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Cute ideas for a special and healthy Halloween lunch - especially love the candy corn fruit salad.

Halloween Bento Box & Other Spooky Lunch Ideas

We’ve got another bento box post today from our new food contributor Wendy.  I’ve said before I could never be a mama that regularly Bentos (see how I made it a verb?). I lack the time and, more to the point, the creativity.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the appeal.  

This monthly glimpses into how Wendy works her lunch-time magic always gets my wheels turning on creative ways I can incorporate healthy new options into my kids’ decidedly pedestrian lunches.  Additionally, I love the idea of pulling out all the stops like this for special occasions.

Check out the in-depth details for this lunch below and don’t miss 24 more great Halloween lunch ideas at the end of the post.

I like to celebrate most holidays by making festive lunches for my kids but Halloween is my favorite season by far to celebrate with cute food. As soon as the month of October begins, I start whipping out spooky lunches.

I’ve collected a large stash of Halloween supplies — cookie cutters, sprinkles, and cute cupcake picks — but you certainly don’t need all those tools to make fun bento box meals for your kids. For this lunch I pulled out just a couple cookie cutters to make  jack-o-lantern tortilla chips then added an inexpensive cupcake pick from the party supply store to bring extra interest to some turkey spirals.

The rest of the box was filled with foods whose colors naturally bring Halloween to mind. Carrots and bean dip are the classic orange and black, while a trio of white, yellow and orange fruits bring candy corn to mind.

Cut pumpkin shapes from tortillas to make home made chips

To begin this bento lunch, we’re going to make some jack-o-lantern tortilla chips. Though they sound complicated, they’re actually very simple to create and if you make a big batch, you can use them for lunches or snacks throughout the week.

To make them, cut pumpkin shapes from tortillas with a cookie cutter. I used white flour tortillas for this lunch, but you can also make these with whole wheat or corn tortillas depending on your family’s preference.

Next cut faces into the tortillas. Jack-o-lantern cookie cutters make this step easy but you can use any other small cutter or a knife.

Toast tortilla chips in the oven until they are golden brown

Spray a baking sheet with canola oil and place your cut-outs on it in a single layer. Toss any scraps that were leftover from cutting the tortillas on there while you’re at it. They’re not pretty, but they’ll taste just as good.

Lightly spray the tops of the chips with more canola oil, sprinkle with salt and put them in an oven that’s been preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the chips are golden brown. Allow the chips to cool completely before adding them to the lunch box.

If you are making them ahead, store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.

Make a "candy corn" fruit salad with apple, pineapple and mandarin orange slices

Next make a “candy corn” fruit salad with mandarin orange or clementine wedges, canned pineapple chunks and diced apple. This combination doesn’t taste like candy corn, of course, but it has the same colors and looks festive.

Soak apple in pineapple juice to keep it from browning

Stack the orange wedges in the bottom of one section of a divided lunch box. (I am using an EasyLunchBoxes container for this lunch.) Drain the pineapple well and add it in a layer above the oranges.

Pour a little of the juice from the can of pineapple into a bowl and add peeled, diced apple chunks. (The acid in the juice will keep the apple from browning.) Drain the apple and add it to the remaining empty space above the pineapple.

Cut deli turkey into strips and roll it up

Cut two slices of natural deli turkey into strips about an inch wide. Starting from the bottom, roll each strip of turkey into a tight spiral. Spear one or two of the spirals with a  jack-o-lantern pick, then add them all to the second small section of the lunch box.

Halloween bento completed

Fill the large section of the lunch box with the jack-o-lantern tortilla chips, carrot sticks and a small container of black bean dip. To prevent the chips from absorbing moisture from the carrots, slip a piece of reusable, silicone sushi grass between them.

Here are a few more ideas to help you make special Halloween lunches for your kids:

 *post contains affiliate links.

P.S. Looking for more low-prep and low-stress ways to connect with the family this holiday season? Check out our new eBook, Hands-On Holidays, packed with ideas for make memories crafting, cooking, reading and adventuring together! 

Hands-On Holidays: Simple Ways to Make Memories from October through December - can't wait to use this with the kids this year!

 

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?



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Wendy Copley writes about cooking, crafts, parenting and her obsession with lunch boxes at Wendolonia.com. Her first book, Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go will be published in February 2014. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two young sons.

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