Posts in Bento Babies
45 Pick n Mix Easy Halloween Food Ideas

Without doubt the way I've got my boys to try different flavours, textures and tastes is by presenting little portions of new foods among food they know and love in a picky lunch or tea. 

When you mix and match a host of new foods with their favourites I find empty plates and a whole new set of foods to bring fun into after school snack dinners.

We LOVE any excuse to get out our bento supplies, pop a plastic snake or three onto a plate full of tempting goodies. At 7 and 5 their taste buds are developing and I want them to keep experimenting with food. I don't ever mind if they don't like a particular flavour but I always encourage them to try it. And I am so proud that they do.

Here are 5 ideas with a total of 45 different combinations to inspire your Halloween feast. Mine loved the sausage web whirl option the best!

We had a lovely little friend of Ollie's over for a play date and he is gluten free. Ollie took great delight in walking up and down the free from aisle in the supermarket and everything you see in the snakey snack lunch is suitable for someone on a gluten free diet as they are all labelled as GF.

Naked strawberries snacks • GF pretzels • dried strawberry flakes • GF scotch pancakes • GF marshmallows and cut up apple • carrot stick crisp snacks • GF raspberry jam tart • GF worm jelly sweets

Candy floss web • cheese crackers • baby sweetcorn • walnuts • raspberries • carrot slice crisps • blackberries • cumberland sausage whirl • edible ghost cake toppers

The star of the show is the marshmallow shortcake biscuit but surrounding this treat island is coconut • a satsuma • breadsticks • beetroot slice crisps • wholemeal flatbread • beetroot and yoghurt dip • cheddar cheese • mint sponge cake

We made green poison! A smoothy of kiwi, pineapple and apple juice in a pretend party syringe • red grapes • vegetable and falafel parcels • cous cous topped with pomegranate seeds • cherries • halloween candy • raspberry yoghurt • grated carrot • chocolate mousse grave with crushed oreo biscuit and marshmallow grave stone

Salami • Pepperami • Cheese string skewer • pesto pasta salad • cheese and tomato bread • dried tropical fruit • green grapes • blueberries • red peppers • boiled egg • chocolate balls • gingerbread skeleton

Thanks to Party Delights for the edible decorations and fabulous party ware. You can have a peek at our Neon theme party over on the Party Delights blog

Yumbox • Simple Bento Ideas • #bentobabies

When it comes to Bento, the Yumbox bento boxes are the bees knees, so when the lovely company got in touch and asked me to try out their new boxes I jumped at the chance. 

I love using silicone baking cups but it does get sticky and definitely messy on a bumpy ride in a school bag on the way home from pick up. So the pre divided plastic insert is a life saver! And it goes in the dishwasher. I've tested the Yumbox and even after shaking the fruit smoothies do not leak!

I like to make bento simple and fun. I have exactly 5 minutes to put the boys lunches together in the morning so easy ideas are always winners for me. 

I raid their little figures instead of cutting out intricate designs and have lost a fight numerous times with alphabet cutters that I prefer to use the little coloured picks instead! 

So here are a few ideas to get your bento juices going. I snap these on my iPhone just before we race out of the door on scrapbook paper. 

bento ideas

The Yumbox is actually sizeable enough for an adult's portion so I tend to half fill the containers for Ollie's smaller appetite.  

There are labels on the divided sections to encourage you to control the portions of different food groups but I tend to fill them up with all sorts being mindful of one portion of protein, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruit. I love the mini sauce container in the middle but often use that for a treat. That way I limit the naughtier element like a sweet dessert to a small portion.

I steer away from chocolate or crisps in their packed lunches and have found loads of alternatives instead. It helps me not find making lunches so boring! 

bento ideas

I find fillers ideas everywhere. In the £1 shop, at the supermarket and from other Bento enthusiasts. 

Protein Ideas:

  • Slices of ham, chorizo, pepperoni, chicken, beef, corned beef, rolled up into wraps
  • Pepperami, cocktail sausages, hot dogs, little pasties (Mine love the pork ones in the chilled aisle in Sainsburys)
  • Boiled eggs

Carbohydrate Ideas:

  • Wraps, scotch pancakes, brioche buns, bagels, croissants
  • Crackers, rice cakes, I love the new Ella's Organic range of mini cracker biscuits, bread sticks, cheese straws, cereal

Fruit ideas:

  • Dried fruit bars and sticks (Humzingers are ace) Fruit hearts, fruit stars, fruit roll ups
  • Dried fruit like mayo, pineapple, apple crisps
  • All fresh fruit - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, kiwi

Vegetable Ideas:

  • Beetroot crisps, carrot crisps, sweetcorn
  • Raw broccoli and cauliflower, carrot sticks, sliced peppers, cucumber, edamame beans

Dairy Ideas:

  • Cubed Edam, Cheddar, Red Leicester, soft cheese triangles
  • Squeeze or spoon a yoghurt into one of the compartments and add sprinkles as a special treat

Snack Ideas:

  • Nuts (My boys both had nuts from one and love them.) 
  • Cereal bars, carrot puff type crisps you can get in various flavours in the baby aisle of the supermarket
  • Fortune cookies, raisins, yoghurt covered seeds, granola, popcorn
Bento Ideas

I rotate ideas so none of us get bored. Sammy has even stared asking me not to show him what's inside his Yumbox as he loves the surprise!

