It’s that time of the year again – back to school. Back to school also means making a plan for back to school lunches!
Using a “bento box” approach for my sons lunches has helped me tremendously. A variety of small, portioned items helps tempt their appetite and they can graze their way through the day. As to food prep, it’s a visual reminder for me to pack a balanced meal: I mentally label each compartment (protein, carb, fruit & veggies), so all I have to do is fill in the blanks with what I have on hand. The point here is to keep things simple, fresh, and colourful (bonus – bento boxes can be made the night before).
Here are some examples of what to fill the compartments with
cubes of cheese
deli meat roll-ups (i.e. turkey slice wrapped around a dill pickle)
hummus or bean dip
scrambled egg wrapped in a slice of ham
cubed chicken with bbq sauce for dipping
ham and cheese toothpick “kebabs”
bacon (serve with waffle sticks)
tuna or egg salad
quarter or half a bagel
tortilla chips or vegetable chips
crackers or pretzels
mini pitas or buns
half cob of corn
nut free trail mix (dried fruit, seeds, cereal)
low sugar, nut free granola bars
Fruit and Vegetable Sections
I like to pack as much as they will eat! I try to use a wide variety of fruits and veg every week so that they don’t get bored.
If you’d like to try making a bento box lunch, pick one up at Fenigo or use paper or silicone muffin cups in regular Tupperware containers to create separate compartments.
Dana Shortt is a mother of two and the owner/operator of Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts. The shop is a boutique-style gourmet food store specializing in hand crafted prepared meals, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar, gift baskets and quality chocolates from local suppliers. Dana received her formal culinary training at George Brown College. Along with her Culinary Management Diploma, she also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph.