This momma has spent years making school lunches and is excited to try new recipes for lunch boxes, especially the newish style kids are loving, bento-style lunch boxes. These nifty boxes sport separate containers built-in usually a rectangular share and can hold all types of foods for an amazing lunch. Some even come with matching water bottles or insulated thermos. Bento boxes are a great way for the entire family to enjoy mealtime, especially during the school year!
Sharing My Faves!
Today I am sharing my favorite Bento Boxes for kids of all ages, especially those with ease of use and easy cleanup! I know moms’ ears always perk up when they hear or read the phrase “dishwasher-safe” and yes, many of these lunch boxes are! So let’s not waste any more time and talk about the cream of the crop of bento boxes.
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Best Bento Boxes
‘Bento boxes have been used for centuries by Japanese mothers in order to pack healthy, high-quality foods for their children. These stainless steel bento boxes from Lunch Bot are designed specifically for school lunch use and serve as a healthy alternative to plastic or foam containers that harbor bacteria and can’t be recycled. The insulated stainless steel bento designs keep food cool or warm. Available in 4 colors: teal, aqua, green and royal blue.
The Planetbox Rover is a bento lunchbox that aims to bring out your child’s interest in food and their world. Designed by parents who wanted their kids to eat healthier lunches with a focus on nutrition, this incredibly sturdy bento box is made from stainless steel and can be easily cleaned. Use it for school lunches or pack your own healthy homemade meals for work or travel. This is a bit pricey but has so many cute accessories and is dishwasher safe! It is a brilliant choice!
Perfect for school lunches, travel, and everyday use, our Bentgo Kids containers are designed to simplify mealtime for growing kids. The three-compartment container gives you a place to separate foods (like the veggie tray) from side dishes and the main course, while the lid snaps into place over all three compartments to keep each snack or meal safely contained. Each box has a dual-top handle that can hold up to 4 cups of food, plus a silicone strap that adjusts to hold any size of food.
The Wildkin Kids Bento Box is a perfect lunch accessory for your little one. It comes with a matching fork, spoon, and cup that are all shaped like fun animals. The Bento Box itself is insulated to keep food warm throughout the day and helps kids to feel independent of their own special place for their favorite foods. This makes lunchtime more enjoyable for both children and parents! Ultra perfect for young children with convenient compartments in perfect sizes for little hands and little fingers. An award-winning favorite since 2009, and you can also grab matching nap mats, overnight duffel bags, and so many cute things to add as they grow. Wildkin is a wonderful brand with a child and parent focus on durability and child safety. This momma loves the amazing variety of designs and those nap mats are so darn cute.
YUMBOX THE ORIGINAL STILL IS AMAZING!
The cutest of the bunch is hands down the Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Box and the Yumbox Panino, truly fun designs!
The Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Box makes packing school lunches, picnics, and super fun. This durable, eco-friendly container is made with BPA-free plastic and designed to keep food separated without the worry of leaks or spills. Inside there are compartments that perfectly fit our best-selling Yumbox food containers, so creating healthy meals for your children has never been more fun!
Yumbox Panino is a super colorful and cute lunch box that brings your child’s creativity to the next level. This sandwich shape lunchbox has three compartments so you can pack their sandwiches, snacks, and fruits together in one box. It comes with a spoon and fork that can be stored in the built-in pockets at the top of each side panel.
OmieBox Bento Box for Kids – OmieBox bento lunch box for kids! It contains a leak-proof thermos with a cover and an easy-to-use handle. The push-button clasp makes it so easy for little hands to open and close their lunchbox. The thermos is made of stainless steel, easy to wash, and will not rust or stain. Let your child enjoy fun colors and great style with this bento box for kids. If you have a picky eater who loves a warm cup of noodles or stew, then this is the bento box for the job!
The Easy lunch boxes bento-style food containers are the perfect solution for packing healthy lunches, snacks, or even dessert. The 3-compartment plastic food container set is a great way to send your child to school with healthy food choices, while they think they are getting special lunches from home. Reusable storage containers are easy to clean and dishwasher safe. And because they’re airtight, you don’t have to worry about spills in your lunch bag. They also resist stains and odors so you can use them repeatedly!
What is a Bento Box
Bento lunch boxes for kids are a great way to pack your child’s lunch. They allow you to pack a variety of healthy foods in one convenient location, and they make it easy for your child to eat independently. But with so many options out there, how do you choose the right bento box? We’ve put together this list of what to look for when buying kid bento boxes so that you don’t waste money on an inferior product!
What to look for in a Bento Box
There are a few features to look for when choosing the right bento box for your kids:
- Compartment size. Look at the dimensions of each compartment and make sure they’re big enough to fit your child’s lunch items. It’s helpful if there are dividers between compartments so you can separate different foods (like fruit and vegetables) or treats like chocolate chips from meals like spaghetti with meatballs. The deeper the compartments, the more food that can fit inside!
- Insulated bag or box. A thermal bag will prevent your child’s food from getting warm too quickly, which means they can enjoy their meal longer without feeling hungry again soon after eating it. This also helps protect foods from getting soggy if they’re wet — great if your little one likes yogurt!
- Thermos insert. For hot meals like soup or chicken noodle soup, a thermos is essential because otherwise, it will get cold before lunchtime rolls around. It’s also important that these thermoses have good insulation properties, and even then exercise caution on the hot food you pack. We recommend you test things for several tries before choosing to send a hot thermal lunch.
Single Compartment or Multiple?
- How many compartments to include?
There are two schools of thought here: the minimalists (who might use one compartment for all food groups) and the maximalists (who might have separate compartments for every single item in their lunch). It’s up to your kid, but it’s easier to pack what you like if there are fewer compartments.
- How to pack each compartment?
If there are multiple compartments, decide how much space each item needs—and then put them in accordingly. For example, a sandwich can go on top where it’ll be harder for squishy produce or soggy bread to get next to it; cheese sticks should go underneath so they don’t get squished too badly by other items; hard vegetables like carrots should be stored vertically with at least two inches between them and other foods so they don’t break off when moved around later; soft fruits like strawberries need more room than that because they’ll break easily against other objects and may get crushed before lunchtime arrives anyway!
Bento Lunch boxes with multiple compartments let you pack a variety of foods.
- Multiple compartments help with portion control. If you pack a lunch for your child and it has multiple compartments, you can make sure that they are eating the right amount of food at each meal.
- Multiple compartments help to keep food separate. When your kid is eating from a bento box with several sections, there’s less chance of them mixing up their food because there’s no way for one section to touch another. This also makes it easier to divide up different foods like sweet treats and healthier options so that both sides of lunch—the sweet and healthy—are equally represented each mealtime!
- Multiple compartments help keep food cool/warm/fresh by using an insulated container that will keep things warm or cool all day long (or at least until lunchtime).
Easy To Clean
Best – Hand-wash in the sink and dry thoroughly.
Good- Some bento boxes for kids are top-rack dishwasher-safe. (Read instructions with box carefully)
Bento Lunch Box Ideas
Homemade lunch is the best lunch, in this mom’s opinion. From younger children to big kids, creating a perfect lunch box filled with the main dish, sandwich, a few vegetables, and maybe some chips and pretzels and a small treat are much better than the highly processed food my kid has complained about when eating the “school lunches”. In fact, when my youngest son hit Jr. High, the lines were so long that often kids waited in line only to have to skip lunch and stay hungry throughout the day. NOT the best scenario for learning.