School is fast approaching and that means it’s back to packing lunches! This task can often feel overwhelming – for both parents and kids. To help you create simple lunches that will fuel your child without getting bored of eating the same foods, try these bento box lunch ideas.
I love to use a bento box for lunches because it allows your child to open only one container and easily go back and forth between all their food choices.
A FEW TIPS WHEN PACKING LUNCH ..
- Instead of always assuming, give your child choices within boundaries. Would you like cucumber or bell peppers? Hummus or guacamole for dip? Strawberries or apple?
- When you find an option or two that your child loves to eat, it is tempting to pack it for them on the daily. As tempting as this is, do your best to rotate their fave foods with new ones – this gives them a wider nutrient spectrum to fuel their bodies and also reduces chance of developing a food aversion. Keeping them open to new textures and tastes will have so much benefit in the long run!
- Think grab and bite – the less complicated, the least amount of utensils, the less messy – the more of a chance they will enjoy eating these lunches at school with their friends where there are already lots of distracting stimuli around them.
BENTO BOX IDEAS
Here are 7 bento box lunch ideas (all gluten-free friendly and most vegan friendly!) that you can mix and match. These lunches contain 4 compartments, but if you have a bento box with more dividers – by all means add more. Always portion out your servings according to your child’s growing appetite at that time.
BENTO BOX 1 (GF, V)
Chickpea pasta with marinara sauce and hemp hearts
BENTO BOX 2 (GF, V)
Sweet Potato / Lentil Crackers / Rice Cake
BENTO BOX 3 (GF, V)
Chicken in a tortilla wrap or lentils in a tortilla wrap – keep it simple think grilled chicken or cooked lentils, with a spread and tortilla. You don’t need to worry about doing more than that!
Yogurt with chia seeds
BENTO BOX 4 (GF)
Hard Boiled Egg
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Granola or Fig Bar
BENTO BOX 5 (GF)
BENTO BOX 6 (GF)
Quesadilla (for GF use a brown rice or corn wrap)
Bunny Crackers (such as Annie’s)
BENTO BOX 7 (GF, V)
Hummus or Tahini Dip
Dried Fruit (no added sugar)