Oh the Bento Box Lunchbox. . . it’s all the rage these days. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to think, but I figured I should try it out before judging it unfairly.
Turns out, I like it. Actually, I like it a lot.
If your first thought is to check Pinterest for cool Bento Box lunch ideas I will warn you, the results may totally overwhelm you. Sandwiches crafted in the shape of woodland creatures, complete with eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows, etc, . . cheese sculpted into the full cast of Star Wars. . .you get the picture. I’m really curious as to who has enough time to make such masterpieces. So, what I’ve decided to do here is share simple, practical Bento Box lunch ideas two or three times a year. My little lady, Miss H, is 20 months old now and she is a PICKY eater. I’ll share with you what I’m putting in her lunchbox now, and then post updates every few months. In the end, we’ll have a series of Bento Box lunchbox ideas for kids of many different ages!
Here is my story. . .
Miss H is in a part-time “school” that does provide lunch. When she is home, we quite often are out-and-about during lunchtime. She is a VERY active toddler, and I’ve found that generally all parties involved are much happier when we are out doing things, as opposed to staying around the house.
Turns out, the Bento Box lunchbox is PERFECT for picnics!
The box I am now using is from Laptop Lunches. It has an outer case with five smaller containers inside, three of which have lids. It also has a section on the right that is perfect for a napkin and silverware. It’s made of sturdy plastic that is BPA-free, and – my favorite part – it’s made in the USA. You can buy just the box, or the entire kit (box, lunch bag, silverware), and even additional internal containers in different colors and sizes.
Another plus, it fits nicely into a diaper bag! No more random plastic bags that end up getting crushed or forgotten, everything is nicely contained and protected in the Laptop Lunch box.
In the past two weeks we’ve gone on two picnics – here is what I packed for lunch:
Picnic Bento #1
- Cucumber wedges. Trying (somewhat successfully) to work some vegetables into her diet.
- Peanut butter & homemade strawberry jelly sandwiches cut into flower shapes (that’s about as fancy as I get!).
- Crackers and cheese. For crackers, I tried Annie’s Butter Crackers. I liked them, Miss H was not so keen on them. . .but then again, she doesn’t eat a lot of crackers. Plus, I think she was distracted by the cheese. . .she LOVES cheese.
- Berries! Whole blueberries (local!), raspberries, and sliced strawberries.
- Yogurt covered raisins (in the small, yellow container)
- Juice. We’ve been drinking a lot of Honest juices lately. Delicious and lightly sweetened, I’m a huge fan of Honest drinks. I rocked Honest teas all during my pregnancy. My only complaint is that it is really difficult to puncture the packet with the straw – I inevitably end up squeezing it too hard and juice goes everywhere. Boo.
Picnic Bento #2
- Cheese cubes. Girl loves her cheese. . .
- Hidden-veggie toddler muffins. As mentioned above I’m working hard to get Miss H to eat more vegetables – I’m not ashamed to try hiding them in baked goods.
- Grapes. Not much to it – just washed and pulled off the vine.
- Banana. I cut it into strips, but left the skin on to try to prevent the banana from turning brown and becoming mushed.
- Bowtie pasta with parmesan in a Kid Konserve stainless steel reusable container.
- Honest fruit punch (in a travel cup)
- Stonyfield Yogurt YoKid pouch (eaten before we left for our picnic). Miss H LOVES these, they don’t last long in our house!
For the future, my goal is to work more protein and vegetables into Miss H’s lunches. She is, and has always been, a very picky eater. Hopefully that will change, or I will have to become more adventurous with my “hidden” ingredient foods.
My final thought – not only is it more fun to eat a Bento style lunch, but it is also waaaay more fun to pack a Bento style lunch.
This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.