These Bento Box School Lunch Ideas are for those of us who have kids who don’t like sandwiches. Or panini. Or subs. Or wraps. Basically, any school lunch which has bread + something inside + more bread. If your child is a non-sandwich-child…this bento box school lunch ideas list might make life easier…
Bento Box School Lunch Ideas
In my house we call a bento box a “buffet” (I honestly don’t know where we came up with this). But basically it’s food with firm divisions in the presentation. Perhaps that’s half the fun…the fact that in a bento box school lunch foods don’t touch. Textures are also separated as well.
Aside: my son does like some foods that touch…pizza, spaghetti, hamburgers. So it’s not a clear and defined “foods should never touch” thing here. It’s just, apparently, he has a thing against sandwich-foods.
The elements of a bento box
I strive to include the 4 main food groups in a bento box. Think: fruit, dairy, grain, protein. So here is a little pick-and-choose school lunch list of foods you can fit into your bento box.
I know – you are thinking – why are potatoes on this list? Think: potato salad.
It takes a minute to think outside the sandwich…because for a while I was scratching my head thinking “what else is there?“. But if you think school lunch in terms of food groups rather than what fits inside a bun…you discover there are many options available.
Today’s bento box menu chez moi: apple, chocolate milk, salami, ritz crackers + fish crackers*. Keep in mind our school has kids eating a 1, 2, 3 food plan. #1 in mid-morning (granola bar today), #2 (which is the bento box) then mid-afternoon #3 (cookies today). So, really, the child is not going hungry.
*I was pressed for time this morning so he got 2 kinds of crackers. I can live with this 😉
DIY Bento Boxes using silicone muffin liners
You can certainly buy Bento Boxes (for grown ups and kids) but you can also DIY a bento box. As pictured below, I use silicone muffin liners (I bought mine on Amazon Canada – and not crazy expensive – you can also buy them at most kitchen gear stores ). I have a rectangle set and a circle set which I use to separate foods in a bento box. They are washable, reusable, and fit within a square lunch container with no problems.
And if you ever need bento box inspiration: follow @lifeonmanitoulin because her daughter makes the best bento lunches for herself! Seriously good. I wish she made school lunch for my kids.