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Bento Box

Bento boxes are food containers with separate compartments (or not) for the different elements of your snack or meal, which makes them perfect for picky eaters who hate to see different foods touching. Plus, these lunch boxes are great for workers who prefer to concoct a healthy and tasty meal for his or her lunch break. They can hold most meals in individual portions, as the compartments are usually different sizes to hold the main dish, some sides and maybe even sauces and dressings. There are also tiered bentos, ideal for packing a lunch with multiple sides and snacks.

 

Boîte à repas healthy lunch

While traditional bento boxes are made of wood or bamboo, plastic or stainless steel bento boxes are also ideal for lunches, as they are easy to transport and easy to clean. They are also an eco-friendly option, as they do not require plastic or paper bags. However, to keep your meals cooler or warmer more easily, you can opt for an insulated lunch bag that will make transporting your food much easier.

Finding the right bento box for your family can be difficult, but there are many options that can meet specific needs. At Healthy Lunch, you'll find models that fit into small backpacks and tote bags, stackable boxes for leftovers and lunch snacks, bento boxes for kids with attractive designs, and even a box designed specifically for salads.

Bento boxes originated in Japan, but they have become popular around the world because of the stylish way they separate and organize each element of your meals. Kids and adults alike love using colorful and cute bento boxes to pack lunches and snacks for school and work. Bento boxes are also a great eco-friendly option, as they reduce the use of plastic bags and can be useful for portion control. All the bento boxes we feature in our collection have a variety of compartments of different sizes, which can hold portions for the main attraction and side dishes. In addition, for carrying a full meal, you can carry your drinks with one of our insulated water bottles or stainless steel bottles.

 

How to choose your bento ?

As for a lunch box or any other meal box, the choice of a bento must be based on certain criteria in order to perfectly meet your expectations. Depending on the food you want to carry at work, at school, or for your picnic outings.

The materials

The materials for the design of your bento box are essential in your choice. You will obviously want your lunch box to be made of a safe material so that your food, lunches, and meals are stored in the best way. Note that all of our bento box models are BPA free, food grade, and designed with high quality materials to ensure a strong and effective food box. As for materials, all our bento box food containers are either made of healthy plastic (polypropylene) or wood (bamboo, for example). If you are looking for an airtight lunch box that keeps the heat in, you will find it in our insulated bento lunch box collection. All these insulated lunch boxes are made of stainless steel to keep your food cold or hot.

For cleaning your bento lunch box, heating and storage, you will find microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe materials. On our product sheets you can find this information. And if you have any doubts, please contact our customer service about this, we will be happy to answer your request.

Design of your bento

Some bento boxes are nothing more than convenient food carrying lunch boxes, which may be suitable for a short trip to college or a lunch break at work. But if you are a frequent traveler, look for options that are with tight fitting lids or that retain heat or cold you may want an insulated bento or a thermos bento so that it suits your requirements. Also, if you are a driver in your truck or often on the road in your car, you should know that at Healthy Lunch we offer heated bentos that will allow you to warm up your food at all times (12V and 24V for a cigarette lighter socket and 220V for a mains socket).

Also, other models are designed for salad lovers, gourmets or those who just want a simple sandwich and a side dish. Also note that there are many different types of bentos in terms of design, practicality and their shapes. Let's see some of them together:

Round bento box

The round bento is a bento box with an original design. You guessed it, its particularity is its round or oval shape making this lunch box an original bento. It is very used especially if you like to carry a single main dish without the need to compartmentalize your different foods. The round bento is very used in Japan and China, and has become a very well known bento shape in France. This type of lunch box is suitable for rice and fish dishes.

Compartmented bento

The compartmentalized bento is a classic in our collection of bento lunch boxes. Its particularity lies in the interior where several compartments can be available to separate the different foods. You might want a compartmentalized bento box to separate sweet from salty, or main dish from dessert. Moreover, if you like to eat fruits during your lunch, the compartmentalized bento box is a very good idea. Concerning the compartments, you can find bentos with two compartments as well as meal boxes with 5 compartments. It will depend on your desires. Moreover, there are different types of compartments: compartments integrated in the food box or a food separator acting as a compartment. The divider will be used in particular in the plastic bentos which contain only two places for your food.

Wooden Bento

Wooden bentos are another popular and sought after material for Japanese lunch boxes. Pay special attention to the wood used, as there can be two types of wooden bento: plastic bentos imitating wood and real wooden bento. This second category of lunch box is notably designed with bamboo which is a reliable wood, for example

Japanese bento

From a design point of view, you can certainly look for a Japanese bento. At Healthy Lunch, we offer many different types of Japanese style bentos to suit your needs. Our Japanese bento boxes are either made of eco-friendly and reusable plastic or wood. In addition, all our Japanese bento boxes are BPA free and certified food grade.

