Packing up the same lunch day after day because you feel like you’ve tried every trick in the lunchbox, and you still can’t come up with creative lunch ideas? Join. The. Club. We’ve been there. Luckily, we’ve spent hours upon hours in our test kitchen and have found simple yet fun ways to make over your little one’s “bento” box. The key? Variety! Try out any combination of our sweet and savory snacks below.
- Sweet Quesadillas: Newsflash: Just because they’re called quesadillas doesn’t mean they have to be spicy (or savory, for that matter). Layer tortilla, your little one’s favorite nut butter (or alternative nut butter – like sunflower seed butter) and their favorite fruits for a fun alternative to PB & J!
- Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups: These aren’t your average roll-up with added sugar! If you can’t keep candy off your little one’s mind, this is the ultimate way to satisfy them (while still keeping things healthy). Simply puree berries, mangos or peaches in your Babycook until smooth. Then, spread on a baking sheet covered with a silicone baking mat (the layer should be thin, about 1/8 of an inch thick). Bake at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit (the lowest your oven will go) for 4-8 hours. It may take an afternoon to make these, but we promise they’re worth it.
- Chia Seed Pudding: If you know us, you probably know by now that we’ve got a thing for cha-cha-cha-chia! It’s easy to make and a crowd-pleaser for sure. Try out our mango chia seed pudding or if your little one is into berries, make a parfait by layering chia seed pudding with fresh raspberries.
- Fruit Kebabs: All we have to say is, you’re welcome. We’ve found the way to make eating fruit that much more fun – by adding chunks of your little one’s favorite fruits to a skewer! It may sound too simple to be true, but we’ve found that it works like a charm to getting kids to eat more fruit.
- Frittata Bites: Think eggs are only for breakfast? Think again. These bites are full of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A to support your little one’s immune system. The cheese and spinach up the calcium, iron, and vitamin levels too!
- DIY Summer Rolls: What’s the easiest way to get kids to eat a bunch of veggies without complaining? By having them create their own summer rolls! Chop up any veggies you have in your fridge – carrots, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, you name it – and let your little one pick out the veggies that they want. Roll them up in a rice paper wrap and voila! Just add sauce (if you’re into that sort of thing).
- Southwestern Quinoa Griddle Cakes: if your family loves pancakes, get ready to bring up the flavor notch and try these! They’re a delicious and healthy alternative filled with plant-based protein and plenty of savory southwestern flavor.
- Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups: If you’ve gotten to this point and the ideas sound great but you’re in a pinch, then this last one is for you. We’ve cracked the grilled cheese code – simply roll two slices of bread until they’re flat. Then, add cheese and place in a pan until the cheese is melted. Remove from the pan, wait a moment and then roll into long logs.
- Meatloaf Muffins: Let’s be honest – just the word “meatloaf” usually makes us cringe, but this version tastes like all the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner (we promise!). They’re a perfect addition to a bento box, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you nibble on one or two when you’re packing your little one’s lunch!