Bento-style lunchboxes are all the rage these days. Who doesn’t love opening a lunchbox to be presented with an assortment of delicious little portions of food? Not only are bento style lunch boxes kid-friendly, they are also waste-free and environmentally friendly, and are a cost saving in the long term. However, there are so many options in the market, what should we be looking for in the perfect bento lunchbox?
The ultimate bento lunchbox should meet these basic criteria:
• Is it easy to open with little hands?
• Is it a decent size – large enough to hold enough food, yet small enough to fit inside their school bag without taking up too much room?
• Does it leak?
• Does food stay fresh?
• Is it easy to clean?
• Is it durable?
• Is it BPA and Phthalates free?
Here at Big School Kids, we have done the research for you. After surveying almost 200 mums, below is the list of the top lunchbox brands that they have approved of. Each brand offers several different sized lunchboxes to cater for different sized appetites. To make things easier for you, we have chosen an appropriate sized lunchbox suitable for a primary school aged child in our Top Bento Lunchboxes 2018 list.
Munchbox – Maxi6
The Munchbox is wholly Australian owned and operated, and came out as the most favourite lunchbox of all the mums that had participated in our survey. The Munchbox holds more than 5 cups of food, and has an attached lid with removable and interchangeable inner sectioned trays.
The Munchbox is leakproof for wet foods, but not liquids, and is made from food-safe, BPA and Phthalate-free materials.
The Maxi6 Munchbox has 6 sections, and is not only perfect for those who love to feast on a mini banquet in their lunchboxes, it is also a great encouragement for picky eaters to try different foods.
Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 6cm
Shop: My Munchbox
Go Green – Medium
The Go Green lunchboxes are another leading waste-free bento lunchbox brand in the market and came a very close 2nd in our survey.
The Go Green utilizes “turn ‘n lock” technology to keep food fresh, and is BPA, Phthalates, Leach and Lead free. The Go Green has a detachable lid, which utilizes 4 retention clips to fasten it to the lunch container.
The medium Go Green lunch contains 4 compartments, holding 6 1/3 cups of food in total, is a perfect size for those in the earlier years of primary school.
* Go Green Original size lunchboxes, which hold 8 cups of food, are often sold as a kit, which includes a Bento lunchbox, an insulated bag, a stainless steel drink bottle (235ml), and an ice pack. The bag also features a whiteboard to write lunch notes for your big school kids.
Dimensions: 22.5 x 18 x 6cm
Shop: Lime Tree Kids
Yumbox – Original
The original, and all-time Aussie favourite leak-free bento lunchbox, The Yumbox, is still one of the most recommended lunchboxes by Aussie mums.
Designed in France and the USA, the Yumbox is 100% BPA free, Phthalates-free, and is CPSIA and FDA compliant.
The Yumbox Original has a 6 compartment food tray and holds 5-half cup portions plus a 30ml treat well, and is recommended for toddlers through to 8 years of age.
Dimensions: 21.5 x 15.5 x 5.0cm
Shop: Little Bento World
Planetbox – Rover
The Planetbox was the highest rated stainless steel bento lunchbox in our survey. It is Lead free, BPA free and free from Phthalates & PVC. Planetbox keeps food separated but is not designed to be leak proof so they have created Dipper containers to be used for wet (but not liquid) foods.
The Planetbox can be bought as a kit, which includes the lunch box, 1 or 2 leak proof Dipper containers, a set of magnets to customize your lunchbox, and a carry bag.
The Planetbox Rover contains 5 compartments and is designed to hold about 5 cups of food, and also includes 1 Big Dipper and 1 small Dipper food container.
Dimensions: 25 x 19 x 3.75cm
The Omiebox is the first insulated bento lunchbox to enter the market. It’s a relatively newcomer to the bento-style lunchbox market, but many mums are already falling in love with its versatility.
The Omiebox markets itself as “a smarter bento for healthier lunches”. It is an award-winning, innovative design which combines both hot and cold foods all in one lunchbox. It has two separate temperature zones – hot foods are stored in the built-in thermos food jar which keeps food hot for up to 4 hours, while cold foods can be stored in the side compartments, which are leakproof for wet (but not liquid) foods, and are sectioned to keep foods separate from each other.
The Omiebox holds approximately 6 1/4 cups without the removable insulated container, and 4 cups with the insulated container inside.
The OmieBox is BPA‐free, Phthalates‐free, and is also CPSIA and FDA compliant.
Dimensions: 18.3 x 18.3 x 7.7cm
Weight: 860g with insulated container; 545g without insulated container.
Shop: Hello Green
There you have it! Which one is your favourite bento lunchbox? Let us know in the comments below. Happy lunching!
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** Read tips on how to help your child learn and succeed at school here.