Ok, perhaps that is a bit of an embellishment, but at the very least, I can make this claim: Bento boxes afforded me the much needed guidance and versatility in preparing my kids’ grain free lunches.
Before going grain free, or “Paleo”, I had invested in these stainless steel lunch container systems (Lunchbots is the brand name) because I had been looking for food storage containers that were not GLASS or PLASTIC.
Once our family went grain free, it was then that I discovered just how functional these bento boxes really were! Kids’ lunches are already so difficult, but add to the equation the inability to insert the classic sandwich to the lunch menu, and I began to panic. Going grain free meant completely re-shifting my approach to what I packed in my kids’ lunches; gone were the days of lunchbox sandwiches, muffins, cookies, etc. Although grain free has a lot to offer in the way of sweets & treats, many of these items contain nuts. Most schools do not allow for nuts, which meant another omission from the lunchbox.
Enter the bento box! What a perfect solution. In the “trio” bento box (3 separate sections), I will pack a shish kebab, fruit and veggies, or maybe a pure pork or beef sausage, paleo dipping sauce and cucumber slices. In the duo (2 part) box, I will pack Boston leaf lettuce leaves (to use as wraps) and homemade chicken salad. Really, the possibilities are endless. Keeping with the spirit of grain free, their lunches are set out as such: Meat and veggies, with fruit as snacks.
Every now and then, I will throw in a coconut flour-baked treat. Or some nut free “granola” trail mix. Roasted pepitas are usually a big hit, as are pieces of homemade jerky.
If your child enjoys salad, get creative and use the bento box to separate all the ingredients (cubed chicken, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, etc) and send a separate container of just lettuce. The fact that they made their own salad may inspire them to eat it!
You shouldn’t have to stress over what to pack in your child’s lunchbox. Simple is better, REAL food is best. With this in mind, take a look at the items normally packed in their lunch and see what changes you can make to ensure a healthier approach. There are many resources out there, from books to chat rooms and even dedicated websites. You are not alone – and with handy tools like the bento box system… the impossible IS possible!