I sometimes have to try new foods a few times before they learn to love them, but by presenting them in a creative and imaginative way they are definitely persuaded to try something different.

I'd love you to link up your ideas, there are some fab lunches and teas being shared on the internet and it would be great to inspire others to try new ways of presenting food to get our children eating more and more of what's good for them! You can search on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #bentobabies.

The best way to be inspired is to bounce ideas off each other. So help me! We will be using our Yumboxes all through the Summer holidays for snack lunches and teas and days out on adventures.

You can buy your Yumbox here. Think how much you've spent on character lunch boxes and bags. I have at least 3 or 4 that sit unloved in the kitchen cupboard after the initial love for a new craze has worn off. I love that the Yumbox is bright and cheerful rather than plastered in an in the moment favourite cartoon. Well worth the money. Plus I can borrow them too :)

Easter Bento Babies

Welcome to another month of beautiful Bento!

It was great to see so many link up last month and I feel inspired by all the different ideas.

The best thing about Bento is you can be as creative as you want or as time allows.

You don’t HAVE to be a creative genius, just empty packets! How hard is that?

Have you seen the cute divider plates? Start there. Bento is all about thinking about the way we present our food. So instead of a plate of foil and plastic wrapping, let your children really see what feast they have before them. 

We can all work up to Hello Kitty figures made from seaweed and rice!

I am a busy parent and I have no time to have to use tweezers in order to create a masterpiece, but I do have time to separate. Use silicon cups in a shallow lunch box to stop them rattling around, or lidded pots or even better as it’s Easter time, refillable eggs! There are also loads of different lunch boxes available which have pre divided plastic sections.

Easter Bento Idea

The boys helped me choose the ingredients for these ideas and then proceeded to eat everything like a tasting platter! Sammy’s eyes were as wide as the eye picks when he saw it all come out to the table, and that is my biggest inspiration for making meal times more fun.

Easter Bento Idea


And if you don’t think your children may appreciate the extra effort think about whether little things make a difference to you, in terms of presentation. I have no idea why but when I eat a sandwich that has been cut into triangles it just feels nicer than in squares and a cup of tea just feels more special, when the tea bag comes with a string in a little envelope of it’s own?! Am I mad?!

Last year’s Easter Bento Babies was full of colour and this year is no different!

5 ideas to get you through a holiday week.

Easter Bento Idea

Fresh coconut/Scotch egg/Pepperarmi/Pasta/Pistachio nuts/Blueberries

Easter Bento Idea

Sweetcorn rings/Bruschetta and hummus/Dried cranberries/Chunks of ham/Cocoa Snack bar/Kiwi and grapes

Easter Bento Idea

Pretzel mix/Strawberries/Green pepper,Cold noodles/Almonds and a chocolate egg/Babybel cheese

Easter Bento Idea

Salami/Yoghurt/Cucumber/Mango/Japanese crackers/Boiled egg

Easter Bento Idea

Pumpkin seeds, yoghurt covered strawberries, cashew nuts and cranberries/Carrot and mini sweet corns with a salsa dip/Pineapple and dried pear/Sweet treat/Fruit puree and bunny biscuits/Scotch pancake

It’s a hard job expanding your children’s palettes. But it’s even harder if we never try. It’s easy to get into a routine and I’m often guilty of serving the same 5 dinners on rotation, in amongst a few dinners that go ping. I’ve got into a bad habit of using lunch time to experiment and then it’s the same old spag bol or mince related dinner on the menu! 

Easter Bento Idea

I watched a BritMums video hangout the other day and was amazed at the kinds of meals the bloggers were talking about, that they serve to their families. There’s no reason why we can’t challenge their taste buds with flavour and spice and I am going to attempt a few new dishes over the Easter holidays to add to our family repertoire. 

Any suggestions?! 

Join in and share the love of Bento! Link up your lovely lunches and snack teas and let's all inspire each other. It's not about what looks the most fancy it's about sharing ideas to get our little ones eating better!

Linking up with #TastyTuesdays, #recipeoftheweek, Share with Me and Eats Amazing