Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Kids

The options are endless when it comes to creating a bento box lunch. Holistic nutritionist, Carley Mendes, shares her favorite lunch time ideas.

Photo by Carley Mendes

Bento boxes help you to think beyond sandwiches and make it easier to pack a nutritious and fun lunch for your children. Bento box lunches encourage diversity and color to entice little eaters and prevent brown bag boredom. Balance the box by focusing on a variety of colors and incorporate food from different categories, such as fruit, vegetables, proteins and starch. Use these simple suggestions to inspire your own creativity!

Bento Box 1

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  • Roasted asparagus
  • Apple slice sandwich with almond butter (nut-free: sub with sunflower seed butter or tahini)
  • Mixed quinoa salad

Bento Box 2

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  • Carrot sticks
  • Sliced avocado & chicken on nori sheets
  • Sprouted grain & seed crackers

Bento Box 3

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  • Grape skewers
  • Scrambled eggs & roasted peppers
  • Watermelon & blueberries

Turkey Wrap

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Sliced turkey with lettuce, tomato & hummus rolled in gluten-free wraps.

Veggie Rolls

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Shredded carrots, beets, peas, sliced radishes & hummus wrapped in rice paper rolls.

Zucchini Noodles

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Zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer or mandolin, topped with pesto & roasted tomatoes.

Bento Ingredients

Bento Box options are limitless! Here are a few more ingredient ideas to get you started!

Fruit

  • apple
  • berries
  • fresh figs
  • grapes
  • kiwi
  • pomegranate seeds
  • citrus: orange or grapefruit
  • stone fruit: cherries, apricot, peach, nectarine, plum
  • tropical fruit: pineapple, mango, papaya
  • melon: cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
  • dried fruit or trail mix

Vegetables

  • avocado
  • cherry tomatoes
  • radish
  • sugar snap peas
  • seaweed snacks
  • kale chips
  • raw slices: carrot, celery, cucumber, bell pepper
  • roasted: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini

Protein 

  • natural sausage with no additives
  • tempeh sticks
  • canned or smoked salmon
  • hard boiled egg
  • organic yogurt or cheese
  • sliced meat

Starches

  • roasted potato
  • homemade yam fries
  • mixed rice
  • grilled squash
  • quinoa salad
  • mix bean or lentil salad
  • crunchy roasted chickpeas