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 :)