It’s a known fact that I absolutely LOVE cooking, baking, entertaining, feeding people, and making bento lunches for my daughter’s school lunches. Food = Family+ Friends + Love. It’s a social thing. Sure, food nourishes and sustains us. That’s its primary function, but it also has a social element. People gather together for meals. We celebrate with meals. It brings people together.
Here are my Top 6 Bento Lunch Tips:
- Get your kids to eat a rainbow! Kia and Hannah from Today I ate a Rainbow teach kids (and adults!) that it’s important to eat meals that contain colours from the rainbow! Choose foods that are rich in colours like reds, oranges, greens, etc.
- Get the tools! Bento making is fun…especially when you have the proper tools to create your edible art. You don’t need to have cute cut outs or anything, but if you do like the embellishments, a few key bento accessories are great to have in your kitchen. Silicone cupcake liners can act as dividers and food compartments. I order many of my bento accessories here: http://www.bentousa.com/
- Keep it “green”! Use a water bottle or THERMOS for beverages, a spork (reusable utensils are a great thing to have in a lunch box), and reusable cloth napkins to keep your child’s lunch a “litterless lunch”. My favourite item? A different Funkins napkin for each lunch! Little One gets a surprise each day! Colourful, fun, reusable, enviro-friendly napkins! They also double as a place mat! Kids can unfold them and put their lunch on them. Brilliant idea!
- The sky’s the limit! Actually, there is no limit. The options are endless when it comes to making bento lunches. Include all food groups, add lots of colour with the use of vegetables and fruit. Be as creative as you want to be and the fun never stops! You can go as simple and understated as you like with something like a salad and a piece of lasagna and some cut up fruits for dessert OR you can go as elaborate and ornate as you wish. I’m a middle of the road kind of gal. I like to make my daughter’s bento lunches fun, yet not too fancy. I don’t have the time or patience to make intricate designs out of vegetables, but I do have the ability and 5 extra seconds to use a vegetable cutter to make cut outs for her veggies, sandwiches, cheese, meat, etc.
- Get them to help! You don’t have to be the one to make your kids’ lunches all the time. Get them to help! I find that Little One enjoys her meals so much when she knows she had a hand in making them. There’s a sense of accomplishment for her. Granted, she’s only 4 years old and she LOVES helping in the kitchen. Who knows? Things may change in a few years, but for now, I’m letting her help make her lunches since she loves making them!
- Send some love to school! Little notes are sweet to pack in your child’s lunchbox. It’s just another way to remind them of how much you love them. I am on the #LBLmoms panel and I use Lunchbox Love notes. You can check them out here: http://www.sayplease.com/.
Get kids to help make their lunches
Send some love in the form of a note
Serve and cook with fresh, local, in-season produce if you can. Leftovers from dinner the night before are always great for lunch the next day (especially if they come from recipes in Chef Michael Smith’s cookbooks! Have I mentioned how much my 4 year old and I love Chef Michael Smith?
This was totally not planned, but I just noticed that the items I use to make Little One’s bento lunches are PTPA Award Winning Products! Check out Today I Ate a Rainbow, Lunchbox Love, Funkins, and FunBites!
There you go! Bento lunches made easy!
If you make bento lunches for your kids, please share any blog post links in the comments section! I’d love to check out your bento lunches and pin them onto my Pinterest boards!