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Best Overall: Bentgo Kids' Lunch Box
If you’re looking for the best bento box for toddlers, there are a few extra considerations to take into account. First of all, you want a product that’s more durable and can stand to take a few tumbles if it slips out of their little hands. Second, it’s important that the box is easy to open and close, otherwise you might find yourself cleaning up spilled lunches.
The Bentgo Kids Children's Lunch Box meets all these criteria, making it an ideal lunch box for children age 3 to 7. The BPA-free plastic bento box has five compartments and can safely be used in the microwave and dishwasher. It boasts a tight seal to keep the various sections from leaking, and you open and shut the box with two secure, kid-friendly latches.
As an added bonus, the edges of the box are lined with rubber to minimize impact in case of drops, making it perfect for young children. However, just because it is made for younger children doesn't mean big kids and adults can't use it as well.
Best Design: Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container
For a kid-friendly bento box that’s free from harmful chemicals like BPA, you can’t go wrong with the YUMBOX Original. This leakproof bento box is designed especially for kids, and careful attention was given to every detail, from the cute colors and illustrations to the easy-open latch.
The YUMBOX, which is made for toddlers and young children, is definitely more expensive than many other options, but it makes up for cost with great functionality. There are six unique containers in the BPA-free lunch box, each of which is labeled with a food group to help kids learn about nutrition and help parents figure out what to pack. You can pack foods like applesauce without worry thanks to the leak-proof silicone seal, and the inner shell is dishwasher safe. This box also has a little dip container to fill with stuff like hummus or salad dressing.
This kids’ bento box is durable and its compartments are perfect for various snacks, according to reviewers. Most agree that the high-quality design is worth the higher price tag, but a few do note that you may want to hand-wash the box to increase its longevity.
Best Budget: LUCENTEE Bento Lunch Box
Want to prep your kids’ snacks for the week in advance? Then you need a product like these Bento Lunch Box Meal Prep Containers, which are the perfect make-ahead snack containers for busy weeks.
What’s great about these plastic bento-style containers is that you get seven in each set, all for an incredibly affordable price. The BPA-free plastic boxes each have three compartments—one big and two smaller—and come with colorful snap-on lids. They can be put in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher, adding to their convenience. These bento boxes are ideal if you want to create grab-and-go snack sets for your whole family or even meal prep for yourself.
Users write that the Bento Lunch Box Meal Prep Containers are the perfect size for kids’ lunches and are high-quality. Several note that the price point on these containers is great, but the one downside is that the lids aren’t leak-proof or especially sturdy.
Best for Salads: OXO Good Grips Leakproof Salad Container
Does your kid like to bring salads for lunch? This leakproof container from OXO helps keeps wet and dry ingredients separate and has a handy cup that has a tightly screwing lid for dressings. What we love about this is it nestles all in together tightly so they can transport it to school easily.
The lid is clear and made out of Tritan which is BPA-free and won't get discolored after washings. And after a busy day, you'll be happy to know this can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Best Glass: Prep Naturals 3-Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers
If you’re trying to avoid purchasing plastic products, the Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers are a sustainable bento box alternative for your kids. These reusable containers come in packs of three, four, or five, and they’re made from durable, high-quality glass that’s free from BPA and other chemicals that you might find in plastic. They come with locking lids that create an airtight, leak-free seal, and each container has three compartments to help you portion out lunches.
What’s great about these glass bento boxes is that they can be put in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and even the oven, depending on your needs—you may even find yourself using them to store leftovers or transport your own lunches! The snap-close lids are easy for little hands to use, and customers say the glass is thick and durable enough that these shouldn't break if they get banged or dropped.
Best Color Options: Simple Modern Porter Bento Lunch Box
Get your kids excited about lunchtime with the fun Simple Modern Porter Bento Lunch Box. This bento box is available in a whopping 27 patterns and colors, including everything from plain black to shark, heart, and ice cream cone motifs. No matter what your kids are into, there’s sure to be an option they love! The box itself has five inner compartments of varying sizes—one big, two medium, and two small—where you can pack snacks for your children.
Both the case and its removable insert are made from BPA-free plastic, and the insert is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. The box has a secure seal with a lockable snap to prevent spills in your kids’ backpacks, and when closed properly, the box is leak-proof.
Best for Warm Foods: Omie Bento Box
If you have a picky eater, you might benefit from a bento box that can keep food warm, and the OmieBox Bento Box for Kids is one of your best options. This unique bento box is on the more expensive side, but it's worth the investment thanks to its removable thermos insert, which includes an easy screw-off top and holds up to 1 cup of warm food.
The OmieBox allows you to pack both hot and cold foods together, giving your kids more variety in their lunches and satisfying picky eaters. The box features four compartments, including the large main section, which is big enough to hold a sandwich when the thermos insert is removed. The lunch box is BPA-free and made of impact-resistant materials for durability, and the long compartment is specially designed to accommodate any brand of box drinks.
Buyers say the OmieBox is ideal for children who don’t like sandwiches, and many note the lunch box is well-made and extremely versatile. Plus, parents confirm that the hot food container seals tight to prevent leaking, allowing you to pack soup or other liquidy foods.
Most Versatile: PackIt Mod Lunch Bento Food Storage Container
The PackIt Mod Bento Food Storage Container is ideal for anyone who’s ever struggled to fit food into too-small bento box compartments. Unlike other lunch boxes, which have fixed inner compartments, this food storage container is totally customizable, allowing you to change up its configuration to suit your needs.
The container comes with three leak-resistant dividers that you snap into the various channels to separate food, and the leak-free lid snaps on to prevent spills inside your lunch box. It can be put in the microwave, freezer, and top rack of the dishwasher, and the container is the perfect size to fit into the popular PackIt lunch bags. The versatility of these bento boxes is especially great, with many people saying they’re ideal for packing snacks. However, several point out that the compartments themselves are not leak-proof, so you can’t pack a liquid in one section without risking it seeping into the other foods.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product tester who specializes in all things home. She regularly tests all types of kitchen gadgets, finding new gems to add to her collection of small appliances.
Material: Bento boxes are made from a variety of different materials, each with their pros and cons. Plastic is lightweight and easy for kids to handle since it won’t shatter if it’s dropped. Metal is more durable and can withstand high heat in a dishwasher. Glass is both dishwasher and microwave-safe, but it’s heavy and breakable.
Size: How much food do you need to pack? There’s no need to send your kids to school with a bulky, adult-sized bento box that’s half-full, but there should be enough space for everything they like. If fluffy green salads are often on the menu, you’ll need more space than if you pack smaller amounts of denser foods.
Number of compartments: If the bento box has a large number of compartments, you can keep many different foods separate from each other, and you’ll have space for sauces and condiments, as well. But if your kids prefer larger portions of fewer foods, you won’t need as many compartments. While it might look cute to keep carrots separate from celery, having larger spaces will make it easier to pack lunch.