Sunday, August 23, 2015

#Bentomommas | LUNCH KITS WE LOVE!

At BentoMommas, we get asked a lot about lunchboxes. True enough, we've tried a lot in the years we've been bento-making. There isn't a fast rule in choosing a box, except maybe making sure it is spill-proof, as you wouldn't want your child to get to school with a spilled lunch. Through the years, however, we've come up with a few tips in choosing the perfect lunchbox, and these are as follows:


1. CHOOSE A BOX THAT CORRESPONDS TO THE SIZE OF YOUR CHILD'S APPETITE. If your child is a preschooler, it makes no sense to have him bring a huge box. Some moms like to send a lot of food (I am guilty here), but when you realize that recess or lunch is just 30 minutes long, the extra food might go untouched. So send something you're sure your child will eat and finish. Then pack a few snacks on the side as extra grub.

2. CHOOSE A BOX THAT YOU CAN FILL TO THE BRIM. In Bento-making, it is important to pack the box full. So make sure you have a box that you can actually fill. Why? Well, you want whatever design or character you make to stay intact until lunch. A lot of moms tell us that they end up taking a photo of their work in the morning to show their kids, because they are sure their little ones won't see the outcome of their bento-making when they get to school. Turns out, their boxes aren't full. So in order for your Olaf, Pooh, Mickey, etc to make it to school intact, make sure you pack your box well. So choose a box that will be easier for you to fill. You can always pack a second box without the deco for extras.

3. LEAK-RESISTANT VS LEAK-PROOF. There are a number of leak-resistant boxes, but they aren't exactly leak-proof. Leak-resistant means it has a system in place that makes it resistant to leaks but can eventually leak when its locking system is compromised. To test for leak-resistance, fill a box with water then seal. Take the box, invert it. If it doesn't leak, then it is leak-resistant. Now, shake the box. If water starts to leak out, then your box isn't leak proof. A leak-resistant box, however, will still work well for older kids who can be a little more careful when it comes to carrying their things. We prefer a leak-proof box with locks for the younger kids, especially since preschoolers love swinging their lunchboxes. My son RL is now in 1st grade, and can be a little more responsible with his lunch box. So I've started packing his lunch in fancier boxes, sans the locks, as these boxes are also easier to open. Of course, I choose the leak-proof ones when packing food with soup or sauce. The preference is really up to you.

4. AIR-TIGHT! An air-tight box makes your food last longer. Check to see if the lids of your boxes are equipped with a silicone seal or rubber gasket. This seals in the food and prevents air from entering. It is the air that promotes bacteria to form. If you aren't sure about your box being air-tight, add an anti-bacterial sheet (available in most Japanese stores) for good measure.

5. BPA-FREE! Lastly, since there are a lot of plastic lunchboxes in the market, make sure you choose a BPA-free box, especially if you intend to pack hot food. To be sure, purchase products marked as BPA-free. Also, avoid microwaving your food in your lunchboxes (even if it says it is microwaveable) as BPA is known to leak over time. You can also use alternatives instead - like glass, stainless steel and food-grade silicone.

We've also come up with our first-ever list of lunch kits we love! A few months ago, we got together to test out some boxes, and used them for bento. Here's a rundown of some of the best lunch kits in the market, in no particular order.  


The Built Bag Lunch Kit is so pretty, I want one for myself! It comes with a free Biokips Lunch Box that is leak-proof and dishwasher-safe. I love that it fits snugly inside the neoprene Built Bag, which keeps the food warm for four hours!

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Moneigh | @bentogehl.

| IG: @quirksph


The Goodbyn is perfect for the child who prefers a variety of snacks to the usual rice meal. I would pack sandwiches and fruits in this box, and yes, I love the fact that you can also pack a small juice box in it! 

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Moneigh | @bentogehl.


Now, the Lex N Go we love because it is so far the only lunch box available in the market that is made out of food-grade silicone. I know there are other brands available, but you need to get them overseas. The main feature of this box that I love is that its height is perfect for the bulky charaben. Also, it is collapsible for easy storage.

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Kaye | @momma_makes_imbento

| IG: @lexngo


Here's a trustworthy brand that has built its reputation and popularity with moms throughout the years. We love that they have come up with lunch kits, and that you can buy most on sale in time for each school year. They also have the new Hello Kitty boxes which makes me wish I still have a little girl!

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Moneigh | @bentogehl.


I was actually surprised that these SkipHop products are pretty affordable. Available locally at all Mothercare stores, we are loving the animal-themed products! The boxes can be purchased with matching utensils, bibs, lunchbags and backpacks! 

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Moneigh | @bentogehl.


I have been obsessed with everything stainless since coming home from a trip to Seoul a few years ago. So discovering Stenlock Greenkeeps was actaully a big thrill! The Greenkeeps is double-wall insulated and keeps the food warm. Also, stainless steel lasts longer than plastic, so you are making a great investment.

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Moneigh | @bentogehl.


The Yumbox is a current fave of most Bento Moms around the world. Its compartments make bento-making a breeze, and packing it is never a chore! We love the fact that it is also lightweight in spite of its size, and is available in different colors!

Photo and bento by BentoMomma Moneigh | @bentogehl.

So there you have it - some of our fave lunch kits. A lot of people ask us as well if they can bento without the box. Well, Mommas, in Japan, the word bento or obento means BOX. So technically, you can't really call it bento if you aren't using a box, right? Maybe you can call it plate art instead, hehe. But then bento-making has already evolved through the years, so we can't really limit it to just one thing. Besides, one's creativity and imagination goes a long way, so let it lead you instead - even if it takes you outside of the usual box.
Bento on, Bento Mommas!

Have a lunch box or lunch kit you want us to review? Email us at, and we'll be happy to feature it for you.

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