In honor of my kids going back to school this week, I wanted to share my favorite lunch packing hack that makes packing lunches soo much easier in the morning (and cleaning those lunchboxes soo much easier at night).
Oh Bentgo Box, how much easier you’ve made packing my kids lunches.
I first found Bentgo on Amazon when my daughter started taking lunch to school and I was worried about her spending too much of her limited lunch time having trouble opening container lids and bags. I had heard of “Bento Boxes” before and wanted to see if there were any preschool-aged-kids version around. Well there was: Bentgo Kids.
It claims to be leak proof, and it really, genuinely is to a certain extent—meaning don’t pour juice or milk directly into the compartment and expect the box not to leak—but I put ranch, dips, etc. and it all stays within its own little compartment. Each food item is separated, and “never touches each other” as most kids (and some adults) hate that. The ranch dressing won’t mix with the turkey sandwich you cut up in the shape of a unicorn; it’s a lifesaver for me and said unicorn sandwich. And as parents we don’t have to wash multiple food containers or send kids with multiple ziploc bags.
Another feature I like is that the compartments are different sizes, so food can be easily portioned based on nutritional content and/or type: for example there’s a large compartment that’s great to house sandwiches, a thinner rectangular compartment I like to put carrot sticks in, a short square one I’ve put cheese puffs in, and since the day after Halloween I always let my kids bring in one small candy item—I’m able to place this candy in the tiniest compartment; otherwise it usually houses dressings and dips.
The actual main compartment and box are made of very sturdy plastic, standing up to kid’s manhandling (or accidentally dropping in my daughter’s case). In fact I’ve used the exact same box for my daughter for three years, never having to purchase a new one for her. When my other daughter started taking lunch to school I bought her one too. I constantly have other moms (and teachers!) in their classes asking me about the box I send their lunches in.
And because Bentgo has multiple sized box options you can choose which one works best for your kids’ ages. Personally, I find that ‘Bentgo Kids’ works best for young kids as the compartments are smaller, and the designs are more geared towards their ages. They’re brighter in color, and some can even be themed like being decorated with polka dots, unicorns, spaceships, etc. ‘Bentgo Fresh’, their other box option, works best for older kids and adults, as the compartments are bigger and the colors more muted. The bottom of this page contains a direct Amazon link to purchase both; easy peasy.
My two pro tips for using Bentgo (no matter which model you choose):
1. purchase a second interior compartment so that you can swap them out easily at night—pop the dirty compartment in the dishwasher (top rack) and easily pop a clean one in.
2. Use press-and-seal wrap on the rubber suctioned area at the interior top of the box—this way it always stays clean and if you put any liquids (or, often, ranch dressing in our case) you don’t get the top dirty. Just remove the press-and-seal wrap and wipe the top interior down. (I do always like to wipe down the outside with an antibacterial wipe.)
Easy links to purchase:
- Bentgo Kids Prints: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QZ4CRP3?ie=UTF8&tag=ranamakki-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07QZ4CRP3
- Bentgo Kids Brights: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DTLNZ5B?ie=UTF8&tag=ranamakki-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07DTLNZ5B
- Bentgo Fresh (for older kid and adults): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MWC9VT5?ie=UTF8&tag=ranamakki-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07MWC9VT5
- Extra Bentgo Kids Trays: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQGYG9Y?ie=UTF8&tag=ranamakki-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B01MQGYG9Y