As the school year winds down, so does my lunchbox packing creativity and my son’s enthusiasm for eating it. Fortunately, the grocery stores and markets are brimming with fresh food options in June, so in lieu of sandwiches and soups I have decided to switch to a Bento Box-style packed lunch for the duration of the school year. On many occasions, my son has come home from school with food left in his sandwich container or lunch bag. When I ask why, his usual response is “there wasn’t enough time to eat it”. I know that my son is very social, especially at lunchtime, and will talk himself through an entire meal.
So, I figured one solution for this would be to provide him with a lunch that he could eat in pieces, thereby allowing him a natural break in between courses to continue a conversation. The tricky part of packing a Bento Box-style lunch is finding the correct sized container for the size of the lunch bag. There are a few eco-friendly and safe plastic and stainless steel alternatives out there, but many of them were too big for our lunch bags. But you can always just use a plastic food storage box and if you want to keep the food separate, put the different bits in muffin cup liners (or the reusable silicone ones), and tuck them in the container. When packing a Bento Box, cut up any kind of meat (ham, tuna, turkey kielbasa, chicken etc.) and/or cheese (BabyBel, marble cheddar, provolone) into chunks, strips or slices, a handful of fruit (cherries, grapes, strawberries) and vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, fresh peas, beans). Include a mini bun or crackers and you have a well-balanced, litter-free lunch that took very little effort to prepare.
What are you packing for lunch?
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