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I don’t know about yours, but my kids had a habit of coming home from kindergarten with uneaten lunches. The amount of time I had to spend to make a healthy meal, just to have to throw it away because it leaked or got squashed, nudged me to find the best bento box for kids.
At a Glance: The Best Bento Boxes For Kids to Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product.
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Even though I hate throwing perfectly good food into the trash, I was more concerned about my kids not eating lunch every other day. Balanced and varied nutrition is so important for kids, and I didn’t want my sons to get sick just because they didn’t like how their meals were packed.
After extensive research, I found out that there are so many different bento boxes for kids, all designed to make every meal fun and healthy.
I needed a bento box that is durable, leakproof, able to keep food warm, and keep meals healthy and fun for my kids. Luckily, I found the right one and wanted to share my findings with you.
Five Best Bento Lunch Boxes For Kids – Reviews
Below you will find in-depth reviews of the five best bento lunch boxes for kids! I’ve included key features, pros, and cons of each product to help you find the best kids bento for your child. Let’s get started!
1. OmieBox Bento Lunch Box For Hot And Cold Food – Best Overall
- Thermos insert
- FDA and CPSIA compliant
- BPA free
- Leak proof
The OmieBox Bento Lunch Box For Hot And Cold Food makes food prep a lot easier and gives you a chance to pack hot and cold food together. Designed to be versatile and multifunctional, this bento box can fit food, snacks, and drinks and ensures that your child has a versatile and healthy meal every day.
This durable, air insulated bento box comes with a stainless steel vacuum insulated thermos which will keep soup, pasta, meatballs, or any other meal pleasantly warm. The double sealed walls make this the best leakproof bento box that will keep food in its place even if your kid accidentally drops the box when riding his scooter.
- Durable and built to last
- Removable, leak proof thermos
- Divider helps you to customize the box
- All parts are removable and easy to clean
- May be too heavy for smaller kids
Overall, this is a great product if you are looking for a way to keep your kid’s meals varied and hot at the same time. Built to be sturdy and leak proof, this bento lunchbox is a great option to ensure that your kid’s meal stays safe the way you packed it till lunchtime.
2. ECOlunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Food Lunch Box - Best For Dry Food
- 100% food-grade stainless steel
- BPA & BPS free
- Dishwasher safe
The ECOlunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Food Lunch Box comes in a pack of two which is a great solution if your kids want to have everything identical, from inline skates and t-shirts to lunch boxes. It consists of a three-piece bento set, which makes meal prep a lot easier.
The bento set includes upper and lower food containers and a snack container which will prevent food from mixing and give you a chance to pack a nutritious meal for your kid. Being made from stainless steel, this is the best bento-style lunch box you can choose if you don’t want to expose your child to plastic.
- Three sections keep food from touching
- Durable and made to last
- Ideal for dry food and snacks
- The snack container is removable
- It isn’t leak proof since it doesn’t contain plastic gaskets
You can’t really go wrong by picking this bento-style lunch box for your child. Due to its stainless steel design, this box won’t break if dropped or bumped, and you won’t expose your kid to chemicals found in plastic.
3. Kinsho Leakproof Bento Lunch and Snack Box – Best Value
- Leak proof
- Eco-friendly BPA-free plastic
- Portioned for kids
- Spoon and fork included
The Kinsho Leakproof Bento Lunch and Snack Box comes in a pack of four—two large bento boxes for meals and two smaller bento boxes for snacks. With these multi-compartment containers, you will have no problems prepping a wholesome meal for your child.
Portioned to fit a complete meal, these bento boxes are designed for kids ages seven and older and will give you a chance to pack a wholesome meal. A silicone overlay on the lid makes the bento box leakproof and ensures that the food doesn’t mix even if your kid gets a bit rough with the box.
You will have to wash the lids by hand, since they can become twisted in the dishwasher, and those lids are what ensure the food won’t leak and will stay separated in this best divided lunch container.
- Can be used for kids and adults
- Compartments ensure assorted meals
- Two lunch bento boxes and two bento boxes for snacks
- Strong lid stays leakproof
- Younger kids may need assistance since the seal is very tight
The Kinsho Leakproof Bento Lunch and Snack Box is a great value product if you are on a limited budget. You will get two lunch and two snacks leakproof bento boxes that will keep your kid’s food organized and fun to eat for a change.
4. LunchBots Large Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container - Best Eco-Friendly Design
- Easy to clean
- Stainless steel
The LunchBots Large Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container is designed to cut meal prep time in half and make it a lot easier for you. It features five compartments which are large enough to contain a healthy meal, making it the best lunch container for school.
The individual compartments are the perfect size to fit a complete meal and will prevent the food mixing and looking like unappealing mush once your kid sits down to eat. Although it contains a colorful dot plastic cover, you can rest assured that the stainless steel is the only thing that touches your kid’s lunch. Built to be durable and to last, this bento box is a great option for kids who are careless with their belongings.
- Total of five food compartments
- Durable and made to last
- Made from safe and non-toxic materials
- Makes meal prep convenient and easy
- Not completely leakproof
This well-made and sturdy lunch box will keep your kid’s meals interesting and will save you time on packing. I like the fact that all the food stays in its compartments and doesn’t mix, and my kids love how all their favorite foods can fit into this bento .
5. LunchBots Large Trio Bento Box Bundle - Best Durable Lunch Box
- Dishwasher safe
- Two containers and two bento cups
- Durable stainless steel
The LunchBots Large Trio Bento Box Bundle has one of the eco-friendliest designs when it comes to bento lunch boxes. The box and its compartments are perfect for kid’s lunches and will keep foods separated.
