I have recently become somewhat familiar with bento boxes, mostly for packing lunches for the kids. They love them, they are cute, compact, and  you are able to get a surprising amount of food in them.

We packed our first bento lunches last night. Nothing spectacular, a couple hard boiled eggs, some baby carrots, a piece of banana bread and a granola bar each. While we were at it, we made a list of things they want in their lunches… I hit the grocery store today and got it all…  As we packed tomorrow’s lunches this evening, I took pictures.

My younger daughter, she eats slowly, so she can’t eat a large lunch in the 20 minutes that they have for lunch at school. Here was her choices for tomorrow.

lunch #1

lunch #1

top section is cheese and ham, cut into pieces to fit on crackers, included in the lid but not shown, middle section is grapes, and grape tomatoes,bottom section is cantaloupe.  When the whole thing is stacked and belted it looks like this

Lunch #1 stacked

Lunch #1 stacked

My older daughter eats more, and she eats much faster, so she can take more to be eaten in her 20 minutes. She chose to take two 2-later boxes, and here they are.

lunch #2 box 1

lunch #2 box 1

Top section has grapes, grape tomatoes, and raw broccoli florets, middle (actually the bottom of the bento) is cantaloupe pieces, and on the bottom is the top of the box, it has her flatware and some wheat thins crackers.

Lunch#2, box 2

Top section has cheese, ham and crackers, middle (again, actually the bottom of the bento) has salad, just prebagged salad, mixed with raw spinich,  and the top  has more ritz crackers for her ham and cheese.

Lunch #2 stacked

Lunch #2 stacked

This is both containers stacked and belted.

My girls love the system, we put the containers in thermal bags, with reusable ice cubes, and cloth napkins (which we use around the house anyway) and they are happy.

I do want to note that yes, there are a lot of fruits and vegetables in my childrens’ lunches, no I don’t force this on them, these are what they CHOSE for their lunches, and yes, my 9 year old actually wanted salad in her lunch.

Another upside is they love helping to chose what goes into and helping to pack their lunches. So far, it has been fun.

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