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3 best kids bento boxes to buy for school lunches

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Which kids bento boxes are best? 

Bento boxes are of Japanese origin and have been used for centuries by adults and kids alike. They are becoming a popular choice for kids lunch boxes across the country due to their simplicity, aesthetic and convenience. You can definitely pack your kid a smile-inducing lunch consisting of all their favorite foods if you swap them over to one. We tested our top pick, the Bentgo Kids Lunch Box, and have all the insights you need below.

Shop this article: Bentgo Kids Lunch BoxMunchkin Bento Box and Kinsho Bento Box for Kids.

Kids bento boxes vs. bento boxes for adults 

Like traditional lunch boxes, bento boxes for kids come in a variety of fun styles and colors. They are great for inspiring a sense of wonder or style in your child. Plus, kids' bento boxes are extra convenient for parents because the compartments are smaller to help gauge food portions. Kids bento boxes are also often easier to clean and dishwasher-safe. 

Number of compartments 

When picking any bento box, look out for how many compartments it contains. Depending on how much food your child normally eats, you can pick a bento box with fewer or more compartments. Be on the lookout for bento boxes with versatile compartments too, such as a compartment for soup. A more versatile bento box can lead to a happier kid, as you can accommodate their favorite foods.

What to look for in a quality kids bento box 

  • Durability: As with buying anything for a child, make sure the bento box is durable. Most boxes for kids are drop-proof and come with rubber padding around the exterior. 
  • Leakproof: Most pack their kid’s bento box in a school bag. To do this without worrying, find a leakproof bento box. No matter what type of food you pack for your child’s lunch, a leakproof lid and a tight seal give you peace of mind.
  • Separate compartments: Many kids are picky eaters that don’t appreciate their foods mingling together. Bento boxes, by nature, contain several compartments meant to keep food fresh and separate. However, some boxes have a bit of space between the walls of the compartments and the lid. This can allow food to slosh around a bit.
  • Easy to clean: Kids are notoriously messy eaters, so you want a bento box that’s easy to clean. Most are dishwasher-safe, but some plastic bento boxes can stain and retain residual odors over time, or warp in the dishwasher.
  • Cost: Kids bento boxes can range from $20-$35.

Kids bento box FAQ

Do kids bento boxes keep food warm? 

A. Most bento boxes for kids don't retain heat. If you want to ensure that your child has a warm lunch, consider buying a stainless steel bento box from a trusted bento brand such as Zojirushi.

Are kids bento boxes dishwasher-safe? 

A. Most are, but check the manufacturer’s instructions before putting one in the dishwasher. Some are only top-rack safe. Others have attached parts that aren’t machine washable.

Best kids bento box 

Bentgo Kids Lunch Box

What you need to know: We tested this product and found it the top choice for parents of younger kids.

What you’ll love: Our tester found the seal to be strong enough to stay closed but not so strong that a toddler can't get it opened. It has five compartments of varying sizes and our tester's child loved the designs. It's dishwasher-safe.

What you should consider: Our tester found some slight leakage when only water was inside. But, it's leakproof against thicker liquids such as sauces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best kids bento box for the money

Munchkin Bento Box

What you need to know: This plastic bento from Munchkin is great for kids aged 6-8. 

What you’ll love: This bento box is durable and comes in a few different color options. 

What you should consider: Some parents have said that this box is too heavy for younger toddlers to use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kinsho Bento Box for Kids

What you need to know: This bento box from Kinsho is a solid option for kids of all ages thanks to its handy, leakproof lid. 

What you’ll love: This set includes two stackable bento boxes with three compartments each, so a grand total of six compartments for food. They are durable and the leakproof lid works well.

What you should consider: These are marketed as dishwasher safe, but should be hand washed. The lid’s seal is strong and may be difficult for younger kids to open on their own.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Addison Hoggard writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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