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Awesome Bento Box Inspiration to Help You Win Lunchtime

From Delicious Dinosaurs to a Teddy Bear Picnic, here are plenty of Bento Box examples to inspire your next adorable lunchtime creation.

Erica Silverstein


Photo: bentokidslunch

You’ve hopped on the bento lunchbox bandwagon, but now you’re staring at the empty tray sections, wondering how to fill them. Worse yet, Instagram is calling, demanding that your child’s bento box lunch contain creative meals and adorable animal-themed arrangements of sandwiches and snacks. It’s too early for a school day meltdown, so grab a pack of sandwich cutters, quirky topped toothpicks, and this article, and prepare to be filled with bento box inspiration that will help you win lunchtime.

Hello Kitty and Healthy Friends

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Photo: bentokidslunch

The ultimate bento box lunches combine charming food critters with healthy eats. Rice balls make the perfect base for your artistic creations. @bentokidslunch creates a Hello Kitty themed meal set against a colorful backdrop of fruit and veggies. Say hello to a happy kid who will surely clean her plate.

Teddy Bear Picnic

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Photo: cupsofrice

This bear-y cute sandwich from @cupsofrice will be the envy of the lunch table, especially since it’s paired with kid faves like fruit, cookies, and Babybel cheese. Sweet accessories like an animal-topped fork complete the look without adding time to your morning meal assembly routine.

Delicious Dinosaurs

Sandwich cutters are a parent’s best friend when it comes to creating next-level bento box lunches. @tinatakeslunch transforms a ho-hum cheese sandwich into a cheery dino with just a quick press. Her prehistoric theme rocks on with hard-boiled eggs dotted with food coloring to resemble dino hatchlings and cucumbers stamped with apatosaurus outlines.

Chicken and Waffles

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Photo: lunchwiththeseasons

Lunch doesn’t have to be cute to be creative, though @lunchwiththeseasons hits both with her chicken and waffles bento. The heart-shaped waffle is clearly happy to share a container with chicken nuggets and rainbow veggies. Your student will be smiling, as well, when he finds a Southern-inspired meal with all his favorite fixins.

Cheese Name Plate

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Photo: mummadeyum

No one can take your lunch when it’s got your name on it. @mum_made_yum spells out her daughter’s name in cheese to stake her claim to loads of fruit, pasta, and cream cheese roll-ups. The meal is simple, uses up last night’s leftovers, and will make a name for itself at lunchtime.

Hot Diggity Dog

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Photo: rasamakeslunch

Some kids don’t do the sandwich thing, leaving parents at a loss for what to pack for a meal on the go. Bento boxes were invented for grazing, but you can also fill that large sandwich section with a PB&J alternative. Here, @rasamakeslunch wraps a chicken sausage with crescent roll dough for a hearty entree that just might be the best thing since sliced bread.

From Farm to Lunch Table

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Photo: kids.bentoboxes

Your bento is your artistic palate, so use the entire space to create your edible theme. Let sandwich cows join animal crackers in a cucumber field surrounded by fruity flowers, like this scene from @kids.bentoboxes. Old McDonald never had a lunch this fun.

Rainbow of Flavors

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Photo: tinatakeslunch

They say you should eat multiple colors of foods to achieve nutritional balance in your meal, so why not turn lunch into a rainbow like @tinatakeslunch has? You might not have the time to dye your spaghetti six different colors, but red tomatoes, orange carrots, and yellow peppers can achieve a similarly brilliant effect. Add a rainbow fruit rollup for a little something sweet that fits your color scheme.

Monster Mash

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Photo: bentokidslunch

Get into the seasonal spirit with this holiday-themed bento box lunch from @bentokidslunch that’s both nutritious and delicious. Halloween (or Christmas or Easter…) doesn’t have to be all about the candy. These Big Foot-esque sandwich monsters are haunting the cafeteria with their fruity ghoul-friends. You might get a healthy scare when you lift the lid on that lunchbox.

Lunch ‘n’ Learn

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Photo: funkytartines

Some families don’t want the learning to stop when the kids stop for lunch. Make your bento educational with letter- and number-shaped foods. Or, do as @funkytartines does, and turn a bagel sandwich and pretzel sticks into a clock. Because as much as we depend on digital displays, the lunchroom clock is analog — and we all need to know when recess starts.

Funfetti Lunch

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Photo: tinatakeslunch

When you’re not feeling motivated to make cute animals out of quesadillas or elaborate shapes out of produce, a little color goes a long way. @tinatakeslunch’s breakfast-for-lunch bento stars pancakes studded with sprinkles and polka-dotted hard-boiled eggs, as well as deli meat, cheese, and fruit in multiple hues. No food artistry required for this lunchtime win.

A Cute Hoot

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Photo: funkytartines

Your heart will melt when you discover love-struck owls on a romantic evening date in your bento box. It’s just a run-of-the-mill lunch of ham and cheese sammies turned into adorable edible art by @funkytartines. Give a hoot for the vegetable cutter shape set that can turn apples, bananas, and cucumbers into fun stars, moons, and hearts.

Breadless Boxes

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Photo: schoollunchbox

You don’t have to be the kind of parent who’s organized to a fault to create a lunch-winning bento box meal for your hungry learners. When @schoollunchbox realized she was out of bread, she raided her freezer, pulled out a box of frozen puff pastry, and whipped up some mini croissants before the bus came. She added a melange of berries, veggies, and chippies, and we bet it was all gone by the time the lunch bell rang.

Donut Disguise

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Photo: bentokidslunch

The kids are begging for a ridiculously unhealthy meal. “Mom, Dad, we want donuts for lunch!” @bentokidslunch offers a clever solution with a nutritious bento box that looks super sweet. She cuts apple slices and sandwiches into donut shapes and rests them on a bed of cheerios (like mini donuts, get it?). Even the fruits and veggies look too cute to be good for you.

Taco Tuesday

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Photo: rainbowsandbentos

Finding your favorite foods in your lunchbox can be better than fun shapes and colorful spreads. @rainbowsandbentos creates a taco bar in her kid’s lunch, complete with two kinds of tortillas and all the fillings. Even better, the bento box is packed with leftovers, meaning easy morning prep for parents and a big fiesta for the kids midday. We call that a lunchtime win-win!