Calories in a Bento Box

Bento boxes are Japanese style packed lunches containing protein, rice and vegetables. The size of the bento box determines the portion size and can impact the total calorie count, as can the food choices you make for your bento.

Bento boxes are Japanese lunches designed to go. (Image: y-studio/iStock/Getty Images)


As a rough estimate, the number of milliliters a bento box holds is equivalent to the total calories contained within the bento, according to Makiko Ito, author of "The Just Bento Cookbook." To determine the capacity of your bento box, fill with water, then pour off into a measuring cup marked with milliliters.


Bento boxes filled with generous portions of rice, fried foods or other fatty ingredients will be higher in calories. Choose bentos with a smaller amount of rice, lean protein and plenty of vegetables to lower the total calorie count.


Packing your own bento boxes is an easy way to control calories, but purchased bento box lunches can be a reasonable choice. A purchased bento box lunch from a Japanese fast food restaurant has about 525 calories, according to Livestrong's MyPlate. Larger portions or higher-fat foods may increase calorie counts.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.