I’ve been researching which bento box lunch box is best for kids so you don’t have to! Come check out some different options and see what I ultimately decided to choose for my family.
School lunch. It’s coming.
What does your kid eat?
Do you send the money for hot lunch?
Do you pack them a lunch?
Do they pack their own lunch?
We’re starting first grade this year. Which means lunchtime.
However, mine is a super picky eater. So he will not be regularly eating school lunch. Maybe once or twice a month.
You know. On pizza day.
And that’s fine. I know that they have been trying to make school lunches healthier. But at least if I pack his lunch, I know exactly what he’s getting every day.
Whether or not he eats it is a different story.
Luckily, our school is not nut-free. They are allergy-friendly so they have a nut-free table in the lunchroom. But as long as you’re not sitting there you’re allowed to have peanut butter and other nuts.
I decided since I’m going to be packing lunch every day I wanted to get a good lunch box system. And in order to reduce waste and not use a bazillion Ziploc bags, I knew I wanted to get a bento box.
Plus they’re cute. Who doesn’t like their food sorted out into little compartments? It kind of makes me think of tapas, or you know, grown-up Lunchables.
I have been looking at bento boxes for the last 96 hours. Haha. Okay. Not straight. But I have been looking at them and thinking about them for 4 days. I finally ordered one.
So I thought I would share with you the insight I have from researching for four days if you are interested in bento boxes as well.
Do you know what you want your box to be made of? Plastic? Stainless steel?
How many compartments? One? Three? Six?
Is it leakproof?
How much food should it hold?
How big is it? Does it fit into a Minecraft lunch bag?
The questions are endless.
A popular lunch box and one of the more expensive ones on the list is Planetbox. It ranges from $40-$60. It’s stainless steel and very neat looking.
It compartmentalizes your food and makes me think of a metal lunch tray. You know the ones that have the spot for your plate and a spot for your milk and sides?
It’s not leak-free in the sense that if you put yogurt in one of the containers it might be able to move between compartments. But none of the food should fall out.
It has a flip-top lid that will latch down. It also comes with fun magnets to put on the outside to customize your box.
It does come with additional accessories to include things like salad dressings or sauces without having them leaking all over the compartment.
It also is one of the bigger lunch boxes. It comes in three different sizes and two of them are 10 inches long.
That’s not going to fit in a standard lunch box. Definitely not one that has Minecraft on it.
They do have their own lunch box which will fit the Planetbox and it has an ice pack, a place to put silverware and a pouch on the outside for a drink.
This lunch box is also made of stainless steel.
It also comes in three different sizes. And each size comes in multiple configurations.
Lunchbots are configured with one to six compartments, depending on which style you buy. If you look at it their website you can see some capacity diagrams showing you how a sandwich would fit into the different box.
There are nine different options of size and configuration. These boxes range from $20 to $45 on Amazon.
A couple of times I thought though this is a great deal it’s only $20. But it’s the small snack size. So be aware of which one you’re looking at on Amazon.
The nice thing about these is that the large is only 8 inches long so it should fit in most lunchboxes.
There are no seals between any of the compartments so this box is not leak-free. They do have additional accessories in the form of stainless steel cups with silicone lids for things like sauces and yogurts and stuff. They even have lunch bundles that come with silicone cups and the dip cups.
I also strongly consider Yumbox.
These are 8 and 1/2 inch by 6 and 1/2 in wide.
They’re leak-proof as each individual compartment has a seal in the silicone lid.
I like how there are six different little compartments. Including a small one for a little treat. A Hershey’s kiss or some yogurt-covered raisins or something.
I didn’t love that it was almost $30 a plastic lunch box.
I was also concerned about a flip-top lid and how it would wear in the long-term. I also wondered how the plastic would fare long-term.
I also looked at Kinsho brand bento boxes on Amazon.
I thought that this was the one I was going to buy.
It comes in two sizes: a lunch box that is 9 inches long by 6.75 inches and a snack box that is 7 inches long and 4.5 inches wide.
It really wasn’t going to fit into a Minecraft lunch box. I thought maybe I could jam it into a soft-sided 8 and 1/2 inch square Minecraft lunch box and maybe still have some room for a drink.
But I still have all the same concerns about it being plastic.
Another hesitation I had with it is that the lid opens on all four sides. You have to unlatch all four sides in order to lift the lid up.
Is he going to know how to do that? Is he going to be able to do that if it has a leak-proof seal?
However, it is cheaper at around $20 a bento box.
I found a Zak bento box at Target that was Minecraft. It was only $13.
But again, it’s plastic, and it opens on all four sides of the lid.
It’s leak-proof if you push the center of the lid down as your closing it. But then that creates a seal.
And it’s hard for me to get the lid off of it. Is he going to be able to get the lid off in the lunchroom?
It’s about 8 1/2 inches square but it doesn’t fit in our Minecraft lunch box.
The last one that I briefly considered was the Omnibox. It’s $40.
This square bento box has three compartments with optional wall to divide a compartment in half. It also has a thermos insert for the main compartment.
I thought that was really neat it if you wanted to send hot things for lunch. Of course, they’re not going to be hot by lunchtime. But they should still be fairly warm.
But honestly, I don’t know how often I would send him something in the thermos canister.
It’s a 7-inch square, self-contained lunch box with a handle. So then I wondered where was I supposed to put the drink?
In some of the pictures on Amazon, they have it in one of the compartments. But then that takes up food space.
What bento box did I choose for my kid’s lunchbox?
Maybe I am overthinking it. I do that.
Maybe I think he’s going to eat more than he will. But some of them seem ridiculously small.
When I started looking at bento boxes my main focus was leak-proof.
But when I really sat down and thought about it he’s not a big fan of dips and such. And I can always add a little container should I want to add something that might be a little bit runnier.
I wanted to make sure it was something that he could open himself.
I wanted something that would be long-lasting, especially since the plastic options aren’t much cheaper than the stainless steel options.
Ultimately after weighing all my many options, I bought a Lunchbots.
Specifically, I bought a Lunchbots large cinco. Although I debated between the medium or the large, I decided to go big or go home. Haha. I can always put less food into the large one but you can’t put more food into the medium one.
I also bought some silicone baking cups and loaf cups to add into the box in case any juicy are items get placed in such as sliced strawberries or watermelon chunks.
I also ordered some condiment cups. They are salad dressing containers. They’re plastic and they have a screw-on lid. They were less than a dollar a container so I thought that we’d give them a try and see how they worked out in the Lunchbots.
At 8 inches long and 6 inches wide, the large Lunchbots container should fit into our eight and a half-inch square Minecraft lunch box as per his request. And there might even be room to stuff a Capri sun or something in there.
Do you need some lunch packing ideas?
Some friends and I started a Facebook group called PBJ & Beyond to share what we are packing for lunch and hopefully inspire other parents to mix up their lunchtime routine. We would love to have you join us.
My friend also wrote a great post on some school lunch ideas for any lunch box. She even has a free printable to help you plan out lunch.
Want more parenting ideas? Check out my other parenting posts.