Get Creative with Bento Lunches - Back to School, Part 4

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Back to School | Get Creative with Bento Lunches | Bento Box | Meal Planning

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Get Creative with Bento Lunches

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. In Japan, they often consist of rice, fish or meat, and cooked or pickled vegetables. The container is usually rectangular with compartments for each dish.

What are they made of?

Bento boxes are traditionally made of stainless steel, but you can also find plastic and even glass versions. These food containers are usually square and have separate compartments that allow you to keep your food organized to your preference. This gives you a great template for creative and wholesome lunches.

What else can you do with them?

Don't hold back from thinking outside (or inside?) the Bento box when it comes to lunch ideas for your kids (or even for yourself). Cut sandwiches in cute little shapes, make some fun roll-ups, and get creative with fresh fruit, raw veggies, cheese and the likes as sides.If you want more inspiration, 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.

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Don't Overwhelm Yourself

Now, 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 out what they would like for lunch, and you feel comfortable knowing they will still get a healthy meal. Plus, what child doesn’t love a bunch of colorful finger food for lunch. You may even convince your picky eaters to try new fruits, veggies, cheeses and more if you cut them into cute little shapes.

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Not Just for Kids!

Of course, these fun and delicious lunches aren’t just for kids. Order a couple of bento boxes to use for your own lunches. Go as basic or gourmet as you like. Or just grab a few of your favorite healthy snacks and call it lunch. Get creative with bento lunches! The possibilities are nearly unending!What are your favorite lunch ideas for adults and kids? Is this something you'll be willing to try or just stick with the paper bag and ziplock? That's what I grew up on ;) 

In case you missed the other posts in this series: 

Pack School Lunches Your Kids Will Actually Eat - Back to School, Part 1

School Lunches Made Easier - Back to School, Part 2

Packing Hot Lunches for Cool Fall Days - Back to School, Part 3