10 Bento Box Recipes to Shake Up Your Child’s Lunch Routine

10 Bento Box Recipes to Shake Up Your Child’s Lunch Routine

When you’re looking to shake up your child’s lunch routine and send them off to school with healthy food, the bento box trend is perhaps your best solution. A longstanding tradition in its native Japan, the bento box provides distinct compartments for meats, veggies, rice and fruits, keeping the meal both colorful and tasty. It also cuts down on disposable bags, teaching young kids the advantages of sustainability at the same time. What is a Bento Box? Bento refers to both a single-serving takeout style meal (typically served for lunch in Japan) or a meal packed at home to take to work or school. Bento boxes have discreet compartments and a lid, separating the contents to prevent flavors from running together. Most bento boxes have a large compartment for the main dish, whether that’s sliced up meat, a sandwich or veggie dip. You can use those compartments to pack distinct food groups (grapes, nuts, berries, sliced veggies all work well) so your kid’s lunch is both colorful and diverse. 10 Bento Recipes for All Types of Kids No matter what kind of choosy tastes your child has, there’s surely something for them to enjoy below. 1. Last Night’s Dinner Those hamburgers, that roast chicken, or pork loin roast is probably pretty tasty sliced up and served for lunch the next day. Use the side compartments for a hunk of crusty bread (whole grain, of course), and a side of strawberries for dessert. 2. Peanut Butter Sandwich Bento Recipe Who doesn’t love a little PB and J at least once a week? Fashion up a sandwich, serve some grapes or half...
How to Get Kids to Eat a Healthy Lunch

How to Get Kids to Eat a Healthy Lunch

You hear the statistics every day: Only one in 10 American children eats enough fruits and vegetables. The number one “vegetable” one-year-old eats is the french fry. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are major concerns for children now, and fewer of them than ever know where their food comes from (other than the grocery store). We all want our kids to be healthy. We also understand the effects of food marketing and peer pressure that are pervasive in their lives, especially at school where you can’t always control what they’re eating. Here are a few ideas to help you encourage your young ones to understand what’s good for them and, more importantly, want to eat properly at lunch to help them grow. Let Your Kids Get Their Hands Dirty One major reason children refuse healthy foods is their lack of involvement in the process of making their meals happen. Studies show that children who work in a fruit and vegetable garden are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. Some schools institute garden programs for this very reason. If you have the space, even on a countertop, start a small, simple garden growing veggies such as carrots or tomatoes from seed to teach kids how the food on their plate came to be. Children also like to take control of what ends up in their lunch boxes at school. Invite your kids to pack lunches with you, and give them choices between healthful alternatives such as bananas, baby carrots or sliced peppers, for example. By participating in the process, your child develops a vested interest in their food instead of feeling a lack...