Lunches don't have to be a chore to make or to eat. They can be fun, and healthy too! This easy bento box lunch is a delicious, colorful and good-for-you mix that both the kids and adults will love. Even the chocolate chickpea fudge treat is good for you! Thanks to Shaw's and Star Market for sponsoring this post.
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Lunch and snack ideas have very much been on my mind recently now that I have two kids for whom I am packing. And I am sure it's something on many parents' minds right now as school is in full swing.
Finding the balance of foods that are healthy, quick to make, but also things they will actually eat is tricky, especially as tastes change. And of course it's not just what they have at school or for the kids - I'm sure we'd all rather eat better if we can.
When I got the opportunity to attend an event with Shaws and Star Markets and their exclusive O Organics® brand recently that was all about better snacking, you can imagine my excitement. More ideas! And with great products!
Organic products for everyday eating
I was already familiar with the O Organics line from my local Star Market (or Shaw's), so knew they delivered great quality, organic products at an affordable price. But I hadn't appreciated that they have over 1,300 products in the O Organics line, and that they are all USDA organic certified, which is really unique.
What's even better is the line covers all the bases:
- cereals, coffee and tea to get the day going
- fruit, veggies, cheese slices, drinks and more to fill the lunch boxes
- all the sweet and savory snacks you could ever want for after school
- ingredients to make your evening meal
During the event, we were treated to some tasty snack ideas that Annessa, a Registered Dietician and ambassador for O Organics, showed us. I especially enjoyed the mochaccino energy bites that used dates as a sweetener. As you may know, I love using dates in treats and the flavors worked so well.
Then we made a bento box lunch which was a lot of fun. I decided to make something I knew my kids would eat, but that I was also happy to give them. And bonus, I'd happily eat it too (and did!).
An easy Mediterranean-inspired bento box
Inspired by it all, I'm spinning ideas in my head, but first thought I'd roll with the easy Mediterranean theme of the box I made at the event. I was particularly keen to use the pita crackers which I instantly loved, and my kids do, too, now. So here's my easy bento box lunch, packed with hummus and dippers, fruit and a tasty little treat.
I wanted to add in something that the kids would see as a treat but that was actually relatively good for them. And I know I sure as anything need a pick me up most afternoons as well. Dates seemed an obvious base and the hummus led me to think about using chickpeas as well.
A little bit of digging and playing around later and this Chocolate Chickpea Fudge was born. It's super smooth, gently sweet and delicious. And takes just a minute to make.
In all honesty, it was a big hit with my younger son but my older one was having none of it. I guess you can't please them all. So I'd very much forgive you if you skip it for your littles. But we all agreed on everything else which made my one happy mamma.
This easy bento box lunch with Chocolate Chickpea Fudge takes no time at all to make. It's the kind of thing both kids and grown-ups alike will love to eat, and it's full of good-for-you ingredients. You can change up the exact ingredients to suit your taste, of course, like different fruits, some chicken or cucumber or sugar snap peas to dip. But this, for me, was a delicious and super easy box of goodness that we all loved. Give it a try, or let me know what you come up with in your box!
Chocolate Chickpea Fudge
- 1 can O Organics chickpeas (15.5oz/440g)
- 6 oz Medjool dates ,pitted (165g)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or a little more, to taste
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Line a 9 in. loaf tin with parchment. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Transfer to the lined loaf tin and chill around 10min until firmer, then cut into approx. 24 small squares. You can keep chilled a day or two until needed.
Easy bento box lunch with chocolate chickpea fudge
- 1 bag O Organics carrot sticks 2.25oz/64g
- 1 O Organics hummus snack cup 2oz/57g
- 6 grape tomatoes approx.
- 6 grapes approx.
- ¾ oz O Organics pita crackers 20g, approx
- 2 squares Chocolate Chickpea Fudge
- Put all of the ingredients in a bento box, as they fit, keeping the pita crackers away from anything that may make them soft (eg., washed fruit, veggies or fudge)
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Shaw’s and Star Market.
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