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Build a Lunch Box Station

Build a Lunch Box Station

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Highlights
    1. Set up a bento box assembly line with three stations and let kids choose which foods to mix and match.
    2. Pack creations into Snapware® food-storage containers so food stays fresh until lunch.
    3. Prepare stations ahead of time for extra ease on hectic mornings.

Letting kids build their own lunch box is a great way to save precious morning minutes and teach responsibility. To make the process extra easy, set up a Bento Box Station. By organizing a variety of packables in Snapware® storage containers, kids can easily assemble their own lunches in less time than it usually takes to make a sandwich. Here’s how to make your own creative Bento Box Station.

SETTING UP YOUR STATION

To get your lunch box assembly line up and running, you’ll need to create three stations: mains, sides and treats. When it’s time to pack lunch, let tots tuck one thing from each category into their own little Snapware boxes. With both big and small storage containers included, the SNAPWARE® AIRTIGHT FOOD STORAGE 26-PC CONTAINER SET and one SNAPWARE® TOTAL SOLUTION™ RECTANGLE 15.89 CUP PLASTIC FOOD STORAGE is an ideal bento starter kit.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

MUNCHABLE MAINS

Make it easy for children to pack a hearty main by placing a Snapware 15.89-Cup in the fridge, filled with ready-to-go options like:

  • Cheese and Crackers. Sliced cheese, small packs of crackers and sliced salami or pepperoni make a quick-and-easy meal that kids love. When it’s time to pack lunch, they can pack one of each item in the box and they’ll have a portable charcuterie.
  • DIY Sandwiches. Pack slices of bread in small plastic bags, store in your Snapware container with meat, sliced cheese and mayo. You may also want to include sliced tomatoes, lettuce, onions and pickles. In the morning, kids can easily grab the station from the fridge and have instant access to everything needed to make their own sammies.
  • Ready-to-Go Wraps. Parents can prepare wraps at the beginning of the week and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Snapware airtight containers will keep them fresh all week long. To prepare: Simply roll sliced lunch meat, cream cheese and shredded carrots burrito-style into a spinach wrap. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate. So easy!

SNACKABLE SIDES

Time to stock the pantry with snacks. The largest container in our 26-piece set holds up to 40 cups—an ideal size for packing lots of kid-friendly snacks.

  • Cracker Snackers. Cheese- and peanut butter-filled crackers are among the most budget-friendly prewrapped snacks you can buy. Stock up on several boxes and keep them in your container. They fit nicely in lunch packs and come in a variety of flavors, so your kids can pick their favorite flavor each morning.
  • Trail Mix. Make your own or purchase the premade mix in bulk and pack in snack-size plastic bags before storing in your Snapware snack box. If making your own, get creative! Boxed cereal, bags of popcorn and freeze-dried fruit all make creative add-ins.
  • Go-Go Granola Bars. Granola bars, cereal bars, whole food energy bars and protein bars taste like a treat, are easy to buy in bulk and store for several months at a time. Fill your snack box with a variety so kids can rifle through and pick their favorites.

TEMPTABLE TREATS

Don’t forget something sweet! With two 4.7-cup containers in the 26-piece pack, you can offer a double-decker dessert option. Place small plastic bags in one container (3×4-inch zip-top jewelry bags make great treat-size bags) and a candy mix with small scoop in the other. Kids will enjoy scooping into the sweets, but won’t overdo it with this self-limiting serving option. A few ideas:

  • Rainbow Nibbles. Hit the party store and grab a rainbow mix of candy-coated chocolate candies or jelly beans from the bulk bins.
  • Fruit Snack Fun. Purchase large bags of fruit snacks or fruit-juice gummies and mix them all together to make a “fruit salad” mélange.
  • Mini S’mores. Stir together mini graham cracker or cookie cereal, mini marshmallows and chocolate chunks for an easy, affordable sweet mix.

With stations packed in the fridge and pantry, finalize your lunch station by setting packing supplies in their own easy-grab storage container. Fill a large container, like the SNAPWARE® SMART STORE® 20″ X 12″ HOME STORAGE CONTAINER W/ BLUE BELL HANDLES with lunch boxes, the smaller containers from the 26-piece set, napkins and plastic utensils. Then, call the kids in and do a dry run. A Sunday-evening practice is the best way to get your kids up to speed on your new stations. Show where lunch boxes and packing containers will be. Teach them the steps: 1) Hit the fridge for mains; 2) Visit the pantry for snacks and desserts; 3) Pack and tidy up.

With a little practice, a little prep and these easy ideas, your kids will be packing their lunches—and looking forward to every morning, too.

EXPERT TIPS

YOUR TURN: Do your kids bento? Share their creations on social and let us know by tagging your shots #Snapware.