Even little kids, with their limited palates, know that meals are more fun when you get to have a bunch of snacky stuff versus just one main dish. (It’s our favorite way to eat too!) That’s why bento boxes are so darn popular with the school-aged crowd. Parents can fill various little compartments with pretzels, cheese cubes, fruit, and more. And you never have to worry about the strawberries touching the peas! Because we all know that can just be the worst thing ever — according to a child.
Here are our three favorite bento boxes for school lunches.
1. Launch Box, $60 at PlanetBox
Before you balk at the price, hear us out. First of all, it looks like a mini briefcase when closed up and toted by little ones and the cuteness is almost worth all the money. It’s also super sturdy, and locks up nice and tight for transit. This one features three compartments and comes with a leak-proof dipper container for dressing or peanut butter. Need more than three compartments? PlanetBox also makes a version with five sections (for $56) to really load up on variety. If you’re okay with spending even more money, you can order custom magnets to decorate the outside of the box.
2. OmieBox, $40 at OmieLife
These bright and poppy bento boxes are totally leak-proof and ideal for lunches that include both hot and cold foods. Each one has a vacuum-insulated bowl that can keep entrées warm until lunchtime, and additional double-walled insulated compartments to keep fruit and veggies cool. Of course, you can take the bowl out if it’s not exactly spaghetti-and-meatballs weather. And don’t worry — little hands can handle all the pieces on their own during school lunch.
3. Classic Quad, $25 at LunchBots
We’ve been fans of these LunchBots boxes for quite some time. Just look at how versatile the Cinco Box is in this sandwich-free lunch story we ran. (And yes, LunchBots has several options with different amounts of compartments.) Pick the best size for your kid — we are partial to the quad because it has room for plenty of different foods without being overwhelming. You can also buy a condiment container to slip into the box if your kid is a big dipper.
Some ideas for packing up these boxes: 10 Sandwich-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids and Grownups Alike