I know the struggle of creating healthy, transportable, kid-friendly snacks and lunches that won’t take up a lot of time – or cost an arm and a leg. Here, I broke down 4 easy ideas for your next grocery run including cost breakdown per lunch! If this is helpful information, I would love to continue a Kid’s Bento series with loads of fresh ideas. Happy Back to School!
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked ($3.99/lb = $1 per lunch)
1 hardboiled egg ($2.99/dozen = $.25 per lunch)
Shredded carrots ($1.99/bag = $.50 per lunch)
Fava beans ($1.69/lb = $.30)
Red grapes ($.99/lb = $.25) BOX TOTAL: $2.30
Pepitas and dried cranberries ($5/lb pepitas, $3 bag of dried cranberries = $.50, $.20)
Crispy snap peas ($2.29/bag = $.57)
1 fig, halved (5.49/lb = $.60)
5 Protein Balls (recipe below) = Roughly $1.50
Blend 1 cup pitted dates, ½ cup shredded almonds, ¼ cup chia and ¼ cup peanut butter in a food processor until crumbly and sticking together. Form balls with hands, store extra in the refrigerator. BOX TOTAL: $3.37
3 slices Canadian bacon ($5.99 for 8 slices =$2.25)
1 Persian cucumber ($1.09/lb = $.27)
¼ cup seasoned almonds ($1)
3 chocolate wafers ($.50) BOX TOTAL: $4.02
Whole What Pita Bread ($2.99 for 5 = $.60)
2 Kinder chocolates ($1.29 for 4 = $.64)
1 Babybel Cheese ($4.39 for 6 = $.73)
Elbow pasta with marinara (recipe below) ($1.50)
Cook 1 cup elbow pasta until al dente. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese if desired. BOX TOTAL: $3.47
Here’s a shake recipe that’s so tasty you can hide your protein powders or probiotic powders inside. Simply blend and pout into your thermos and take it with you on the go.
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 tablespoon protein powder of choice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Whip Cream, for topping
Cacao nibs, for garnish
Blend banana, almond milk, sweetener, protein powder and cinnamon in a blender. Top with whip cream, cacao nibs and extra bananas.
Edible Flower Ice Cubes
Hosting this Summer just got more adorable. Adding edible flowers to your ice cubes gives simple water or lemonade a surprising twist. Just add the flowers to your ice cube tray and fill with water then freeze.
Organic edible flowers, chopped
Add edible flowers to your Ecozoi ice cube tray. Fill the tray with water and freeze for at least 3 hours. Serve over ice or even in fresh lemonade!
Cherry Tomatoes & Kalamatas
Hard Boiled Egg and a Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
Vegetarians rejoice because these lunch boxes make the perfect salad-to-go. Add your dressing to the smallest box and fill the rest with yummy veggies and olives.
1 handful lettuce
1 avocado, cut into cubes
3 radishes, cut in slices
¼ cup fresh peas (or frozen thawed)
½ cucumber, cubed
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Hard Boiled Egg
Combine salad ingredients and place in the first box. In the smallest container, combine vinaigrette dressing ingredients and cover with the lid. Add cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg and kalamata olives to the second box surrounding the vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Hummus Veggie Wraps with Chickpeas
Fresh Cut Peaches and Honey Sesame Almonds
This lunch is so easy to prepare that you can do it in the morning on your way out the door. Packed with fruit, veggies and nuts you can be sure you got all your vitamins for the day!
2 large whole wheat tortillas
1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, cooked
¼ red cabbage, sliced
1 cucumber, cut into long strips
1 carrot, cut into long strips
1 tablespoon hummus
Place the tortilla down and spread hummus on top. Add veggies to the center stacking them on top of one another along with the chickpeas. Roll up the tortilla then cut with a knife. Surround your wraps with extra chickpeas and cabbage, if desired. In a small bowl toss honey, almonds and sesame seeds together then add it to the smallest container. Surround it with fresh peaches. Enjoy!
