Item: Bentgo Kids Leakproof Lunch Box
Overall Impression: This is a durable and colorful version of a Japanese bento box that's great when you want to put a variety of foods into a child's lunch box without having to use multiple food storage containers.
My daughter isn't too far off from starting preschool, so I've been thinking about school lunches and how best to pack them. We also like to pack some backup foods for her when we go out to restaurants in case she doesn't like what we order, so I wanted to give this cute and stylish lunch box a try!
The Quick Facts
Characteristics and Specs: A BPA-free leakproof plastic box that contains a removable five-compartment tray. The tray is top-rack dishwasher safe, and they recommend hand-washing the rest of the box. It is available in three colors.
Favorite details: The five compartments mean you can pack a variety of foods all together in one package. I also loved that it was leakproof, so the compartments can't spill over into each other.
Potential problems: It lacks a handle, which may make it difficult to carry. Being able to put only parts of it in the dishwasher is not as convenient. There is nowhere to store utensils, so they have to be packed separately or food has to be limited to finger foods.
Who would love this? Kids ages 3 to 7 who like variety and keeping their foods separate from each other.
Feeding a toddler isn't easy. They can be ravenous and eat anything in sight at one meal, then eat nothing for the rest of the day. My husband and I are trying to instill good eating habits in our daughter, which means giving her balanced meals but also trying to convey the message that food is fun and not a high-pressured battle. We've found that variety is the key to peace at mealtimes, as it gives my daughter options that she can choose from and means she consumes lots of different foods.
I wanted to give the Bentgo Kids lunch box, a riff on a Japanese bento box, a try because we've always been packing foods for my daughter in separate containers. It's usually a mix of reusable containers and plastic zip-top bags, but it's a bit of a hassle to carry all these things around separately and wasteful if I don't reuse the bags.
The Bentgo, with its five compartments, is a great way to get a variety of foods into one container that's also sturdy enough to eat out of. I was able to put a half a sandwich in the largest compartment, cut fruit, edamame, and Goldfish crackers in the three smaller compartments, and yogurt in the tiniest compartment as a dip (a surefire way to get a toddler to eat!).
The construction of the box is sturdy, with the tray being removable and top-rack dishwasher safe. The rest of the box needs to be washed by hand, though, which is not as convenient. The lid contains seals for each compartment that keep foods from spilling into each other when the box is closed and being moved around, which I think is great for kids who don't like different foods touching each other.
I did wish that there was a handle to make carrying around the box a little easier, as it's not as light as a regular plastic lunch box or lunch bag. It would also benefit from a place to store utensils if you choose to pack salad, pasta, or other foods that would require a fork or spoon.
The lunch box is recommended for kids ages 3 to 7. Older kids with bigger appetites might find that this box doesn't hold enough food, but even I think I could pack a decent lunch in there for me!
The true test of this box, though, was when I gave it to my daughter for a test drive. I told her she was getting a "special plate" and then placed it in front of her. As you can see in the picture, it got a giant smile and a big clap! She immediately dove into the Goldfish, fruit, and yogurt, which was not surprising, as toddlers tend to eat their favorite foods first if presented with choices. Based on how she gobbled down that meal, I think she'd be quite happy to carry this box to school with her every day.
As a parent, the best feature of the Bentgo Kids lunch box is that it makes packing a variety of foods for my daughter easy — fewer containers to fill, and fewer containers to clean! Until my daughter is old enough to decide that she wants a cartoon-charactered lunch box instead, this is a great option for her.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.