With a topsy-turvy school year looming ahead, we’re trying to think of any way we can to keep some sense of normalcy for our kids. One way to do this is through a healthy, fun lunch—whether it’s eaten at school, at home or at daycare. These bento lunch boxes are totally kid-approved and cute, with perfectly sized compartments for fruits, veggies and snacks. Keep reading to see our favorite bento boxes.
Flex & Lock Kids LunchBOX
No parent wants to clean up leaky, moldy lunchboxes and that's where Flex & Lock's new kids lunchbox comes into play. Each one comes with a 2-in-1 silicone plate that doubles as a leakproof seal, but can be easily removed, washed and is even microwave safe. Kiddos can even personalize their own by adding FlexCharms in unicorn, toy and dinosaur themes to make lunchtime as fun as can be.
Back this project on Kickstarter now for $39.
Bentgo Stainless by Bentgo
Fan-favorite Bentgo released two new bento boxes this September (see more about their other new release, the Bentgo Chill directly below). This new design is the first stainless steel bento-style lunch box with leak-resistant technology. This means each container is contoured specifically to prevent leaks (goodbye fruit juices and other lunch liquids pooling at the bottom of their backpack). Each Bentgo Stainless has three food compartments, plus a removable silicone container for separating any foods. We love that this bento-style lunch box won’t leak, can be opened and closed by little hands (best for kids three years and up) and is a great alternative to plastic. Choose from five colors and enjoy a five-year warranty.
Available at amazon.com, $49.99.
Bentgo Kids Chill by Bentgo
If you’re ever worried about your kiddo’s lunch spoiling, we suggest investing in the brand-new Bentgo Kids Chill, which comes with a built-in ice pack. The removable tray, which sits just below the food container, is freezable and will keep food cold until lunchtime. Simply put it into the freezer overnight and pop it into the lunchbox on days you want to keep your food colder for longer. The lunch box itself features four kid-sized compartments and an easy-open latch (best for kids three years old and up). The food tray is both microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and the entire container is made of BPA-free materials. The Bentgo Chill comes with a two-year warranty.
Available at amazon.com, $29.99.
GrowBento Lunchbox Set by Miniware
Just launched in Jan. 2020, GrowBento by Miniware is customizable, fitting up to four removable silicone Silipods. Each Silipod comes with a top easy for little hands to uncover, and can easily freeze and heat purees (think dips or dressings, hummus or even hot soup). We love that the durable container is completely dishwasher safe (even the stainless steel outer) and is the perfect size for a kids lunch bag.
Available at miniware.com for $35
S'nack by S'well
These brand-new S'nack by S'well food containers are too cute for words! The fun, colorful designs (think avocados, pretzels, cactuses and more) come in two sizes. The 10oz container will keep food hot for up to four hours, cold for five, and the 24oz containers with handle will keep food hot for up to six hours and cold for up to eight.
Available at amazon.com, $19.99 - $24.99.
Clever interlocking Whiskware™ Snack Packs are ideal for packing healthy snacks and lunches to go. Available in officially-licensed designs—featuring Marvel, DC, Star Wars and Harry Potter characters—these durable, stackable containers are the reusable snack packs your kids will love. Using Twist n’ Lock technology, the jars, lids and removable handle easily attach and detach, allowing customization of your ideal snack stack.
Available at amazon.com, $12.99.
Perfect for a preschooler starting school for the first time, or a new addition for a new school of daycare, these three-compartment bento boxes from Kinsho come in a variety of colors, have leak-proof inserts (that aren’t removable), and even come with a spork.
Available at amazon.com, starting at $15.99.
OmieLife’s brightly colored thermal bento boxes have two temperature zones for storing any type of food. The vacuum insulated stainless steel thermos is perfect for keeping hot foods, well, hot, while the double-walled tray keeps fruits and veggies crisp and fresh. And, with a wide rainbow of colors like Sunshine (yellow) and Purple Plum, this bento is a cheerful way to kick off the school year.
Available at amazon.com, $39.50
This nifty three-piece ECOlunchbox set makes it easy to keep lunchtime foods separate—and safe from squishing! Pack a healthy entree and two side dishes, or a set of snacks. The whole thing's modular, so you can always pull out the snack container and use it on its own, and made from 100% high-quality, food-grade stainless steel.
Available at amazon.com, $28.99.
Lunch Blox Sandwich Kits
LEGO-loving kiddos will get a kick out of these stackable lunch kits from Rubbermaid! These colorful blocks include blue ice freezer packs that snap directly on the food containers and keep everything nice and chilled pre-lunchtime. Plus, they'll amp up your organization in no time at all!
If the innovation of the Vaya's Tyffyn bento doesn't get you, the cute prints will! This lunchbox has a convenient collapsible handle, VacuTherm Insulation, partitions to keep foods from touching, and all the manufacturing bells and whistles you could ask for (Think: BPA-free, leakproof, and more!).
