How to Make a Cute & Easy Bento Lunch

With back-to-school approaching, it seems like there are a plethora of "how to make lunch" articles.

Some are fancy and require tools or time that are in short supply.  Others are rather sarcastic, and make fun of those who choose to spend their time having a little fun in the kitchen.  There is definitely a happy medium, and with a few simple tricks and maybe 2-3 extra minutes, you can make your own cute lunches, just like this one!

What's in this lunch?  A turkey and cheese sandwich on honey wheat bread, a granola bar, a clementine orange, and some blackberries.  Pretty simple, and probably similar to what you'd choose to send.

But, rather than a few baggies and a brown paper bag, I opted for a reusable box (EasyLunchboxes are my go-to), and spend a minute or two jazzing it up.

What You Need:
Reusable lunch boxes
Silicone or paper muffin liners (I personally like silicone)
Some kind of sandwich cutter or cookie cutter
Food picks
Lunchbox notes

While I have a lot of specific items I love and have collected over the years, check out places like your local Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Target for options.  Our favorite dinosaur sandwich cutter is from the Dollar Tree and I found lunchbox notes in the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago!  Holidays are a great time to find cute cookie cutters, muffin wrappers, and picks, all for lower prices.

Ready to fancy up your lunch?

After you make your sandwich, grab one of the sandwich sized cookie cutters!

Press out your sandwich, push it gently out of the cutter, and pop it back together.  If you're me, you will have a border collie waiting patiently for the crust.  I am convinced the dog knows what a sandwich cutter "sounds" like.  Give the crust to the border collie and put your sandwich in your reusable box.

I also put my granola bar by my sandwich, since I don't like starches near fruits (try this link for my favorite granola bar recipe, it's really good).

What's next?  The fruit or veggies you were going to send in the first place.

I always peel the oranges at home.  I got in the habit of doing that when the kids were younger and they still prefer it, since I use a knife to get any excess strings.  So place your orange in a muffin liner and some blackberries in another, and put a cute food pick in each.  All done and you were probably going to do most of those steps anyhow!

Don't forget to swap my choice of fruits for your kids' favorites.

So lunch is made, and the cute little touches took an extra minute or two.  Seal up your box, add a cute lunch note for a bit more fun, and pack it up.  Don't forget to add a water bottle and any extra snacks your kids enjoy.  Mine almost always take yogurt tubes.

Will you be making fun lunches this year?  Are they a regular thing or a treat for your kids?  What's your favorite way to brighten up their school days?