To help give me some inspiration and ideas when making her lunches I created a lunch ideas PDF. I wanted to include foods that were healthy, and that Kirsten actually likes. If your child has different likes/dislikes you can add to the list or remove stuff. I'm pretty happy with the variety I have on it. Of course, these are just cold lunch box/bento ideas. You can always pack a thermos with hot food in it, which I will do sometimes too. They're just not as cute!
Here's what the printable PDF looks like:
Click here to get a printable/downloadable copy for yourself.
I printed this out and have it on my fridge so I have easy access to it when I'm making her lunches.
This will be the first time Kirsten is eating out of a lunch box, so I've been making her practice school bentos all week to get her used to opening/closing containers and wrappers. She's done really well and just loves the new lunches I've been making her.
Without further ado, here are some of the practice bentos I've made this week.
This first one would be perfect for her morning nutrition break. I cut half a banana, and just started to peel it on the back side. That way she can easily peel it herself when she's ready to eat it. There's a strawberry nutrigrain bar cut in half so it will fit in the container and a container of yogurt with a fruit leather bear. When I pack these in her lunch bag, I'll wrap the yogurt in tin foil or something so it doesn't spill.
This next one will be great for an afternoon nutrition break. There's cold pasta salad made with 'butterfly' pasta, a little italian dressing, peas and parmesan cheese. A sliced nectarine with a cute pick and a couple graham crackers with fruit leather and sprinkle flowers.
This would be another great bento for her afternoon nutrition break. There's turkey bologna roll-ups, baby carrots, a box of raisins, and a couple crackers with bunny-shaped cheese.
Here's another great one for her morning nutrition break. Homemade chocolate zucchini bread, unsweetened strawberry kiwi applesauce with sprinkles and a yogurt drink. You can freeze the yogurt drinks to keep the lunch cold.
This is a great fall bento for her afternoon nutrition break. A turkey bologna sandwich cut into oak leaf with a cheese oak leaf on top. I used a food safe marker to draw on the face. Mini cheddar rice cakes and unsweetened applesauce with fall leaf sprinkles. I'll wrap the applesauce in tin foil when I pack it in her lunch bag.
I don't know if your kiddos will eat cold pasta, but mine will. I made butterfly pasta with sausages and my homemade sauce. A sliced cheesestring with a fruit leather tomatoe and a side of peas. You can put frozen peas in the lunch box (just run them under hot water for a second to start them defrosting), and they'll help keep the lunch cool and will be defrosted by lunch time.
Here's some links to some of the things I used to make these bentos: