As you gear up to start packing lunches for your kids after the summer break, think about packing your own lunch too using a Bento Box! Whether you are heading into the office, working from home or running errands, packing your lunch to bring with you (or to have ready to grab & eat if you are home for the day) is a great way to fuel yourself with nutrient-dense foods that can support your energy so you can perform at your best through the afternoon. To help you pack more “efficiently”, consider a Bento Box lunch box with 3 compartments and these meal ideas that are great for kids and adults:
Greek Pita Bento Box: Makes 4 Bento Boxes
Sliced leftover grilled chicken or use store-bought pre-cooked chicken
1 cup Tzatziki
6 inch whole grain pita bread (cut into triangles or ripped into small pieces)
Salad: 1 cup grape tomatoes + 1 cucumber, diced + ½ bell pepper, sliced +2 Tbsp feta cheese + a few black olives
Square of dark chocolate
- Mix all Greek salad ingredients together and then divide between four bento boxes.
- Divide all remaining ingredients between bento boxes
Chickpea Salad Bento Box: Makes 4 Bento Boxes
2 cups red or green grapes
4 celery stalks
6 GG Bran, Wasa or Ryvita Crispbreads
Chickpea salad: 19 ounce can chickpeas (drain & rinse) + ¼ cup mashed avocado + dash black pepper + ¼ diced onion + 1 celery stalk
- In a medium bowl, mash the chickpeas with a spatula or potato masher
- Mix the chickpeas with the remaining ingredients for the chickpea salad until completely combined and divide between 4 Bento Boxes
- Divide the grapes, vegetables & Crispbreads among the 4 Bento Boxes
Vegan Bento Box: Makes 2 Bento Boxes
12 mini bell peppers, cut in half & seeds scooped out
½ cup hummus
½ pint blackberries
1 cup strawberries
Trail mix: ¼ cup raw almonds + ¼ cup vegan chocolate chunks + 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds + 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Stuff the peppers with hummus
- Mix the trail mix ingredients together
- Divide all ingredients between 2 Bento Boxes
Try some of our other healthy meal and snack ideas below!
Pegan Diet Recipe
New to the Pegan Diet? Try this delicious and quick Pegan Summer Salad! Tasty and packed with fiber, protein and importiant vitamins and minerals, like potassium and vitamin c!
- 5 oz baby greens
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 cup string beans
- 8 asparagus spears
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium radicchio
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, add a little more for radicchio
- 8 oz grape tomatoes
- 2 garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1. In a large bowl assemble the baby greens on the bottom. Top with artichoke hearts, string beans, asparagus and chickpeas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Cut the radicchio into quarters lengthwise. Rub the cuts with a little oil and cook in a hot pan until it starts to char.
3. Remove from the pan and add to the salad bowl.
4. Season with a little salt and pepper.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet and cook the tomatoes on medium – high heat, until they start to blister and brown in spots.
6. Stir in the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the vinegar and cook another minute.
7. Pour the “melted” tomatoes and garlic along with the oil and vinegar sauce over the salad and serve.
Sprinkle with additional herbs and seasoning if desired.
Are you going on a road trip this summer? When packing your bags and planning what your kids will do during the long ride, don’t forget to pack some healthy road trip snacks! With all of the convenience stores at gas stations and fast food-laden rest stops, finding healthy snacks while on the road can make staying on track with healthy eating a challenge. But, with a little preparation and a small cooler, you can have some nutritious on-the-go snacks right at your finger tips! Here are some of our favorite healthy road trip snacks for the whole family:
Hummus and/or Guacamole
Single serve healthy snack-sized cups of hummus and guacamole don’t take up too much space in the cooler and can be paired with raw veggies like sliced peppers, celery, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, etc. (buy pre-cut at the supermarket to save time) or nutrient-dense crackers like Mary’s Gone crackers, Crunchmaster crackers, Ak Mak crackers, etc. You can make things even simpler by stocking your cooler with Wild Garden Hummus & Cracker snack packs. Or make healthy dips at home and take with! Try an Edamame Hummus or these simple Dip Recipes.
Fruit that travels well includes: apples, pears, clementines, bananas, grapes, peaches, nectarines, cut up cantaloupe, etc. These colorful snacks will help to provide you with vitamins & minerals as well as fiber to help in keeping your bowel habits on track while traveling.
Nuts, Seeds and Nut Butters
Buy single serve packs of nuts or seeds (Trader Joe’s, Emerald, Blue Diamond, etc. have nice selections) or pre-portion your own in Ziploc bags to avoid overeating (1/4 cup portion is a good snack-sized serving). Bring a container of almond or peanut butter or buy single-serve pouches of nut butters for convenience. You can simply take a spoonful of nut butter for a snack or pair it with a fruit, spread it on crackers, etc. You can also make a few nut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread at home to keep in your cooler for a quick mini-meal.
Air-pop a large batch of popcorn kernels before leaving on your trip to have as a crunchy source of satisfying fiber.
Snack bars are convenient and can be satisfying and healthy if you choose ones made with good ingredients like RX bars, Core bars, Keep Healthy Low Glycemic bars, Health Warrior Chia bars, Nugo Fiber D’Lish bars, Kind bars, etc. You can also make your own batch to take on the road! Below you will find a tasty recipe:
Peanut Butter Protein bars
This easy to make, healthy road trip snack will become a family favorite!
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup protein smoothie powder (Try Vega brand; any flavor you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Brown Rice Crisp Cereal
1 Vega Maca Chocolate bar (optional)
1/3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts (optional)
- Pour the peanut butter, applesauce, and dates into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the protein powder and process until combined and rolls around in one big ball.
- Add the brown rice crisps and process until combined.
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with a large piece of parchment paper (make it large enough to hang over the edges of the baking dish). Place the mixture into the dish and press down until flat. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour
- Lift the block out of the dish by pulling the parchment paper up. Cut the block into 8 equal pieces.
- If you want to top the bars with chocolate and peanuts, lay the bars out on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler (or a glass bowl over a small pot of boiling water). Drizzle over the tops of the bars. While the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle chopped peanuts over the tops of the bars. Place the cooling sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened. Store them in an airtight container and enjoy within 10 days of making them.