Updated: Oct 15, 2020
If you are looking at the pictures and saying to yourself “these lunches don’t look so fancy”. You are correct. No sandwiches shaped like hearts, or cucumbers in the shape of stars. I am simply not that mom. But, with my easy compartment method using Bento boxes we have a formula for making lunches easy to pack and that get eaten each day.
Hummus and Rice Crackers
Noble Vegan Jerky
Kiwi and Strawberry Slices
Made Good Granola Bar
Smashed Avocado Wrap
Apples with WOW Butter for dipping
Q-Tofu (from Hearts Choices)
Corn Chowder (leftovers)
Hummus and Stoned Wheat Thin Crackers
How I do most of my little dude’s lunches is start with what he wants his main lunch to be, and go from there. Don’t get me wrong I don’t give him free rein, I will either say do you want leftovers (super popular with him and so easy for me to heat up in the morning and simply put into a thermos) or give him another option depending on what we have and how much time I have in the AM.
Main: leftovers, soups, chili, warm pasta or pasta salads, wraps, sandwiches, sushi, quesadilla, pizza slices, rice and beans or a glory bowl.
For the snacks, I lay out his Bento box each day and again I give him choices depending on what we have and let him choose from 1 - 4 options the following 4 categories (he gets one from each). I try to let him choose these days as there is a higher likelihood he will come home with an empty Bento box.
Veggies: cucumbers, carrots, celery, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, zucchini noodles, roasted sweet potato or squash, and whatever else your little one will eat.
Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, sliced kiwi, grapes, small bananas, apples, mango, dried fruit and freeze-dried fruit.
Complex carbohydrates: grain crackers, flat bread, toast, dry whole-grain cereal, a granola bar, or whole grain pretzels.
Favorite proteins: tofu, vegan jerky, beans, edamame, puffed or roasted chick peas, seeds, hummus or seed butter.
Things I have learned:
Bento boxes makes packing lunches so much easier! After owning 4 different ones, I prefer the Little Lunchbox Co ones as the compartment are deep, it locks with a durable latch that has yet to break, it never leaks, and fits in most kid’s lunch bags they sell.
I involve him in the grocery process. We plan out his Bento boxes for the week picking fruits and veggies he wants to eat that week.
What they like one day, they may not the next. You know this. The picture of the Bento with the kiwi fruit, is funny as he has been eating kiwi fruit for a while now and suddenly told me he doesn’t like it. Apparently its too slimy now….
Variety is key. Keep switching it up and surprising them with options. Sometimes I go through cycles where we have similar things and then I won’t offer that for a while so he is excited when it comes back.
Buy your own Bento box and make a lunch with similar items or snacks so you are eating healthy snacks too!
Hope that helps making packing lunch easier!