LunchBots makes bento boxes starting around $20 in a variety of sizes and configurations. Sometimes I struggle with including variety in lunches and snacks, so the preportioned compartments encourage me to be creative about what I pack. I love that these containers are stainless steel and that you can also get colorful inserts and covers so kids can personalize their box. They're also very sturdy and dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean. Read our buying guide to the best kids' lunch boxes for even more options.
The Type A part of me jumps for joy when I find a new way to organize my life and give everything its own designated place, which is why I'm all about the bento box craze. I like bento boxes because they force me to get creative and include more variety in what I pack, resulting in healthier lunches and snacks that use a minimal amount of packaging. The compartments within bento boxes promote portion control, too. I'm also all about keeping harmful chemicals away from my family whenever possible, so I try to avoid storing food in plastic containers. Plastic is constantly coming under fire regarding its use in food and water containers, so while the jury is still out, I avoid plastic food storage as much as possible. This preference for non-plastic bento boxes very quickly narrows my lunch box selection options. This has all left me searching for food storage options that meet my standards. Enter: the LunchBots stainless steel bento boxes. LunchBots sent me their Small Protein Packer Box ($20), which is the perfect size to pack a full meal for my toddler, Ellie, or a snack for myself. They also sent a Thermal Dots Insulated Container ($25) that keeps food hot or cold.
LunchBots design and use
My Small Protein Packer Box is 5.5 inches by 4 inches by 1.5 inches, and it has four compartments inside. LunchBots offers a lot more than what they sent me, though — they have bento boxes, leakproof containers, insulated containers, lunch bags, and more. They also have a wide variety of boxes, from the small Protein Packer I have to large boxes that can fit a full meal for an adult ($42). I love that they offer small, medium, and large boxes and that within each size they have different options for the number and size of compartments. All of their boxes and insulated containers are stainless steel, but you can buy stylish covers to add a splash of color (for most kids, this is the most important part of a lunch box!). You can also buy additional leakproof containers that fit in the box compartments to store dips, salads, sauces, or other leak-prone items. The lids come completely off, which is a feature I like because sometimes when lids are attached with a hinge, they make the container tip over as it starts to get empty. The lid design is great for toddlers and younger kids who still need help opening their lunches at daycare or school. The only thing their teacher has to do is take the lid off and their entire lunch is ready for them. A good tip to keep these containers from sliding around on the table is to buy a lid cover and have your kid put the lid upside down under the box while they're eating. The rubbery texture of the cover helps the box stay in one place on the table. Since they are stainless steel, all of LunchBots products are dishwasher safe, making clean-up of even the messiest lunches a breeze.
My daughter isn't in school yet, so I don't have to pack her a lunch every single day, but I do have to pack her a snack any time we leave the house for more than a couple hours. This box is perfect to pack healthy snacks so I don't have to rely on prepackaged food when we're out and about. We recently took a road trip and brought the Protein Packer box to pack snacks for Ellie and it worked perfectly. As a former teacher, I've seen lunch boxes get thrown into lockers and kicked through hallways, so durability is always a factor to consider. These stainless steel boxes are very sturdy and are up to the challenge of abuse they might receive from toddlers through high schoolers. I even let Ellie play with our box while it was packed, and when she was done playing, each item in the container was still perfectly in its spot. Cons to consider The only con I can see is that the Small Protein Packer isn't leakproof, but they still do a really good job of keeping food separate. To test how well food would stay separated, I purposely packed sliced grapes with cheese and graham crackers — I wanted to see if any liquid from the grapes would ruin the other food. I kept the food in the container for hours, and it all tasted great. Obviously, an extremely juicy or runny food wouldn't work, but a set of the leak-proof container inserts would fix that. The bottom line
LunchBots has done a great job of delivering a product that parents can feel good about using for their kids. Toddlers will have plenty of room for food in the small boxes. If you're shopping for an older kid, you'll want to choose one of the medium or large boxes. Some other options on the market are PlanetBox, which offers similar stainless steel bento box options, and Bentgo, which offers bento boxes that are not stainless steel. If you're looking for a stainless steel lunch box that helps manage portion sizes and want to include variety in you or your child's diet, LunchBots is a great pick. Pros: Stainless steel bento design, very durable, wide variety of sizes and options offered Cons: Protein box is not leakproof
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