How to Make a Handy Bento Box for Kids

How to Make a Handy Bento Box for Kids

Introduction

In this article, we’re looking at an alternative lunch box option for kids – the bento box! The bento lunchbox is a handy tool for packing the perfect school lunch, and we’ll help you understand why. After that, we’ll show you how you can make your very own bento! It’s easy and only requires a few supplies. Let’s get started!

What is a Bento Box?

First thing’s first, if you aren’t quite familiar with a bento lunchbox, allow us to explain. The bento box is a food container of Japanese origin. Essentially, it is a container for storing foods, that has built-in dividers to separate different parts of the meal.

A bento box contains different compartments for food, which makes it easy to separate the food, and ensures that the taste and texture doesn’t “spill” into other parts of the dish. This is great for a picky eater, and a child’s lunch can be split between lunch food and snack food, and any sauces or condiments like nut butter.

Bento boxes tend to vary based on the size, number of compartments, and size of each compartment. There are many options depending on what you tend to pack for lunch.

Next up, let’s check out the main benefits of a bento box.

main benefits of a bento box

Why Make Your Own?

In deciding to make your own bento lunch box, you might first be wondering whether you even need a bento box in the first place? Simply put, they aren’t for everyone, and you might prefer packing school lunches in a traditional lunchbox or lunch bag.

That being said, we think they are worth your consideration. So, before you dismiss them entirely, check out some of the top benefits of a DIY bento lunch box:

Environment

Firstly, a DIY bento box is an environmentally friendly option. These boxes are reusable, and will last you for many lunches to come! You can stop packing lunch in disposable packages, and stop worrying about harming the environment. A homemade bento box is a solution that lasts!

Additionally, because there are built in storage containers, you won’t have to rely on plastic wrap or Ziploc bags to keep everything separate. Simply place it in the container, and it’s good to go for your child’s lunch!

Portion Control

One of the main reasons that so many people turn to bento boxes is for portion control. Bento boxes have built-in dividers to keep your food separate, but these dividers also make it quite easy to pack appropriate portions. Measuring out portions can be a real pain, especially for a growing kid, so why not make it easy? A bento box allows you to take the guesswork out of packing, and settle on consistent sizes each day.

Keeps Food Separate

Keeps Food Separate

Another major benefit of bento boxes are that they keep all your food separate. This is particularly useful to keep the taste and texture of food from mixing with each other. You wouldn’t want your sandwich mixing with your salad dressing! A bento box makes it easy to keep food separate, and you don’t have to stress about putting everything into its own bag, or wrapping it all up in plastic wrap. 

Inspires Creativity

Because a bento box contains so many different containers, it will also inspire you to make creative lunches. You will be inspired to fill each container each day, and this will result in varied lunches that your kids will love. You can rotate through different mains, sides, and dips! There are so many fun ideas with a bento box and the desire to keep it stocked with fun lunches will always keep you on your toes!

Fun Project to Do with Kids

Finally, a DIY bento box is a fun project that you can do with your kids. Spending time with your kids is great, and spending productive time with them is even better. It’s fun and easy, and anyone can make their own! Next up, we’ll show you how to make a bento box with supplies that are super easy to get!

How-To Make Your Own Bento Box

In this section, we’re running you through an easy DIY bento box tutorial. We know you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, so we’re keeping this one simple. Follow these easy steps and you can make your own box in under an hour!

Step 1: Box

First up, you need the box! For a DIY bento box, any lunch container will do the trick. You can use a traditional lunch box, or even just a good-sized Tupperware container. As long as the box is rectangular and solid, it should do the job just fine.

The size of the box is really the key factor here. You want a box that will be big enough for a main course, and a couple sides. Consider how big of a lunch your child tends to eat, and use that as your guide.

There are a lot of things you can use as a bento box. First, you can invest in a real bento box.

Pyrex containers are also a great choice. They’re made of glass so you can wash them and reuse them again and again.

