I know I don’t have the only child who doesn’t eat
. I know it’s a phase, part of growing up, that he’s healthy and well, and that someday I’ll be changing my tune as he eats me out of house and home as a teenager. As the meal planner, prepper, coordinator, and cook in my family, though, wasted food or the dreaded “I don’t want this” is a major trigger for me. Cue the Bento Box lunch for school and home lunches, single-handedly saving my lunch packing sanity!
Why do I love the Bento Box lunch? Let me count the ways.
Less packaging waste
Less packing waste is important to me, we buy bulk snacks, fruits, and veggies, and all are placed in one container, with no prepackaged packaging to waste and only one container to wash each day when it comes time to do dishes! Because it’s so easy to save food in one container, this lunch packing strategy has also cut down on our level of food waste. When there are leftovers, I just put the entire container in the fridge and pull it back out at snack time.
The guesswork is removed from this task each day.
What’s for lunch? Small portions of whatever we have! Do veggies need to be used up? Put them in the box. Leftovers from yesterday? Put them in the box. Last of the box or bag of a snack item? Put it in the box. This strategy also allows me to cut or prep something all at once and pack several boxes ahead of time for lunches throughout the week.
Mostly I love that, for some reason, the Bento Box encourages my child to sit and eat. I’m not sure if it’s the smaller, less intimidating portions or the fun way it’s packed, but it’s usually a guarantee that he’s getting at least one meal. The box is cleared at the end of the day.
You can find lots of styles of Bento Boxes on Amazon. We have a few of this one, and I’ve even purchased some adult styles like this one that my husband and I take to work for lunch.
What goes in the box?
I try to mix it up with options that I know my kid will eat and some that I hope (fingers crossed) he will eat. And some days, I just throw in whatever needs to be used up in our house! I go very simple with chopped items, but there are many neat ideas for variety on the internet.
- Proteins– salami, pepperoni, cheese, turkey and cheese roll-ups, cashews, almonds, trail mix, yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, peanut butter, and jelly.
- Veggies– pepper sticks, baby carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, avocado, etc.
- Fruits– berries, apples, oranges, apple sauce, grapes, melons, etc.
- Snacks– raisins, marshmallows, fruit snacks, crackers, chips, pretzels, snack bar, cereal, veggie straws, popcorn, olives, pickles, graham crackers, whatever we have that week.
Need more ideas?
Happy lunch packing!