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In order to find the right bento box for you, it’s essential to consider factors such as durability, capacity, and convenience. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of the different materials and styles that are available.
Since you are likely to use your bento box every day, it’s important to choose a material which is suitable for long-term use. As well as being durable and lightweight, you may require a container which is microwave or dishwasher safe.
Heavy-duty and reliable, a metal bento box will keep your food secure until lunchtime. The smooth surface of metals such as stainless steel means they are easy to clean by hand and do not absorb odours, making lunch prep quick and effortless! Another plus is that metal is free from phthalates and BPA.
However, steel does have some disadvantages. As it is not microwave-safe, this kind of bento box is only suitable for food that you want to eat cold or hot food you'll be eating soon after preparing it. Acidic foods such as tomatoes and rhubarb may also cause the bento box to corrode over time.
Due to concerns over health issues, most plastic bento boxes available online are certified BPA- and phthalate-free and so are safe to use. They are an affordable choice, and the variety of designs available means that you’ll be sure to find one that not only falls within your budget, but that matches your personal style too!
This means you can keep savoury and sweet foods separate, or you could even take all three meals of the day with you to work! A popular way to use the tiers is to put rice or noodles in one, meat and/or vegetables in another, and dessert in the last tier.
If you don’t need to use all of the tiers, you can typically remove one or more and still use the bento box as desired. Being able to adapt the container to suit your needs is convenient if you are trying to watch your portion sizes, or if you simply want to have smaller meals.
These interchangeable compartments are also useful for controlling portion sizes and ensuring that you get your five-a-day. You can easily include a range of different fruit and vegetables in the different sections.
Best of all, you can keep salad dressing separate from your greens – no more soggy lettuce at lunchtime!
However, if you are looking to lose weight, you may want to buy a bento box which is smaller in size. For example, reducing the capacity by 100 ml should help you to control your portion size.
When buying a bento box for a child, the capacity is much lower – 400 ml is ideal for children aged 3-5, and 500-600 ml is recommended for those aged 6-11.
Although this kind of bento box can be a little bulky and is typically more expensive than other types, it is extremely convenient and eco-friendly because it doesn’t require gas or electricity.
In order to make sure that the container stays hot or cold as required, you will need to fill it with either ice cold or boiling hot water for approximately ten minutes, and then drain it before putting your food inside. The vacuum technology will keep your food at the desired temperature so it is ready to eat at any time.
As well as being mess-free and allowing you to bring soups and sauce-based meals on the go, the tight seal on leakproof bento boxes will keep your food fresher for longer.
This means there’s no risk of your sandwiches becoming mushy or yoghurt seeping into savoury snacks. Just in case, though, try to keep your bento box upright if you’re commuting or travelling.
The addition of a small leakproof pot means you can easily jazz up your meal with some sauce or a dressing.
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1. Sistema Bento Lunch Box to Go with Fruit/Yogurt Pot
Versatile and Spacious, With an Affordable Price Tag
2. Zojirushi Ms. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar Set – Grey
Keeps Food Hot or Cold for up to Six Hours
3. Nifty Kitchen Magic Space Saver Lunch Box
Designed to Save Space After Lunch
4. Umami Original Bento – White
An Elegant Multitasker With Cutlery Included
5. Yumbox Classic – Bijoux Purple
Illustrated Sections to Help You Pack a Healthier Lunch
6. Fun Life Lunch Box – Green
Stylish and Fully Customisable
7. Monbento MB Square – Black
A King-Sized Cube for Big Appetites
9. Sistema Triple Split Lunch Box – Blue
Cheap, Cheerful, and Perfect for Children
8. Antom Lunch Box – Pink
An Adorable Traditional Three-Tier Set
10. Black+Blum Stainless Steel Lunch Box – Ocean
Hard-Wearing and Secure With a Minimalist Aesthetic
Whether the appeal comes from saving money on shop-bought sandwiches or coffees or you're trying to do your bit for the environment, it's easier than ever nowadays to switch from single-use food and drink containers to their reusable counterparts. Here are three articles to get you inspired!
Author: Nicola McClements
No. 1: Sistema｜1. Sistema Bento Lunch Box to Go with Fruit/Yogurt Pot
No. 2: Zojirushi｜2. Zojirushi Ms. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar Set – Grey
No. 3: Nifty Kitchen｜3. Nifty Kitchen Magic Space Saver Lunch Box
No. 4: Umami ｜4. Umami Original Bento – White
No. 5: Yumbox ｜5. Yumbox Classic – Bijoux Purple
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