Available at vayalife.com, $65.
Bentgo Kids’ removable compartment tray lets you mix and match to suit your kid's fave color of the month. And with five convenient compartments, you can also mix and match food combinations: the largest compartment is the perfect size for a half sandwich, there are three snack-size compartments, and one that's sized just right for dipping sauces.
Available at amazon.com, $27.99.
THIS + THAT Stackable Containers
This ain't your mama's thermos! The This + That containers from Zoli are perfect for when you want to diversify lunchtime with something cold and something hot. The containers are insulated, stackable and compact enough to leave room in a lunch bag. They're BPA-free and will keep cold for 24 hours & hot for 6 hours.
Available on zoli-inc.com, $40.
Go Green Lunch Box Set
Each Go Green Lunch Box set comes with an insulated fabric carrier (choose from fun themes like dinosaurs, flowers, or construction crew), a five-compartment food container, an 8-ounce bottle, and a reusable gel freezer pack. Everything is leak-and lead-free and special "turn ‘n' lock" technology ensures your child’s lunch stays fresh.
Available at amazon.com, $39.99
Komax Lunchmate Bento Lunch Box Kit
Here are the sweet deets about this bento from Komax: it comes with chopsticks and two leakproof containers, it's BPA-free and food grade safe, and the reusable insulated bag keeps food perfectly hot or cold. Bonus: containers are freezer and microwave safe so you can easily reheat leftovers.
Available at amazon.com, $22.99.
This here's a classy bento. The design is inspired by minimalist Japanese bento boxes, but the perks are totally modern: BPA-free materials, chopsticks and cutlery set, and a safety guarantee for microwaves, dishwashers and freezers. Plus, BentoHeaven boxes come with notes so you can pack a special message with your kiddo's lunch!
Available at amazon.com, $22.95.
Packit Bento Box Set
The Packit Bento Box Set not only comes with a three-compartment reusable plastic container but also a reusable sleeve that keeps food cool without needing an ice pack. An exterior pocket is perfect for storing utensils and napkins. The actual bento box is dishwasher, microwaveable and freezer safe.
Available at amazon.com, $19.99.
Spencer Stainless Bento
This Pottery Barn Kids stainless steel Bento Box sports a unique stackable design, spacious compartments, and snug plastic lid. It’s durable, free from dangerous chemicals, and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Available on limited-time sale for $27 at potterybarnkids.com, normally $39.50.
Russbe Lunch System
The simple and affordable Russbe bento boxes may not be the flashiest of the bunch, but they are microwavable, include utensils and have an ice compartment to keep food fresh and ready-to-eat. Plus, Russbe is all about being environmentally friendly with fun alternatives to how you usually pack up lunch.
Available at russbe.com, $9.99.
This sharp-looking box from Box Appetit has separate compartments to keep food from getting soggy, a sauce pot and a leak-proof lid that has a clever dipping area on the underside. The coolest part? The “fife,” which is a fork with a sharper side that makes it easy to eat with one hand. The side clips lock down securely, it’s BPA-free and it’s dishwasher and microwave safe.
Available at amazon.com, $24.95.
Bentology Box Set
Bentology’s six-piece bento set includes one outer box with five mix-and-match containers, each a healthy portion size. Three of the containers have snap-on lids for things like dressing or yogurt.
Available on amazon.com, $12.99.
ROVER Stainless Steel Lunchbox
Don't let the price tag scare you. With five compartments to keep fruits, sandwiches, dips and more separate, this PlanetBox bento box is worth the investment. Its sturdy stainless steel construction means that it's free of BPA and other bad chemicals and will last for years. You can even personalize with colorful magnets!
Available at planetbox.com, $39.95.
Whether you’re feeding a little astronaut, a world traveler, or a cool kid, YumBox’s fun designs have something for everyone. Their six-compartment original bento box allows you to pack small portions of your child’s favorite foods, including bite-sized sandwiches. And no need to worry about spills or messes with the leak-proof lid!
Available on amazon.com, $29.99.
Portion Perfect Lunch on the Go
Hello, totally affordable bento! Smart Planet’s budget-friendly Portion Perfect Lunch on the Go expands to when its filled with food and then collapses back down so you can store it at half the size. There are four inner compartments that each measures one cup. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe and BPA free.
Available on smartplanethome.com, $9.99.
LunchBots Bento Trio Large Stainless Steel Food Container
Though not leakproof, this stainless steel bento box is perfect for holding snacks and sandwiches for lunch. With three large containers, food stays separated and in one piece due to the sturdy design. Bonus––this lunchbox is dishwasher safe!
Find in a variety of sizes on Amazon, $39 and up.
Editor’s Note: Upon publication, all items were available for purchase.
All images courtesy retailers.
— Abigail Matsumoto & Felissa Allard