The school year cometh, meaning you’ve already been pinning lunch ideas, fall outfits, and celebratory mommy mocktails like crazy. You’re almost there, mama; just a few weeks of summer left.
Which means, though, just a few weeks to get your lunchbox plans together. If you haven’t given it a second thought yet, not to worry: I’m starting a new back-to-school bento series with packing tips, product recommendations, and links to meal ideas.
First things first: containers. I blogged about them a while ago based on stainless steel vs. plastic, but this time, I’m rounding up top picks based on the number of compartments. If you’re a beginner, a divided container takes a lot of guesswork out of lunch-making and forces you to pack more variety–which gives your kid more healthy options.
In a lot of ways, picking the “right” one is personal, so consider all factors when buying, like:
- ease of use
- ease of cleaning
- best fit with your kid’s eating habits
My original advice still stands and is worth a quick read. After a full year of bento-making, consider these other pointers, too:
- Think vertically. Stacking sandwich halves on top of each other, for example, opens up space for more food vs. leaving a whole sandwich flat with dead space above it. Think of it like packing a box when you’re moving instead of like laying out a meal on a plate.
- Get multiple containers. No need to buy out whole shelves; but different containers fit different needs. What’s more, if you make lunch often, switching off helps each container last longer, especially if you’re using plastic.
- But don’t go crazy. I know that it seems like I’m pushing all these products on you, but don’t buy for buying’s sake. Read reviews, google image examples, and see what fits you and your child best.
Some products do consistently stand out, though, and are popular among bento bloggers because they get the job done. So here are my recommendations, with links to buy for each.
TOP: easylunchboxes set of 4 $13.95 | lunchbots trio $21 (a new bigger size here for $28) | goodbyn hero with sauce containers $12.95
BOTTOM: yumbox panino $30 | goodbyn bynto $8.99 | ecolunchbox 3 in 1 $26
(shown with food to show how much will fit, Which is, a lot.)
TOP: lock n lock quad $6.75, image via momables | lunchbots quad $21.99, image via bentoriffic | laptop lunches $23.99, image via another lunch
BOTTOM: lunchbots cinco $29.99, image via lunchbots | planetbox rover $39.95, image via wendolonia | yumbox original $28, image via wendolonia
Now here’s a peek at a few containers I own, most listed above. Three-sections seem the most straightforward (sandwich, two sides). Take a look at how they compare in size:
A final word: Don’t discount no-compartment containers. Silicone muffin cups make great dividers. A few for size reference:
Does this help, or just make things more confusing? 😉 Ask away in the comments below.