10 Super-Scary (But Also Very Cute) Bento Boxes for Halloween
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, pack some scary sandwiches and spooky snacks in your children's lunch boxes. Younger kids delight in cute lunches filled with jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and all kinds of silly monsters while teens and tweens get their thrills from spookier lunches featuring skeletons and other frights.
A few special tools make Halloween lunches quick to prepare. Cookie cutters are an easy way to add some fun to a bento box. Large jack-o-lantern cutters can be used to cut sandwiches, while mini cutters are perfect for shaping slices of fruit or vegetables. Use a food-coloring marker to decorate a wedge of cheese quesadilla to look like Frankenstein. Another option are cupcake decorating kits which are plentiful at craft stores and big box stores this time of year. Use the paper cups in the kits to corral small items like dried fruit or snack crackers and poke the picks into tomatoes or berries for a bit of extra decoration.
Halloween bento boxes can also be made without using a lot of specialized equipment. Create seasonal masterpieces by choosing lunch box foods in the traditional black and orange colors of the holiday. Small clementines or mandarins mimic the shape of Halloween pumpkins and carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and peaches are other healthy options. For tasty black foods that appeal to kids, try olives, raisins, black beans, or blackberries. You can also add pumpkin-flavored foods to the mix—muffins are an easy way to go, but nearly any pumpkin-flavored treat is sure to be a hit.
Put these ideas to use and October lunches are sure to be super spook-tacular!
Spiders and monsters and bats, oh my! Chips and dip get spooky when you pack Halloween-themed tortilla chips and hummus topped with an olive spider. Include some eerie sandwiches topped with more olives and peppers, then finish out the lunch with blood red gelatin with blueberries or grapes stirred in for an ooey-gooey treat.
Mummified Hot Dog
Cut the bottom third off an English muffin sandwich, then tuck a couple slices of apple and some marshmallows between the two sections to create a monster with a ghoulish smile. (Using honey as glue helps everything stay put.) Add a some grapes to the box, then cut bits of fruit leather into triangles and a smile and float them on top of applesauce to make a jack-o-lantern face.
Turn baked tofu into a ghostly Halloween treat with a few clever cut-outs. A tulip cookie cutter turned upside-down looks remarkably like a ghost. Use it to cut the tofu, then flip the pieces over so the white side of the tofu shows. When you add several orange foods—including peeled Mandarin oranges with a decorative leaf pick poked into the top stand in for pumpkins—the rest of the lunch takes on a definite Halloween feel.
Be careful! This sandwich just might bite you back. To make a vampire sandwich cut a hole in the top slice of bread on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Tuck some toy vampire teeth inside and add a couple of eye decorations to make a vampire face. A little dab of jam on the end of the fangs makes it even scarier.
This muffin will surely grab your child's attention. Slip a pumpkin muffin into a silicone spider cup, then poke a cookie knife into the top. To really add to the macabre nature of this treat, add a few trails of red icing around the knife. Thread some berries onto a spooky drink stirrer then fill out the rest of the compartments with sliced salami and grapes.
Cute Jack-o-Lantern Lunch
This Halloween bento box has a little bit of everything: cucumber bones, a jack-o-lantern PB&J, clementine pumpkins, a green jelly blob monster, and a spider made from a crispy rice treat stacked with eight icing eyes.
Black and Orange Accents
The jack-o-lantern sandwich in this bento box takes center stage but the simple sides add Halloween spirit with their orange and black colors. Add chocolate sprinkles to chopped peaches to incorporate the traditional color scheme, then complete the lunch with pretzel crackers and a black jack-o-lantern cookie for a little crunch.
Spooky Graveyard Bento Box
This bento box is packed with spooky surprises. Homemade tortilla chips are cut into the shape of gravestones and decorated with a food coloring marker. Dip them into black bean dip reminiscent of over-turned earth. Sandwiches cut and stamped with skull and bone cookie cutters make things a little more ominous. Then, icing decorations take things right over the top!