There’s also a good chance you already have something that can serve as a bento box in your kitchen. Large, flat Ziplock containers work great.

Step 2: Plan the Box

As we’ve talked about in this article, bento boxes come in many different designs. Before you make your own, you need to decide how many compartments you actually will need. Typically, a bento box has 2 big containers for carbs and protein, and 2 smaller containers for sides (such as fruit and veggies).

Step 3: Dividers or Cups

There are two great ways to divide your bento box. The first is silicone cups. These are fully reusable, and you can insert as many as you want to pack the perfect lunch. You can even buy them in different shapes and sizes.

The second option is to buy some plastic dividers. These dividers are removable, and you can place them however you want depending on the size of your portions. Some even will use real lettuce as dividers!

Step 4: Make Lunch!

It’s just that easy! All you need is a box and some dividers and you are ready to go! The most important part is planning healthy, tasty school lunches for your child. A bento box is only there to make it easy to pack, store, and divide. So now that you have your very own bento box, you are free to let your creativity run wild!

Top 5 Benefits of Insulated Bento Box

Benefits of Insulated Bento Box

Introduction

In this article, we’re checking out a neat idea for packing your child’s lunch – the insulated bento box. We’re going to explain the top benefits of using a bento box for your packed lunch. While a bento style lunch box is certainly a less traditional option, it has some unique benefits that can’t be ignored.

How-To Make a Reusable Lunch Bag

What is an Insulated Bento Box?

First thing’s first, what exactly is an insulated bento box? Well, to answer this question, then first we have to explain what a bento box is.

A bento box is a food container of Japanese origin, usually made of metal, stainless steel, glass, or hard plastic. A bento box typically contains an entire meal, separated out into portions and sizes, in a single container or “box.” A bento box resembles a tray, but has dividers that separate each part of the meal in the lunch box. The dividers demarcate areas where each serving should go. As you might imagine, there are bento boxes of various, sizes, designs, and with different numbers of compartments.

An “insulated” bento box takes it one step further. This insulated bento box actually has built in insulation to keep food warm or cool until lunch time. It prevents heat transfer, and keeps your food fresh longer come lunchtime. Typically, an insulated bento box will be similar to a traditional bento box, but will come with an insulated compartment where you can place the tray. The main idea is that it still contains separate compartments for different portions, but can be packed away into something that keeps it insulated. Of course, the design may differ by product. Some insulated bento boxes even contain stacking compartments for easy storage and easy packing.

Bento boxes contain numerous benefits that deserve your consideration, and we’ll outline them next.

Top 5 Benefits of an Insulated Bento Box

In this section, we’ll run you through the top five benefits of an insulated Bento Box. While they might not be the traditional option when you think of packing your child’s school lunches, they are still a great choice for a few reasons, and we’ll examine them here.

Keeps Food Warm or Cool

First up, you have the benefits of insulation. The insulated Bento Box keeps food cool and warm. The insulated layer acts to keep temperature transfer from occurring. Insulation works with multiple layers, including a middle layer that acts to keep your food cool or warm. Typically, an inner layer will act as a waterproof layer, a middle layer will handle the insulation, and the outer layer will be for function and design.

Typically, an insulated Bento Box will have an insulated container or cooler bag in which you can store the Bento Box itself. However, other models will simply be made of a material which is more or less insulated.

Keeps Food Separated

Another great benefit of Bento Boxes is that they keep food separated. If you’ve ever packed lunch for yourself, your kids, or anyone who’s a picky eater, then you know the benefits of keeping all food separated. Firstly, it keeps food fresh. It keeps the food from spilling into each other, which could be a problem if food is particularly moist or flavorful. It keeps all aspects of your meal separate, and keeps them with the taste and texture that is proper for them.