Made from durable stainless steel, this bento lunch box is virtually indestructible and perfect for young and adventurous kids who are into hoverboards and scooters. The box itself features three compartments that will keep your kid’s food separated, two silicone bento cups, and two dip containers that fit into the box. The entire set is dishwasher safe and super easy to clean.
- Perfect for full meals and snacks
- Two lidded containers can hold wet food
- Safe and durable design
- Containers hold a full meal for toddlers
- Due to tight seal, children younger than five may not be able to open the lids on the containers
Overall, I liked how sturdy and durable this stainless steel bento box is and the fact that it can hold dry and wet food separated. You definitely can’t go wrong by choosing the LunchBots Large Trio Bento Box Bundle for your kid’s first day at school.
What Is A Bento Box?
A bento box is a reusable lunch box that holds a single portion meal, split up into a few small boxes. They can be used by toddlers, kids, and adults, and their restricted size promotes portion control.
Bento boxes are designed to hold your child’s entire meal but are small enough to fit into a backpack without weighing your kid down. Some models even have handles, which makes them even more convenient to carry.
The biggest benefit of bento boxes is that their restricted size helps control meal portions and supports healthy eating habits. At the same time, movable dividers and compartments make it easier for you to pack a well-balanced meal that consists of varied food groups.
Why Use A Bento Box To Pack Lunch For Your Kids?
Has your child ever come home from school with an uneaten lunch in his/her backpack? Or maybe you want your kids to develop healthy eating habits from a young age?
Even if you are completely unfamiliar with the bento box concept, here are several reasons why you need the best bento box for kids:
- Bento boxes are fun: Getting a child to eat fruits and veggies can be a real struggle, especially when it comes to foods like broccoli or salads. A bento box gives you a chance to arrange fruits and veggies in a fun way that will actually encourage your child to eat them.
- Food stays separated: If your kid ever refused to eat his lunch because the foods mixed together into an inedible mush, you need a bento box. The bento’s compartments will keep the food divided even if your kid drops the box a couple of times before lunch.
- Portion-control: Bento boxes are designed to contain a complete meal for a still-growing child. So, there is no way that you can accidentally overfeed or underfeed your kid if you pack the box with wholesome foods.
- Saves time: Packing a kid’s lunch into dozens of plastic bags is time-consuming, messy, and bad for the environment. On the other hand, the bento’s compartments just need to be filled and will cut meal prep time in half.
- Bento box keeps meals different: When kids are offered several options, they are more likely to try a bit of everything. To provide a varied diet for your child, pack his favorite food, and add a new item every day to expose him to different flavors and textures.
What Features Should The Best Bento Box For Kids Have?
Bento boxes come in many shapes and sizes, and it is crucial that you pick the one that suits your child well. Give your kid an option to pick the shape and the color while you decide on the size that will fit a complete meal.
Here are some important features you need to consider:
Bento boxes for kids need to be durable. If your kids are anything like mine, the bento needs to be strong enough to withstand frequent drops and bumps without falling apart.
A bento lunch box made of BPA-free high-quality plastic is the best option if you have a kindergartener. Since stainless steel lunch boxes are a bit heavier, they are more suited for older kids.
2. Organized Compartments
The ability to hold different foods separated from each other is, for me, the best feature of a bento box. This is a very important factor for kids who don’t like their food mixing together or touching.
For kids that have a tendency to shuffle and drop their lunch, a bento box with snapping sides may be an ideal pick. The snaps will ensure that the food doesn’t mix or touch.
A good bento box comes with enough space to, for example, fit a sandwich without squashing it. The same goes for any other food you would like to pack for your kid. At the same time, the bento needs to have enough room for a balanced meal without being too bulky and difficult to carry in a backpack.
If there is no room for a bento box in your kid’s backpack, opt for one that can fit inside a lunch box, or opt for a lunch style bento box. Some models even feature trays or cases which your child can carry in a hand or on a shoulder.
5. Leak Proof
Ideally, bento boxes need to be leak proof and have a lid seal to keep the food contained into designated compartments. That way, wet food won’t seep into other compartments or leak from the bento box.
6. Additional Features
Some bento boxes come with extra features such as utensils or a temperature management system like a thermos or cooling packs. Ultimately, whatever your needs are, there is a bento box that meets or even exceeds them.
Do bento boxes leak?
Generally speaking, most bento boxes made from plastic are leak proof and hold wet foods like soups and dips. On the other hand, stainless steel bento style lunch boxes may not be leak proof unless they come with separate lidded containers.
How do you pack a bento box lunch?
Once you have decided on the items for your kid’s bento, pack them neatly and tightly into the bento box container. Divide fruits and veggies by packing them into separate sections. And use the remaining sections to pack meat and grains in order to make a complete meal.
Is there any difference between lunchbox and bento box?
No, basically a bento box is a lunchbox, just with a different name. Bento boxes are associated with Japanese culture and tradition, but in fact, have the same purpose as your standard lunchbox.
To be honest, I had mixed feelings when my kids started preschool. I was happy and excited naturally, but a bit anxious if they would do okay during lunchtime.
Now, I no longer have to worry, because I know that they enjoy eating their meals from the OmieBox Bento Lunch Box For Hot And Cold Food. It is a clear winner for us, because it has a thermos jar that keeps soup and meals warm, and the compartments are the perfect size for a complete and varied meal.
Armed with all this information about bento boxes, you know what features to look for in order to find the right one for your kid. And hopefully, you are one step closer to cutting your meal prep time and ensuring that your child has a complete meal every day!