As most families with young children know, getting your kids out the door to school with a healthy and tasty packed lunch can be challenging. Bento boxes can be super helpful with packing items kids will enjoy with focus on appropriate portions to include variety and not overwhelm picky eaters. Follow my stepwise plan below for creating delicious bento box lunches any kid will love:
Step One: Pick a protein. Kids may like fun colored food picks for cheese cubes, sliced egg, and even the beans to make lunch time even more fun.
● Hard boiled eggs
● Beans like chickpeas, lentils, black beans, etc.
● Deli meat or rotisserie chicken
● Nut and seed butters
Step Two: Pair those veggies with a dip. Dipping is a very kid friendly way to help make veggies more appealing.
● Celery and ranch
● Baby carrots and tzatziki
● Snap peas and hummus
● Cucumbers with guacamole
● Pepper strips with salsa
● Broccoli with ketchup (yes, ketchup is ok, and this is one my daughter loves!)
Step Three: Have fun with fruit. Use cookie cutters for some of these suggestions to make fun shapes for even more visual appeal.
● Watermelon stars
● Kiwi hearts
● Honeydew or cantaloupe farm animals
● Starfruit naturally has a fun shape!
Step Four: Include a fun food. Allowing kids to pack a fun food with the rest of the lunch may inspire a sense of comfort and control over what is going into the meal.
● A few squares of milk or dark chocolate
● Chocolate or yogurt covered pretzels or fruit
● Handful of chips, pretzels, popcorn or Goldfish crackers
● Fruit snacks
I hope everyone has a happy and healthy school year with plenty of energy for learning. Reach out to the dietitians at Waverley Oaks for more support with happy and healthy eating. Schedule your appointment today at email@example.com!
Content submitted by Jessica Roy MS, RD, LDN Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor