Are you a mom of a kid who likes to munch? Or do you have a picky eater? We know packing school lunches can be a PITA -- and we don't mean the pocket bread kind! Whether your kids will be eating lunch at school or at home this school year, bento boxes can be a great way to keep kids eating healthy and ready to learn.
bento [ ben-toh; Japanese ben-taw ]
A meal, served in a box that is divided into sections for holding individual portions of food.
Bento boxes are a popular choice for kids because it gives them lots of options to choose from at lunch. Plus it's easy to pack a different lunch every day!
Here are a few "out of the box" bento box lunch ideas that make the grade:
Wrap your child's favorite protein with veggies and their favorite toppings in a tortilla. Add a spread, wrap with love, and cut into pinwheels.
- Deli meat, pepperoni, or tuna
- Sliced or shredded cheese
- Shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, olives, cucumbers, sprouts
- Cream cheese, mayo, mustard, or plain
Try our BLT or Shredded Chicken BLT recipes for school lunch!
Deconstruct what you would typically use to make tacos. It's a fun way for your MacKid to enjoy their lunch!
- Tortillas, corn chips, tortilla chips
- Cooked ground beef, turkey, or cooked chicken cubed
- Corn kernels
- Avocado slices
- Shredded cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Black olives
Deconstruct your typical sushi into different compartments to make each bite different.
- White rice
- Toasted seaweed
- Avocado chunks
- Dipping sauce of choice
- Add a protein: Imitation crab, turkey, scrambled eggs, hotdog, or smoked salmon
- Don't forget the chopsticks and fortune cookie!
Just like at the all-you-can-eat salad bars — but all of their favorites. The sky is the limit!
- Lettuce, baby spinach, spring mix, sprouts
- Shredded chicken, tuna, hard-boiled eggs and/or sliced deli meat
- Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, mushrooms
- Shredded cheese, cottage cheese
- Black beans or chickpeas
Ok, so some of our kids still love sandwiches, and we do too!
Traditional school lunch items that work in a bento box:
- Favorite sandwich
- Sliced carrots
- Mixed nuts (if your school allows them)
- Sliced apples, grapes, and/or fresh berries
Other fun "out of the box" ideas: