Teach Eat Love

Under the Sea Bento Box

bento box

If you have a kid who is obsessed with sea creatures like mine is, this is the perfect special occasion lunch box. It isn’t hard to put together but there is a little bit of cutting. I don’t make fussy lunches like this every day, but for the first day of school, we needed something fun.

Under the Sea Bento Box

Undersea fun at lunch!


1 hot dog (I like Applegate organics because of their quality ingredients and stance on animal welfare)

half of a cucumber

1 recipe cookie cutter tortilla chips in star shapes (coming soon!) or a handful of store-bought tortilla chips

half of a bell pepper

some sliced vegetables (like cherry tomatoes and carrots) or fruit

jellybeans (I like vegetable-dye based from Trader Joe's) or other small treat


  • This lunch was packed in a PlanetBox lunch box, which is hands down my favorite lunch box. It's incredibly sturdy, plastic free, and the divided tray makes packing it up a cinch. It's pricey, but it's indestructable: I don't think we'll ever have to buy another lunch box.
  • I also love these reusable sea creature bento picks that are featured in this lunch. They're an inexpensive way to add a lot of fun to a lunchbox.
  • You'll also need a pair of kitchen scissors for this lunch.


1. Boil water in a small saucepan for the hot dog.

2. While it's coming to a boil, cut your hot dog in half. Grab a half and cut eight "legs," making sure you leave enough of a head on the octopus that it won't fall apart. If you have an extra minute, cut the ends of the legs into points - it'll look more like an octopus. Repeat for the second hot dog half and toss into the boiling water for about 2 minutes then remove and drain.

3. While the hot dog is boiling, cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out as much of the inside as possible so you're just left with the cucumber skin. Smash the skin down with your hand carefully so you don't break it. If it doesn't smash down easily, you haven't scraped enough of the inside out. Using kitchen scissors, cut the cucumber into sea grass.

4. Cut a quarter of the bell pepper (you just want the side wall). Remove any pith that remains and smash down slightly with your hand. Using kitchen scissors or a cookie cutter, cut the bell pepper into a simple fish. Repeat as desired.

5. Toss the tortilla chips and remaining ingredients in your lunch box.

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This recipe, specifically the hot dog octopus and cucumber sea grass, is inspired by Wendy Thorpe Copley's Everyday Bento. It's a great book that I highly recommend.

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