6 Bento Lunch Ideas Your Kid Won’t Want To Trade

Finding healthy foods that your kids are willing to eat can be tricky. (By tricky we mean borderline impossible!) However, it’s incredibly important to keep kids well fed so that they can have the right kind of energy to grow, play, learn and sleep properly. Thanks to Pinterest – we found some amazing options! Here are our six tried and tested lunch ideas that our own kids love!

school lunches for kids

As parents, we are all too familiar with the battle of the lunchbox. You send a sandwich cut into four squares and only one square gets eaten. You send one square and then get a note saying your child didn’t have enough sandwich to eat. The struggle is real.

Luckily, we spent some time on Pinterest and found six creative lunchbox ideas our kids actually like! From pasta to sushi, there are options for even the fussiest eaters. The best part: they’re easy to make, healthy and won’t get soggy in transit.

A child’s diet is extremely important because they’re growing nearly every second of the day and require the right kind of energy to build strong bones, lean muscles and keep their brains churning. School can be exhausting so it’s really important that your child has a lunch they actually want to eat so they can refuel.

Scroll down to see our six picks, which all include options for people who are Gluten Free (GF), Dairy Free (DF), Vegetarian (V) or Vegan (VG).

Wrap it up!


Metal lunchbox filled with fruit, veggies and wraps
Image via Pinterest


First of all, we give this mom an A+ for cutting the cucumbers into hearts. We also give her an A+ for finding the perfect combination of protein, carbohydrates and fiber. While boiled eggs are known for being rich in protein, they also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that support healthy eyesight. (Can be made GF, DF, V and VG)

Your packing list:

  • Wraps with turkey, bacon, mayo and lettuce (Can be swapped for avocado or a soy option)
  • Boiled egg
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Cheese cubes (or Soy cheese)
  • Raisins (or any other dried fruit)
  • Grapes


Mexi Meal Time


Kids Mexican Inspired Lunch Box
Image via Pinterest


For kids who love Mexican food, this option delivers in a big way. The roasted chicken offers protein, while the tortilla wrap will keep little bellies feeling full until dinner. (Can be made GF, DF, V and VG)

Your packing list:

  • Mini tortillas (GF options available)
  • Roasted chicken (Can be swapped for roast veggies, tempeh or tofu)
  • Sour Cream (or Guacamole)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Optional: Shredded Cheddar cheese (Soy cheese available)


Pasta Party


Kids broccoli, pasta and kiwi lunch
Image via Pinterest


If you have a child who is like us; completely addicted to pasta, then this healthy option is just for them! By adding broccoli into the pasta, you’ll add much needed calcium and vitamin K. Kiwis are known for being packed with nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium, while the cheese and crackers makes for a great extra snack. (Can be made GF, DF, V and VG)

Your packing list:

  • Pasta wheels (we opt for Buckwheat noodles)
  • Broccoli
  • Parmesan cheese and olive oil to coat (Parmesan can be swapped with soy cheese, nutritional yeast or omitted)
  • Kiwi
  • Rice crackers
  • Hard cheese (Or soy cheese)


Just Role With It!


Kids Rice Paper Roll Lunch
Image via Pinterest


Rice paper rolls are one of the easiest ways to cater for kids with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance. They can be made with meat or vegan, making them our most versatile choice. Our kids loved this option because it had lots of colorful (healthy) nibbles and a sweet date ball treat at the end! (Can be made GF, DF, V and VG)

Your packing list:

  • Rice paper + filling options: chicken, tuna salad, red bell pepper, cabbage, cucumber, avocado
  • Chickpeas and snap peas
  • Cheese slices (Can be replaced with soy cheese)
  • Olives
  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Carrot
  • Date ball


Hearty and Wholesome


Kids bento lunchbox with healthy food
Image via Pinterest


For lovers of bread, meat and cheese – this is a bento box of gold! By including carrot, broccoli and pear, you provide the perfect balance to the protein, carbohydrates and fat. Particularly great for kids who aren’t fans of sandwiches, this option caters for little nibblers with big appetites. (Can be made GF, DF, V and VG)

Your packing list:

  • Sourdough bread (GF option available)
  • Cheddar cheese (Can be replaced with soy cheese)
  • Turkey slices (Can be replaced with tofu or tempeh)
  • Roasted or fresh carrot slices
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Sliced pear


Sushi Sensation


Kids lunch with sushi and fruit
Image via Pinterest


Great for vegetarians, avocado sushi rolls won’t get yucky throughout the day and deliver all the nutrients needed to stay full steam ahead on the playground. The healthy dose of raspberries, blueberries and cherries will satisfy your tot’s sweet tooth while also giving them the antioxidants they need. For adventurous kids – throw in some ginger! (Can be made GF, DF, V and VG)

Your packing list:

  • Avocado sushi
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Ginger (optional)


Want to learn more tips about healthy eating for children?


It’s never too late to start talking to your kids about what “real” food is, where ingredients come from and how to cook homemade meals. Calgary Avansino shares her Top 10 tips for healthy eating for children.