A Guide to Bento Boxes: Take Your Carry-in Meals to the Next Level

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Bento lunch box
source: biome.com.au

If you look for ways to carry in your kids’ favourite school lunches or homemade work lunches for yourself, look no further than a bento box. Common among Japanese people for centuries the bento culture has gone global in recent years!

Whether you’re putting together a lunch for yourself or planning a romantic picnic date with your special someone, people of all ages can enjoy meals in bento boxes without having to carry around many dishes at once plus they look lovely too. There’s no need to worry about spilling things in your bag or on the way as everything is secure and tight.

What Is a Bento Box?

Bento box for kids
source: biome.com.au

From your favourite rice and noodles to homemade meat specialties, vegetables, fish, eggs and even desserts, take delicious meals with you wherever you go by using the high-quality and convenient bento lunchboxes. But what is a bento lunch box?

In essence, it’s a divided food container that is used to prepare and carry meals for eating on the go. The English term “bento” comes from the Chinese word “biàndng,” which means “convenient” which comes as no surprise given their easy transportation and simple storage.

Modern bento designs may have several divisions, enabling the organization of various foods into distinct compartments. This way meals can be kept separate while remaining moist, flavourful and well-balanced.

Types

The type of bento you decide to go for is greatly influenced by the material it is made of. Bento lunch boxes are these days made of various materials. These are the most common ones.

Wooden Bento Boxes

Bentos made of wood is a top choice for many people who enjoy great convenience. These wooden designs are typically made of bamboo or Paulownia wood because they have a stylish, organic appearance and are environmentally sustainable.

Wooden bento lunchboxes are a great daily option because they are strong and lightweight. However, wood can absorb moisture and cause them to spoil food, thus boxes constructed of wood are not the ideal choice for storing meals for extended periods. Moreover, consumers may find it difficult to obtain high-quality wood because it is typically pricey.

Plastic Bento Boxes

Bento made of plastic is a fantastic, multipurpose option for packing lunches or serving visitors. They are frequently composed of high-quality polymers, which are renowned for their sturdiness and resilience to warping, stains, and foods both hot and cold. They are therefore perfect for moving meals around without having to worry about stains or damage.

Many sections in plastic bento boxes often have lids that clamp on tightly to keep food confined while in transit. In addition, these plastic food containers have extra features like an ice pack, utensil holders, and dividers that can be used to organize the contents of the box. Some even include movable straps so you can transport them with you wherever you go.

Glass Bento Boxes

Glass bento containers offer a stunning glass finish that makes it possible to display your mouthwatering dishes. They are heat resistant and very strong. Glass is non-toxic and won’t let out poisons that could harm your food. Because glass bento boxes are heavy, use caution when transporting them to avoid any damage. Since there are no food scents left behind, you can always enjoy your meals to the fullest!

Disposable or Reusable Bento Boxes

Unlike single-use disposable food containers, which can only be used once, reusable bento boxes can be used numerous times, assisting you in reducing waste. Another advantage of using reused bento boxes over time is the cost savings. Since they don’t need to be changed after every meal, even if their original cost may be higher than their disposable counterparts, they will end up being the more affordable option overall.

To provide hygienic conditions for food storage and consumption, reusable containers need to be cleaned frequently. This could be problematic for people who lead hectic lives or if there aren’t any dishwashing facilities close by. Due to their greater volumes and more durable building materials, reusable bento boxes also frequently require more storage space than their disposable counterparts, which can be a problem when travelling.

Depending on the situation and the preferences of the user, both reusable and disposable bentos have advantages and disadvantages. In the end, convenience and cleaning are a matter of personal preference. By eliminating the need to clean bento boxes after each use, especially when storing hiking and camping food disposable bento boxes save time. But using a reusable bento box spares you from the need to buy things repeatedly.

The Benefits of Using Bento Boxes

Bento lunch box with 5 compartments
source: biome.com.au

The reason why bento lunch boxes are one of the most convenient ways to store your meals is because they come with many benefits. Sometimes, you need a container that can keep your food fresh and organised, while also being stylish and lightweight.

Easier Lunch-Packing

The lunchbox bento is many people’s top choice for carry-in meals because it makes lunch packing easier. Instead of filling numerous, distinct food compartments, you can quickly and efficiently pack a single lunchbox with just one item.

Gone are the days of taking multiple containers to work or school for lunch. With a bento box, you can actually pack multiple items in one place. Not only is this more convenient, but it also means you can be more creative with what you offer in each meal.

Eco-Friendly

There are also eco-friendly bento boxes for those who don’t want to use single-use cling wrap or disposable plastic bags, and want to store separate ingredients in each compartment.

A smaller covered container that fits within the big box can be used to keep little foods like crackers or particularly wet ones like watermelon or cucumber. The next day, the containers can be cleaned and put to use again.

These eco-friendly bentos can be a terrific idea now that more and more schools have a “nude food” policy where packaging is forbidden or needed to be brought home to reduce the amount of trash left at school.

Portion Control

Another great thing about bento boxes is their portion control. By restricting the number of portions offered, they assist consumers in avoiding overeating. Additionally, they offer a lot of choices for inspiring a variety of healthy foods. The more options you have, the easier it is to make a nutritious meal.

All of the separate compartments make it easier to include food items like fruits, vegetables, and grains in your diet. You can separate them into different sections and everyone can enjoy their own flavours. Given that some people don’t like their food touching, having them split into different compartments is a nice way to navigate dietary restrictions and still have a tasty meal.