If you've spent anytime hanging out with me here, you already know my not-so-secret secret.
I like making school lunches, and I use bentos.
Hold on, hold on. Before you start accusing me of making dinosaur sandwiches and Minecraft creepers out of cheese, I'm more of a practical make it healthy and bite-sized and they will eat it kind of parent.
And it has been a journey for me. I went through a phase of resentment and loathing, too.
Nothing got me hotter around the collar than seeing those lunch boxes come home filled with food. And they did, over and over again. It wasn't until I volunteered in my son's classroom that I realized he was spending a lot of time fiddling with lids and getting overwhelmed by what to eat first. Lunch breaks are actually quite short for kids who need to fit in some socializing, too.
I knew I had to make some big changes, because I was standing at the start of a long road of lunch box filling and had to find a way to make it easier. Since switching to the bento style lunch system, the impact has been a positive one for all of us.
My post last year for Today's Parent, Bento box lunch ideas your kids will love, was a big success because it helped show other parents there isn't a lot of extra elbow grease that goes into the way I pack my kids' lunches. It was more of a mind shift about what I put into them and how the food is organized and presented for maximum appeal.
My kids no longer struggle with individual lids and deciding what to eat and when to eat it. They pop the top of their Bentology container and everything is there for them to see. They can easily access their food without any worry about spilling or mixing. I started my three oldest kids with this lunch box system as soon as they were in full day school, and I'll be breaking in a new box for my youngest this year (wah!).
I follow an easy: protein/veggie/fruit/wild card pattern when I fill my boxes, but there are also a lot of great resources to be found online. The first step for me was to begin imagining their desk at school being no different than the table in our kitchen. Once I stopped thinking of school lunches as being something more difficult than any other time I feed my kids, the rest came easily.
To get you started and inspired for the upcoming school year, I've partnered with my all-time favourite Canadian lunch box retailer FENIGO.COM to bring you a fantastic giveaway.
One lucky Canadian reader will receive:
- 1 insulated Bentology bag (of your choice and there are SO many cute bags!)
- 1 Bentology lunch box system
- 1 ice pack
Go ahead and explore the site and enter below. I'm happy to answer any questions you have, too.