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5 cute and creative bento box lunch ideas for kids

Want your kid to be the coolest in the cafeteria? Send him or her off to school with one of these clever bento box lunches.
/ Source: TODAY

Want your kid to be the coolest in the cafeteria? Send him or her off to school with one of these clever bento box lunches. They may take a little more time to assemble than your usual PB&J so they're perhaps not an everyday lunch, but the results (delighted kids and full stomachs) are well worth it for a special occasion.

Dinosaur Bento
Wendy Copley / Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go

1. Dinosaur Bento: Salami-and-cheese dinosaur sandwiches keep close watch over a spotted dino egg sitting on a pretzel stick nest. A forest of broccoli trees gives them something to munch on when hunger strikes. For step-by-step instructions, Wendolonia even provides a helpful how-to video.

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Ms. Pac-Man Bento
Becoming a Bentoholic

2. Ms. Pac-Man Bento: Go old-school with this tribute to a classic video game by Becoming a Bentoholic. A turkey-and-cheddar Ms. Pac-Man sports a candy eye and is ready to gobble up baby carrots, shelled edamame, a stuffed grape leaf and — of course — dots cut from a cheese stick. And let’s not forget the bonus fruit for dessert: a fresh strawberry and maraschino cherry (plus chocolate sunflower seed drops).

Owl Bento Lunch
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

3. Owl Bento Lunch: These wide-eyed owls are almost too cute to eat. Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons dresses up a sandwich with pretzel cracker wings, Babybel cheese eyes and a pretzel rod perch, while his apple companion sports big marshmallow eyes (with chocolate chip pupils) and a cheddar beak and feet.

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Dolphin Bento
Lisa Storms

4. Dolphin Bento: Dolphin sandwiches swim with Goldfish cracker friends, while a clementine orange boat (outfitted with a cheese sail) floats on a blue Jell-O sea. Lisa Storms completes the ocean setting with cute cucumber starfish.

Pirate Bento Box
Bento Lunch

5. Pirate Bento: To craft this cheeky pirate face, Bento Lunch starts with a homemade taco muffin (a great alternative to a sandwich) and uses cheddar and cucumber to create the look. Veggie sticks and fresh fruit round out the meal.

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Maggie Shi is a writer and editor who lives in New York City. She has written for, iVillage, and Epicurious. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @maggshi.