a pretty cool life.: a week of easy valentine bento lunches

Saturday, February 13, 2016

a week of easy valentine bento lunches

It's been awhile since I've shared our bento box school lunches, but I really do still make them everyday {I post them to instagram sometimes too}.

Here's a roundup of what I made over the past week for Valentine's Day.

toasted applewood smoked ham + swiss // pretzels // cucumber slices and red pepper // berrie 

And while they may look like more work, and people love to ask how I find the time, they're not really very complicated.  So you can do this too. 


slow roasted roast beef // cheddar cubes // blueberries // baby carrots + red pepper hearts // popcorn // conversation hearts

Over the years I've found a few shortcuts and tips that have worked for me to be able to keep up.

*Assembly line style is your friend.  I usually buy two shopping trips worth of produce a week.  When I get home, I wash everything, de-stem grapes, slice cucumbers, etc.  Obviously some things can't be done ahead of time, but lots can.  And even when I'm not making lots of lunches, this approach helps us to reduce waste.  Grapes that I destem, wash, and put in a bowl get eaten almost immediately, while ones that I leave in the bag in the fridge usually end up in the garbage.

*Keep tiny supplies together.  I have several sets of fondant and cookie cutters that are perfect for cutting fruit and sandwiches.  I used to keep them with my other cookie cutters because I sort the big ones by holiday/season, but I wasted a lot of time rifling through larger cookie cutters to get to the small ones.  I also realized that I don't even make cutout cookies all that often, so I don't even keep those sets in the kitchen any more.

*Related to keeping the tiny supplies together, I have a plastic bin in our pantry with all the other little lunch trinkets I use.  Silicone liners, toothpicks, forks, etc, all go in my bento bin.  I try to keep things organized by color in there, as I mix and match often. :)

applewood smoked turkey + swiss on white + wheat cutout bread // chocolate covered pretzels // baby carrots // mini pretzels // berries + grapes

Cute food is more appetizing to my boys {me too...ha!}... so no half eaten lunches coming back home. That's a win for me.

applewood smoked turkey breast // cucumber and pepper slices // cheese cubes // mini pretzels // starburst // berries + grapes 

rotisserie seasoned chicken + muenster on cutout white + wheat // cucumber spears // popcorn + sixlets // berries + grapes

One of my favorite kinds of lunch meat to include in our lunches is Oscar Mayer Selects Natural.

*It's made with no artificial ingredients, and is minimally processed. Selects Naturalhas no artificial preservatives (the back side of each package lists the ingredients used to preserve quality), no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no gluten and no by-products.

*With no artificial ingredients and real quality taste, you can rely on Oscar Mayer Selects Natural to be one thing that’s not too good to be true.

*With Oscar Mayer Selects Natural, you don’t need to give up the good stuff to enjoy the quality cold cuts your family deserves.

*Oscar Mayer Selects Natural is the perfect choice for anyone looking for quality cold cuts that have no artificial ingredients and delicious taste.

*You can learn more about Selects Natural and all the Oscar Mayer products on OscarMayer.com, Facebook at Facebook.com/OscarMayer, Twitter at @OscarMayer and on Tumblr at OscarMayer.Tumblr.com.

And if you'd like an easy to pin collage version of these valentine lunches...here you go.  Happy Valentine's Day!


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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. That looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Boxes look great and I bet they taste good as well. Very nice food for thought as well...


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