Saturday, January 13, 2018

Are Bento Boxes Worth the Investment?

Do school lunches stress you out? I used to dread it. While it's not at the top of my list of fun things to do it is definitely more enjoyable these days. Yes, I enjoy making school lunches. What do I give 100% of the credit to? Bento boxes.

I was very skeptical making my bento box purchase.

Would it hold enough food for my fast-growing boys? Would the liquids make everything soggy when it was tossed around in their backpacks? Would my kids make a huge mess trying to get it open? Is it actually worth all that money?

Bento boxes can be very expensive. Are they worth it? Are lunches easier to make? Is there less waste? Are they actually spill proof?



What was the source of my original lunch-making stress?
  • Finding containers with matching lids of appropriate size that would fit in their lunch bags. 
  • Magically having enough of these containers for three kids' lunches. 
  • Hoping that every container and lid combination made it back home–where did those lids go?
  • Figuring out what to put in those lunches each day to make sure they had enough food with a decent amount of nutritional value.
  • Feeling guilty over all the packaging that was involved with plastic wrap and baggies and wrappers from pre-packaged foods. 
  • Washing oodles of containers each day just to have enough for the next day.


I have discovered the joy of five minute lunch- making. 

Okay, so some preparation is required in advance but it's so worth it!  Here are the steps to making lunches easy.

Step 1:
I wash their containers by hand when they come home. It is simple and takes just a few minutes. I leave them to air-dry until the evening. 

Step 2:
I have baked goods in the freezer that I make once a week. They are gluten-free and regular muffins and cookies. This is key for making the rest of your week a breeze! Figure out a carbohydrate that your kids will love and just go with it. I have also had these three recipes in rotation. 

Step 3: 
My kids are pretty okay with the same thing every single day and I usually switch up the fruit and vegetables. I'm used to the sizes of the compartments now so I know where to put everything. I toss in my prepared muffins, cookies and then chop up veggies and fruit. You can add sliced cheese, pepperoni sticks, veggie straws –  you don't need to wrap anything – just toss it all in! Seal it up and put it in the fridge. Note: Sealing is not just on the sides, there is also a knob to turn which allows it to be leak-proof.

Step 4: 
You are done. You could write a cute note in the designated spot if you think about it but I usually forget. I wondered about the purpose of the carrying case but I do appreciate it for the kids carrying it to and from their backpacks and also for knowing whose lunch it is as one child is gluten-free. Our bento boxes have a spot for a water bottle if need be which I give to my youngest as she does not eat as much and wouldn't think to go to the water fountain. For the boys I put food in each compartment. It also came with an ice pack which we have yet to use. 

Bento boxes can be very expensive. Are they worth it? Are lunches easier to make? Is there less waste? Are they actually spill proof?

Now, I don't put a lot of liquids in there like applesauce and yogurt but I easily could. I have put water in one of the sections and shook it around and there was zero leakage. Guilty confession: Sometimes I do use pre-packaged applesauces because we do have them on hand but I'm going to try to get in the habit of adding it from bulk containers or homemade. What is my only regret? Not getting them when my kids first started going to school.

So there you have it. Have you gotten on the bento box train? Will you?

Love,
Louise

Bento boxes can be very expensive. Are they worth it? Are lunches easier to make? Is there less waste? Are they actually spill proof?


PS If you are wondering what bento box to get, our experience is with Go Green Lunch Box (not sponsored) and they have worked very well for us. If you are Canadian, they are very expensive to ship to Canada. Yumbox was also highly recommended. I'd love to hear which ones have worked time and time again for you!



Bento boxes can be very expensive. Are they worth it? Are lunches easier to make? Is there less waste? Are they actually spill proof?

No comments:

Post a Comment