Let's face it, packing a daily school lunch for your kids can be tricky (not to mention down-right frustrating, especially when it comes home virtually un-touched).
You want their lunch to be filling so they won’t get 'hangry' during the afternoon, but not too large that they won’t be able to finish it. They want yummy food. You want it to be as healthy as possible. They, well they want yummy food. It's a give and take and sometimes it is hard to find the right balance. Enter the Bento Box-style lunch. Healthy, yep? Lots of variety for your little tyke to choose from? You betcha. Easy to pack and prepare? A resounding yes. So, get ready for your school lunch woes to be finally over (okay, that may be a stretch). Here are 6 Bento box ideas we guarantee they will eat:
This box is great because you can rid yourself of last-nights leftovers. Just pack in some rice and top it with chicken and vegetables - to keep it hot pack it in a thermos-style bento box!. Pair it with a couple of fruits to compliment the meal. For a chicken stir-fry try orange slices and grapes would work well (remember to cut grapes in half for kids under 4).
This box is for kids who love breakfast. Slice a bagel in half and fill with their fave toppings (think cream cheese and thin cucumber slices). Or make mini muffins on the weekend, freeze, and pull out in the morning. It will thaw by the time lunch arrives. Apple slices, mixed berries and a kiju orange juice complete this lunch.
This Bento box is especially good with cold pasta salad like our tomato basil pasta salad. But the skies the limit - use any pasta shape your kids like (bow-tie, penne or orrechiette). Use a vinaigrette instead of a creamy mayo sauce so it keeps longer. Pack a meatball and veggie side.
With a sandwich box you can get creative. Try different bite-size finger sandwich combos, or even start pin wheeling. You can do cream cheese and cucumber, turkey and havarti or ham and cheese. Pair your sandwiches with blueberries and grapes.
A charcuterie box is always fun because your kids can assemble it themselves. Pack their lunch full of items to make cracker sandwiches. Cut different kinds of cheese, add in some lunchmeat and chop up some pickles. For a good side, cut up some carrot, celery and red pepper sticks.
Fruit and Veggie Box
This one’s pretty self explanatory. Cut up fruits and vegetables and provide plenty of dips (think hummus and roasted red pepper) for dipping. Try celery, carrots, peppers, berries and apples. For a side, make a pinwheel sandwich and toss in some goldfish crackers (heck, we all know kids love em').