As a child, lunchtime was a time of high anticipation. I’d reach into my way overpacked brown bag (Italian mom!) and excitedly pull out little bags and packages of this or that – veggies, fruit, chips, pepperoni. And hopefully NOT my brother’s salami and American cheese sandwich with mayo. BLEAH! Sometimes the lunches did get mixed up and his class ate before mine! And I am a solid peanut butter and jelly girl!
If I thought my brown bag lunches were exciting to open, how much MORE so the creative shapes and stylings of bento lunch boxes? All you need are a few bento accessories like the ones I’m about to show you, courtesy of my sponsors.
Crafting exciting lunches is easy with bento accessories!
Some items you already have around the house – cookie cutters, toothpicks, and cupcake liners – make excellent bento accessories. But if you want to add a little more flair (and ease), pick up some shaped cutters like the ones from FunBites! FunBites food cutters (in 3 shapes: hearts, squares, triangles) have curved blades, so it’s easy to “rock” the cutter across the food to cut out many shaped pieces. The cutters come with a “popper” that slides back through the cutter to pop out any food shapes that got stuck.
Pile the shapes up in a sectioned bento lunch box or arrange them on a plate to create a design. Triangles make for great pinwheels! FunBites cutters are fun to use, create exciting shapes for kids (oh the learning possibilities), and add dimension to a meal. Try them on cheese, bread, pancakes, omelets, fruit (sliced flat!), lunchmeat, and more!
Pack lunches into special bento lunch boxes!
Another way to bring the excitement of bento lunches to your children is by using pre-sectioned plates and containers. I especially love the Din Din stainless steel divided platter from Innobaby. The food-grade stainless steel is lightweight, and free from harsh chemicals. Kids won’t be able to resist foods portioned out in this clever bus plate. I love cutting sandwiches and apples into circles and filling the wheels! Since there’s five compartments, you could also teach the five food groups to your kids.
I’d recommend getting the sectional lid for this plate as it keeps foods from mixing if you have to travel (but I’d keep it level if you’re taking it on the road), and the lids help you stack multiple plates.
See my son’s big eyes when he saw his new plate!?
For traveling ,we’ve loved the Green Sprouts alligator bento lunch box from their On Safari collection. It fits perfectly in the diaper bag or toddler backpack, and the locking lid keeps everything secure. This bento box has two levels – the bottom is a bowl (which can fit a medium sized sandwich) and the top is a divided tray.
Don’t forget these cute bento accessories!
Okay, okay, while not truly “bento” in nature, who can resist pairing a car dish with a car BIB? or a safari bento box with safari print reusable snack bags?
Bummis just came out with a new bib collection that matches their cloth diaper prints (how adorable!). The bibs are actually made with the same waterproof fabrics as their diaper wrap covers! If it can handle diaper duty… well, food messes? Not a problem. Snap closures are great for my little guy as he pulls off all the velcro bibs! This is a beautifully designed, high quality and sturdy bib that will last! (ARV $12.95)
Green Sprouts reusable snack bags are lightweight, washable EVA material with a hook/loop closure. Great for odd sized snacks that won’t fit in hard-sided containers. And fun for kids to open up and see what’s inside!
I received products from the above companies to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own.