bento box ideas: What my 5yo ate for lunch this week

If you’ve bought a Bento Box for your kiddo after seeing all the Pinterest inspired boards, then we’ve all been to the spot of “what the heck do I put in here!?” after the first week. If you are like me, and are a zombie in the morning who has maybe 10 min or less to dedicate to your kid’s lunch box, here are some ideas based off of what my five year old ate this week. 

I like to stick to “Main Lunch” which includes protein, fats, and some carbs, a “Fruit or Veggie” side,  and a “Dessert” because everyone deserves a little treat. Ada’s school is Kosher and nut free so all her lunches follow those rules. This week, since I was running out of ideas, I brainstormed with Ada and got her insight into what she actually wanted to eat. She loved to be involved and it got her more excited to eat her lunches. She also helped me prep and pack. 

Here is what my little one ate this week:

Monday: Lunchables, But Make It Fish 

My kiddo is going through her “I’d rather not eat most meat, but also please not too much veggies either” phase. However, she is really into fish. For this lunch I gave her half a can of kippers (smoked herring) drizzled with lots of mustard, a sharp cheddar cheese snack block cut into pieces, TJ’s rounded 12 grain crackers (that basically taste like Ritz), watermelon fruit side, and for dessert Ada’s fave, “S’mores Trail Mix” (basically just graham crackers, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows). 

Tuesday: Hummus-Not-So-Charcuterie Board 

Ada LOVES hummus, and she LOVES carrots. This lunch included a main lunch of hummus, colorful carrot chips, cubed chicken (leftover from the previous night’s dinner), and pretzel thins. She had diced up dried fig for her fruit side and brownie thins and freeze-dried strawberries for dessert. 

Wednesday: O’ HOly Joe’s O’s 

My kid is obsessed with TJ’s branded Spaghettios “Joe’s O’s.” She loves em’, and eats her serving so we usually have this in the rotation. I split the can into two days. We use a “DaCool” thermos, preheated with boiling water and heat up her pasta to basically volcano temp to stay warm for lunch. To amp up her lunch she also had a sharp cheddar snack block, apple slices (full honey crisp peeled and sliced), and Maverick cookies and dried banana for dessert. 

Thursday: Breakfast 4 Lunch 

I mean who doesn’t want breakfast all day? For this lunch, I heated up some pancakes out of the freezer and cut them into little hearts with one of the few cookie cutters I have on hand. Usually when Ada requests pancakes over the weekend I cook up a bunch and freeze the remaining to pull out for quick breakfasts (or lunches). She also had turkey bacon (quick zap in the microwave to cook and have a decent texture that isn’t too floppy), raspberries, and cheese crackers for dessert. I packed her some syrup in a small container and voila lunch was complete! 

Friday: Joe’s O’s Part deux

I kind of love it when Ada requests Joe’s O’s because she can never finish the can which means I can knock two lunches out with one main lunch idea. In addition to her fave canned pasta, Ada had LOTS of strawberries, cubed chicken, and dark chocolate covered pretzels for dessert. 

That’s a wrap of this week’s lunches! Hope you feel a little inspired if you are at a loss for what to put in that adorable Bento Box.