Toddler Lunch Equipment Needed
1. Bento Box
Basically, “bento” is the Japanese word for a lunch box. Bentos are traditionally single-portion, prepared meals secured in boxed containers. The idea has moved to the West thanks to their compact and portable features. They can be stacked and come in various shapes and sizes, customizable to your appetite and what you plan to pack. I recently bought one from Ikea, but you can find bento boxes just about anywhere.
Leak-proof and durable, Yumbox lunch boxes have taken the market by storm due to their ability to keep wet foods like hummus and fruit purees at bay with tight seals that keep the contents in place. Each Yumbox comes with multiple compartments to keep your meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains separate until lunchtime. Check out their website for various styles and sizes.
3. Food Picks And Forks
To add a fun element to your toddler lunch box, consider fun little food picks and forks that you can use to quickly decorate any healthy toddler lunches. They come in so many designs, colors, and sizes that your choices are endless. You can find these anywhere online, such as Bento USA.
4. Sandwich Stamps
At online retailers like Little Bento World, you can find a huge selection of cute sandwich stamps that will help you decorate your toddler lunches for picky eaters. Healthy toddler lunches can be distracted by interesting shapes and designs, so that your picky eater will dive into their food with ease.
5. Cookie Cutter
If you don’t want to invest a fortune in sandwich stamps, you can use cookie cutters that you already have at home. Again, the designs are endless, making toddler lunch boxes a blast to open every day. You can also get creative and use cookie cutters on pitas, cheeses, fruits, and even puff pastries!
6. Silicone Baking Cups
Additionally, baking cups are something to consider to pack with a toddler who can break them, lose them, or downright misuse them. With silicone baking cups, you can quickly turn any lunch boxes into a Yumbox and create your own compartments. They are easy to wash, durable enough to hold any little snacks, waterproofed to keep crackers from getting soaked by your fruits, and most importantly for kids, they come in many cute colors to choose from.
7. Good Paring Knife
If you are a seasoned food decorator, a good and sharp paring knife goes a long way in creating those masterpiece bento boxes you see on Pinterest. From carving out grapes to slicing your sausages, paring knives will require occasional sharpening for upkeep and a safe place for storage.
Toddler Lunch Techniques
Yumbox and Bento boxes are typically very compact and small, which means that when it comes to toddler lunch ideas, you must get creative in how you pack your foods. Here are some basic techniques to keep in mind when choosing food and how you’ll package it.
1. Rolling Up Foods
Just like packing a suitcase, rolling up items will give you maximum space for your toddler lunch ideas without squishing the contents. Think of flat food items that you can roll up together to make little pinwheels, which you can package into your Yumbox or bento box.
2. Making Everything Neat And Tidy
You get a lot more room for packing your food when you line everything up neatly and orderly. If apple slices and carrot sticks are strewn across your toddler’s lunch box, this will give you minimal room for other items.
3. Cutting Them Into Shapes
It is always more fun when food is in different shapes for your toddler’s lunches. Their curiosity for the cute shapes and different sizes may entice them to pick up the food items and try them.
4. Make Them Tiny
Compacting your items is key, as you want to be able to fit as many varieties of foods as you can into your healthy toddler lunches. The small sizes also make it simple for your toddler to self-feed with finger foods and other easy toddler lunch ideas.
Toddler Lunch Ideas
1. Healthy Toddler Lunch With Lots Of Color
2. Gluten-Free Lunch Idea With Hidden Tomatoes
Two toddler lunch ideas: Have a small tomato slice cut in half, an egg for protein, some crackers, strawberries, and sultanas, along with some Orgran GF teddies as a treat. The other Yumbox toddler lunch box idea is for a low-gluten diet with carrots, strawberries, raisins, apple slices, and gluten-free crackers and pretzels.
3. Toddler Lunch For A Picky Eater
This lunch box contains rice balls with thinly crushed seaweed, sesame seeds, soy sauce and sesame oil, hot dog slices, green beans, goldfish crackers and fruit.
4. OG Japanese Bento Box
5. Bento Box Idea That Adults Will Like, Too
This is a ketchup omurice bento box by No Recipes with carrot slaw, broccoli, sausage slices, and tomatoes.
6. Quorn Burger And Chips
Here’s a combination of sweet potato fries by Simply Recipes; a Quorn burger by Neil’s Healthy Meals on a heart-shaped, whole-grain bread “bun”; and star-shaped cucumber.
7. Easy Toddler Lunch They'll Love
A classic! PB&J sandwich in the shape of a bear, flower cheese strings, and grapes cut out like flowers.
8. Pizza-Loving-Toddler Lunch Idea
Any toddler would love pizza pieces by Today’s Parents, tomato cubes, cheese cubes, and crackers.
9. Unique Toddler Lunch Idea For Daycare
Consider turkey-sandwich skewers by The Almond Eater with lettuce, turkey slices, cheese and tomatoes, pretzel sticks, and watermelon wedges.
