Go Go Bento

Eco Lunchboxes’ Special-Edition Valentine sack and containers

You’re choosy about what you feed your kids, and now you can be just as choosy about how you pack their food. Bento-style boxes are perfect—divvying up the meal in small portions, just the way kids like to eat! It’s easier to make healthier choices when you can feasibly pack salads, fruit, and even accompanying yogurts and healthy dips in separate containers that won’t spill. And knowing that your child’s lunchbox is BPA-free gives a sense of comfort and security—kinda like knowing you can reuse the containers day after day, without adding to the waste cycle with brown sacks and plastic baggies. Here are some locally sold lunchboxes you’ll love.

Laptop Lunches. Making “bento-ware for everyone,” Laptop Lunches was founded by two moms who wanted to provide simple and fun, waste-free food containers. Kids get a kick out of pulling out their own tray of numerous food choices lovingly put together by momThe Laptop Lunch Bento Systems include five dishwasher-safe food containers in an insulated carrying case. Bonus points for sealable lids, dip containers, a water bottle, and stainless steel fork and spoon. Several kid-friendly designs are available, and all the bento-ware is phthalate, BPA-, PVC-, and lead-free. Type your zip code on their website’s Store Locator to see where to pick one up.

The Klip-It Lunch Cube. You’ve seen The Container Store throughout San Franciso, Walnut Creek, San Jose, and Corte Madera. Now you’ve got another reason to pop in: Food-on-the-Go Containers. The Colorful Klip-It Lunch Cube comes in lime, purple, pink, and turquoise. A sandwich cube fits right over a compartmentalized cube to keep the crackers and the fruit from mixing in the lunch sack! These BPA-free cubes are airtight and good to go in the refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, and microwave.

Kids Konserve Lunch Kits. With the help of Kids Konserve, you can put together your own assortment of containers, like the BPA- and leak-free Round Food Containers made from stainless steel. There’s also the BPA- and phthalate-free Green Food Kozy for wrapping your finger foods in non-leaching, recycled PE plastics. You can go bento-style with an assortment of stainless steel Mini Food Containers, or get a whole set of lunch-packing goodies to go with a Butterfly or Caterpillar Waste-Free Lunch Kit. Co-founded by a former Bay-Area based mom, Kids Konserve products are available in retail stores throughout greater Bay Area.

Lunchopolis Lunchboxes. Adorable and simple, these lunch box systems take the stacking genius of bento to heart. A lead-free, insulated lunchbox fits 4 reusable, BPA-free tinted containers of various sizes (whole, half, and quarter size) and 1 reusable beverage container. Choose between Lime, Pink Polkadots, and Water designs. Two L.A. based moms came up with the Lunchopolis concept in order to promote healthy, planet-friendly lunching. Type your zip code into the Enviro Products website to find the Bay Area locations selling this lunchbox.

Limited Edition Red Valentine ECOLunchbox Kit. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, Lafayette-based company ECOLunchbox is releasing a limited edition Red Valentine lunchbox kit so you can give the gift of love to your honey and for the planet. The kit comes with a two-tier stainless steel container that won’t snap little fingers as they reach into one of the three containers. Because those fingers may get greasy, the kit also includes 3 napkins/placemats, a machine washable lunchbag, and a sustainably grown bamboo “spork.” Yes, it’s BPA-free, plastic-free, lead-free, and lots of other good stuff, but you gotta love it for the “spork” alone!

—Renee Rutledge