Simple Bento Boxes

I did it again … I fell into the Pinterest trap! With school starting in less than a month, Pinterest is full of back-to-school stuff, including adorable and creative lunch box ideas called Bento boxes. Now, if you want to make yourself crazy, go ahead and search Pinterest for them. Warning: you will get lost in the endless sea of creative pictures and ideas and end up feeling like you have probably failed as a parent because your child goes to school with a boring sandwich most days!

That is how I felt after about five minutes, so I shut my computer and thought to myself, "Ain’t no one got time for that." And in all honesty, some days just getting a lunch ready for your child is a stretch. I get it; I really do! But after a little thinking (and wishing I could be the type of parent who does this kind of thing for their kids once in a while), I decided that I could do it and I could make it SIMPLE!

With just a little beginning-of-the-week prep work you will be on your way to becoming a Bento box superstar. All my Bento boxes contain items that are either leftovers or made in larger batches ahead of time. And these are so easy your kiddos can even prepare the lunches themselves.  

Bento Box 2

This Bento box contains:

  • a yummy PB & J sandwich made with our Rhubarb Strawberry Fruit Spread and cut using a puzzle piece sandwhich cutter. The cutter was a free gift I received when I ordered my Bento box containers online … score! You could really use any large cookie cutter, leave the sandwich whole or cut it however your kids like it.
  • a Peanut Butter Quinoa Bar - I added in mini candy-coated chocolates when I made these bars.
  • grape skewers
  • a handful of Twisty Grahams
  • carrots with a side of TS Rockin' Ranch Dressing

Bento Box 1

The next Bento box contains:

Bento Box 3

Our last Bento box contains:

  • a turkey and cheese sandwich. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut a shape out of the top bread piece to add a little fun.
  • strawberries, oranges and grapes skewers
  • broccoli and carrots with a side of TS Rockin' Ranch Dressing
  • two Peanut Butter Quinoa Bars cut into smaller servings.

As you can see, you can re-purpose your ingredients throughout the week and get different and fun Bento boxes every day! Simple changes will keep it exciting and fresh; substitute different varieties of fruits and veggies, add a handful of nuts or crackers, change the protein on the sandwich or make a wrap instead … the possibilities are endless and simple.

If you don't have school-aged children, the Bento box idea is also a fun way to prepare lunch for roadtrips, picnics and even for yourself!

 - Janice

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