Bento Lunch Ideas for Little Foodies

Sometimes, I spend too much time on Pinterest when I could be doing something a little more productive. The upside of it though, is that I get to see lots of trends – from fashion and food to parties and home decor, there is always something that fascinates me. One thing I kept seeing over and over were these cute little lunches called bentos. I had never heard of a bento before, but picture after picture, they had me intrigued. Each time I saw a photo, they were these cute, bright, and organized little lunches. They made me want to get creative in my kitchen! After doing a bit of research and talking to a few bento experts, I now feel like I know what a bento is and how to make one. Click through to learn ALL about Bento Boxes to make for your little ones…

  • What is a Bento lunch?

    What is a Bento lunch?

    Click through to find out!

  • A Bento is...

    …basically a packed lunch. It comes from Japanese culture. Bentos are neatly organized, visually appealing, and nutritious. (AKA – exactly the kind of lunch both you AND your toddler will love!)

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Bright Colors

    Nearly every bento lunch I see is packed with bright colors – both in the food and the containers. A bright lunch makes a little one excited to eat!

    Image via Meet the Dubiens

  • Fun Surprises

    Bento lunches often come with fun surprises – little “decorations,” sandwiches or snacks cut into fun shapes, etc. How cool is this Star Wars Bento?!

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Balance

    Bentos are nicely balanced, with anywhere from 3 to 7 different kinds of foods. From fruits and veggies to proteins and grains, your little one will experience a well-balanced meal.

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Eco-Friendly

    One awesome benefit of bento lunches is that they are eco-friendly. Bento lunches are packed in reusable containers, so there is no waste!

    Image via Meet the Dubiens

  • Packaging

    Bento boxes are specialty boxes sold for the sole purpose of making bento lunches. But, you can easily create your own using plastic food containers, cups, silicone cupcake wrappers, and more…

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Shapes & Sizes

    One of the coolest things about bentos are the fun shapes and sizes of the foods. Help your little one learn about different shapes by adding a fun design to their favorite food. (Use a cookie cutter to make flower-shaped sandwiches!)

    Image via Meet the Dubiens

  • Creativity

    Making bentos is the perfect activity for the creative person! From stacking and sorting to designing a sandwich, your extra special touch will be noticed!

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Fun Themes

    Many bento lunches celebrate a certain theme – from seasons and holidays to animals and objects, it can be a fun way to eat lunch and learn at the same time!

    Image via Meet the Dubiens

  • Picky Eaters??

    Bentos provide optimum encouragement for picky eaters. With small portions, lots of variety, and a super–fun presentation, picky eaters just might overcome their fear of certain foods!

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Portion Control

    Because of the organization and variety of bento lunches, little ones are less-likely to over indulge in certain foods.

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Budget Friendly

    Making your own lunch saves so much money. Instead of eating out or buying pre-packaged foods, bentos can make your wallet a little thicker.

    Image via Meet the Dubiens

  • Excitement

    Can you imagine eating a lunch that looked like this everyday? Add some excitement to your little one’s normal routine with these crazy-fun lunches!

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Leftovers

    Bentos are a great way to reuse leftovers, too! Use the noodles from last night’s dinner to create a new lunch for your toddler…

    Image via Meet the Dubiens

  • Make Ahead

    Making bento lunches can be a bit time consuming, depending on how much detail you put into certain things. One way to save time is to make a few lunches all at once. On Sunday night, make 5 bentos for the week, etc.

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Show the Love

    So many people who make bentos for their kids say that they love to do it because it’s another way to show their kids how much they love them. A special snack or a fun surprise can be just the extra touch a little one needs…

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

  • Where to Start??

    Start by stocking up on your little one’s favorite foods – strawberries, turkey lunch meat, all-natural cheese crackers, etc. Then, add a few other things in to create a well-balanced and enticing meal.

    Image via Wendy of Wendolonia

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