Why do people hate bento so much?


I haven’t made a bento in a while but I’ve noticed a huge trend emerging on social networks and it is a trend that is unfortunate.

This trend is that people seem to have huge problems with bento.

I’ve seen many negative comments ranging from ” Who has time?!” to
“That’s not enough food!!”

I wonder why people have such a large problem with bento, is it because they feel guilty they can’t put the time in to make bento for their family, can they not wrap their head around people having hobbies other than sitting in front of the tv?

I personally cannot understand why people have a problem, surely if someone wants to make a great looking and healthy lunch for their family or themselves that’s upto them.

The one thing I do find fascinating is that the people whose comments in one way or another say ” Who has time?” find that spending time making a bento is wasted but spending time on the web commenting on stuff they don’t like is time well spent.

Have you come across any negative comments?
What is your experience?



  1. I’m with you. I send bento lunches for my daughter to preschool most days. With several severe food allergies, it’s just the easiest way to give her a variety of healthy foods that are safe for her. Her current teachers are wonderful, but last year’s teacher seemed annoyed if there were too many lids/utensils to help with or if I sent food that created more mess, like rice. She would say things like, “I don’t even make a lunch like that for myself.” That’s her choice though, is it not?

  2. Well, one of my collegues asked me if I ever eat “normal food”. Haha! That’s the strangest reaction I got so far. People also think I eat weird things, but I don’t care. I enjoy making my bentos and I will continue making them as long as I enjoy it.

    I can understand people think bentos are time consuming. Especially kyaraben look time consuming. Of course not everyone wants to/ has time to make nice/pretty bentos or is into Japanese food. To each their own.

  3. Keith I totally get what you mean, I’ve had my fair share of comments of “oh you must be so free”, but most of the time making bento doesn’t take that much longer than putting a regular lunch together! Keep making bentos cos your creations are awesome.

  4. The only negativity I’ve received was in the form of someone pinning a lunch where I’d used nori faces on egg yolks. My bento was placed in an album called ‘lunches I will never make’ because of the eggy smiles taking so long. Someone has a bit too much time on their hands.

    Other than that, I get compliments or just basic acceptance of my lunches. I even have a friend who makes bento lunch for school now too.

    To each their own – complain about the environmental impact of certain diets/lifestyles on the planet, complain about the junk kids can be fed in public school lunch programs, but not a healthy lunch that’s designed to have appeal.

    Oh my gosh, a wall of text. I’m sorry. I’ll slink back to my corner with my tasty lunch now 🙂

  5. My coworkers most frequent comments are:
    “Look at you with your little compartments of food”
    “Gettin’ a little fancy with your food aren’t you”
    “I don’t have time to be fancy like that”

    But then there is my friend who always says “oh how cute!!” ❤ her!!

  6. My family think bentos are great and my brother loves me making him lunch, but my co-workers only comment on how much they wouldn’t eat what I eat. They say things like “You only eat rice”, “You eat too much vegetables”, “You eat weird food.”
    To be honest, I don’t care what people think, they eat what they like, and I eat what I like. My co-workers are not spiteful, they just like informing me that what I like is not to their taste.
    Bento is just a way to pack lunch/food, and makes such good use of all the little bits of leftovers you would otherwise throw out because individually, they’re not big enough portions for a lunch.
    I think people are just jealous that they don’t have bentos made for them 🙂

  7. Mostly what I get is either: Oh, that looks so good/cute/etc
    or: here she is with another of her silly lunches!
    I think some people shun the homemade/creative out of spite just because they don’t do it, really.
    And an adult with a cute lunch? GASP! the HORROR!

  8. Bentos are ace. Anyone who says anything negative about them is an idiot. The not enough food argument is a load of crap because whenever I’ve made one they’re great as they encourage you to eat modest portions of a lot of different things – surely much healthier than shoving a prepacked, processed, salt filled Tesco Chicken and Sweetcorn dry sandwich down your gob.

    The ‘time’ thing, it really annoys me whenever I’ve made one to take into work I’ve had a load of people going “Oh you have way too much time on your hands” “You’re obviously not doing enough work”, again this makes me wish people would keep their beak out – whenever I’ve made a bentos I’ve eaten whatever I’m putting in my box as part of my dinner the night before and it has rarely taken more than about 5/10 minutes extra than it would making any other old dinner. But I suppose people prefer to spend 4 minutes putting a horsemeat lasagna in the microwave.

    People who are spending any time at all dissing bentos are the ones with too much time on their hands. Maybe they need a new hobby…

  9. the one and only negative comment I ever received was when I decorated a fried quail egg with nori to resemble baby chick and someone said that it was kind of disturbing.
    Also this most popular question : Do you actually eat the bento that you made? which was sometimes quite funny as if they think that my bento is not a real food and I made them only for photo shooting and blog posting (but then I try to think positively that they might said so because they think they were too cute to eat) 🙂

  10. I think one of the biggest reasons for these negative trends is the difference in culture. For the average American (I am speaking on the behalf of Americans because I live in the States), lunch is simply lunch and nothing more. Why put so much effort into making something beautiful when it’s going down your stomach anyway? Many people fail to see and understand that this is another form of art and thus lose appreciation for it.

  11. I enjoy making my children’s lunches last year. My kids didn’t like the school lunches (neither did I). They have healthier choices if I take the time and creativity to make it for them. Kids eat with their eyes — if it looks fun and appealing. It doesn’t take long to put things together. Add a few playful elements — picks, silicone cups.

    The kids at my daughter’s table kept asking for her food all the time. It became a problem because she ended up not having enough to eat.

    People to complain they don’t have time. Yet, they complain about the junk their kids eat.

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