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Posted on Jan 30, 2009 | 23 comments

Poll: Where are your lunches eaten?

Where do your bentos or packed lunches get eaten?

When I started packing bentos, they were for my husband to eat at the office when he was eating gluten-free (misdiagnosed with celiac disease). Later on, I mainly made bentos for my toddler son and me to eat when we were out and about at the playground, the zoo, or other outings. Now, I mostly pack lunches for Bug to eat at preschool, although I occasionally pack bentos when we’re traveling or going on an outing. How about you?

Where are your bento lunches usually eaten? (check all that apply)

  • Office (55%, 511 Votes)
  • School (47%, 440 Votes)
  • Trips or outings (23%, 217 Votes)
  • Home (15%, 145 Votes)
  • Work (outdoors) (14%, 134 Votes)
  • In commute (6%, 56 Votes)
  • Other (describe in comments) (2%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 937

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Poll voting closes at midnight Pacific on Sunday, February 8, 2009.

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23 Comments

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  1. We have a lovely combination of bento eating habits, exemplified by today’s schedule. TheBoy eats his breakfast bento en route to the office, we eat our bento lunches together at the office (it’s nice to work in the same building!), and, tonight, while we drive to SanFran for a weekend trip, we’ll be eating our dinner bentos on the road. Yay for diversified eating habits!

  2. Ohh I have eaten my bento meals in my van waiting for my son to get out of school, in the doctor’s office (if I don’t need blood tests), at Boy Scout related meetings and events as well as first night of camping weekends

    Just about anywhere I need to

  3. School and home, mostly.

  4. I started making lunch for my husband to take to work on base. Now that my DD is eating solids, I find it easy to pack little bentos for our playgroups & errands. The additional benefit of packing bentos while I’m pregnant is having something available to munch on when DD inevitably falls asleep in the car & I need to wait until she wakes. Keeps me out of the fast food drive-through!

  5. I pack bentos for conventions and plane flights. I get funny looks from airport screeners. :D

  6. I’m a college student and I pack bentos for lunch on campus – the food available there is overpriced, unhealthy, and often quite gross.

  7. We all pack bentos in our family. We started out with the boys eating them at school, and then my husband and I got jealous of them. :) I pack them for conventions and such if they’re not feeding me as well. When we go on short trips, I bring them along.

  8. The “other” for me is between work finishing and an evening activity (eg choir, french class, going to the gym) – often there’s no time to go home for dinner first, but I would be ready to gnaw off my own leg for dinner by the time the activity finishes.

  9. Dr.’s office’s run late and meal times pass and I now have to stick strickly to a meal schedule so I’ll be toting bentos to the doctor’s from now on! Because of food intolerances and a medically necessary meal schedule I eat snack bentos at church for after service tea-time and meal bentos for potlucks. I also eat them in the car when I’m out running arrands or shopping and am out of the house during my scheduled afternoon snack. We’ve brought bentos/packed meals to a Christmas dinner more than once. I’ve eaten a bento in a restaurant several times. Add in the airport or on a plane to our list too.

  10. I eat my bentos at work (which just so happens to be in a school and the place I usually eat is in an office area), so I wasn’t really sure what to chose. I know we can make multiple selections, but that makes it seem like I eat my lunch in multiple locations instead of just one that actually encompasses all three. But I was most confused by the word “outside” in parenthesis with the work choice. Are you asking if people are eating them outside the workplace, but still why they are at work, or are you simply clarifying that you mean work outside the home?

  11. what I like about having a bento is that it gives me so much freedom to move around and still be carrying some compact nutrition. I’m a student and I work three jobs, so I move around constantly all day, and one of my jobs is at a live sound company that’ll send me out on sixteen, eighteen hour gigs. with that sort of thing you never really know what the food situation is going to be like–whether you’ll be fed, whether you’ll have time to buy something, whether what there is to buy will actually be edible, etc. so for me, I pack a double bento in the morning, and stuff it in my bag, and as long as I’m careful to pack stuff that can be eaten neatly, quickly, and with my fingers while standing up, I just don’t have to worry about it anymore.

    which is not to say I don’t sometimes pack a bento just for the fun of having something pretty and yummy to eat even when I do know where I’m going…I am totally down with mini-picnics that are a little fancier, when I know I’m going to be able to eat them properly!

  12. I answer work (outside) before you responded since I take them with me to work (in a school where I eat them in the teacher’s lounge which is in the main offices of our buildings).

    The only way I can think to clarify is to ask about specific locations like cafeteria, outdoors, personal office, break room/lounge, etc.

    I guess I just found it confusing because, based on most of the choices, purpose of the survey seemed to be to determine where your bentos went to be eaten(to work, to school, on trips, on picnics, at home, on your commute, etc.), not to differentiate what kind of work you do (office worker, construction worker, salesclerk, etc.).

  13. Bento are perfect for me at school. I’m a dance major at college and my classes require a lot of energy, but I often only have 20 or 30 minutes in my schedule free for lunch. That’s not enough time to buy a lunch and eat it as well, plus the food at the cafeteria is too greasy and expensive. With my bento, I never miss a meal and my classmates comment on how cute and delicious my lunch looks!

  14. My ‘other’ is going to my family’s houses. I love my family dearly, but I don’t always want chips or cookies for a snack, nor do I want to make a whole meal with a can of soup and crackers. Sometimes I just want small, healthy finger-snacks to munch on while we watch TV or laugh in the kitchen. I also like the vaguely incredulous look on my aunt’s face when I open my tiny little bento and have a nice little snack, cutely arranged. She swears that she just could not have the patience to take the time to make a bento box… and she doesn’t believe me when I say it’s a ten or fifteen minute thing. It takes longer to make a sandwich than it does to make my bento.

    Okay, that’s slightly exaggerating, since I have to make a sandwich -and- my bento, but you get the idea.

  15. In addition to the work/school bentos, I sometimes pack “on the road” dinners for the kids when we are out running around and know that we won’t be back in time for dinner. It’s way better than getting fast food and the kids can all get what they want with no fighting over the limited choices on the road.

  16. I marked school for my two girls who eat them every week day at school. I picked office for me only because I meant when I work, I actually work at schools and I pack a bento and bring it for lunch when I sub.

  17. I love your site and have been reading a long while. Congratulations on the Award! You’ve worked very hard for it. Just a question though, Why all the polls lately?

  18. @19 from susan: Thanks! I’ve started posting a poll once a month (towards the end of the month) because: 1) I just figured out how to do polls late last year, and 2) I find the results interesting. No special reason beyond that, although it’s nice to have actual data to refer to, not just hunches or suspicions.

  19. Oops, I clicked “work” before I saw “office”. So disregard one vote in that category?

  20. Always on flights. My row-mates always look quite jealous. I do occasionaly pack lunch bentos for the office but need to focus on doing them more frequently. People always come over to see what I am eating anyway so it is more fun to show off “cute” lunch than my many Rubbermaid containers in my normal lunch box.

  21. At work, but it’s not an office.

  22. I pack lunches for my boyfriend, which now have been upgraded to ‘meals’ instead (his words). His bento is eaten in the car and on site. He works in construction and is usually out of the door by 5-6am which is a little bit too early for him to have breakfast. So I pack breakfast food for him too on top of his lunch bento. His breakfast is munched throughout his journey in the car, and his lunch is eaten on site.

    I recently have begun making bento for myself too because I’m sick of eating the food where I work at. So I munch through throughout my shift while working in the kitchen. So mine will usually be small food that can be eaten in passing, if that make sense. My bento are picked and munch through by coworkers too! Some of them have even started to make their own. =D