Are you looking for a new box to store food on the go? Are you a nomad and therefore need a container to hold your lunches? We think that choosing a bento can be particularly useful for you.
Basically, the bento is a Japanese lunch box that is a complete meal. Traditionally, it can contain rice or noodles, meat, fruits and vegetables, fish, etc. However, we are witnessing a modernization of bentos which now meet a diversification of needs. Far from being a simple kitchen accessory, you can use it as part of a take-out routine at school or at work.
And to know how to choose the right bento, you just have to take into account some selection criteria such as the size and the internal structure of the jar. In addition, other elements come into play, including the shape, material, functionality and level of maintenance of the bento.
Throughout this article, we will go through the different selection criteria mentioned above and make your choice easier with a top 2 of our best products. So follow the guide!
Choosing according to the size of the bento
When choosing your lunch box, it is important to decide on the size.
This is understandable, because we do not share the same food needs. Indeed, the size of the container will depend on the amount of energy you need to use on a daily basis. It should also be noted that this information is subjective, as it can vary from one individual to another depending on his or her age and gender. Thus, we define different sizes that are offered on the market:
- Boxes with a volume less than or equal to 500 ml: they are practical, compact and espouse the needs of small children and adolescents. You can use these small cans to keep a baby's meal or a light dish like salad or sandwich.
- Jars with a volume between 500 and 700 ml: they offer enough room for a single dish, especially if you are not a light foodie. Better yet, they will please the elderly who are looking for low-calorie meals.
- Boxes with a volume between 700 and 800 ml: this is the size to be preferred for lunch and snacks for adults. These bento boxes are able to contain an average meal including a main course and a dessert.
- Boxes with a volume ranging from 800 to 900 ml: this is the ideal size if you are a fan of large, well-balanced meals. Technically, these cans offer a starter, a main course and a dessert.
- Cans with a volume of 1 liter and more: they are exclusively reserved for big eaters, especially athletes. Better yet, you can also carry them on a picnic. For example, a 1,000 or 1,200 ml (1 or 1.2 liter) meal box can satisfy a huge appetite: appetizer, main course, meat or fish, cake, etc.
Choose according to the internal structure
In one sentence, the internal structure of a bento refers to its internal compartment. Indeed, some consumers do not tolerate the mixing of foods when they are packed in a bento. If you belong to this category, it is important to invest in jars with a compartmentalized capacity. Moreover, this will allow you to better organize and sort your calorific contents.
On the market, you can find meal boxes with 2 or 3 compartments that can be presented in various forms such as a floor. However, if you are a compact meal lover, a single compartment will do the trick.
Choosing according to the shape
The shape of the bento is an element that is often neglected by meal box users. Here we will show you how important it is in our list of criteria.
Far from being an aesthetic argument, the shape of your lunch box is rather what will determine its handling and practicality. For example, it is obvious that a round or oval bento box will have difficulty standing on a table or a bench while eating. Better yet, the shape can also make it easier to carry, especially if you plan to put the box in a bag.
Choosing according to the design material
The materials that are most commonly used in the design of bentos are wood, plastic and stainless steel. Let's find out which material to choose according to its characteristics.
Usually made from bamboo, these containers are typically Japanese style. You can enjoy delicious rice even when it's cold, because wooden food boxes absorb moisture. In addition, they give off a beautiful appearance because of their natural and sober look. Finally, the lightweight nature of the material means that the wooden lunch box is easy to carry.
Plastic bento boxes
We must admit that plastic is the most common material for bento boxes. This material is known to resist heat and prevent liquid leakage. However, many fear its use, due to its chemical content. Fortunately, at Healthy Lunch, we've thought of a revolution by offering you bpa (bisphenol A) free products. Simply put, our plastic bentos are food safe and therefore safe for your health.
Stainless steel bowls
Stainless steel bowls are generally lighter and more resistant to shocks than silicone ones. Indeed, these hermetic boxes with insulating walls have impressive isothermal performance. You can choose them if you intend to keep your meals warm or cool for a long time.
Choose according to the accessories
Bento boxes are containers that you can buy without any delivery features. However, for full use, we recommend you to aim for those that ship accessories in their delivery package. Apart from the lid with or without caps, the main features found on the market are a storage box and cutlery. These include a fork, spoon, divider, straws and chopsticks. You can also have access to an elastic band that reinforces the waterproofness of the whole box.
Choose based on functionality
Far from referring to technological characteristics, the functionality of the bento box implies its compatibility with the microwave. Indeed, it may happen that you want to heat up your dish during your lunch break at work. It would be a pity to invest in a bowl that does not support this feature.
For your information, not all bentos fit in the appliance, like wooden and stainless steel bentos. If you are looking for a product that can withstand this criterion, you should count on polypropylene plastic bentos. They can withstand high temperatures and keep food safe and tasty.
Choose according to the level of maintenance
It would be a real shame to adopt a bento box that meets the previous criteria well, but makes your life difficult during maintenance. So be careful! Your bento box should be easy to maintain so that no oil or stains are left on its inner wall. In one sentence, choose a food box that can be easily put in a dishwasher.
Our best bentos from Healthy Lunch
In our store, we have a wide range of airtight boxes to suit every need. To make your choice easier, our editorial team offers you two must-have products.
The Chic Wooden Beige Lunch Box
The healthy and recyclable polypropylene plastic and the hermetic lid make this bento a reference. Whether for an outing or for personal use, it has two compartments for a large capacity of 1,200 ml. So you will have enough for a balanced meal. The other important advantage of this lunch box is its compatibility with the microwave. Moreover, it can be cleaned without any difficulty. Just put it in the dishwasher and it's done. We do not forget to mention its rectangular shape and its light wood design that you will certainly love.
The Japanese Wooden Lunch Box
Directly inspired by the Japanese culture, this bento breathes nature and beauty thanks to its wooden design. For curious users, we remind you that the wood used to make our product comes from the land of manga.
Further, you will love its structure, as it offers 3 internal compartments to better separate your dishes. The complete meal is thus assured and you also benefit from a food certified and BPA free bento. We don't forget to mention that the delivery is free with access to a rubber band as an accessory to keep the food safe.
We are at the end of our journey in the world of bento boxes. We finally understand that choosing a bento is not a game and involves several criteria that we invite you to follow carefully. And if you decide to spend money on a purchase, our online store opens its doors to you for quality bento boxes.