I’ve partnered with a mission based company, Ecozoi, from Seattle, Washington that designs and sells sustainable products! Their mission is to replace toxic Plastic from your daily lives with better eco friendly alternatives that will keep your family healthy, keep the Planet safe, and keep our Oceans clean. Checkout Ecozoi’s other eco friendly products at www.ecozoi.com
Honey Shrimp Bowl with Brussel Sprouts Coleslaw Salad with Avocado Raspberries
Who needs takeout when you can create this quick and easy lunch right in your own kitchen. The honey shrimp and brown rice is a filling lunch entrée while the raspberries make the perfect after-lunch treat! Just don’t forget to pack the chopsticks.
1 cup brown rice
8-10 Brussel sprouts
½ pound cooked shrimp, tails removed
¼ cup red onion, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 green onion, chopped
1 lime wedge
Chopped broccoli stems
Thinly sliced carrots
Chopped Red Cabbage
Black sesame seeds
Dressing of Choice
Cook brown rice according to package directions and set aside. Boil a pot of hot water then add the Brussel spouts until tender, set aside. In a ziplock bag, add shrimp, red onion, honey, lime juice and paprika. Toss to coat then add to a medium saucepan with a dash of oil. Heat the shrimp until starting to brown. In the first box, add brown rice and top with shrimp, brussel sprouts and green onions. Garnish with a lime wedge. Layer the second box with chopped cabbage salad, avocado and sesame seeds. Drizzle with your favorite dressing. Add the raspberries to the top boxl and enjoy!
Zucchini Pasta Strawberries and Banana Granola Bars and Cashews
No Carbs, no problem. These stainless steel lunch boxes fit all the perfect meals, no matter your dietary restrictions. Try yours with this yummy zucchini noodle dish that’s both vegetarian, low carb and delicious!
3 large zucchinis
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup pesto sauce
¼ cup parmesan cheese
5 strawberries cut in half
1 granola bar or power bar, cut in squares
1 handful cashews
Create zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiralizer and set into a colander to drain excess liquid. Season with salt. Heat olive oil over medium heat then pesto sauce and cherry tomatoes (cut in half if desired). Add noodles to pan and toss to coat. Add to box and top with parmesan cheese. Assemble other two boxes, stack and enjoy!
Turkey Pinwheels Red Grapes, Snow Peas and Tangerine Seasoned Almonds
Getting tired of the same old sandwich? Try these turkey pinwheels instead. They are rolled up with lettuce, turkey, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes making them the perfect lunch to serve with fresh fruit and seasoned almonds.
2 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
¼ cup mayonaise
6 slices turkey
4 slices mozzarella cheese
1 handful green lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup almonds, seasoned
To make pinwheels begin with a flat tortilla. Spread mayonnaise over entire side then begin layering with lettuce on the half closest to you. Add 3 pieces of turkey and then two pieces of cheese and sprinkle with shopped cherry tomatoes. Roll it up starting in the front, closest to you and rolling away from you. Slice about 1 inch thick then arrange in the first box. Repeat with second tortilla. In the second box arrange fruit and snow peas. Add almonds to the third box and enjoy!
Coconut Strawberry Popsicles
Coconut and strawberry go hand in hand especially when they are frozen into popsicles. Adding fresh cut strawberries to the molds will also give it a stunning visual presentation. Tasty and beautiful!
Add sliced strawberries to your popsicle mold. In a small bowl stir together coconut milk and honey then pour into molds over strawberries. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
Raspberry Orange Popsicles
Thee refreshing popsicles use real orange rinds and raspberries inside giving each bit a surprise texture and plenty of flavor.
Juice of 1 orange plus rind sliced
¼ cup water
1 pint raspberries, separated
¼ cup sugar
Add pieces of orange rind and half a pint of raspberries to popsicle mold (cut them in half if needed). In a blender, blend the other half a pint of raspberries with water, orange juice and sugar. Strain through a sieve then pour into molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
These tangerine dreams use vanilla yogurt and tangerine juice to create invigorating popsicles you can even have for breakfast on-the-go. Simply mix ingredients in a bowl, spoon them into Ecozoi’s Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds and freeze.
2 cups vanilla yogurt
3 tangerines, juice
1-2 drops orange food coloring for a swirl effect
In a bowl mix all ingredients together. Spoon into popsicle molds and lightly tap as you go to remove air pockets. Freeze for at least 4 hours.