Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bento Crazy! Healthy and Easy School Snacks and Lunches

2 Tier Bento Box

Last year when Corinne was in Kindergarten I used this adroable Bento Sidecar for her daily snack.

Often people think you can't fit much in there , but I was able to pack most kinds of snacks with plenty of room. Some boxes are two tier, like this one. One is a little taller than the other, and they fit together or can be used seperately.

Using these containers saved us from a lot of 'disposable' waste. One day while visiting the class at snack time I saw the amount of garbage that was produced by the children's snacks. Juice boxes, returnable plastic bottles, lot's of individual chips packets, etc!

Inside I use silicone muffin cups. I cut the height down to fit the height of the bento. You can get silicone muffin cups at Michael's, Target, specialty cooking stores and I even got a few packs at the Target Dollar Spot last year! I fit three cups in each box. I filled the three cups with all kind of things for a healthy snack.

Some things that I serve are:

Grape Tomatoes
Black Olives
Green peppers cut up
Mayo Cup of Blue Cheese Dressing for dipping
Turkey Pepperoni
Roast Beef (cold cuts) Rolled up
Mini Hot Dogs w/ small party size potato rolls*
(Hillshire Farm or Nathan's Mini Little Smokies or Hot Dogs)
Balogna cut into small circles
Orange Slices
Kiwi Slices
Any kind of small cookie or cracker,
(I like Paul Newman's Chocolate Chip cookies)
Chocolate Kisses

*Corinne's Snack time is late in the day and the snack bags were not refrigerated.
She likes her dairy products very cold, like yogurt or cheese, so I serve snacks like that as after school snacks. Also the school had a no peanut rule so I did not use any nut products.

But there are so many things you can pack in a Bento. It's a great way to encourage kids to have the coolest (aka healthiest and most 'green') snack in the class!

Here are some cute Bentos and some good Bento Food Idea sites/blogs to get you going!