The Weekly Menu Planner With Bento Lunch Box - now with Weekend Page 2

[Update:] Now with a second page for the weekend plus expanded shopping list! See below.

Last year I introduced the Weekly Bento Planner, a simple form to plan your bento lunches. It's been very popular, and both files have been downloaded thousands of times.

One comment I got several times was that the form was fine for mapping out the week's bento plans, but what if you wanted to plan all of your meals for the week too? To address this need, after a lot of thinking and testing - and just in time for the Bento Challenge! - I present you the Weekly Menu Planner With Bento Lunch form.

The Weekly Menu Planner With Bento Lunch form - example

(Click on the image to get to the flickr page where you can see it at a large size.)

This form has Monday to Friday columns for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The key feature though is the Lunch box, which looks like this:


As you can see, it's divided up like a mini bento box. There are sections for protein, carbs, and vegetables, with a small area for fruits and snacks. The section sizes are meant to represent more or less how much of each kind of macro-nutrient food items you should try to pack into your bento box. (The vegetable section is bigger on purpose, to encourage you to pack more of them.) Here's a box filled out:


You can use the sections as-is for straightforward bentos, but don't let the lines hold you in! On days when you have a combination food, such as spinach fritatta (protein and vegetable) you can write it so that it spans both Protein and Veg sections. Or, if you're planning to go to a restaurant, you can write that over the whole box. Zoom in on the large image on the flickr page (click All Sizes at top) to see how you can use it.

Which form is right for you?

If you want a simple form to just plan out your lunches, the original Weekly Bento Planner is for you. But if you want to plan your whole eating day a bit more, you might want to give this form a try.

A planner or a diary

You could use either form as a diary instead of a planner too. If you really want to go the extra step, use one form to plan out your meals, and another one to record what you actually ate. (I did this for a week and it was a bit depressing. Potato chips are the bane of my existence I tell ya.)

###Why not 7 days? I have not put in Saturday and Sunday columns on these forms. The reason is that I tend to regard the weekends as 'free' time food wise, when I experiment with some new recipes, or we go out to eat. (Or, I might get engrossed in some non-food project and we just get takeout.) Making it 7 days would make the boxes quite small too. You can still make overall plans for your weekends in the bottom Notes area. If you really want 7-day versions of the forms though let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do.

Update: Weekend Page 2

I've now added a Page 2 to cover the weekend! Click on the image below go to the Flickr page, where you can enbiggen it:

Weekly Meal Planner page 2 (weekend) usage example

As you see, I've added two columns for Saturday and Sunday, and used the other side of the page for a shopping list, or notes, or whatever. You could print this on the back side of the weekday planner to save some trees.

Download for free!

The Weekly Menu Planner With Bento Lunch forms are PDF files. Windows users will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader. (Mac users can open and print the forms in Preview.) You may need to select the Fit On Page or similar setting on your printer to make everything print.

Other languages

Special thanks to Antje, who made all the different language forms for us!

Thank you to Antje for the German versions!

Thank you to Momoko * Bárbara for the Portuguese versions!

The following are .zip files containing both the Weekly Meal Planner and the Weekly Bento Planner pages in each language.

French planner pages (thanks Céine!)

Norwegian planner pages (thanks Ren!)

Hungarian planner pages (thanks Ren!)

Related forum discussion: How do you plan your bentos?

Last modified: 
11 Jun 2019 - 06:20

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