My husband and I met in Japan and also went back to live there for a summer as a family when our first child was just a baby. Needless to say, we have a thing for Japan and Japanese culture, so when I started seeing various blogs and websites promoting bento box style lunches for kids, I was totally on board.
2. Choose your foods. My usual bento box style lunch includes a fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, melon, kiwi), a vegetable (pea pods, carrots, cucumbers, sliced peppers), a protein (hard boiled eggs, cheese, nuts or nut butters, jerky, leftover meat from dinner), and a carb (bread, pretzels, crackers, pita, bagel, popcorn).
It’s also fun to throw in a little Starburst or something. The kids love that.
3. Make it cute. This is where moms like me get stopped dead in their tracks, because they think bento boxes are all about the cute, and it feels complicated and overwhelming. That’s not true.
I usually stop at number two, and that’s totally fine, but if you want to go overboard, there are some really easy ways to do that. The most I ever do is cut up my fruits and vegetables withthese inexpensive vegetable cutters, or do the same with sandwiches and cookie cutters (hearts, lips, and stars are favorites at our house).
I also include these food picks that make eating anything more fun.
I have one daughter who doesn’t like bread and most crackers, so I frequently send her with leftover rice from dinner formed into shapes with this awesome and inexpensive tool
and a small animal shaped container of soy sauce (also crazy inexpensive).
My favorite website for simple, healthy, and fun bento lunchbox ideas is Wendolonia, but there are a million and one resources online if you’re wanting to jump into this head first.
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite Pinterest pin, blog, or resource for healthy, simple, fun school lunches? Any other tips to share?
CHALLENGE: Take a moment to think about your family’s current school lunch system and consider whether this bento-style lunch will work for you!