October is finally here and I am gearing up to make lots of fun Halloween lunches! I always think it’s fun to make themed bento boxes for my kids, but Halloween lunches are my favorite of all. Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, bats, skulls, monsters — I love it all!
Here are 10 fun techniques that are all pretty easy. Some require no planning at all, others come together with a little advanced preparation. All of them will delight your kids if you add them to their lunch boxes!
|Orange carrots + black bean dip
Black and orange gets you right in the Halloween mood and adding carrots and black bean dip to a lunch box couldn’t be simpler. Fill a small container with the dip (I get mine at Trader Joe’s but you can make your own too), then plop the carrot sticks I’m sure you already have in the fridge next to it in the lunch box. Done! Bonus: if your kid never eats more than one or two carrots, this might inspire him to eat a few more. No promises though!
The little clementines and mandarin oranges that are everywhere in October are perfect for making fake pumpkins. I peel a couple for my kid to make it easy for him to eat them on his super-short lunch break then draw jack-o-lantern faces on them with a food coloring marker.
|Stab a muffin with a cookie knife
This one is a little gruesome, I admit, but it goes over really well with the older kids. Take a muffin and jab one of these store-bought cookie knives into it. That’s pretty cool by itself, but if you want to make it over the top creepy, squirt some red gel icing from a tube around the hole to simulate blood. Blech! I’ve also stabbed the cookie knives into meatballs and squirted ketchup around the hole. My kid doesn’t mind the cookie/meatball combo but I understand yours might so use your judgment on that one.
|Jello with grape “eyes”
This idea requires a smidge of advanced planning, but when it’s done you have a creepy treat to include in lunches all week long. Here’s what you do: make up a batch of jello (I like red, green or blue for this). Add grapes or blueberries to several silicone baking cups, then pour the gelatine over the top of them and let them set up in the fridge. When you’re making lunches in the morning, just pop one of the cups into your bento box. You can also make the jello right in your lunch container. Or, if you don’t do bento-style lunches make it in a small lidded container and toss that in the lunch bag.
|Jab something with a cute Halloween cupcake pick
Tools for Halloween baking are everywhere right now so grab a pack of decorative cupcake picks and include them in a lunch. I use them to skewer grapes, lunch meat, cheese and cherry tomatoes. You can also just stab them into a sandwich to keep it from falling apart. Fun, inexpensive picks are available at Target, craft stores, and grocery stores, or you can spring for some super adorable, but pricey ones.
Use a set of jack-o-lantern cookie cutters to cut the top slice of bread on a sandwich, then fill it with cheddar cheese to make it look like it’s glowing from a candle inside. If you don’t have jack-o-lantern cutters you can just cut the bread into a circle shape then use a knife to cut the faces out.If you’re in the market for cutters like these, I saw a set for about $5 bucks in the Halloween section at Target last week. I also found a basic set and this bigger set on Amazon, but I had a hard time judging their sizes from the photos.
Use a cookie cutter (left) or a set of kitchen shears (right) to cut a piece of toast into a ghost shape. Spread cream cheese on top, then top it with icing googly eyes or raisins to make a face.
|Spooky face sandwiches
Cut a zig-zag line through a bread circle and top with olives to make a spooky face on top of a sandwich. Detailed directions can be found here.
Turn a chunk of apple into a monsteer by cutting a zig-zag line for a mouth and adding a couple of those icing googly eyes. You can use honey, cream cheese or peanut butter as “glue” to get them to stick to the apple’s skin.
|Peaches with sprinkles
Let’s wrap it up with another super easy idea. Drain and rinse canned peaches (to get rid of excess sugar) then add a few chocolate sprinkles on top. This is another technique that only takes a few seconds, but the orange and “black” together look super Halloween-y.
Interested in seeing these ideas in action? There are several dozen Halloween lunches in the Bento Box Gallery.
What fun techniques do you add to your Halloween lunches?