Inspires Creativity

A bento lunch box contains various compartments for different aspects of your meal. This will often inspire a creative and healthy lunch, as you will be motivated to fill each compartment with a different food option. Simply put, Bento Boxes are a great way to be sure that you have varied food groups come lunchtime. There’s ample room for a main, and two or three sides (depending on the type of Bento Box you buy). Sometimes, by having the proper containers to pack our meals, it makes us more likely to pack the perfect size!

And not only does this inspire creativity, it inspires balance. Your meals will be balanced, because that’s what it takes to fill up a Bento Box! No more boring meals that only consist of one item. A Bento lunch is fun, varied, and creative!

Forces Portion Control

Another great benefit of Bento Boxes is that they are ideally sized for portion control. Each food compartment is the perfect size for each part of your meal. So, if you struggle to know how big your lunch-time portions should be, especially when packing lunches for your kids, then a Bento Box might be the perfect solution!

Forces Portion Control

Typically, a Bento Box will have a larger container for a main. Then, they will contain smaller containers for the sides. Often, they might have an even smaller container for dips. This helps you to portion your entire meal. You have space for everything you need, but not too much space so that you overpack.

All-In-One Convenience

And finally, an insulated lunch box in a Bento Box-style simply provides you the all-in-one convenience that you are looking for when you pack lunches. You get all the benefits of a Bento Box, combined with all the benefits of an insulated lunchbox! It’s hard to go wrong here, and you’ll get every single benefit mentioned above. A creative, varied lunch that keeps its temperature perfectly! There’s a reason Bento Boxes are so popular in certain parts of the world. They also work great as a meal prep container as well, since they’re usually leak proof and can hold hot food, veggies, salad, and more!

So, if you’re still not convinced, why not just try it out? Bento Boxes are inexpensive, and highly accessible. There are all sort of different Bento Boxes depending on the situation, and you can pick the one that’s best for you. It’s all about making lunches an easier experience overall and we think the Bento Box is the perfect tool for the job!

Conclusion

Thanks for checking out our guide to insulated Bento Boxes. We hope we’ve helped to convince you of all the benefits that this product provides. But of course, it’s really just about which type of lunch container is best for you. If all the benefits of a Bento Box appeal to you, then that’s great, and there are many options for you to consider. Compare your preferences to our list above, and we are sure you can make the perfect choice for packing lunches!

Best Bento Box for Toddlers

Bento Boxes are reusable Japanese-style lunch boxes that are perfect for toddlers because they keep food separated without having to use wasteful plastic bags or containers. Bento boxes are the most environmentally friendly lunchboxes and great for families that love packing fresh foods and homemade meals for their toddlers.

Check out our recommendations for the best Bento style lunch boxes for toddlers.

Bentgo Kids Brights Box

The Bentgo Kids lunchboxes are leak-proof with five compartments and perfect for kids age three to seven. The Bentgo Kids lunchbox is BPA free and made from food-safe materials. What makes this lunchbox perfect for toddlers is the durable, drop-proof construction with rubber-coated edges.

Pros:

  • Leak-proof technology
  • Durable construction
  • 2-year warranty
  • Kid-friendly latches
  • One main compartment, and four sides designed for child-size portions
  • Bentgo supports the Feed the Children charity
  • Many colors to choose from

Cons

  • The Bentgo Box does not keep food cold. This box needs to go inside a lunch box with an ice pack
  • Some people have trouble with the latches snapping off

The Bentgo Box is designed with a toddler’s appetite in mind and is an excellent choice for parents of children who are picky eaters and don’t want their food to touch. The tray insert is dishwasher friendly and is made from easy to clean materials that are BPA free and non-toxic.

Fun Life Bento Lunch Box

This five compartment Bento lunch box is perfect for kids, toddlers, or adults. Each portion compartment is individually removable and made from FDA food safe and BPA free materials. This box encourages food variety in little ones, and they can even help choose which foods to put in the containers if you want to make mealtime more self-directed by your child. We also love the leakproof design with four clips on each side for extra security and a tight-fitting lid.

