to seeing what they will have in their lunch each day!

  33. I pack breakfast and lunch bentos for myself 5 days a week, and special-situation bentos for evenings for myself and the SO. He likes them too.

  34. I pack Laptop lunchboxes for my two kids 3 times a week - each kid has slightly different tastes, so I make different lunches for both. I am thinking about letting them pack their own, based on foods that I would have available (cut up apples, snacks, PB&J, etc)

    Occasionally, I will pack a lunch for myself or my husband, but that is really just leftovers in a reusable container!

  35. I’ve been packing a lunch for my husband 5 to 6 days a week for 19 years. I pack a lunch for myself 2 to 3 days each week.

  36. My husband and I have both packed lunch almost every workday for at least four years. We switch between using lock & lock boxes and our (relatively) new Mr. Bentos. Lunches are almost always leftovers from dinner the night before, but it can be anything - chinese food, indian food, sushi, jambalyia - it’s nice not to feel like we ahve to eat PB&J all the time!

  37. I tried to do the poll-unable to click on anything. Perhaps it is my browser, or maybe the poll is over… Anyways: I pack lunch 2 or 3 times per week for 2 kids, ages 4 & 6… so, I average about 5 lunches packed per week. My husband works from home now, but when he worked outside of the home I also packed lunch for him 2-3 times a week.

  38. I pack a lunch for myself 5 days a week. I was eating unhealthy lunches(more like snacks) until I read an article about bento-style lunches. I never eat much for lunch, so the bento thing appealed to me. Been bento-ing-and visiting your wonderful site- since September 2007.

  39. I am starting bentos for myself. I was dieting (trying to eat better actually)and was forever hungry even trying to eat every 2-3 hours. Bentos is my solution to unhealthy snacking.

    My little one is not in school yet. When she does start I’ll make something for her too!

  40. I pack a bento for myself, and sandwich lunches for my wife and daughter, and occasionally a bento for my daughter as well. I just made a first bento for my wife today.