10 Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Stemilt. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Post includes affiliate links.

With school back in session after break, you might be breathing a sigh of relief. Having the kids home for two weeks straight is hard!

Although, admittedly, I miss them the second they’re gone.

But what’s even harder for me after they go back to school – in August or January – is the monotony that comes with making lunch. I always tend to fall into a rut when it comes to lunch and by default, so do the kids.

In partnership with Stemilt, a family-owned grower of delicious fruits, I’ve decided to provide you (and myself) some inspiration for this last half of the school year with 10 bento boxes that are perfect for mixing up mundane lunches.

Each lunch includes apples and pears from Stemilt, which you might know as Lil Snappers® kid size fruit. We love these kid size fruits and we often include them in lunches for the kids or send them along as a healthy snack. I love that they provide one daily serving of fruit and that they come in resealable pouches with enough fruit to get me through the week for BOTH kids.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

As I said we generally include these in our lunches already, but I took this opportunity to get creative with these little fruits and these lunch box ideas. Here are 10 bento box ideas that you can create for your lunches with Lil Snappers® Piñata® apples and d’Anjou pears.

You can learn more about Stemilt’s Lil Snappers® here and to find all the fun bento boxes, keep reading!

10 Bento Box Ideas for School Lunches

Bento Box Ideas For School LunchPB&J & Pear Box

This first bento box idea pulls together an old favorite – Peanut Butter & Jelly with a Lil Snappers® d’Anjou pear. I love the fact that the pear fits right into the bento box. The PB&J was cut (crusts off) into triangles and I could tuck those into the side. I completed the box with some strawberries, tomato slices, dried apricots, popcorn and a few little cookies.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

To make the PB&J triangles, I used cookie cutter-type tools. You can find them here.

I also used some silicone cupcake liners to separate little treats throughout this post. You can find those here. Also, you can find the bento box here.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Turkey & Cheese Sandwich + Apple Box

You may notice that this bento box idea only includes three corners of the Turkey and Cheese Sandwich. I did that purposely for anyone who may have a slow eater or a child that consistently doesn’t finish their lunch. Save the other ¼ for the next day or as a snack for when they come home.

I’ve paired the sandwich with a Lil Snappers® Piñata® apple that fits right in the box with the sandwich. I added in some banana chips, carrots, cucumber cut outs and donuts as a treat.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Throughout this post I’ve used cookie cutter punches to create fun shapes with the vegetables and the fruit. You can find those here.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Mac & Cheese with apple slices

Once thing I love about this bento box idea in particular is that it comes with a space for hot food. This thermos-type container will keep food warm for you so you can mix up your lunches and include some hot lunch favorites.

This box includes a favorite in our house, good ol’ Mac & Cheese. I paired it with Lil Snappers® apple slices. Just because the fruit does fit into the box whole doesn’t mean you have to always use it that way. Slicing it makes it easier for my 4-year-old son to eat it. He doesn’t like to bite into things – including soft bread – so slicing the fruit ensures he will eat it for me.

TIP: To keep apples and pears from browning, dip them in some water with lemon juice or lemon lime soda. The citric acid will help preserve the freshness and color.

I’ve also included some raw broccoli (which my daughter loves), almonds for a bit of protein and a rice crispy treat for dessert.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Salad with an apple

I made this box with my daughter in mind. She loves salad and always asks if she can have it for lunch. I added some cut out cucumber hearts and tomatoes then paired it with a Piñata® apple. All of that fits into that square. Both the salad and the apple are perfect amounts for my 7-year-old.

In addition to those two things, I added fresh raspberries, a cut up cheese stick, fresh oranges and a few crackers to help get a few filling carbs in there.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Fruit Salad Box

This is bento box I made with my son in mind. He is a fruit kid. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up a vegetarian (Although, he does like a good hot dog.). He is also crazy picky and would love this box. He would eat everything in it. I’ve included one whole Lil Snappers® apple and pear chopped up as a base and then added a few, fun, cut outs of them too.

The fruit salad also includes fresh strawberries, grapes (cut), oranges, blueberries and raspberries. Additionally, I added the veggies my son will eat – cucumbers and carrots – his favorite crackers, a cheese stick and donuts again.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Tomato Soup with cut up apples and pears

I’m so excited about this bento box idea! It’s a lunch box I could totally get behind. I filled it with delicious tomato soup and paired that with a cheese sandwich. You could try to grill this cheese if you want. If you do, let me know if it keeps.

