Happy Bento Lunches on the Go is a great book packed full of Bento recipes.
My Thoughts about Happy Bento Lunches on the Go-
The average school lunch can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $5.00 and are not customized to what your child needs or wants. As a Mom of 4 children (2 in school) I have a tight budget, picky eaters, and am always concerned about the health factor of what my child is eating (I am very carbohydrates conscious). Usually, I pay for hot lunch for my kids, because like so many moms now, I work full-time and don’t have the time to pack lunches that are customized to my children’s liking. I spend $2.75 for each of my children a day for their school lunch, and when I hear and see what is given to them, I can’t help but think If I could give them healthier options that cost less and appeal to them more they’d never have to eat another school lunch again. I took this as a personal budget challenge.
The Happy Bento Lunches on the Go book is perfect for me and my mission. The book details ways you can use what is already in your pantry, cooking supplies, and on your grocery list, to make your kids’ lunches are less of a chore, and more of a reward. Bento boxes come in all shapes and sizes and have one or multiple tiers. I didn’t have much of a budget for extra lunch boxes, (although there are a lot of cute ones out there) so I used a plain rectangle 2 layer bento for my daughter and a Game Tin for my son. The Happy Bento Lunches on the Go suggests the following items as basic supplies to get you started:
- silicone cups to section out food in the same container
- small sauce containers (my children love dipping, so this was a must)
- Baran (dividers usually made from plastic or silicone)
- Cutters (you can buy sandwich cutters; however, I found the sharp metal ones my mom passed down to me worked the best and had more fun shapes)
- Egg & rice Molds (My kids aren’t big on hard boiled eggs or eating rice) Egg molds are super fun and help give a hard-boiled egg appeal.
- Punches to make fun shapes
The ideas in The Happy Bento are very useful and suggest a lot of creative ways to prep lunches and also pack items that are budget and kid friendly. I have now cut out my children’s hot lunches and spend $1.50 a day, on average, for lunches. Some ideas I use to cut down on the cost of lunches:
- Left-overs and re-purposing dinner! Left over hamburger patties can be cut into strips and put on sticks as part of a kabob with the tomato, lettuce, and pickles. Taco Tuesday can be turned into a taco salad the next day.
- Each child doesn’t have to have the same items, if there are only enough grapes to fill a little container, use it! Just enough cereal to make a crunchy sweet ending to a meal or a little snack, use it!
- Thinking outside the box! Sometimes a sandwich isn’t ideal and your child is a grazer. Pinwheels with cold cuts, fruit cups, and a collection of small snack items can give a well- balanced meal too.
Although it takes more prep time to do as The Happy Bento suggests, I am able to prep my kids’ lunches and let them pick what foods they want in their boxes each day.
Connect with Happy Bento Lunches on the Go-
Check out more from Happy Bento Lunches on the Go and order it today.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."