Pros:

  • 5 Removable compartments
  • Microwave safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Refrigerator safe
  • Leakproof design
  • Durable construction
  • Includes insulated lunch box bag
  • Rubberized edges

Cons:

  • Insulated bag keeps food at temperature for 2-4 hours. You’ll need an icepack to ensure food stays cool longer than that
  • Only microwaveable safe for up to three minutes
  • The lid is not microwaveable
  • Food can stain the compartments

This bento box is great for toddlers because the cups are removable pick means you can tailor the lunch that goes into the box for your child’s appetite. You can even choose just to use two cups which would make a three-portion meal design. You’ll have to be careful with microwaving this bento box, however. While the product info says it is microwave safe, the lid is not, and there are limitations for how long you can heat the plate for.

Ultimate Bento Box

We love this Bento Box because the containers are moveable and include a built-in removable icepack, so you don’t ever have to worry about your bento box staying cold. The lunch box is also 100 percent leakproof, microwave and dishwasher safe. You’ll have several color options with each option including a two-color design. The box is divided into three compartments with two lids. The middle compartment is divided for two portions of just over 8 ounces each, and two removable compartments are in the bottom.

Pros:

  • Leakproof with four easy-open latches
  • Four removable compartments
  • Three tiers
  • Built-in removable icepack
  • Microwave safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Food grade safe materials, BPA free
  • Satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • Can be difficult for toddlers to assemble if they are eating lunch alone
  • No handle

The Ultimate Bento Box is great for anyone in the family to use and is made from durable, food-safe materials that parents can trust. The leak-proof design is perfect for busy kids on the go, but we wish this bento box had a handle, especially since the built-in icepack means you don’t necessarily need an additional lunch bag to transport the Ultimate Bento Box in.

OmieBox Bento Box with Thermos

If you want your child to have a mix of hot and cold foods at lunch, the OmieBox is an excellent choice because the three compartments allow for two different temperature zones. There is also a thermos insert that allows hot food to be packed inside easy. This box uses BPA free plastic, food-grade materials, and stainless steel to ensure that your food stays insulated, no matter the temperature. When you don’t use the thermos insert, space becomes a fourth compartment big enough for a sandwich.

Pros:

  • Hot and cold foods together in one bento box
  • Three to four compartments
  • Removable thermos inserts
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable rubber seals
  • Replacement seals available
  • Handle

Cons:

  • Insulated compartments keep food cool and fresh but not cold

We love this bento box because you ensure your toddler has something warm to eat at lunch even when it’s lunch from home. This lunchbox for toddlers also has a handle and can space to fit an icepack if you want to keep food cooler than the insulated compartments allow. The seals on the OmieBox do wear out with use, but rather than replace the entire lunchbox, and parents can order additional removable seals as replacements.

Eco-Friendly Bento Box

If the reason you choose the bento-style lunchbox is to save plastic, this bento box by Eco-Life Home Design is a great choice for your toddler. The box is leakproof, freezer and microwave safe and includes four compartments for foods and one tiny compartment for a sauce. The box consists of a reusable set of utensils, and everything is made from wheat fiber and BPA free plastic. The box is designed to break down in a compost facility and is also super easy to clean.

Pros:

  • 70% Wheat Fiber makes this a very eco-friendly design
  • Created to break down in compost
  • Includes fork and spoon
  • Four compartments and sauce compartment
  • Removable clasps for easy cleaning
  • Leakproof
  • One year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • No insulation
  • No handle
  • Bland design

This bento box is FDA approved and perfect for the environmentally conscious family. We also love that this company partners with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for each of their bento boxes sold. Your toddler might not like that there aren’t bright colors or characters on their bento box.

Bento boxes are a great way to promote a healthy variety of foods and great portion control. There are many different styles of bento boxes that could work for your toddler, but we are sure that one that you read about above will be the perfect fit for your child.

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