Bento lunches have exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason-they're the perfect way to pack kid-friendly meals that are cute and delicious. The problem is, with so many bento boxes on the market, it can be hard for parents (especially those new to bento-ing) to choose the right one. How many compartments do you really need? What's the perfect size for your kiddo? Are removable containers important or not? Well, we've test-driven a variety of boxes and included our favorites here.
Here's to lunches that are easy and fun-and to the end of little plastic baggies!
With five compartments of varying shapes and sizes, Bentgo knew just what parents needed when they created their BentgoKids lunchbox. The largest compartment is the perfect size for a half sandwich, pasta, salad or other entree, while the three mid-size compartments are great for fruit, veggies or other sides. Finally, the smallest compartment makes packing dipping sauces, raisins, nuts or other small treats super easy. The entire tray is removable for easy cleaning, and it's also leakproof. An added bonus: The BentgoKids box comes in three colors (green, blue and purple/pink), and all of the trays are interchangeable for mix-and-match fun.
If all the crazy-intricate bento lunches taking over Pinterest make you vow to never pack another lunch again, Bentology's Classic Bento is the perfect lunchbox for you. Formerly Laptop Lunches, Bentology has rebranded and offered up a bento that is easy and functional. There are five containers (three have lids) that parents can add and subtract at their discretion, so lunch can be as simple or complex as you like. As if that wasn't enough to love, each container and the box itself are dishwasher safe, and at a suggested retail price of $19.99, it's easily one of the most affordable bentos on the market.
For older kids, or those who need to fuel up for sports or other after-school activities, the PlanetBox Rover is definitely the lunchbox to pack. It holds nearly 4.5 cups of food (which would be enough to satisfy some adults), while also having enough small compartments for lots of variety. The Big Dipper and Little Dipper removable containers eliminate the consumable waste of packing wet foods like yogurt, and the food grade silicon rubber seal prevents leaks. At $49.95 the Rover is certainly an investment, but the high-quality, stainless steel box is built to last-and withstand the dishwasher, too.
There are kids who need 10 options each time they sit down for lunch, and there are those who like to keep things simple with an entree and just one or two sides. For the latter group, the original Bentgo lunchbox makes it possible to combine bento fun with less complicated meals. No worries about filling six or seven containers here-the layered box has one large compartment on the bottom, and a divided container with two medium-sized compartments on top. It's all held together with a sealing strap, and at a retail price of just $14.99, it's an absolute steal.
In the latest installment of "Why Didn't I Think of That?", OmieBox presents the first insulated bento. Now your kids can have hot mac and cheese, soup or whatever their little hearts desire-along with all their other bento favorites. And thanks to a built-in insulated bowl inside the box, it'll still be hot at lunchtime, while everything else stays cool. All compartments are leak-free, and the easy-to-handle features means your little kiddos won't have to ask for help to get into their lunchbox.
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