Education Week: The Working Mom’s Guide to Bento Lunches, Part IV


If you’re unsure about bento but want to try it out, you might start with bento snacks.

I send two snacks to school daily, one for snack time, and one for after school care since she’s there until late. I usually (but not always) make them as smaller versions of lunches and try to include some kind of protein to keep her going. Sometimes, especially in her after-school snack, I’ll pack a little treat like a cookie.

Sandwich keepers make great snack bento boxes. But I am also fond of this, which is meant for veggies and dip. A hard boiled egg fits perfectly in the center. I found it at my local grocery store.

Since her bento box she uses for lunch is small, and she doesn’t eat a lot at one time, I’ll sometimes use leftovers to make one of her snack bentos (if she didn’t eat it for a bedtime snack). I try to make one of the bentos completely different from lunch to give her a variety and keep her from being bored.

Here’s one I made with some leftover plum, then added some ham and a pickle for a quick, cute butterfly:

Snack bentos aren’t just for school, they’re great for car trips and traveling, too. Here’s a breakfast bento I made for a recent plane trip.

These are just some ideas. They’re not fancy, but my daughter likes them and eats them, and to me that’s what’s important. Things often taste better when in fun shapes (according to my daughter). Happy bento making. I hope you’ve found these helpful.

I frequently post pictures of my easy (and sometimes awkward) bentos on my Tumblr and Twitter. Feel free to tweet me–because bento lunches don’t have to be hard.

So what are you going to make first?

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