Why A Bento Style Box Is A Creative Choice For School Lunches

If you're dreading the task of packing school lunches, you aren't alone. Mix it up by tossing an array of foods into a bento-style lunch box. These perfectly portioned, "build your own" lunch boxes are a Japanese tradition not only for children but also for adults. According to Umami Insider, bento boxes originated nearly 1,000 years ago during the Kamakura period, which spanned the 12th to the 14th century in Japan. During this time, the boxes were used to carry rice. While the bento box was first designed as a way to transport grains during outings such as theatre visits or tea services, throughout the years, its uses have evolved.

MarthaStewart.com says you can make any child's lunchbox more exciting by creating your own bento box. Harvard School of Public Health recommends that kids' lunches be comprised of half fruits and veggies, while splitting the other half evenly between whole grains and protein. Here's how you can upgrade your child's lunchbox while also providingĀ an array of foods and a creative presentation.

Bentos are a banquet of fun

Children love variety, and a bento box lunch adds just that; a medley full of surprises and an array of hunger-crushing fare. Fuel your kiddos by serving a bento box packed with brain and body-boosting foods instead of the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Pack balanced portions of protein, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and grains, and encourage your child to try new foods (via Harvard School of Public Health). These mini portions allow you to get creative: Use up leftovers, slice fruits or veggies, add hummus, cooked pasta, or yogurt. The possibilities are endless!

Harvard School of Public Health recommends trying kabobs, creating themed lunches such as Mexican or Chinese, or using cookie cutters to create imaginative sandwich or fruit designs. Bento boxes are perfect for prepping the night before or for serving as an after-school snack.

Make lunchtime fun this school year by sending your child off with a bento box filled with a variety of healthy bites!