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8 Bento Box Lunches for Kids

Bento boxes are an easy way to pack a well-rounded and nutritious lunch for your child. These convenient lunch containers feature multiple compartments, which keep foods separated and they offer an all-in-one storage option that makes packing lunch a more efficient task. Plus, these lunch containers are reusable, making them an environmentally friendly choice. Get creative when packing your kid's bento box with these fun, child-friendly lunch ideas.

Spencer Stainless Oval Bento Box

1. Bento Box Rollups

If your child is tired of the same old sandwich, give it a twist. Ditch the bread and roll up your kid's favorite lunch meat and cheese in a tortilla. Cut the rollup into bite-sized pieces, and add a toothpick for easy eating. Looking for more flavor? Try adding hummus to the rollup, which will help keep the components together as well. Complete your rollup lunch with fresh fruit and vegetables like broccoli and carrots, along with a dip like Ranch dressing.

2. Love-Themed Lunch

Send a little love to school with your child with this heart-inspired lunch. Your standard sandwich gets a little bit sweeter when you use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut it out. Plus, it gets rid of that crust if you have a picky eater. Go for an all-red theme for this love-filled lunch. Strawberries or red grapes add a sweet yet healthy touch. Red bell peppers bring a bit of crunch. Surprise your child with a sweet treat as well. Mix craisins with a few dark chocolate chips for a yummy mix that's sure to please.

3. Leftovers, Remixed

Let last night's dinner be your inspiration for today's lunch. Many leftovers can be easily reused to create new dishes for school. For example, shred leftover chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, and mix it with some veggies or even some salsa for a flavorful entree. Leftover pasta can be tossed with a bit of olive oil and your child's favorite veggies, which combine to make a colorful pasta salad. Pair either of these entrees with fruit, whole grain crackers and snap peas for a well-rounded lunch.

4. Breakfast for Lunch

If you have a breakfast lover in your house, make lunch more appealing by serving breakfast all over again. Make a batch of French toast sticks using whole wheat bread, eggs and skim milk the night before. Add a few of these sticks to the bento box, along with some maple syrup. Fruit salad, a hard-boiled egg and yogurt round out this kid-friendly brunch.

5. Finger Food Lunch

Some kids prefer to graze rather than eat a large sandwich or entree. Fortunately, the bento box is perfect for snackers. Cubed cheese and crackers is a smart start. Hummus pairs well with bell peppers, celery or pretzels. Create a trail mix with cereal, raisins, peanuts and a few chocolate chips to complete this finger food-inspired bento box.

6. Rainbow Bento

Add a pop of color to your child's bento box by creating a rainbow-inspired lunch. Vibrant fruits and vegetables serve as your inspiration for this meal. In one compartment, add sliced red, orange and yellow bell peppers. In another, add any fresh fruit you have on hand. Then, make bite-sized sandwich kebabs using cubed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Add the sandwich cubes to a skewer with blueberries and strawberries for a colorful twist on a classic sandwich.

7. Animal-Themed Sandwich

Pull out your cookie cutter collection to create an animal-inspired lunch your kid will love. Use an animal cookie cutter -- anything from a dinosaur or shark to a bear or duck -- to create an animal-shaped sandwich. Lunch meat and cheese or nut butter and jelly are always kid-friendly choices. Then, use a smaller cookie cutter to chop up your fruit and vegetables. Melon is easy to cut with a cookie cutter, and you can use any animal- or nature-themed shape, such as a leaf or flower, to go with your theme. Do the same with slices of cucumber. Pack a salty side like popcorn or pretzels to complete this bento box.

Spencer Bento Box Containers

8. Mexican-Inspired Bento

Turn taco night into taco day with this Mexican-inspired lunch. Each compartment of the bento box holds toppings to create a taco bar in the cafeteria. Add taco meat -- ground beef or ground turkey works well -- in one compartment. Other toppings include shredded cheese, black beans, lettuce and tomatoes. Whole-grain scoop-style tortilla chips serve as the taco shell. If you're short on space, use silicone cupcake liners to add multiple toppings to one compartment.

School lunch doesn't have to be dull. Bento boxes encourage you to think beyond the traditional sandwich and create delicious and flavorful foods that kids will love.