Make your kids’ baon even more exciting and nourishing with bento boxes! Making bento box lunches is the best way to pack your kids’ baon for school. With tiny compartments and a colorful array of food arranged in the cutest way, it’s an easy way to feed your kids a well-rounded, nourishing meal. In this article, we teach you the basics of making your own delicious and nutritious bento box plus 6 bento box ideas you can start making today. Read on, maybe buy a new lunch box, and let’s dive into the colorful world of bento boxes!
What is a Bento Box?
A bento box is a single-serve, nutritious, and aesthetically prepared meal packed inside a lunch box with compartments. Originating from Japan, bento boxes have taken the world by storm with viral videos online of cute lunches composed of a healthy serving of carbs, protein, fruits, and vegetables. Some even have the occasional treat to make it more fun.
How to Prepare a Bento Box?
A bento box can be anything you want to put inside your kids’ baon. It can have leftovers from dinner the night before or meals that you’ve prepped ahead of time. A good rule of thumb when packing your kids baon is to make sure there is a serving of each of the following – healthy carbohydrates, protein or meat, vegetables, and fruits. To make it more visually appealing, practice the rainbow test and ask yourself if you have food with various colors in the bento box. Things like corn, broccoli, bell peppers, mangoes, and strawberries are great ways to fill your kids’ baon with color.
Bento Box Baon Ideas for Kids
Thinking of what to put in a bento box can be hard so we’ve compiled a few ideas to make your life easier and your kids’ baon so much more exciting.
Bento Box #1: Classic Filipino with a Twist
This bento box is an ode to classic Filipino flavors with a twist. Instead of serving adobo with rice like usual, serve it as a sandwich with a side of boiled egg, vegetable lumpia, and sliced fruits. Cook the adobo from scratch or use leftovers from the dinner before to make it easier.
- Carb & Protein: Creamy Adobo Sandwich
- Protein: Boiled Egg
- Vegetables: Vegetable Lumpia
- Fruits: Mango Cubes & Strawberries
Bento Box #2: Savory & Umami-Rich
Go the savory route with this easy and delicious bento box recipe that requires very minimal cook time and prep. A pro-tip on preventing the bread from getting soggy – toast the bread beforehand and add a lettuce leaf between the filling and the bread.
- Carb & Protein: Overnight Egg Sandwich
- Vegetables: Carrot Sticks, Steamed Vegetables
- Dip: Savory Umami Bomb
- Fruits: Papaya & Banana
Bento Box #3: Ode to Childhood Favorites
Reminisce your own childhood and share some of your favorite dishes with your kids. This bento box includes a hack for one of the more popular dishes in a local fast food chain that’s sadly been phased out.
- Carb: Rice shaped into small balls
- Vegetables: Buttered corn and carrots
- Protein: Garlic Pepper Beef
- Fruits: Oranges/Dalandan and Carrots
Bento Box #4: Asian-Style
Go back to the roots of bento box with this Asian-style bento full of you and your kids’ favorites. These are all easy and flavorsome recipes that will make your kids excited for lunchtime! To prevent your salad from going soggy, put the sauce in a different container.
- Carbs & Protein: Kimbap or Spam Musubi
- Protein: Pork Dumpling
- Fruits & Vegetables: Mango & Kani Salad
- Extras: Steamed Vegetables
Bento Box #5: Make it A Party
Make it feel like a party inside a bento box with these delicious party-favorite food. We have mac and cheese, fried ham and cheese rolls, and some dessert as well to make this box extra special.
- Carbs: Mac and Cheese
- Protein: Fried Chicken
- Vegetables: Stir-Fried Vegetables
- Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Fruit: Banana
Bento Box #6: Classic Filipino Bento Box
No bento box list is complete without classic Filipino baon. We take what’s traditionally served as baon for kids and put a spin to it with citrus adobo instead of regular adobo and sinangag instead of the usual steamed white rice. We even add classic ginisang petchay to the mix for all those kids who can’t resist Filipino food.
Image: Use Sinangag Garlic Rice image
Alt Text: Sinangag garlic rice as a filipino bento box component
- Carb: Sinangag Garlic Rice
- Protein: Citrus Adobo Recipe
- Optional Additional Protein: Boiled Egg
- Vegetables: Ginisang Repolyo
- Fruits: Strawberries & Apples
These delicious bento box recipes will surely have your kids counting down the hours until mealtime! These 6 ideas are simply starting points for you to get a feel of making delicious and nutritious baon for your kids. When you’re ready, remember the basics of building a rainbow and having a healthy dose of carbs, protein, fruits, and vegetables, and start making your own! Your kids will thank you for it. Just remember food safety and place your food in insulated lunch boxes to keep them warm or cold.