Those Cute Lunch Bento Boxes May Help You Feed Your Kids More

protein packed lunch box

We make constant jokes about recess or lunchtime being the best subject in school. Technically, it’s not wrong since eating lunch isn’t only important for your kid’s physical growth; it can also help them stay focused. But that’s not going to happen if they barely touch their lunch containers.

Untouched lunch boxes mean empty tummies and wasted food. If this is your reality, don’t worry. You can get your child interested in their lunches in many ways. From investing in cute boy or girl lunch boxes to learning the art of TikTok bento lunchboxes, we break down the many ways you can entice your child to jump in their Hello Kitty lunch box or anime lunch box.

It Starts With the Lunch Box

The lunch box is your first line of defense (or attack) when it comes to encouraging your kids to eat. Fortunately, online and brick-and-mortar stores have plenty of lunch box options for girls and boys. But not all cute lunch bags are great for your kid’s food. There are some fun boy or girl lunch boxes that are just fun on the outside but might cause a mess on the inside.

So, how do you choose the best lunch box for your girls or boys?

Here are some considerations:

Does Your Child Have a Large Appetite?

If your child is a picky eater or has a small appetite, you can get away with a smaller lunch container. On the other hand, if they’re the type who just likes playing with their food, they might not need too much food for school.

If your child is a big eater, get them a lunch box that can hold plenty of food. Look for large bento-style boxes that can hold cups of food.

What Type of Food are You Packing?

tonkatsu lunch box
Photo by Ferks Guare on Unsplash

Are you going to pack wet food like thick yogurt or dips? Get a quality leak-proof lunchbox instead of the bento boxes that aren’t leak-proof. The best leak-proof boy or girl lunch boxes are Little Lunchbox Co., Go Green, Yumbox and Bentgo. You can also pack the dips and yogurt in a separate reusable pouch.

Are you packing hot foods? If your kids love hot lunches, go for lunch boxes that have a built-in thermos section or invest in a standalone insulated jar.

Will the Lunchbox Be Washed in the Dishwasher?

This is a practical consideration. While most lunch bag containers are dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing lunchboxes that have seals in the lid. Hand wash all your lunch boxes every night from Monday to Thursday then put them in the dishwasher on Fridays. This way, your little boy or girl’s lunch boxes get a good wash once a week.

If the dishwasher is your only option, a stainless steel lunch box is your best bet.

Another consideration is the compartments. Some lunch boxes are single pieces while some (like Bentgo and Yumboxes) have removable trays so you’ll be washing two parts.

Currently, the most popular lunch box for kids is the Bentgo lunch box due to its bento-style box that comes with rigid compartments. This durable lunch box is also convenient to pack and easy to clean. On top of that, each Bentgo lunchbox is spill-proof so you need not worry about spilling ranch dressings and other dips or sauces.

What Goes Into a Kid’s Bento Box?

What meals should you pack inside of your little boy or girl’s lunchboxes? What should a picky eater have for lunch?

Kid aren’t always the best eaters, especially if they prefer junk foods like sodas or boxes of donuts. A little creativity, however, can get them to eat their veggies. Here are some ideas for the best lunches for your kids.

Bento Box Idea #1: Crackers and Hummus

If your child loves to dip their food, pack them crackers and hummus. When it comes to the dip, try a few different brands to find out which one your child loves the best. Pair the dip with cheese, crackers and fresh fruits like apples or watermelon. If you have a big eater, add a simple side like yogurt.

Bento Box Idea #2: Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

Turkey and cheese sandwich is a favorite among Mommy TikTokers and their bento box lunches. After all, you can’t go wrong with this sandwich combination. Cut them into smaller pieces and add them to your bento box with sides of bell pepper strips and diced pineapples.

Bento Box Idea #3: Chicken Salad Lunch

Prepared chicken thigh or breast or store-bought rotisserie chicken can make this bento lunch work. All you have to do is dice the chicken up and pack them with shredded lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes and croutons. Don’t forget to pack some ranch on the side! For their fruits, throw in some halved grapes.

Bento Box Idea #4: Taco Salad Box

Combine compartments of shredded cheese, corn, shredded lettuce and pinto or black beans. Add a side container of salsa or guacamole plus baked tortilla chips.

Bento Lunch Box Idea #5 Snack Box

Any snack combination can become a healthy lunch, especially if you mix vitamins and minerals from each food group. Strawberries, yogurt, snap peas and pretzels; cherries, pepperoni and crackers — you do the mix and match!

Bento Lunch Box Idea #6 Egg Muffins

An easy way to get ahead of your kids’ lunches is by making a batch of egg muffins. Muffins are a great way to pack iron and protein in a kid-friendly lunch. Pair this lunch with cereal, cucumbers and cantaloupe.

How Do You Make Cute Lunchboxes?

Apart from buying cute lunch bags for your kids, there are other tools that can make their lunches cute. For example, sandwich cutters in fun designs are every parent’s best friend. Your child will most likely eat their turkey and cheese sandwich if you cut it in the shape of a star, flower, car or dinosaur.

Large cookie cutters should do the trick. Alternatively, you can also make it easier for you by cutting the sandwiches into fun shapes with a knife. This trick also works well for other food items like vegetables and fruits.

The cool designs won’t just make the kids’ lunches more appealing; the small sizes will also make the food easier to eat for the kids. By enticing them to eat with cute lunches, you also build the good habit of finishing their food.

How Do You Make a Fun Lunch Box? Tips and Tricks

seafood and pork bento box
Photo by Kouji Tsuru on Unsplash

If buying cute boy or girl lunch boxes and organizing colorful lunches isn’t enough or if you’re new to the bento lunchbox routine, here are some tips to remember for your next attempt at making fun lunch box meals.

  1. Make it playful and colorful. Get creative with how you slice up your fruits and vegetables or combine other foods. Try to achieve at least three to four colors in your lunch containers to keep your kids excited for their meals.
  2. Include all the food groups. In general, bento lunch boxes include a carbohydrate (noodles, rice, pasta), the main dish or a protein (seafood or meat), sides (cherry tomatoes, boiled egg, sugar snap peas, baby carrots), small snacks (crisps, nuts, cookies) and fresh fruit (berries or apples).
  3. Keep your lunch boxes fresh. Pack your containers in cute insulated lunch bags to keep the food safe and fresh until lunchtime. You can also use an ice pack to keep the lunch containers cool.
  4. Prioritize safety. Bento lunches are best enjoyed at cold or room temperature. If you want to reheat their food in the morning, let the hot meals cool down into your girls’ or boys’ lunch box. This ensures no bacteria will grow on their food.
  5. Test new options during the weekend. How can you incorporate variety in your child’s lunchbox without worrying about them not eating it? Weekend lunches are the best times to try out different school lunch ideas to determine what your kids like and dislike.

Cute boy or girl lunch boxes can attract the attention of your kids, but what’s inside can either encourage or discourage them from eating. Have them eager for recess or lunchtime by packing cute lunches for them.

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