The kids are gearing up to head back to school.. and the time most parents dread is also nearing. Coming up with ideas for packing school lunches that your kids will actually eat is tough. Well, you're in luck. Here are some ideas from EatingWell and from myself, a very stubborn eater.

Nobody wants a typical ham sandwich every day. When you are packing lunch five days a week you have to be a little creative. Bento boxes are a nice option for packing a variety of unique meals. You can buy a bento box at Pottery Barn Kids or similar retailers.

Here are some of my favorite ideas to put in a bento box:

  • Taco Salad Bento Box - This box includes a section to dip tortilla chips into a taco salad made with beef or chicken, cheese, salsa, and guac. The meal is accompanied with two sides: corn on the cob and a fruit salad with kiwi and melon. Healthy, delicious, and relatively easy.
  • Cucumber Roll up - Spice up your typical deli lunch sandwich with a meat and cheese cucumber roll-up. Roll any meat and cheese combo you'd like using a thinly cut fresh cucumber. Add a traditional fruit side or macaroni salad to top off the meal.
  • Rainbow Bento Box - Fun to eat and to look at, this box includes ham or salami wrapped in mozzarella or provolone cheese. Color added by a mixed berry salad and  yogurt with a scoop of grape jam. Add assorted vegetables to dip with ranch or guac.
  • Pizza Bento Box- I am totally about to make this.. take a tortilla.. spread it with tomato sauce.. sprinkle mozzarella cheese and melt in the microwave.. roll up and cut into little pieces. Sides: cauliflower and watermelon.
  • Egg Salad Box  -  Egg salad.. or Chicken salad (I prefer chicken) provides great protein... mixed with blueberries, sliced bread & butter, and broccoli.. or whatever vegetable combo suits you.
  • BBQ box - Shredded chicken in barbecue sauce, with macaroni & cheese, coleslaw, and cornbread. Now I'm starving.

Get creative! You can put your own twist on any of these.. but having a cool bento box allows you to pack a variety of foods that are typically healthy and fun to eat. Forget best dressed, make sure your kid has the best lunch at the table this school year!