Healthy kids' bento box

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 cherry tomatoes

  • 100g cooked sliced chicken breast

  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce

  • Handful watercress

  • 2 tbsp mixed nuts and seeds

  • Small handful 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


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.

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.

Slice your cucumber into half centimetre thick rounds. 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.

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.

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