Bento boxes have become popular on the internet these days. Food presented in a bento box looks aesthetically pleasing and the compartments in the box make it easier to carry a complete meal in one box without hassle.
I tried our first bento box (The Yumbox) back in 2019 when my son was starting school. The ease of opening and closing the box, the different compartments resembling a toddler section plate and the ease of adding a variety of foods to the box with less chances of it mixing is what converted me to the idea of using bento lunch boxes.
For beginners, if you are wondering.
WHAT IS A BENTO BOX?
A bento is the Japanese version of a single portion home packed meal or take out meal. A traditional bento usually contains rice, eggs, fish or meat, some pickled and cooked vegetables.
WHAT TO PUT IN A BENTO BOX?
Other than the traditional bento versions, bento boxes these days are also used to carry a variety of snacks and meals adapted to the lifestyle of the user.
I usually like to add one main dish either some type of a wrap, rice dish, patty, or sandwich along with fruits/vegetables and dried fruit and nuts.
This type of a lunch box makes it easy to build a balanced meal that is rich in protein, fats and fiber.
TYPES OF BENTO BOXES FOR KIDS
Currently I am using,
For a detailed review and my experience using these bento boxes, check this post of mine.
Let’s look at some easy bento box lunch ideas for school and daycare.
BENTO BOX LUNCH IDEAS FOR KIDS SCHOOL
These are bento lunch box ideas for 4 year old’s just starting school, but anyone any age can enjoy these recipes by adjusting for spice and increasing portion sizes.
You can also try modifications of these recipes for daycare to suit a baby led weaning approach.
Note : Do not offer whole nuts to younger children. Pictures showcase the school lunch box of a 6 year old.
Modify recipes, swapping ingredients and cut to baby friendly portions to avoid choking risk when making for younger toddlers and babies. To learn more about baby led weaning and preparation of baby friendly foods read this post of mine.
Ready? Let’s go.
Feta Cheese Wrap for Kids School Lunch
Feta cheese wrap, grapes, cashews, and banana.
Feta cheese contains fats and protein making it a healthy option to try in moderation. It is a high sodium cheese so offer in smaller amounts to children over the age of one.
Use a whole wheat chapati or tortilla wrap. For the filling crumble feta cheese evenly over the chapati followed by chopped spinach leaves, tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut a slit with a knife in one quarter section of the chapati and then wrap over to make a triangle.
Toast the wrap on both sides on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes until golden.
Bagel sandwich, macaron, sunflower seeds, banana.
This sandwich bento box is suited for children over age 2.
To make the bagel sandwich spread out cream cheese, add lettuce leaves, tomato slices, black olives, salt and pepper. That is it. As easy as that.
Potato Pea Wrap
Potato pea wrap, watermelon, sunflower seeds, orange.
Use a whole wheat chapati or tortilla for the wrap. For the filling in the wrap, in a mixing bowl mash 2 boiled potatoes, 1/4 cup boiled green peas and add salt, black pepper, pizza seasoning and oregano. Mix well.
When adding the filling first spread mayonnaise on the chapati and then add the filling, roll and cut into easy to hold pieces.
Ragi Wheat Pancakes
Ragi pancakes, maple syrup, peanut butter, black grapes and oranges.
Hummus wrap, strawberries, pan fried french beans, sunflower seeds.
The whole wheat wrap contains hummus, tomatoes, basil leaves, black olives, salt and pepper.
To prepare the French beans, cut them lengthwise, heat oil in a pan, add chopped garlic. Once the oil is flavored with the garlic add the chopped french beans and salt. Stir fry until crisp.
Egg wrap, chikoo, and jackfruit chips.
The whole wheat chapati wrap contains an egg filling made by mixing boiled egg pieces in a dressing of mustard 1/4 tsp, mayonnaise 1-2 tsp, salt and pepper. Roll and cut into easy to hold pieces.
Kidney bean wrap, roasted broccoli, grapes and carrot slices.
The whole wheat bean wrap contains lettuce leaves as a base, boiled and seasoned red kidney beans that are mashed with a fork to make a paste like filling, topped with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise. Wrap and toast on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until the cheese melts.
Easy Bento Box Lunch Ideas For Kids
Kids School Lunch Box With Feta Cheese Wrap
- Feta cheese wrap, grapes, cashews, and banana
Lunch Box With Bagel Sandwich
- Bagel sandwich, macaron, sunflower seeds, banana
Bento Box for Kids With Potato Pea Wrap
- Potato pea wrap, watermelon, sunflower seeds, orange
Bento Box for Kids With Pancake
- Ragi wheat pancakes, maple syrup, peanut butter, black grapes and oranges
Kids Lunch Box Hummus Wrap For
- Hummus wrap, strawberries, pan fried French beans, sunflower seeds
Bento Box Lunch With Egg Wrap
- Egg wrap, chikoo, and jackfruit chips
Bento Lunch Box With Bean Wrap
- Bean wrap, roasted broccoli, grapes and carrot slices
Having extra produce on hand makes it easier to build more nutritious sides instead of adding packaged snacks.
Related reading : Toddler lunch ideas.
At the same time as children grow older they get interested in packaged snacks, instead of completely denying them strive to create regular exposures without over doing it.
Once or twice a week, add in chips, chocolates, biscuits as sides to the school lunch box to meet the child’s desire for such foods too. Meeting the child’s curiosity and exploration of new foods is a part of the intuitive eating approach.
I believe in a family approach to reducing junk food consumption and building balanced meals instead of preaching or having separate rules for kids.
Hope this post gave you some bento lunch box ideas for school. Drop in your child’s favorite bento box meals in the comment below. We can all pick ideas from each other.
Until next time!