Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School Recipe's

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress. Bin the soggy sandwiches and get creative with these wonderful watercress recipes for kids’ lunchboxes.
Not only are they simple and speedy to prepare, but they are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will give your little ones a much-needed boost throughout the school day.

It can be a challenge thinking of new and exciting fillings for packed lunches, especially when your children’s favourite foods might not always be the healthiest of options. but wait, I have an idea for you, fun to look at and most importantly, healthy.

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress:

These yummy watercress recipes will help you to plan tasty, healthy lunches, that are easy to transport and that your kids will love.

Watercress is one of the original superfoods and contains over 50 essential vitamins and minerals; in fact, gram for gram watercress contains more Vitamin C than oranges, more folate than bananas, more Vitamin E than broccoli, and more calcium than milk.

It also contains high levels of iron. This is especially important as more of our youngsters, especially teens, choose to adopt plant-based diets which generally have low iron content.

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress:

The iron may be in the plant but it’s impossible to absorb unless Vitamin C is also present to change the iron into the same form as is found in red meat and easily absorbable.

As watercress contains high levels of vitamin C it’s the perfect leaf to include in a plant-based diet and with 46% of Gen Z girls consuming below the recommended daily intake of iron in the UK1, this is a big tick for Watercress.

But while you’re reviewing your kids’ lunchboxes, it might be worth reviewing your own.

Watercress is so easy to add to quick meals; blitz it in a smoothie, wilt into pasta or a stir-fry, warm through in a soup, or crunch your way through in a salad.

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress

Over the next few days, I have some great back-to-school recipes to share with you. Starting with this Healthy Kids’ Bento Box.

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress:

Kids will love this cute Japanese-inspired packed lunch that’s both nutritious and colourful!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes one lunch box


  • 2 inch length of cucumber
  • Small handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 100g cooked sliced chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • Handful watercress
  • 2 tbsp mixed nuts and seeds
  • Small handful of grapes, cut in half
  • 3 strawberries, quartered
  • 50g sushi rice, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 1 tsp sushi vinegar
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed

Equipment Needed:

  • 1 x panda rice mould with nori cutter (or any preferred other shape, available online)
  • 1 x bento box (or use Tupperware)
  • Star or heart-shaped cutter

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress Method:

  1. Take your rice mould and dip the main part of the mould in cold water to help prevent the rice from sticking. Pack the mould full of cooked sushi rice, making double sure that any small, detailed sections such as the ears are well packed. Take the press and dip this in cold water before using to press the rice firmly into the mould, ensuring the rice is packed tightly so that it keeps its shape once turned out. If you do not have a mould you can simply shape the rice into firm balls using wet hands.
  2. Carefully turn the panda-shaped rice out of the mould. Take your nori sheet and use the cutter to punch shapes out of it. Use your fingers to carefully position the pieces of nori onto the rice so that it resembles the face of a panda. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours before using.
  3. Slice your cucumber into half-centimetre thick round. Take your star or heart-shaped cutter and cut a shape from each cucumber round. Take your sliced cooked chicken and toss in the teriyaki sauce until well coated.
  4. Finally assemble your bento box by placing the panda rice, chicken, watercress, cucumber, tomatoes, and fruit into the box in a neat and tidy arrangement.

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress. Recipe courtesy of Watercress. For more recipe inspiration and to find out more about the health benefits of watercress, visit Watercress.

Kids lunch box ideas.

These bento box lunches are great for picky eaters. What's not to like?

Healthy Kids’ Bento Box: Back to School with Watercress

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  1. I wonder if my boys would like watercress... probably just my oldest but I didn't realize how healthy it was!

  2. Kawaii, Claire! My daughters are grown-ups now, but I enjoyed preparing cute bento boxes for them, and they always liked that extra touch with fun food, as well.

  3. My kids are older now but it would have been fun to do this for them when they took their lunches to school. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen

  4. This is darling! I am sure kids would love to see this in their lunch box. Thanks for sharing at Love Your Creativity.

    1. Thanks so much for hosting and the feature Linda :)

  5. The panda bear sushi rice molds are adorable! My grandchildren would love them in their lunch box

  6. I wish lunch boxes looked like this when I was a kid... wow, so much fun in one little box.
    Thank you for sharing your healthy bento box at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring this yummy box at tonight's party and pinning too.

  7. I don't believe I've ever tried watercress before, but this bento lunch is the cutest ever!! Thanks for sharing it with us on the Embracing Home and Family Link-up party!


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