The new school year is just around the corner and that often means a new “trousseau.” Drinking cup, pens, pencil case, a loaf of bread… As far as the latter is concerned, the bento box is quite popular these days, especially now that many copies are printed with cartoon characters and other finery. Nice such a tray with compartments, but how on earth do you fill it? Culy selected the best bento box recipes for you!
What is the bento box?
You may not be familiar with the bento box phenomenon yet, but if you search for it on Instagram or TikTok, you will soon find Asian mothers who make Hello Kitty rice or carrot hearts. Everything to give their child the best lunch in the class.
The bento box has also come over from Asia, where it is now only normal to eat your lunch (or other meal that you don’t eat at home) from a bowl with different compartments. However, don’t be fooled that this principle is “just filling some boxes with food”. It is often quite well thought out!
Bentobox recipes for a varied school lunch
To fill the bento box it is useful to base yourself on the Wheel of Five principle. Depending on how many squares the bento box has, you can decide to fill each square with something different. Vegetables, fruit, dairy, bread and then a biscuit for example.
When you watch the TikTok videos of Japanese moms, it makes sense that you would be stressed. Because in the morning during the school run also press stars out of cucumber and form a Hello Kitty from the rice? Didn’t see us. Yet it also has something to fill such a bento box, and still just a bit more fun than spreading a sandwich with chocolate spread and putting it in a bag.
Fruit and vegetables in the bento box
You will fill a large part of the bento box with vegetables and fruit: things that perhaps not every child likes. Yet the method of the Japanese mothers apparently works perfectly when you see how many cucumbers, carrots and peppers go through it every day. A few tips:
Buy small cookie cutters
You know: those molds that you normally bake cookies with, but much smaller. If you search on Google for vegetable cutters, the nicest shapes will come up. From then on it’s simple: press out the shapes and put them in one of the boxes.
Work with google eyes
The crazy, moving eye stickers that you often find on the strangest products also work well on, for example, a cherry tomato, an apple or a mandarin. Draw another mouth on it – in the case of that mandarin – with a permanent marker and Kees is done!
Have a nice dip
Okay, we admit: this point does require some preparation, but in the end it might just make your kid eat those bell pepper and carrot stalks instead of bringing them home with them schmutzig . Make a tasty nut dip , herb butter or another dipping spread and your child will have his own crudités in the classroom.
Carbohydrates in the bento box
Yes, it is of course logical that your mini prefers a brown sandwich with speculoos or coconut bread during lunch. But let him have just picked that clumsy bread bin with compartments. How does that sandwich fit in with that, literally and figuratively?
There are also cutting molds for bread, some even with an extra stamp to press a nice figure into the bread. If you can’t find it now, you can of course also quickly prepare it by simply cutting the bread into small pieces and placing it in one of the compartments. It doesn’t have to be difficult!
Rice at lunch may sound a bit too Eastern to Western ears, but that may simply be because it seems too much work to us. Especially when you see the images of Hello Kitty, Paw Patrol and other children’s figures made from rice. We don’t dare to try these shapes either, but sometimes the change from bread to rice is nice.
How about simple rice balls ? We fill them with ginger in the recipe, although your children may not like that a bit . You can therefore also keep it natural, so without filling. And don’t forget the googly eyes for eh?
When we have lunch with pasta, we almost immediately feel like a real Italian. And of course you can also give your little one great pasta to school. Because whether you eat it hot or cold: pasta is always a hit.
Again, we don’t make it difficult here and we just go for loose, bite-sized pieces of pasta (so avoid strings like spaghetti or tagliatelle). If you want to unpack, you can go to Pastology for pasta planes. Yes, you read that correctly.
Protein in the bento box
Okay, we have to say: we used to be not a fan of classmates who brought boiled eggs to school, but it is delicious. The advantage of a hard-boiled egg is that you can easily remove a figure or decorate the egg unpeeled with stickers or drawings.
Tip: if your little prince doesn’t like bread that has already been filled in the morning, then give him dry sandwiches that he can fill himself at school with, for example, an egg.
Perhaps not very common as a lunch dish, but certainly no less tasty. If you bake the tofu in advance so that it is slightly crispy, it will already be a lot tastier. And the tofu is also ideal for ‘cutting’ into cool figures. Perfect for that bento box!
It has already been mentioned above, but if the kids don’t like sandwiches where the filling makes the sandwich soggy, you can of course also give bread and toppings separately (there are two boxes filled again!).
For example, bake some extra chicken or minced meat in the evening, or make it easy and make cozy rolls of (vegetable) meat products. If you want to go crazy: tear a cozy pig out of your ham as below.
Sweet bento box recipes
In addition to all that savory, responsible bento box filling, there may also be something sweet in it.
What child doesn’t love chocolate spread? Right! The bento box that you purchased probably also includes small plastic jars that fit inside the bento box. If not, you will of course also find it online on one of the many bento box gadget sites.
Fill the small plastic jar with chocolate spread, add some neutral flavored breadsticks and you’ve made your own dippers!
We have to say we were happy when the labor-intensive cake pop trend had subsided a bit, but for the bento box, we’re bringing it back out of the closet. Because what could be more fun than finding a cake pop in your lunch box? Everything for those kids.
Pro tip: If you don’t feel like making cake pops (we get it), we’ve got the ultimate lazy people life hack for you. Bake a cake or – even easier – get it in the supermarket – and scoop it out with a mini ice cream scoop (which you can also use to make balls of melon, another idea). Stick them on a stick and decorate!
A pancake breakfast is usually made this way and it’s always a party. Bake a crepe in the morning, roll it up into nice rolls. Give junior a small jar of syrup, sugar or other toppings and let him mess around at school!
This also works well with pancakes. And ideal on the pancake: it is also very tasty cold.
Source: Culy by culy.nl
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