For perfectly portioned, kid-friendly meals that make lunchtime fun, start packing lunches bento style! Bento, or boxed lunch, originated in Japan and has taken off stateside in a big way. Bento is a particular hit with kids who love the variety of colors, shapes and textures — as well as the kid-sized portions.
The key to a successful bento is a shallow plastic or stainless steel container that seals securely. There are many cute bento boxes available, but you might have a suitable food storage box in your kitchen cabinet that will work just fine. Your box might already have compartments; if not, you can easily create dividers for food by placing things like berries or yogurt in colorful paper or silicone baking cups. And keep in mind that bentos need to be packed fairly full to ensure that the items inside won’t move around in transit. Finally, put bento boxes in thermal lunch bags along with a couple of ice packs to keep the food cool until lunchtime.