It’s the most wonderful time of the year, time for our kids to head back to school! It’s been a long time coming and my kids are most excited to see their friends and get back to their regular routine. While I am excited for them, I can’t help but think about back to school lunches and just how much they stress me out. Next to laundry, packing lunches was my least favourite chore. That is, until the bento box
became our go-to. Now, I actually enjoy putting together simple creations that my little ones love and I’m here to share the 4 Bento Box tips that shifted my lunch box game!
Tip #1: Get your kids involved
I know, you’re probably thinking “this is a disaster waiting to happen” and truth be told, it was in the beginning. Once we got over the “I only want food that comes in wrappers” hump, it actually became an enjoyable chore that me and my little ones do together. I find it helpful to pull out a variety of snacks including veggies, fruits and “wrapper” snacks. I allow them to choose which ones they want to add to
their bento box and away we go! As for their actual lunch, well, we write out a healthy menu together that consists of things like sandwiches, homemade chicken fingers, grilled cheese, soup, pasta and chick
pea salad. Every night, I highlight which ones they can choose for their lunch the next day. My kids rarely come home with their lunch uneaten, and almost always say they enjoyed what they chose. Giving kids the gift of choice not only gives them confidence but also independence, even if they’re choosing from what YOU want them to have!
Tip #2: Include variety
The Bento Box is creatively designed for kids to be able to have a variety of options when they eat their lunch at school. The nice thing about the compartments is that not only are different foods not touching (hello picky eaters!), it allows for several different healthy snacks to be packed in one container. I always ensure I have a protein, a grain, a vegetable and a fruit. I also include a “fun” snack like a homemade cookie or popcorn as well. Having a variety of food groups ensures your little one is full all day because they’ve enjoyed a well-balanced meal.
Tip #3: Use Silicone muffin tins to help separate snacks
This is my favourite Bento Box hack; use silicone muffin tins to offer an even larger variety! These muffin tins are perfect for separating sections even further when needed. For example, my little one loves fruit but can’t stand when it’s combined. I will include some blueberries, strawberries and some banana and
separate them with the silicone muffin tins within the Bento Box compartment. This is a cheap and easy way to keep your kiddo’s lunch interesting and fun!
Tip # 4: Colour is your friend
Include lots of colour in your little one’s lunch! The phrase “eat the rainbow” really comes into play when I’m packing my kids Bento Boxes. Of course colourful foods offer different nutrients, and I always ensure it’s appealing to my eye when I open it so that I know it’s also appealing to theirs! The prettier it is, the more likely they are to it eat. In addition to all of our other tips, it’s almost a guarantee their Bento Box comes home empty!
While there are countless tips and tricks that can make your kid’s Bento Box lunches AMAZING, these are the four that I have found the most useful for preventing food waste while ensuring my kids have well-balanced meals at school!