Kids cardboard lunch boxes

Bento Box Basics for Back-to-School
March 10, 2016 – 10:10 am



Our Guest Contributor is Wendy Copley of Wendolonia.

When my oldest son entered preschool and I had to start packing him a lunch, I was terror-struck. Up to that point his daycare had fed him his lunches. Sure, I made his lunches on the weekend, but I usually just heated up leftovers or fixed him a bowl of mac and cheese. Now I was faced with filling a lunch box for him every day.

How to Make a Kids' Bento BoxA lunch box full of cold foods.

A lunch box full of cold foods he would be willing to put in his picky three-year-old mouth.

My mind boggled.

But rather than panic, I did what I do in all times of crisis: I started searching the internet. And as I investigated packed lunches I stumbled upon the fabulous world of bento lunches.

What the heck is bento, you ask? The simplest definition of bento is that it is the Japanese word for a boxed lunch.How to Make a Kids' Bento Box But if I were to expand the definition a bit further I’d also say a lunch that is packed bento-style contains a variety of different types of foods: carbs, protein, fruits, veggies and sometimes a small treat. The foods are selected to provide a balance of colors, flavors and textures.

That sounds boring, you say. That sounds like a lot of boring work.

Ahhhh, but there’s where you’re wrong! The fun part of bentos is that they are meant to be cute. And that cuteness delights picky little kids. At least it delights my picky little kids. Your mileage may vary.

How to Make a Kids' Bento BoxSome people go all out when they’re packing a bento box. They make exquisite food art that looks like cartoon characters, animals, or even scenes from movies. I am not one of those people. These lunches are lovely but they’re not something your average parent is going to throw together on a Tuesday morning. I speak from experience here: I love packing bentos for my kids, but between wrangling my toddler and begging my 1st grader to please please! put his shoes on, I don’t have a lot of extra time to spend making their lunches into masterpieces. I have to feed my kids lunch every day though they insist on eating — so I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that allow all of us to have a little fun with their meals.

How to Makae a Kids' Bento Box How to Makae a Kids' Bento Box
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Popular Q&A
What are some healthy snacks one could put in a kids lunch box?

Some Healthy Snacks you could put in a kids lunch box are any cut up vegetables, like carrots or celery, apples, bananas, oranges, berries or a mixture of all of the fruits. You could put in Homemade applesauce and cheese sticks.

How To Shop for Kid's Lunch Boxes

As your child starts to be involved in a social environment, especially if he starts going to school, the lunchbox is one of the must-haves that you must include in your list. Aside from the school, lunch boxes are also helpful in case they have picnics or field trips. Lunch time is actually one of the moments that kids anticipate not only because they will be eating, but also because it is the time for them to mingle with their friends and fellow kids. 

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