Bento Style Lunch and Snack Ideas

August 24, 2017

Bento Style Lunch and Snack Ideas

Packing lunches and snacks for daycare or school (or workplace) can seem overwhelming and has the potential to become monotonous! The current trend in packing the day’s edibles in a bento style container creates a canvas for creative eating on the go.

 A fun idea is to “theme the box”. A rotation of food themes can keep eating fun and fresh. Some suggestions:

  1. Southwestern Style: grilled chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and corn salsa or salad
  2. Mexican Style: low sodium tortilla chips, fresh tomato salsa, cheese cubes, guacamole
  3. Middle Eastern Style: flat bread triangles, hummus, cherry tomatoes, fresh peppers, cucumber slices.
  4. Picnic Style: pasta salad, broccoli florets, orange slices

 Some pick and choose ideas of items that work nicely in Bento Box lunches and snacks:

  1. Boiled eggs
  2. Cut up fruits and veggies
  3. “Sushi” style sandwiches (tuna, salmon, egg in rolled up bread)
  4. Baked pretzel
  5. Cut up cheese
  6. Salsa and dips

A few “outside of the box” ideas:

  1. Peeled banana with mini chocolate chips dotted around
  2. Waffle grilled cheese sandwich
  3. Blueberry Pancake cream cheese sandwich
  4. Bananas cut up in rounds, rolled in seed butter then rolled in shredded coconut or crushed pretzels, or chia seeds.

Inside the Box

There are several Bento style lunch and snack boxes on the market. We like The Little Lunchbox (pictured below), Yumbox and Dalcini Stainless lunch box and snacker combo.

If you already have an open box and want to “bento it up” you can add silicone muffin cups for an easy way to separate the items inside the box. You can create an edible food divider by using leaves of kale or lettuce.

Another fun idea within the box is to create an edible dip bowl by cutting a section of french bread, scooping out the center and filling with dip - offer fresh veggies on the side for a great fully edible snack!

Give consideration to the following when designing your boxed lunches and snacks:

  • Keep the portions balanced: proteins, carbs, fresh fruits and veggies...make room for a balance of everything!
  • Consider the Colour! We know that fruits and veggies that hold a deep colour are great options….and having a variety of these inside the box makes for a stunning presentation.
  • Pack the food inside tightly. Pack in the hard, shaped items first, then add in the softer, flexible items last. The tighter food is packed the better it will stay in place until meal or snack time.

Taking time to get re-energised with meals and snacks doesn’t have to be mundane. Have fun creating colourful, tasty, food to go for the whole family!

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