We’ve come a long way from the brown bag lunches of our youth, friends. There are tons of adorable lunch boxes for you to choose from for your kids. But before you let a cartoon character dictate your buying decision, let us just take a minute and tell you why you might want to consider a bento box instead. First, they’re often insulated (or accompanied with an ice pack), which means your kids lunch will stay cool and fresh until it’s time to eat. Second, they’re separated into compartments, which serves as a good reminder to give your kid a good array of foods to choose from. And third, they make you look like the most organized parent around (umm… because you are!).
These five tried- and- tested bento boxes are durable, BPA-free and totally ready get packed and go to school. If you like to run things through the dishwasher, buy at least two so you can alternate. And tip: For preschool-age kids, their teachers will often open a tricky lunchbox for them, but it’s a good idea to test the box with your kindergartener (or older) child to ensure easy opening so no one goes hungry.
Bentgo Kids Brights Lunch Box
With five separate compartments, this colorful container ($27.99 on Amazon) can truly hold everything you need to give your kid a healthy, happy lunch. It’s leak-proof, insulated and incredibly sturdy. Bonus: Bentgo donates a portion of its proceeds to Feed the Children, so your kid isn’t the only one benefiting from this purchase.
Boon Bento Lunch Box
While this less expensive lunch box ($14.29 on Amazon) is not insulated, it does come with a reusable ice pack to help keep your kids food nice and fresh. It also has multiple compartments to stash all your kids’ snacks and is easy to both latch and carry… and it wins all the cute points with its sweet snail design.
OmieBox Bento Box for Kids
The coolest thing about the OmieBox ($39.50 on Amazon) is that it lets you send your kid to school with both hot and cold food for lunch—all in one container. This super-smart lunch box includes a leak-proof, insulated Thermos that is perfect for soup or other foods you may want to keep warm. And it’s surrounded by three other compartments that are designed to help keep food cold at the same time.
Yumbox Original Bento Box for Kids
Though not insulated, the Yumbox Bento Box ($27.99 on Amazon) will fit perfectly into a lunch box that is… and won’t leak while in there. It contains five kid portion-sized compartments, including a round one that’s designed specifically for dips.
Bizz Travel Bento Box Set
This set ($33.98 on Amazon) not only includes two great Bento boxes to help keep your kids’ food fresh, but it also comes with reusable utensils, so you’ve got everything you need to send with them for lunch… except the food, of course. One box has four compartments, and the other has five—both are lightweight and easy to clean.
Freelance writer/editor and contributor at MamasUncut. West Coast-based, East Coast-raised. Doubled down on the parenting gig last year, with two kids under the age of 3—plus a 2-year-old black shepherd/lab mix who thinks they’re actually his babies. A good day: run, bake, eat, repeat.