There are a LOT of great little tools out there at your disposal to make lunches more fun, and Earth friendly too! One of the easiest is to get some cloth napkins. It's an easy and inexpensive way to personalize your child's lunch a bit more. I just ordered a half-dozen outer-space inspired cloth napkins from my friend Rachel at honeychunks.com. She has a lot of great napkin prints, that will HOPEFULLY, inspire your little student to use the napkin instead of their shirt sleeve.
sporks. I ordered them from reuseit.com. He chose the lime green, white and black set. I like that it gives him a spoon and a fork with only one utensil. And they are perfect kid size. They fit really well in his new lunchbox from GoGreen.
snack taxis or some sandwich wrappers. There are a lot of great options, in fun fabric prints, that will save you a lot of money in the long run. And no more running out of sandwich baggies at 11pm while making tomorrow's lunch!
But it's not all about the accessories. Sometimes, it's the food itself, right? Consider using standard cookie cutters to sandwiches into fun shapes. Or, if you're a little lazier like me, consider these full sandwich cutters that give you multiple shapes with one cut. I really like the puzzle piece ones, but I know my lil M would enjoy the transportation set. For those of you with little girls, there is this fairy tale set that is super cute too. If you don't like any of those, there are a few more set options as well.
Wilton Fondant Cutters. You can order them online, but I found them the cheapest in the cake supply section of JoAnn fabrics or Michaels. And with the 40% off coupons they put out each week, I was able to get each set for around $1.80! I've used them for cucumber, apple, cantelope, watermelon and cheese so far. I've also seen them used on fruit leather (a fruit roll up type product). The kids love cut the shapes themselves, and they're more interested in eating them when they've done the work. The alphabet set would be SO fun to spell out their name or another fun word. Or here's a world of flowers and butterflies set.
If you're kids are like my friend Kim's, who don't eat traditional lunch food. Use the small cookie cutters to create fun shapes with cooled rice. Or use these unique rice molds to create little characters or fun faces.
50 pcs Mini Food Pick
Cute Animal Pick Set
Music Note Set
Safari Animal Set
More Bento Accessories - dividers, picks, napkins, etc
I found a few other great tips while looking for ideas as well.
- Keep a spray bottle of lemon juice & water in the fridge to spray apples to keep them from turning brown.
- Shredded carrots can add a nice sweetness and texture to a sandwich or wrap.
- Top yogurt with a few mini marshmallows or chocolate chips to make it more dessert like.
- Use a silicone cupcake liner to create more compartments within your lunch container. Or use it to hold a dip.
- Use Horizon Milk boxes to provide your student with extra calcium. They don't require refrigeration. Find them in the organic section at your local grocery store.
- Frozen applesauce can become an applesauce slushie by lunchtime.
- Don't forget to write a short note, joke or riddle to add into your child's lunch. Occasionally a sticker is a special treat as well. It reminds them that you're thinking of them.
During my journey through the internet world of bento lunches, I found a TON of inspiring lunches; some elaborate and some simple. Take a look around and see what inspires you!
Yummy Lunch Ideas
Easy, Healthy Bento Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
O'Bento Lunch 4 Kidz
What's for Lunch at Our House
Bento Lunch Ideas for Kids
Muffin Tin Mom