This August the 5yo started Kindergarten and her twice monthly lunch from preschool became a daily challenge. I know this will sound crazy but prepped for months. Planning for her lunches was a way for me to feel prepared for this huge change to all our lives. I spent time picking up boxes here and there and other little items to embellish the lunches. As it happens, she is totally and completely dedicated to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so one of the things I try to do is provide her some variation in other ways. At the start of the school year I decided to try to do something different each day (when possible). One aspect of this that I really love is that the two of us sit together at the start of the month and decide what days she will take hot lunch and what the themes of the other days will be. They are usually seasonal but they also include events at school. As a disclaimer I use the word bento because the boxes are bento style. My children would not eat much of the food that would go into a traditional bento lunch, but I love the portion sizes and the opportunity the divided boxes provode for diversity of foods. Here are some of my attempts at a non-asian style bento.