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Have you heard? Bento Box lunches are all the craze! Boy have I seen some amazing Bento Boxes that look delicious, but also look as though they took forever to put together. Some people are so creative and make some awesome creations out of rice, fruits, veggies and other lunch items. I think they are super cool, but let’s be honest – many of us don’t have time for that. As a busy single momma of 4, I need the daily school lunch to be affordable, edible and appealing to the kids. Curious how I accomplish that task? For starters, I try to buy in bulk to save money, and when I can get to a Smart & Final, I shop their First Street brand. Smart & Final carries warehouse size items without a club fee, making shopping easy, less expensive and less daunting to shop in than a big warehouse store.
To prep for our first week of school (starting Tuesday), I snagged several First Street items for some simple Bento Box lunch ideas. The first lunch box idea I had involves a jazzed up version of a PB&J sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly is definitely an easy go-to school lunch for many, but let’s add some pizzazz and make this sandwich pop so the kids will be excited to open up their lunchbox to see what new creation you’ve come up with.
What you will need for the sandwich portion is the typical PB&J sandwich fixings, which First Street carries, colorful sprinkles and two cookie cutters. One cookie cutter needs to be smaller than the other, but they do not have to be the same shape. Begin by spreading peanut butter and jelly on one slice of bread. Then take the smaller cookie cutter and cut out the center of the unused slice of bread. Place it on top of the bread with spread and fill the cutout with sprinkles. Finish by cutting out the entire sandwich with the larger cookie cutter, and voila! I showed my oldest son and he was pretty excited about it – and couldn’t wait to give it a try!
For the sides, there are so many options, but I opted to add some dairy, fruit and a little something sweet: Cut up cheese spears and blueberry & marshmallow kebabs (on toothpicks). Such a simple Bento Box lunch idea that even the kids can help create.
To help you out with back-to-school time, head over and enter Smart & Final’s Facebook Back-to-School Sweepstakes from August 13 – 26, 2014. Follow Smart & Final on Twitter, as well as #ChooseSmart and #CollectiveBias, to see what others are creating for Back-to-School!