Photo from Smashed Peas and Carrots.com

I know it’s a little early to start using that dreaded 6 letter “s” word, but School is coming and planning starts now!

Lunches, both at school and work, are some of the hardest things to plan for. It’s hard to find healthy items that can stay fresh in a lunch box. A new option (well, it’s really a revamp of a traditional Japanese dish) is the Bento Box! We’ve seen lunches packed like this before, but the Pinterest recipes for this style are growing all the time. The Bento Box of today is a box with one large and a few small compartments to keep food from mixing. This helps with portion sizes, and makes packing and eating much faster. Especially at school when there’s a short amount of time to eat, having everything in one container minimizes the time it takes to open each container. The main portions to hit are protein, grains, veggies and fruits.

Some Ideas of what to put in each section:

Protein

  • Sandwich Meats
  • Chicken or Tuna Salad
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Chick Peas
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Nuts/Peanut Butter
  • Beans

Grains

  • Quinoa
  • Pita Bread
  • Whole Grain Crackers
  • Muffins
  • A pasta or grain based salad
  • A whole grain bread

Veggies

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Beans or Snap Peas
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatos
  • Brocoli

Fruits

  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Pineapple
  • Organic Fruit tapes or strips
  • Clementines

Photo from Holley Grainger.com

The most important part is to make sure that the brands you are buying have ingredients you can pronounce, and that there is an ice pack in your child’s lunchbox to ensure that things that need to stay cold are fresh.

Check out this link of some great Bento Boxes.

A few links for Bento Box recipes/ideas.

Smashed Peas and Carrots.com  || Holley Grainger.com || Love From the Oven.com

Photo from 1=2.com

You can even spruce up your bento box experience to be more friendly for adults. For veggies try roasted peppers, radishes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, olives or anything that you prefer. Try throwing in grilled chicken or steak or some squash on top of quinoa. Wanna step it up even farther? Try making this Moroccan Spiced Freekeh Pilaf with Carrots and Herbs recipe or these Mini Thai Meatballs in Purple Cabbage Boats with Sriracha Mayo. There are tons of great recipe ideas out there to make lunch a little healthier and a little easier.

Recipes for Adult Bento Box Lunches

Huckle and Goose.com || RedBookMag.com || 1 equals 2.com