I’m super excited to write this article today because it’s something I know most parents will find useful at least once. Recently we’ve discovered kids bento box lunches and it’s changed the way our daughter sees and eat’s food.
I’ve yet to meet someone who isn’t a fan of the Bento Box lunch.
If you’ve ever had Japanese food, you’ve surely tried the Bento Box at least once. If not, you need to get on this incredible food train immediately.
However, many of you may not know about the world of kids bento boxes and it’s amazing ability to entice younger children to eat a bigger variety of foods.
For many of us with young children, it can be a daily struggle to get them to eat healthy food, and it can sometimes feel like never-ending competition with sugar-filled convenient snack options.
Here at Glue & Sugar, we are strong believers in healthy food for young children, and we want to make feeding our young fussy eaters as simple and as stress-free as possible.
We’re here to show you a fun approach to healthy eating that we’re sure your kids will love.
For this article, we have teamed up with Angela from Bento Land who was generous enough to send us a Yumbox Original Bento Box and Dinosaur Lunch Punch to test out, to see how fun and easy the kids bento box can be.
Bento Land is an Aussie online retailer that sells a wide variety of bento lunch boxes and accessories, along with a huge range of children’s drink bottles, kids cutlery sets and back to school lunch range. Plus they are eco-friendly!
Angela is passionate about kids healthy eating and has shared her knowledge on the bento movement, kids eating trends she has noticed over the years and her favourite tips and tricks to help you get started on your bento journey!
When my children were younger there was not nearly as much junk food around so it was easy for me not to bow to pressure and put lollies, and processed food in their lunchboxes.
I think it’s much harder for young mums today.”
For a lot of fussy eaters, food is just not appealing. And let’s face it, food isn’t that interesting to look at, and that’s definitely the case for most toddlers.
Luckily, the Japanese have shown us the way of the kid’s bento, and children around the world are loving it.
It’s hard to disguise a vegetable, without mashing, pureeing or rolling it into mince patties. But, if you were to change the shape of the vegetable into a pretty princess or dinosaur, do you think it would be more appealing to children? Absolutely!
We asked Angela whether she had noticed a growing trend with families buying bento boxes over traditional lunch boxes, and her answer didn’t surprise us.
“Yes, we have noticed more and more families prefer the bento-style lunch boxes. We have had very good feedback regarding children who previously who left their food now eating everything in the lunchbox. The bento boxes definitely make food look more attractive”
Kids bento box cutters and shapes can be used to cut a variety of different fruits, vegetables, bread and rice. They come in a variety of shapes including cartoon characters (Hello Kitty, anyone?), princess themed, animals, vehicles, and also words and alphabet characters to create adorable messages.
There are also dedicated nori (seaweed) cutters for the traditionalists. You simply place a piece of nori in the cutter and press down. This will create letters and shapes that you can place on top of rice balls that have been shaped into animals and characters.
Unsure where to start with the large range of bento accessories? Angela suggests; “finding a sandwich cutter that reflects the child’s interests, if they are gluten free then one of our rice moulds.”
We asked Angela about her favourite foods to put in a bento, or what she feels would work best; “Our 4 children are all grown up now, but when they when they were at school I made sure that they always took a healthy lunch.
Plenty of variety, fruit, vegetables, wholemeal sandwich with a lean protein or leftovers.” Basically, you can put everything and anything in these lunch boxes, but a little bit of everything works best for a balanced diet.
We put the Dinosaur LunchPunch to the test to see how my two year old would react. She’s in a dinosaur stage right now so this was going to be a godsend! We have been battling the ‘not wanting anything to eat except cruskits and grapes” for a while, so this was going to be interesting.
I wasn’t sure how the lunch punch would perform on harder foods, but I was super surprised to see how well they worked on everything we tried. These are actually really sturdy and not at all flimsy. I had no trouble pushing these through a crunchy apple.
How to use the Lunch Punch
First cut a half side of an apple and lay it flat on a cutting board. Sit the lunch punch on top and press down. The surrounding apple outside the cutter will snap off and pull away. Flip the lunch punch upside down, pop the apple piece out, and hey presto! A super cute little apple dinosaur foot!
Next, we tried the Lunch Punch on bread slices.
My daughter is a great helper, so she eagerly helped me out with this one.
Grains are an important part of a healthy diet, so if your child isn’t gluten intolerant, try and put at least one serving per meal. Our serving today was again dinosaur themed!
This whole process honestly only took a couple of minutes for an entire lunch box. It’s quick, fun and you can get your kids involved.
We would love to again thank Angela from Bento Land for working with us on this article, and for sending us out some bento accessories to try.
Healthy eating and Aussie businesses are our passion, so when we can combine the two together we can do great things. Lets put in the extra effort to get our kids into healthy eating habits while they are still young!
If you have any questions about bento accessories for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact Angela. Visit the Bento Land website for more info!