The size of the bento box

The size of your bento box will be a very important element to choose your box. There are small bentos that have a capacity of 200ml to 350ml, and there are large bentos that have a capacity of more than 1 liter. The size will have a direct impact on the weight of your lunch box. Although a bento is light in general, note that a 2 liter bento will be much heavier than a 200ml bento. Moreover, you will have to know in advance how you will carry your bento lunch box: in your backpack? In an insulated lunch bag? In your gym bag? The way of transportation will define the dimensions you will have to take into account to bring your lunch box with you.

Who uses bento lunch boxes?

The ideal bento boxes for adults are usually not the same as those suitable for children, who are in elementary school for example. Adults may be looking for an insulated bento box that is both efficient and design, keeping cool and warm. On the contrary, when looking for a bento for kids, they often want a practical, original and fun bento.

Before buying a lunch box, make sure you know who the bento is for in order to make the right choice.

The price

There are different prices for each style of bento. The price will be determined by the materials, compartments and size. At Healthy Lunch you will find both cheap bentos that cost around 20€, and high end bentos that can cost 40€ and more.

 

What to eat in your bento?

There are many recipes for bento. Most of them are inspired by the Asian culture and more precisely by Japanese culture. We are going to see several types of food that are widely used for bento preparation.

  •     Rice: It is the basic ingredient of almost every bento; a bento without rice would be like a sandwich without bread. Rice can be prepared in many ways, such as hakumai (standard white rice), genmai (brown rice), sekihan (rice cooked with red beans), zakkokumai (mixed grain rice), noriben (rice covered with nori seaweed) and wakame gohan (rice mixed with seaweed).
  •     Umeboshi: Japanese marinated sour plums.
  •     Salads: Vegetables and salads are often chosen according to the season.
  •     Tamagoyaki: A sweet Japanese rolled omelette.
  •     Agemono: Fried foods include chicken karaage, tempura, croquettes and fried fish cakes.
  •     Tonkatsu: A heavily breaded and fried pork cutlet served with a brown sauce specially made for tonkatsu.
  •     Grilled fish: Usually mackerel, salmon or unagi (eel).
  •     Nimono: Slowly simmered fish, meat or vegetables, reminiscent of home cooking.
  •     Stewed beef: Gyudon, a tasty layer of beef served on a bed of rice.
  •     Sushi: A Japanese staple, usually raw seafood served on a ball of pressed rice.

To discover recipes, you can visit our blog where we have listed some delicious dishes.

 

Different types of bento

There are several types of bento, with different purposes. These different bentos vary from the food chosen to the designs used. Here are some types of bento boxes:

  •     Makunouchi bento are elaborate bento meals presented at formal meals, intended to be eaten at the table. This is the type you will see served in restaurants, arranged in elegant lacquered boxes.
  •     Kouraku bento are picnic bento, meant to be shared by a group of people having fun in the open air - the most popular setting is cherry blossoms in spring ((o)hahanami).
  •     The ekiben bento (shortened form of eki bento) are lunch boxes sold in train stations for travelers (although today you can buy ekiben in many other places, such as department store food halls or convenience stores).

The type of bento that has received the most attention recently, especially outside of Japan, is what is known as kyaraben bento or charaben, "cute bento", "art bento" or "entertaining bento", small, highly decorated works of art. Those who design ekiben bentos feel that the visual is as important as the taste and flavor of the meal. Therefore, they put a lot of importance on the preparation of the meal box. They are usually made by mothers for their young children. There can be a high level of competitiveness in this field, there are many competitions and others that present these bentos.

 

Finally, there is the simple bento that most people bring to work or school for lunch. This ordinary type is commonly called a lunch box. It is a lunch box that allows you to easily transport those sweet and salty foods without necessarily bringing time to the design. It is important to note that most Japanese people do not spend their time making elaborate charaben or "cute bento", this is more in the realm of hobby and craft than practical daily life. The type of bento that families most often focus on is the everyday bento, which is practical, tasty and healthy.

 

Bento box: dishwasher and microwave safe

As we mentioned before, some bento boxes are dishwasher and microwave safe. It's so convenient to put all the pieces of your bento in the dishwasher and have them ready to be packed the next time you want to use them. Having to hand wash any part of the lunchbox, even the outside, could detract from the convenience of a bento box.

Likewise, being able to put the entire box in the microwave to reheat the food in it can be a major time saver for you. If this is the case, you need to choose a plastic box that is microwave safe. We offer you many microwave bento boxes in our collection.

Another feature that makes the bento lunch box convenient is the way its interior is designed. Most boxes have several airtight and sealed compartments that can safely hold dips, sauces and even juices. However, you can also find a box with fewer interior containers. Just make sure the containers and the box itself are airtight.