Back in college, I frequented a little Japanese café that served up the best bento box lunches. Right then and there my obsession with bentos began. Bento boxes have a rich history in Japanese culture, but in a nutshell they’re pretty little boxes that hold small servings of a variety of tasty foods. They’re so much fun for kids and a great way to introduce them to new flavors and cuisines by giving them little snippets at a time. Plus, they make back to school lunchtime so much fun! I recently put together this bento box lunch using Ziploc bags and today I’ll share with you how I did it so you can start dreaming up fun little lunches for the kiddos as school quickly approaches.
First up, I labeled a snack size Ziploc bag for each element of the meal. With bento boxes, the rule of thumb is to keep the food simple and the presentation fun and exciting. With that in mind, I put a little humor into labeling each baggie. You could also decorate yours with different colored washi tapes or stickers!
Next up, I tucked a small helping of each food into the dedicated Ziploc bag. The portions shouldn’t be large and the foods should be prepared to be finger-sized or bite-sized to be super kid-friendly. I loaded mine up with fruits, veggies, cheese, pepperoni and a few baked chips. Bentos are also a great way to introduce lots of healthy foods into your kiddo’s diet, but a little treat here and there is always fine. Usually with a bento lunch you include 3 – 6 items.
Next up, I nestled all of the Ziploc bags in a box I already had at lying around the house. You could also use a standard lunchbox or specialty bento boxes, which are available all over the internet.
Perhaps my favorite thing about bentos is that they keep little ones’ taste buds and curiosity piqued so they aren’t as tempted to want to swap out their lunch for greasy pizza from the school cafeteria. Plus it’s a great way to make sure they’re getting an awesome variety in their diet to grow up strong and healthy. Bonus – they’re so super cute and really fun to put together! For many more bento box lunch ideas, be sure to pop over to Hellobee, which features tons of recipes and creative tips. Happy lunching!
More on The New Home Ec: