Bento Box Lunches for Kids

Bento Box Lunches for Kids

Now that we’re back to school, we’re spending time trying to figure out how to feed our kids, right? During the summer months, it was easy to make grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni, pita pizzas, or fried rice full of veggies and scrambled eggs (my kids’ favorite!).

Yet, now that we have to plan ahead, it can be a challenge to think of what to send with your children to school that will not spoil or get smooshed, especially when the bookbag is already packed with all the day’s essentials…you know, like pop-its and other fidgets – haha!

Introducing bento box lunches!

The idea is not a new one; in fact, it’s been popular for several years now. However, many parents have yet to try it out. Essentially, these are compartmentalized meals that you pack into lunchboxes that have a section for each food item.

Not only does this prompt you to pack enough food to satisfy your child’s hunger, but it encourages you to include something of each food category (don’t forget a dessert!), as well as control the portion so it’s just right for your kiddo!

The bonus is that because these are actually boxes,

the food doesn’t get smashed…from leaving home, arriving at school, dropped on the floor as they unpack their bags, thrown into a bin where all the students put their lunches, and later transferred to the cafeteria.

A little secret is that preparing these bento boxes is actually fun! I usually make them the night before and, I have to admit, it’s actually therapeutic! I have found that finding foods that will fit the little sections, as well as being creative with the presentation, is enjoyable.

Plus, there are a ton of ideas on Pinterest that will inspire you to create a theme, decorate for the holiday, or just make it personalized for your child. 🙂


If you don’t own a bento box,

a simple search online will bring up various types. Of course, Amazon has a number of different ones to choose from. So you say your child is learning virtually?

No problem – just prepare the bento box lunch and store it in the refrigerator. Now, your child(ren) can easily grab their lunch during the designated lunchtimes without your assistance!

This saves time for parents who don’t always have time to take a break to make lunches, and it saves you from having to clean up a mess if the kids attempt to make their lunches on their own!

So be creative and have fun!

You can even make inserts that go below the trays. For instance, my daughter loved the movie, “Frozen,” so I’d print out pictures that you could see once the food was gone. Also, think outside of the normal lunch items!

My kids love waffles, so I’d toast a few and include a little cup of syrup. I’d also make vegetable sushi with a little cup of soy sauce. There are silicone bread and cupcake liners to make more sections, and just plain cupcake liners work great too!

You can also decorate the front of the bento boxes using wall decals. They applied easily, and when the kids wanted a change, the decals peel off without a problem!

One of the things I thought was a waste of money were Lunchables,

so now I just make my own: pita bread, pizza sauce, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, and sliced black olives.

Or, have meats sliced thicker at your deli, then add cheese, crackers, and maybe even some mini pickles; they’re larger portions of food, better tasting, and healthier. The best thing is that your kids will love them because they’re specially made just for them.



Alison Catone

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