20 easy bento for kids!

August 10, 2010

in bento,original

It may not seem to you like I’ve been making any food at all, but this is why!

parenting.com article

Click on the image to go to the article on parenting.com!

A friend of a friend of my friend works for parenting.com and asked me if I was interested in making 20 bento for kids. I was hesitant at first because all my bento are for my boyfriend, and I had never made bento for kids… but I do like a challenge so I decided to do it.

The difficult part was I could only use rice for a couple bento. Most ingredients had to be easy to buy at a local supermarket. As you can see, no hot dog was allowed because hot dog is choking hazard and not appropriate for kids. So are whole grapes, whole cherry tomato, popcorn, nuts, raw vegetables, etc… (Read anti-choking guide on each page for more information.) The age target was 3~10, so I made very small bento, middle size bento, and biggish bento.

Click on each image to go to the article of the bento.

Bunny bento - parenting.com

Bunny bento

Caterpiller bento - parenting.com

Caterpillar bento

Tic Tac Toe bento - parenting.com

Tic tac toe bento

Jelly flower bento - parenting.com

Jelly flower bento

Pizza bento - parenting.com

Pizza bento

Train bento - parenting.com

Train bento

Lion bento - parenting.com

Lion bento

Nest bento - parenting.com

Nest bento

Cat bento - parenting.com

Cat bento

Sheep bento - parenting.com

Sheep bento

Bear bento - parenting.com

Bear bento

Hedgehog bento - parenting.com

Hedgehog bento

Piggy bento - parenting.com

Piggy bento

Cake bento - parenting.com

Cake bento

Tiger bento - parenting.com

Tiger bento

Cow bento - parenting.com

Cow bento

Giraffe bento - parenting.com

Giraffe bento

Hamburger bento - parenting.com

Burger bento

Baseball bento - parenting.com

Baseball bento

Panda bento - parenting.com

Panda bento

I also have a couple of how-to’s I did for this project. Click on the bold text to check out the how-to!

How to seal a sandwich – I made a lot of sandwiches for this project. I think sandwiches are easy to prepare for busy parents. Also you can put pretty much ANYTHING in “sealed sandwiches”! You can put hummus (as they suggest in the article), egg salad, small hamburg, even pasta! You can buy various shaped sealed sandwich makers from bento store online, but I used stuff in my kitchen to make it.

How to make a ham flower – Ham and a tiny piece of uncooked pasta (optional) can make a pretty flower!

How to make a jelly sandwich flower – If your kids love jelly sandwiches, try this!

How to make rusks – As I was making sandwiches, I realized that I had a lot of leftover crust. I didn’t want to waste it, so I used it to make a very easy sweet snack for kids. All you need is margarine, sugar and a little bit of cinnamon.

You may notice that I used something that I don’t usually use for for my boyfriend’s bento…  silicone baking cups! Small ones are great for holding ketchup, peanut butter, small snacks, etc… and you can use the big ones to cook the food in and put it in a bento box. Omelets are very easy to make with a silicone cup too. You just mix the ingredients and bake it until it’s cooked. I also used silicone cups to hold different kinds of fruit, so that juice from fruits won’t get to other fruit. The best part is it’s reusable!

I have some regrets, and things I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done differently or better… but it was a lot of fun, and great practice for me. :)

All bento listed here are very easy, but some of the bento might take a longer than the others. If you never made a bento like these before, or a bento beginner, I have a couple of advices for you.

- Don’t try to re-make the entire bento. Just make one or two elements from each bento.

- Don’t stress yourself out on details! So what if your bear looks like a cat. The important thing is to make it with love. :)

- You don’t necessarily have to use the food you (or your kids) don’t like. Bento is like a training for you/your kids to eat small portion of various food, so it should be fun. (If you’re a parent, I’m sure you know how&where to hide the veggie in kids food. :P )

- Try making them with your kids or friends, and have fun!

I’d like to thank Ganda and Kathleen at Parenting.com for giving me this opportunity!

Go to the main page to check out 20 Easy Bento Lunch Boxes (at Parenting.com)!

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

CharlotteNo Gravatar August 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for doing this Anna! These bentos are a little less intimidating, which means I may try making one of them someday :)


sheriNo Gravatar August 10, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Love them all! You are skilled at children’s bento too! But no surprise there :D


SilviaNo Gravatar August 10, 2010 at 10:52 pm

These are so awesome! You rule!


HazNo Gravatar August 11, 2010 at 3:03 am

You are Amazing~!!!


PatyNo Gravatar August 11, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Your work is so inspiring! <3


Wendy LeowNo Gravatar August 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

so cute!!! worth the wait!!! Thank you


NicolaNo Gravatar August 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

These are fantastic! There are so many great ideas here and not just for kiddies bentos.

I love your blog and bento style.


emilyNo Gravatar August 13, 2010 at 12:57 am

these are unbelievably beautiful.


SofiaNo Gravatar August 13, 2010 at 11:37 am

I love to make these lunches!!


Amy @ cookbookmaniac.comNo Gravatar August 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm

LOL! I will never be satisfied with a plain looking sandwich again! The cow and giraffe bento belong in an art gallery!


MorganaNo Gravatar August 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

SQUEE! I got the email for these in my inbox and nearly died when I saw your by-line!
I was all, “Hey, I know who Anna the Red is!” I’ve been reading your blog for ages now!

Congrats on the article!


KimNo Gravatar August 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Great ideas!
I modified the panda into a Minnie Mouse head for my 10 year old daughter yesterday. Very easy and she loved it!


katherineNo Gravatar August 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm

i loved seeing these thanks so much for the ideas and inspiration


MichelleNo Gravatar August 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

Oh, Anna! Thank you so much for this article – I have two boys, the older of whom can be exhaustingly picky at times. After reading this article and the related material over at Parenting Magazine, I gave some of the basics a test run last night at dinner. It was no masterpiece, let me tell you, but there wasn’t a crumb in sight when the meal was over so that spells SUCCESS in my book! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


rezakNo Gravatar October 27, 2011 at 1:28 am

inspired me to make an interesting lunch for my son


Jin-chanNo Gravatar December 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I love the pizza bento *o*


Ashley KennedyNo Gravatar March 22, 2013 at 8:23 am

Thank you so much! I was intimidated at first, but your step by step instructions made things like a ham flower and jelly flower easy and fun! I made my 5 year old her first bento this morning and it only took me 10 minutes. Keep up the great work!


Sleeping BeaNo Gravatar July 15, 2013 at 11:48 am


I have always wanted to do bentos for my three kids, but most examples I have seen are geared more towards adults and foods my kids won’t eat. These are perfect and accessible for us. Thanks a Million!


LatishaNo Gravatar September 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

someday when my daughter starts going to school and has to take lunches im going to maker her some of these tho she wont start school for a while she is still just a baby she is not even 2 yet these are really cute and adorable even tho i am not Japanese i love the way they do there lunches


Tiffany HarveyNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm

You did such an awesome job with this set! I love a lot of the small details too that they didn’t mention.


jrNo Gravatar February 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

How did you make the ears for the bunny sandwich. Your response is appreciated


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