Stressed about packing daily school lunches? Then check out this how to pack bento school lunch boxes post to find helpful school lunch ideas, tips and shows you how easy it is to create healthy school lunches once you have the right tools.
How To Pack Bento School Lunches
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As a working mom of two, after school is busy, and mornings may be even busier in my household! Therefore, I make lunches the night before. That’s why I’m always looking for fast, easy lunch ideas that are also healthy and delicious!
When my daughter started JK in 2015, I purchased the Planetbox and instantly fell in love with the idea of making lunches. With the different compartments it made lunch packing super-fast and easy. Since then I have added to my collection of bento boxes and now own 3 Planetboxes and 2 Yumboxes, each with additional Yumbox trays. We use these interchangeably for my now grade one daughter and JK son, making daily lunch prep even easier without the additional clean up from the previous lunches.
I tend to fill my kid’s lunches mostly with vegetables, adding a little fruit, grains, meat, and dairy products to the different sections. I will typically fill two sections with veggies and one section with fruits.
The largest section is usually reserved for the “main course”, whether that be a hard-boiled egg, a wrap, savory waffles, quesadillas, etc.
I also try to add in a dairy product, like plain Greek yogurt or cheddar cheese, as often as possible. Because my kids get their fill of 2% milk at breakfast and dinner, I don’t always feel the need to include it at lunch. With the Planetbox small dipper, packing yogurt in one of the sections is easy! Although the Yumbox is leak-proof, and I have sent yogurt in one of the sections, I prefer to use the Planetbox dipper in my Yumbox for
yogurt as well.
I often add healthy toppings to our yogurt, like hemp hearts, chia, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or even nut-free granola. These toppings add additional heathy ingredients, while creating a more beautiful appeal visually and texturally.
The centre section of the Planetbox and Yumbox I reserve for a small “treat” … sometimes that may be a chocolate or small cookie, other times it’s raisins, seeds, roasted chickpeas, or dried fruit (coconut is a family favorite!).
One way I have found making lunches easier, is by preparing lunch and dinner at the same time, and using leftovers from our dinners. I usually cut up tons of raw veggies for dinner and leave a huge plate in the centre of the dinner table for the kids to pick at. They choose whatever they feel like that meal and the rest goes into the lunches. Some nights I know they will gobble up the whole plate, so I will cut up extras and start filling the lunch boxes as dinner is cooking. Giving my kids the ability to choose their own.
Often we will cook more than is needed for dinner and the leftovers will go into the lunch the following day. If we have homemade burgers, we will BBQ eight instead of four, leaving us each one for lunch the next day. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll prepare something different (this is always easier when dinner is cooking and doesn’t need to be tended to).
Lunch #1 – Sundried tomato cheese quesadilla in the waffle maker. Sides include plain greek yogurt, cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, cucumbers, strawberries and a small cookie for dessert.
Lunch #2 and #3 – Homemade hamburger on a fresh English muffin, topped with spinach, tomato, ketchup and mustard. Sides include cheddar cheese, sweet pickles, kidney beans, cucumbers, strawberries, blackberries and pumpkin seeds.
Lunch #4 – Rainbow veggie wraps with cream cheese. Sides include red kidney beans, edamame, tomatoes, clementines and strawberries, salted chickpeas (from The Good Bean), and a nut-free paleo energy bite.
Lunch #5 – Tuna rolls and chickpea salad (recipe below). Sides include tomatoes, clementines and blueberries.
Simple Chickpea Salad
1 can chickpeas
1 cup cucumbers (chopped)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 cup red peppers (any colour pepper will do!) (chopped)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup EV olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, remove outer skins, add to large bowl.
2. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers to bowl with chickpeas
3. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour dressing over the salad and mix.
Lunch #6 – Humus and veggies wrap. Sides include plain Greek yogurt topped with chia seeds, nectarines, raspberries, pears, a mini cucumber an cherry tomatoes. (And an added love note from Lunchbox Love).
Lunch #7 – Hard-boiled egg slices on a bed of cauliflower fried “rice” slightly adapted. Sides include kidney beans and chickpeas, cucumbers, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and a Hershey kiss for dessert.
I am always striving for easy, healthy lunches that are also litterless, and I’ve found that using the bento boxes, like Planetbox and Yumbox, help me in achieving this simple goal.