If you pack a lunch every day for work or your kids’ school lunches, you know how much waste can be involved when using harmful plastic baggies and pre-packaged foods. Make the change this year to a bento box lunch system and eliminate the need for packaging. You will feel better about packing food; it will be healthier; and you will be helping the earth when you use one of these best bento box lunch boxes.
What is a bento box lunch system?
Inspired by Japanese bento boxes, America bento box systems make it easy to pack non-packaged foods such as salads, left-overs, fruits, sandwiches, and snacks. And depending on the container, there are those that can handle liquids such as yogurts and soups as well.
Eco-friendly bento lunches can be easily made with products ranging from simple BPA-free plastic containers paired with your own lunch box or tote Tupperware Bento Box to more durable, less porous stainless steel bento containers with multiple compartments and levels.
To help you find the right one for you and for your family, we’ve rounded up our favorite bento box lunch brands and listed their pros and cons. Remember it is okay to mix and match to suit your family’s needs!
Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes
1. Laptop Lunches
Laptop Lunches are kid- and budget-friendly. You can buy the BPA-free plastic ‘Bento Buddies’ containers separately in sets of four. We found that the Bento Buddies boxes fit perfectly in the lunch boxes my kids already owned, saving us money (and allowing us to buy an extra few sets of Bento Buddies as back ups).
Plus they’re cheap enough that you won’t panic if you child loses one or two, and they come in plenty of fun colors to keep kids happy. Another company also offers a full system which allows the containers to fit perfectly inside its own Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware
EasyLunchBoxes are very popular as well. What makes them special? First, they’re affordable at only $13.95 for a set of four. Second, they are all one piece, making it easy for small kids to manage on their own. They even have easy-to-open lids for small hands. EasyLunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers, Set of 4, Classic are available in just the bento containers or in an entire system with lunch tote. Since they’re self-contained, it’s easy to store EasyLunchBoxes, too. Basically, they’re just… easy! And like all the other bento systems listed here, they’re BPA-free.
The Light My Fire Outdoor Meal Kit is designed for outdoor meals, but works well at home, too. We took ours on our backpacking adventures during the summer. Each child had his own and was responsible for cleaning his own. What is great is that they are available in different colors, so everyone knows which kit belongs to him or her.
Now that we’re home for school, our oldest likes to use his for school snacks. The kit includes a triangular main compartment with an extra covered bowl and cup, and includes utensils. The pieces all fit together for storage. It’s is a little small for complete lunches, but does close securely to be loaded up and placed in a backpack without a tote.
Perfect for young kids, the Goodbyn system is another all-in-one unit of BPA-free plastic with molded sections. This one is shaped like a monster or fantastical animal, and comes with fun stickers for kids to personalize. The Goodbyn doesn’t come with a tote, but rather is self-contained with a handle and lid. It may be too childish for older kids, but preschoolers and kindergarteners will love it. It has three large sections, and can be picked up for under $16.00.
I really love the LunchBots brand, and in my opinion these are the Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes. Right before school started, I bought some of their stainless steel bento boxes for my elementary-school aged kids. I ordered directly from Amazon and enjoyed free shipping. The items arrived in just two days! I bought the Quad and the Trio and put them in my sons’ lunch boxes every day.
I also purchased the Small Leak Proof set which came in a package of two. Last, I bought the set of three Condiment Containers. My kids are not dressing-eaters but I have used it for ketchup. Mostly, I use it for small treats, including dried coconut, a few pieces of candy corn around Halloween, or a few M&M’s or other candies.
5. Mr. Bento
Lastly, the grown-up Mr. Bento, perfect for adults and older kids. Mr. Bento is more expensive than the other options in our round-up at $40.00, but is made of stainless steel that won’t leech any chemicals or flavors into your food, and has a sophisticated look of stacked containers.
You won’t want to send small kids to school with this one — just too easy to lose — but your co-workers will probably notice and ask you where you got it. Mr. Bento comes in a more feminine version as well, though I think the classic stainless steel works for everyone.
Do you have a favorite bento box system? What works for you? What do you think are the Best Bento Box Lunch Boxes?