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Get Creative With Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Kids

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Tired of fixing sandwiches for lunch? Get creative with these bento box lunch ideas for kids! There are ideas for even the pickiest of eaters.

Have you heard of bento lunches and bento boxes? It’s a fun, fairly new trend in packed lunches that traces its origins to Japan.

Bento is a traditional way for Japanese to pack single-serve meals they can take with them to work or school. There they often consist of rice, fish or meat, and cooked or pickled vegetables. The container is usually rectangular with compartments for each dish.

Bento boxes are traditionally made of stainless steel, but you can also find plastic and even glass versions. These food containers with an international flair are usually square and have internal compartments that allow you to keep your food separate. This gives you a great canvas to get creative with food. 

Yes, with Bento boxes it’s ok to play with the food and come up with some fun and creative lunches for the kids (or yourself). Cut the sandwiches in cute little shapes, make some fun roll-ups, and get creative with fresh fruit, raw veggies, cheese, and the likes as sides.

Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Kids

If you are ready to get even more creative, do a quick search online for bento lunch ideas. You’ll find ideas from gourmet food to fun and quirky kid-friendly lunch ideas. Who knew that you could shape rice and make it look like an adorable panda? You’ll find entire Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts dedicated to creative bento boxes. 

Of course, there’s no need to go all out. You can make delicious and eye-pleasing bento lunches by taking just a little care with how you place the food in the boxes and taking advantage of simple little tricks like pouring goldfish crackers or raisins into paper or silicone cupcake liners. 

What I like best about bento lunches is that it gives you the opportunity to pack several small, snack-like items into one lunch. Your child will have fun picking and choosing for lunch and you know he will still get a healthy meal. Plus what child doesn’t love a bunch of colorful finger food for lunch. Heck, you may even convince your picky eaters to try new fruits, veggies, cheeses, and the likes if you cut them into cute little shapes. 

Bento Box Lunch Basics

Keep it simple. Lunch doesn’t have to be complicated. You’ll want four types of food – protein, carbs, vegetables, and fruits.

Protein Ideas for Packing a Bento Box

  • hard-boiled egg
  • chicken nuggets
  • grilled chicken strips
  • cooked beans
  • lentils
  • roasted soybeans
  • hummus
  • falafel patty
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, or squash seeds, hulled, roasted)
  • nuts (12 almonds, 24 pistachios, 7 walnut halves)
  • steak strips

Carb Ideas for Your Bento Box

  • bagel
  • biscuit
  • tortilla
  • crackers
  • bulgur
  • muffins
  • oatmeal
  • popcorn
  • rice
  • goldfish crackers

What Vegetables to Pack in Your Bento Box

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • salad
  • carrots
  • red peppers
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • cauliflower
  • mushrooms

Fruit Ideas to Pack in a Bento Box

  • apple
  • applesauce
  • banana
  • grapes
  • grapefruit
  • orange
  • pear
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • 100% fruit juice
  • dried fruit
  • mixed fruit

Bento Box Lunch Supplies

Make your bento box lunches easily with these supplies from Amazon using affiliate links.

1. Bento Box Lunchbox

2. Fun Toothpicks

3. Silicone Baking Cupcake Liners

4. Veggie Cutter Shapes

5. Soy Sauce Containers

6. Reusable Lunchbox Bag to Hold Your Bento Box

7. Complete Bento Box Lunch Set

8. Bento Box Lunch Accessories Collection

Of course, these fun and delicious lunches aren’t just for kids. Order a couple of bento boxes and start packing your own lunch. You can go as simple or gourmet as you’d like. Or grab a few of your own favorite healthy snacks and call it lunch. The possibilities are almost endless with bento box lunches.

Bento Box Lunch Ideas

1. Easy Chicken Wrap

This easy chicken wrap from Lathi’s Kitchen is a perfect combination of your protein and carb wrapped into one. Slice it into bite-sized sections and secure with a toothpick for your bento box lunch.

2. Mason Jar Rotisserie Chicken Taco Salad

This chicken taco salad recipe from Key to My Lime is also perfect for your adult bento box. It looks delicious!

3. Deconstructed Turkey Sandwich Bento Box

This deconstructed turkey sandwich bento box from Carmy is great for even your pickiest of eaters who don’t like bread.

4. Green Quesadilla

YUM! Here is a twist on the traditional cheese quesadilla from Key To My Lime that is sure to please the tastebuds.

5. Cheese Board Bento Box

Here’s a fancier bento box idea from Carmy. It’s a charcuterie tray in a bento box!!

For More Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Kids on Pinterest

Open the Pinterest app, click the magnifying glass, then the camera icon and hold it over the image below.

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