5 Real Tips for Back to School Bento Box Lunches

by: Autumn Rose Reo, MamaChallenge.com

Back-to-school isn’t just for kids.

Sure, you can check out Pinterest for some ideas, but most of those lunches are quite complicated to make. These real tips for back to school Bento Box lunches feature food your kids will want to eat featuring one of our kids’ new favorite Finding Dory. However, you can use these ideas for any under the sea fan (like for The Little Mermaid or Finding Nemo.)

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Real Tips for Back to School Bento Box Lunches

1. Colorful and creative mixes are the name of the game.

2. Think outside the bread box

3. Cookie cutters make everything more fun.

4. Lunch will stick with them with shish kabobs

5. Multitask making lunch colorful and creative mixes are the name of the game.

Keep it simple! Kids don’t want complicated recipes and fancy presentations. They want food they can eat with their hands that tastes good. My kids love raw vegetables and hummus.

Try using the top of the bell pepper and lay it in a bed of hummus. We made “Hank,” the octopus from Finding Dory. Of course, the eyes make it more fun so I always have candy eyes around to add that special touch!

Another way to get creative is to mix it up!

To make this Bento the colors of Finding Dory, I used cantaloupe and blueberries for a unique fruit salad. There are lots of ways to make your lunches more exciting by getting creative with different items.

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Think outside the bread box.

I started making these years ago for my kids and they LOVE them. I use a combination of meat, cheese, veggies, and soft white sandwich bread. The softer the bread the better since you’re actually flattening out the bread with a rolling pin, layering on your extras, and then rolling it up like sushi.

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The secret to making successful “sandwich sushi” is in the direction you roll it. If you roll it down top to bottom, the bread doesn’t stay together. But, If you roll the sandwich from left to right (vertically), the bread seems hold tighter like sushi. You can see what I mean from the photo below. The first one is done with top roll and the second one is the side to side roll.

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Tortillas, flatbreads, and crackers add a great twist to lunch meat, cheese and veggie combinations. Shop the deli section and try out something different from time to time to keep things fun.

Cookie cutters make everything cuter!

Variety is the spice of life but that doesn’t mean you have to constantly reinvent the wheel. Just using a cookie cutter on your sandwiches or fruit can change things up and make them a lot more interesting. Cookie cutters make everything look cuter and are and easy way to change up your daily lunches.

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As a rule of thumb, I purchase cookie cutters throughout the year, when we visit somewhere special, and right after the holidays when they go on sale. After my kids saw Finding Dory, I ordered all kinds of sea-like creatures for their back to school lunches.

My favorite cutters are the stars I have in several sizes. We use them for princesses, Star Wars, and for this Under the Sea themed Bento Box, we used them to make starfish sandwiches. Voila! 

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Lunch will stick with them with shish kabobs

Presentation is everything. For instance, bits of meat, vegetables, and fruit are always more fun when it’s on a shish kabob. If you have younger kids and don’t want to have pointed ends, you can use a straw.

This Bento Box includes fruit shish kabobs, lunchmeat, tomato and cheese rounds; dried kale chips, and a special combo of white cheddar popped chips with fish-shaped cheddar crackers.

Multitask your lunches

To make sure they stay hydrated add a Tum-E Yummies to their lunchbox. Instead of buying a freezer pack, place your Tum-E Yummies in the freezer overnight and throw it in their lunchbox before they leave for school. The Tum-E Yummies thaws in the lunchbox, keeping everything cool, until it’s time to eat!

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Tum-E Yummies is a fruit flavored water beverage for kids made in five flavors: Very Berry Blue, Greentastic Apple, Fruitabulous Punch, Orange-arific, and Sour-sational Raspberry. My kids also really love the limited time flavor, Berry-Licious Watermelon. All Tum-E Yummies flavors have 100% daily value vitamin C, B6, B12 and only 50 calories and 13g of sugar. They also have no sodium and a spill-proof sport cap.

However, the best tip for Back to School Bento Box Lunches is to have your kids help! Just putting together the box teaches them nutrition, invites them to be responsible for themselves, and it’s a fun way for you all to spend time together…and of course, helps you to get it done!

And best of all, it’s a great way for you and your kids to spend time together!