Since you or your kids will be looking forward to enjoying the colorful contents of your new bento boxes, here are some healthy, tasty ideas for filling them from Kristen Ciccolini, a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and Holistic Nutrition Coach. (and my local Boston foodie friend!)

Kristen runs good witch kitchen where it’s her goal to help busy women incorporate healthier habits into their everyday cooking so that they can achieve optimal physical and emotional wellness. Her philosophy is enlightened and practical.

“I focus on a whole-foods, plant-based diet in my personal life and with clients. This does not necessarily mean I avoid all animal products or think you should either – I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all regimen; veganism works for some bodies, not always for others. The bottom line for everyone, I do believe, is plenty of plants in the diet and to eat high-quality, organic foods when practical and possible.”

Kristen thought carefully about the balance of color, nutrients, and energy density when designing these box lunch and snack ideas. “The multiple sections in these boxes really support eating a variety of healthful foods. They help you to be more mindful when building a balanced meal because you can use the sections to hold each food group that you need–use one for protein, a couple for fiber (in the form of veggies, legumes, grains, etc), and another for fat to create a satisfying meal.

The portion sizes of these containers can work for both kids and adults, especially when filled with nutrient dense foods. Enjoy and let us know what you think of them on Instagram or Facebook @kinshokitchen!

General Menu

Big Bento Box

  • Quinoa cups (recipe below)
  • Guacamole for dipping
  • Berries
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cheddar cubes
Small Bento Box

  • Celery and bell pepper slices
  • Black bean dip
  • Rolled up deli turkey slices

VEGAN Menu

Big Bento Box

  •  Rainbow salad of white beans, sliced red/yellow bell peppers, red cabbage, carrots, shredded lettuce, avocado
  • Dates with almond butter
  • Mashed sweet potato
  • Corn and black bean salad
  • Lime vinaigrette dressing (for main and bean/corn salad)
Small Bento Box

  • Kale chips
  • Avocado slices
  • Salsa

GLUTEN-FREE Menu

Big Bento Box

  • Zucchini noodles with Italian dressing
  • Olives
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Feta cubes
  • Roasted chickpeas
Small Bento Box

  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Carrots and snap peas
  • Hummus

Recipe

Quinoa Cups

1 tsp coconut oil

1/4 cup diced onion

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten-free all-purpose)

2 eggs

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp scallions

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium and saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring frequently.
  3. Place in a bowl with remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Spoon mixture into a mini muffin tin, then bake 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely before removing.
Thank you Kristen! Connect with Kristen to learn about her nutritional coaching, meal plans and see more superb recipes at goodwitchkitchen.net.