In this article, we’re checking out a neat idea for packing your child’s lunch – the insulated bento box. We’re going to explain the top benefits of using a bento box for your packed lunch. While a bento style lunch box is certainly a less traditional option, it has some unique benefits that can’t be ignored.
What is an Insulated Bento Box?
First thing’s first, what exactly is an insulated bento box? Well, to answer this question, then first we have to explain what a bento box is.
A bento box is a food container of Japanese origin, usually made of metal, stainless steel, glass, or hard plastic. A bento box typically contains an entire meal, separated out into portions and sizes, in a single container or “box.” A bento box resembles a tray, but has dividers that separate each part of the meal in the lunch box. The dividers demarcate areas where each serving should go. As you might imagine, there are bento boxes of various, sizes, designs, and with different numbers of compartments.
An “insulated” bento box takes it one step further. This insulated bento box actually has built in insulation to keep food warm or cool until lunch time. It prevents heat transfer, and keeps your food fresh longer come lunchtime. Typically, an insulated bento box will be similar to a traditional bento box, but will come with an insulated compartment where you can place the tray. The main idea is that it still contains separate compartments for different portions, but can be packed away into something that keeps it insulated. Of course, the design may differ by product. Some insulated bento boxes even contain stacking compartments for easy storage and easy packing.
Bento boxes contain numerous benefits that deserve your consideration, and we’ll outline them next.
Top 5 Benefits of an Insulated Bento Box
In this section, we’ll run you through the top five benefits of an insulated Bento Box. While they might not be the traditional option when you think of packing your child’s school lunches, they are still a great choice for a few reasons, and we’ll examine them here.
Keeps Food Warm or Cool
First up, you have the benefits of insulation. The insulated Bento Box keeps food cool and warm. The insulated layer acts to keep temperature transfer from occurring. Insulation works with multiple layers, including a middle layer that acts to keep your food cool or warm. Typically, an inner layer will act as a waterproof layer, a middle layer will handle the insulation, and the outer layer will be for function and design.
Typically, an insulated Bento Box will have an insulated container or cooler bag in which you can store the Bento Box itself. However, other models will simply be made of a material which is more or less insulated.
Keeps Food Separated
Another great benefit of Bento Boxes is that they keep food separated. If you’ve ever packed lunch for yourself, your kids, or anyone who’s a picky eater, then you know the benefits of keeping all food separated. Firstly, it keeps food fresh. It keeps the food from spilling into each other, which could be a problem if food is particularly moist or flavorful. It keeps all aspects of your meal separate, and keeps them with the taste and texture that is proper for them.
A bento lunch box contains various compartments for different aspects of your meal. This will often inspire a creative and healthy lunch, as you will be motivated to fill each compartment with a different food option. Simply put, Bento Boxes are a great way to be sure that you have varied food groups come lunchtime. There’s ample room for a main, and two or three sides (depending on the type of Bento Box you buy). Sometimes, by having the proper containers to pack our meals, it makes us more likely to pack the perfect size!
And not only does this inspire creativity, it inspires balance. Your meals will be balanced, because that’s what it takes to fill up a Bento Box! No more boring meals that only consist of one item. A Bento lunch is fun, varied, and creative!
Forces Portion Control
Another great benefit of Bento Boxes is that they are ideally sized for portion control. Each food compartment is the perfect size for each part of your meal. So, if you struggle to know how big your lunch-time portions should be, especially when packing lunches for your kids, then a Bento Box might be the perfect solution!
Typically, a Bento Box will have a larger container for a main. Then, they will contain smaller containers for the sides. Often, they might have an even smaller container for dips. This helps you to portion your entire meal. You have space for everything you need, but not too much space so that you overpack.
And finally, an insulated lunch box in a Bento Box-style simply provides you the all-in-one convenience that you are looking for when you pack lunches. You get all the benefits of a Bento Box, combined with all the benefits of an insulated lunchbox! It’s hard to go wrong here, and you’ll get every single benefit mentioned above. A creative, varied lunch that keeps its temperature perfectly! There’s a reason Bento Boxes are so popular in certain parts of the world. They also work great as a meal prep container as well, since they’re usually leak proof and can hold hot food, veggies, salad, and more!
So, if you’re still not convinced, why not just try it out? Bento Boxes are inexpensive, and highly accessible. There are all sort of different Bento Boxes depending on the situation, and you can pick the one that’s best for you. It’s all about making lunches an easier experience overall and we think the Bento Box is the perfect tool for the job!
Thanks for checking out our guide to insulated Bento Boxes. We hope we’ve helped to convince you of all the benefits that this product provides. But of course, it’s really just about which type of lunch container is best for you. If all the benefits of a Bento Box appeal to you, then that’s great, and there are many options for you to consider. Compare your preferences to our list above, and we are sure you can make the perfect choice for packing lunches!
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.