10. Super-Simple And Healthy Toddler Lunch Idea
So easy to assemble: Monterey Jack cheese, oranges, cucumber slices, strawberries, and organic crackers.
11. Turkey Meatball Cold Lunch Idea
You’ll need homemade, no-reheat turkey meatballs by Hilah Cooking, zucchini muffins by Super Healthy Kids, and a selection of cheese, fruits, and vegetables.
12. Southern Ham And Swiss Waffles
So tasty! These are ham-and-cheese waffle sandwiches by Southern Bite, accompanied by strawberries and sliced cucumbers.
13. Toddler Lunch Work Of Art
A lunch composed of homemade organic spinach tortillas with herbed turkey, Muenster cheese, and mayo as the leaves; pretzel sticks for the trunk; and basil for the grass. Caprese pesto salad with feta, star fruit, and chocolate coins round out the meal.
14. Homemade Uncrustables Yumbox
Carrots and snap peas, popcorn, homemade Uncrustables by Mrs. Happy Homemaker, strawberries and half a cereal bar — now that’s the making of a great lunch!
15. "A Bit Of Everything" Toddler Lunch Box Idea
Love the way she shows us what tools she used to make this toddler lunch box idea: Pretzels, popcorn, apple slices, heart-shaped sandwiches, tomatoes, cheese strings, and fruit squeeze.
16. Fun Bread Puzzle Lunch Box Idea For Toddlers
Here’s a gluten-free bread puzzle sandwich made with a puzzle-bread cutter from Amazon, plum, tomatoes, blueberries, and grapes.
17. Sushi Bento Box Idea
The spotlight falls on tuna and avocado sushi by She Knows (with soy sauce), seaweed rice crackers with cheese, organic dried peach, blueberries, chocolate peanut butter zucchini muffin by Kudos Kitchen by Renee, and cucumber and red capsicum sticks.
18. Peanut-Free Yumbox
Avoid allergens with banana and sunbutter sushi by Peanutallergy.com. It has grape jelly for dipping, apple slices, and plums.
19. Healthy School Lunch Idea
Whip this up with a hard-boiled egg, raspberries filled with chocolate drops, a fruit bar, cashews, corn-off-the-cob, picks with black olives, leberkäse (a German sausage), and tortilla rollups with butter, Parmesan and hemp seeds. Add a squeeze drink made from a coconut milk and banana smoothie.
20. Beef-And-Carrot Sushi
A lunch made with sushi (egg, three colorful carrots, marinated beef), strawberries, green and red apples, blueberries.
21. On Top Of Spaghetti, All Covered With Cheese
This one’s a crowd pleaser: Pasta with tomato sauce, sausage, and broccoli; avocado with balsamic vinaigrette; coconut yogurt; and blueberries and pomegranate.
22. Homemade Lunchables For Toddlers
Who wouldn’t love this? Whole-wheat crackers topped with Black Forest ham and sharp cheddar cheese, snap pea crisps, and a GoGo squeeZ peach, apple, and sweet potato sprinkled with organic black chia seeds.
23. Easy Hot Dog Roll Toddler Lunch
Everything about this sounds great: a hot dog rolled with cheese in bread by My Expat Mommy, a hard-boiled egg, an apple slice, and seedless grapes.
24. Plentiful Yumbox
Here’s the list: Greek yogurt with berries; a banana; spinach; a Philadelphia cream cheese pinwheel by Get in My Belly; red pesto, sweet potato, and cheese pinwheel by Jen’s Food; sausages; and mixed veggies.
25. Disguised Dessert Toddler Lunch
Homemade cheese and Vegemite scroll by Stay At Home Mum, diced apple, rice cakes with peanut butter, blackberries and mini green cupcakes by Family Food on the Table. We could get behind this, no problem!
26. Puff Pastry Toddler Lunch Ideas
Go for a homemade puff pastry filled with organic potatoes, carrots, peas and corn; some pan-grilled tofu hearts; steamed golden-yellow beets; and green-delicious apple slices.
27. Teriyaki Meatball Yumbox
This includes teriyaki meatballs by Buzzle, cheese and pickles, apple, carrots, pumpkin hummus, and homemade crepe and ham roll.
28. Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free Yumbox
Try some no-flour veggie frittatas by Plant Based on a Budget with broccoli, colorful bell peppers and carrots, potatoes, onions, olives, purple cauliflower with sun-dried tomatoes, eggs, and some cheese, strawberries, and apple slices.
29. Easy-Peasy Toddler Yumbox
It really can’t get easier than this: half a banana, a mozzarella quesadilla, blueberries and raspberries, sliced cucumbers, and tomatoes.
30. Chicken Salad Grain Bowl Lunch Idea
We love how appetizing this sounds! It’s vinegar-and-soy sauce-marinated chicken, rice, a tossed salad of shredded cabbage, grated carrot, and grapefruit segments, pan-roasted brussels sprouts, and halved grape tomatoes.