I paired the soup and sandwich with a cut-up apple and pear salad. There’s about half a Lil Snappers® Piñata® apple and d’Anjou pear. Then for fun I added in some caramel corn as a dessert.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Also, here is how the warm bowl operates with these boxes.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Bagel BLT with a pear

This one is for your bigger kid. This is a big, delicious BLT. I added in a hefty bagel and then layered on turkey, bacon, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce (mayo optional). A whole Lil Snappers® d’Anjou pear fits in the side slot of this box and I was thrilled to see that! It gives me a lot of ways to make things work.

I added in some fresh, cut strawberries, sliced tomatoes and broccoli.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Chicken Noodle Soup with apple slices

If you need a little warmth this season, then nothing fits the bill like chicken noodle soup. I added in the Lil Snappers® sliced apples, cheese slices, crackers (because some people like crackers in their soup) and cookies.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Spaghetti and pear

I love that I can add leftovers into lunch sometimes. My kids both love spaghetti will both eat it. For this bento box idea, I paired it with a fun side salad, a Lil Snappers® d’Anjou pear, almonds and a rice crispy.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

Breakfast for lunch

Both of my kids love breakfast and I’m going to guess yours do too. I made these little egg cups last week for a quick, on-the-go breakfast and they include spinach, tomatoes, onions and ham. Of course, one of the benefits of making egg cups is that they are totally customizable.

I first put the egg cup and some bacon into the warm compartment of this bento box and then sliced up a Lil Snappers® d’Anjou pear to go along with it. I also added a berry and orange salad, some cheese slices and two donuts to create a well-rounded breakfast lunch.

Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch Bento Box Ideas For School Lunch

What else would you include in bento box ideas for lunch for your kids? I’d love to hear below. For more on Stemilt’s Lil Snappers®, click here or to find them near you, click here.

For FREE, printable lunchbox notes, click here. For 25 lunch box hacks, click here.



  1. I do not want my son to see these lunches because mine do not measure up. I try to give him a nice entre which is leftover from the night before but soup, those fruits and sandwiches are such nice lunches.

  2. I love the idea of Bento boxes. Sometimes I do these for myself too! That bagel BLT with a pear looks like a great lunch for anyone.

    • I think doing these for adults would be a great way help with portion control. I always need that. It’s also a good way to get some variety in our lunches.

  3. Definitely saving this article to refer back to it! I’m in a rut right now with lunch, I would love to get creative but my daughter likes the same thing every day, it drives me crazy but it’s what she likes LOL

  4. I like how you cut out those cucumber slices. It made it look appetizing to eat. I don’t have small kids anymore, but I will copy these ideas for myself. I need to watch what I eat and these small portions are perfect!

  5. These are all such great ideas. I need to get a couple of the bento boxes so that I can start doing this for my daughters. They usually eat school lunch, but when it’s something they don’t like, they’ll take a home lunch.

  6. Thanks for this post, totally pinned it. I have 2 boys that I make a lunch for everyday. I’m totally stuck in a rut, thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. I love Bento lunches. They really help you give a huge selection and the right portions. I even found Bento boxes are the perfect option for picky eaters. I homeschool, but honestly? I think I’ll be using some of your ideas to prep their lunch since I tend to get my work done during that time of day and since the kids are preteen and teens, I think this will make me soak up the time being able to make them lunches just a little longer.

  8. These are some very great ideas fore a refreshing lunch. Having a healthy lunch provides some great energy to finish the day.

  9. We have some Bento Box type containers for my daughter’s lunch but there isn’t a way to send warm food unless we put it in her thermos and that’s just one more thing she has to remember to bring home. I might look into these for next school year!

  10. These Bento Box ideas are awesome! My son will surely love it if I make him one or two of these. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I have always admired moms who have the interest to create these beautiful bento boxes. I plan to start making one too once my little girl starts to go to school. Thank you for sharing these tips. Bookmarked it for future reference.

  12. I loved your ideas and the creative ways in which you have presented it. The boxes have amazing compartments which makes lunch boxes compact while giving variety to the kids.

  13. Thanks for partnering with us (@Stemilt) to share these fun bento box lunches! They personally give me new energy around packing my boys’ lunches, and I totally agree with others that these would be fun for adults too.


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