easy bento lunch box sandwiches, nachos and kabobs
easy bento lunch box sandwiches, nachos and kabobs Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Just make the kids something they like, and they’ll never bring home another unfinished lunch—easier said than done, right? Actually, it can be easy, and it can be done.

Bento boxes—yes, those adorable lunch kits you’ve seen all over Pinterest—make prepping lunch easy by setting a template. Simply fill each compartment with something different—a protein (like a boiled egg, Greek yogurt or deli meat), a fruit or vegetable, some leftovers (like quinoa or noodles) and bam! Lunch is ready.

These easy bento box lunch ideas were created by DIY and food expert Monique Taylor-Yee Shui (A.K.A. @bymeaux on Instagram!) and taste-tested by her daughters, Sydney and Savannah, so you know they’re kid-approved. Best of all, each bento comes together in five minutes or less.

And don’t worry, as much as we love browsing anime-inspired lunches online, these healthy lunches appeal to kids with their delicious flavours—no fancy food art required!

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1Cookie Cutter Sandwiches Bento

Easy bento box lunch sandwiches Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Ready in: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Supplies: A bento box and cookie cutters.

Why we love it: Kids love pitching in on meal prep when they get to choose their own food shapes. If you don’t have cookie cutters on hand, help them cut their sandwiches into bite-sized squares, rectangles or triangles.

How to prep: Spread your favourite nut-free butter, such as Wowbutter, onto a slice of fresh bread, then spread jam or jelly onto another one. Sandwich the slices together, then, using the cookie cutters or a knife, carefully cut them into shapes. Serve with fresh berries and celery.

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BUDGET WATCH
Be sure to save those sandwich scraps! They might not be Pinterest-worthy, but the bits and pieces that remain after cutting out cute shapes for the kids are a perfectly edible snack for mom or dad.

2Lunch Box Kebabs Bento

Easy bento box lunch idea kabobs Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Ready in: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Supplies: A bento box and popsicle sticks.

Why we love it: For the little one who can’t stomach another sandwich, this is—say it with us—not a sandwich. It’s a kebab. Or a food-sword. Or a bread-sicle. But it’s definitely not a sandwich.

How to prep: Cut the bread into quarters and the meat and cheese into squares roughly the same size as the bread. Carefully thread one or two slices of bread onto a popsicle stick, then add meat, cucumber or avocado and cheese, and finish off with more bread. Serve with blueberries, grapes, red peppers and popcorn for a complete meal.

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Choose bread that’s labelled “100 per cent whole wheat” or “100 per cent whole grain” to ensure a healthy dose of fibre. Loaves with two or more grams of fibre per serving are a good choice[1].

3Mini Nacho Bites Bento

Easy bento box lunch ideas nachos Image source: Monique Taylor-Yee Shui

Ready in: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Supplies: A bento box or a large container with reusable silicone muffin cups to hold each ingredient, a spoon for serving.

Why we love it: Nachos feel like a treat and they taste like a treat too. It’s up to you if you want to let your kids in on the secret that they’re also pretty healthy when topped with fresh veggies, lean chicken (or beans, for a veggie option) and delicious cheese.

How to prep: Simply toss each ingredient into its own compartment. Low on space? Similar items like lettuce and diced tomatoes can share a spot, just be sure to keep them away from dry ingredients, so the nachos maintain their oh-so-essential crunch until lunch! Serve with fresh raspberries and broccoli.

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TIME-SAVING TIP
Think two or three meals ahead to use your precious time more effectively. Cooking chicken breasts for dinner? Pop a couple extra in the oven or on the grill for tomorrow’s lunch.

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Article Sources

  1. Heart and Stroke. Fibre and Whole Grains.

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