Hello there, mummies! I'm sure most of you have seen those fancy bento box lunches that have been shared all over social media platforms. I'm always amazed at how much effort those mothers put in to make their children's bento lunches look adorable and appetising! Even though I'm not half as creative as them, I occasionally enjoy making food for my children as well. My kids' bento lunches are usually just simple foods that they enjoy eating. Most importantly, I make certain that there is an ideal balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fibre. While my children do receive meals at school, there are times when they would prefer that I prepare something from home. Normally, I'd ask them what they'd like to pack for lunch at school. If not, they would be satisfied with the meals I pack for them. So, here are some of the bento box lunches I've made for my kids. Mini Pancakes Bento Something about making food minis entices my kids to eat. Although they enjoy regular-sized pancakes, the kids devoured the mini ones! Plus, since they're bringing this bento to school, the bite-sized pancakes make it much easier for them to eat. They also requested maple syrup, but I couldn't find a smaller container for it. So, I decided to use that syringe, which my kids thought was fun and exciting. To go with the pancakes, I made scrambled eggs with sausage and white guava. Guava is a very good fruit option. If you haven't already, you should consider introducing it to your children. But make sure to remove the seeds first. White guava, according to Healthier Steps, contains a variety of nutrients and minerals, including: \tCalcium\u2013fortify the bones and teeth. \tFibre\u2013Dietary fibre assists with digestion, intestinal issues, and constipation. \tFolate (Vitamin B9)\u2013Creates red and white blood cells, converts carbohydrates into energy, helps during growth (foetus, infancy, and adolescence stages), and produces DNA and RNA. \tIron\u2013This is the main producer of haemoglobin and helps to prevent anaemia. \tManganese\u2013This activates enzymes for metabolism and other bodily chemical processes. In addition, assists with protein (and amino acid) utilisation and digestion. \tPotassium\u2013This mineral helps cardiac and respiratory muscles (and others) to function\/work efficiently and effectively. It also helps with nerve functionality. \tVitamin A\u2013Boosts vision and immune system as well as helps lungs, heart, and kidney (Vitamin A assists with the reduction of urinary stone formation) to work properly. Mini Grilled Cheese + Chicken Parmesan This grilled cheese is very simple. Just the way my kids like it. I only put one slice of cheese between two slices of bread. Then, I slathered some butter on the outside of the sandwich before pan-frying it. That butter really gives that extra yummy crunch. Since there\u2019s no meat in the grilled cheese, I decided to pair it with my specialty chicken parmesan. This chicken dish is pretty easy to make and works well as finger food at any time. When I make them, I just eyeball the ingredients; but this is roughly how I do it. \tStep 1: Prepare the Parmesan Crumble Mixture. In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Italian herbs seasoning, ground parmesan cheese, and salt. \tStep 2: Cut some\u00a0chicken breasts into cubes and mix them with flour and eggs. \tStep 3: Coat each chicken breast cube with the Parmesan Crumb Mixture one at a time. \tStep 4: Pan sears the coated chicken breast to brown the outside. \tStep 5: Finish cooking them in the oven or air fryer before serving. You can add dipping sauces like ranch or mayo. But because my kids dislike them, I just keep the parmesan chicken plain in the bento. I also added some oranges for Vitamin C and fibre. French Toast Bites Bento When there's French toast in this house, it's usually because I'm at a loss for what to cook or because the bread is about to expire. In this case, it\u2019s the latter. This is a quick and easy bento in which I fry up a store-bought beef burger and peel two\u00a0bananas\u00a0to go with\u00a0the French toast. Although they appear simple, I made certain that I included foods that my children enjoy so that the bento\u00a0does not go to waste. It's okay to have lazy days, mums. It's fine if you make something simple or buy ready-made meals sometimes. ;) Pandan Nasi Lemak + Fried Chicken My family prefers pandan nasi lemak over regular white nasi lemak. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to make. It's the same as making regular nasi lemak but with extra pandan colour and flavour. I woke up earlier than usual to prepare this national dish of Malaysia. But only to cook the rice. I prepared the sambal and boiled the eggs the night before. I also served the pandan nasi lemak with my kids' favourite fried chicken and oranges. By the way, I think\u00a0the pandan scent enhances the aroma of the nasi lemak. The flavour is also exquisite, but it may not be to everyone's taste. If your children enjoy trying new things, this could be the next menu\u00a0in their bento. Soy Sauce Fried Noodles Bento Because my kids prefer their noodles plain, frying them is a breeze. I just need to saut\u00e9 some minced garlic and onion, then toss in some soy sauce and oyster sauce with the noodles. That's it. Of course, I can't just serve my kids empty fried noodles. So, I added a hard-boiled egg for protein and mixed edamame with carrots for extra nutrients. If you are concerned about whether edamame is safe for your children, this is what I discovered: According to SFGate, whole edamame is safe for children with enough teeth to chew crunchy foods. But it should be cut into small pieces for younger children to avoid choking. That's why I make sure the edamame I cook is soft enough for my kids to chew on. Simple Angel Hair Beef Bolognese While I typically make my own Bolognese sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes, I used the pre-made pasta sauce this time because I was in a hurry. Nevertheless, I've added some minced beef along with some small-cut carrots and bell peppers. Bolognese is a great way to get kids to eat vegetables because you can mix in a variety of them. For example, eggplants, zucchini, celery, spinach, or even cauliflower. Because the pasta is already a filling meal for my kids, I added some pandan Swiss rolls and sweet corn as side dishes. All-time Favourite Baked Mac & Cheese Once you've tried making homemade mac and cheese, you'll never go back to the instant variety. Or at least, I didn't. ;p I remember learning this one\u00a0recipe in high school because I was craving some good mac and cheese. Not something\u00a0simply out of the box. Over time, I refined the recipe to my liking and to make it quicker to prepare. I usually make them with seafood or chicken but this time I kept it simple. Since I already had some marinated chicken breast, I just baked them for this bento. My kids can't get enough of this hearty dish. They even come home asking for more. Anyway, I think corn pairs nicely with mac and cheese. However, if your kids are not a big fan of corn, you can substitute it with broccoli, cherry tomatoes, or apples; or just serve it on its own. Classic White Rice + Soy Sauce Chicken Growing up, this was one of my favourite foods. And I'm glad my children enjoy it as well. People prepare it in a variety of ways. There are plenty of recipes out there too. On my plate, I'd have a sunny side-up egg with soy sauce and birds\u2019 eye chillies. The kids, on the other hand, prefer it with an omelette. This bento appears to be quite simple, but it is my kids' version of finger-licking good! Time to Make Your Very Own Bento for Your Kids Image credit: Canva Genuinely, mummies, don't stress over making\u00a0your kids' bento\u00a0all fancy and artistic. It is simply a matter of packing foods that your children love eating. What matters is that the children enjoy the food and that their stomachs are kept full throughout the school day. Even though my menu choices aren't always perfect, time is of the essence and sometimes I just want to put\u00a0something together quickly. I know there are a lot of busy mothers out there. That's why I'm sharing some of the simple menus I've created for my kids\u2019 bento lunches. So, if you need to whip up something quick that your kids will enjoy, one of them might be in this column. Don\u2019t sweat it, mummies! ;) For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!