March 15, 2023 5 min read


From tutorials on how to pack a bento lunch box to creative ideas for bento lunches, these boxes have taken over the internet. They are especially a popular hit with moms who love to experiment with their little one's lunch. But what are these boxes and will they keep your kid's lunch warm? Continue reading to find out.


What Are Bento Boxes?

 A blue Bentos flask and healthy lunch in a lunch box

Credit: Envato Elements/ ganusik13


A bento box is a type of lunch box and food storage container that has multiple compartments. The term "bento" is a Chinese word that translates to "convenient." Though these boxes originated in Asian cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, bento-style meals and boxes have since spread throughout the rest of the world. These containers can hold multiple items at once, and because they are leakproof, they can even be used to store sauces and dips.


What Distinguishes a Bento Box From a Lunch Box?

 A variety of different lunches in lunch boxes

Credit: Envato Elements/ Daniel_Dash


Bento boxes are unique food containers with numerous compartments for dividing up meals. On the other hand, lunchboxes often only feature one main compartment, forcing you to separate your food into smaller containers or zip-lock bags.


The Benefits of Using Bento Lunch Boxes


You might be wondering why bento boxes are such a big deal. Here are some reasons why these boxes are so popular:


1)  Encourages Picky Eaters to Eat Healthy Food

 A healthy lunch with fruit in a dark blue lunch box

Credit: Envato Elements/ Atlas Composer


Since bento boxes have multiple compartments, it allows you to artfully arrange your kid's favorite meals. With these boxes, you can pack colorful veggies, fruits, yogurt, sauces, cheeses, and healthy snacks. When it's time to eat, your child will open their box to find a colorful assortment of delicious food. These foods will be appealing to even the pickiest child, making it easier for them to eat a balanced meal.


2)  Bento Boxes Make Lunch Packing Simpler

 A parent adding lunch to the childs lunch tin

Credit: Envato Elements/ imagesourcecurated


Bento boxes are useful since they make lunch packing simpler. Instead of packing food in multiple smaller boxes, you can quickly and efficiently pack a single lunchbox with all of your kid's favorite food items. Packing school lunches have never been easier!


3)  Bento Boxes Are Spill and Leak Proof

 A pink lunch box with healthy food, pink shoes and a pink backback with stationary

Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFieldStudios


Are your kid's always complaining about soggy sandwiches? If yes, then bento boxes are worth the investment. These containers are designed to stop leaks and spills, which makes them ideal for storing both dry and wet food. Whether it's a hot soup or just a dip, you can be sure that it will not spill.


4)  Bento Boxes Help in Portion Control

 A healthy lunch in a bento box

Credit: Envato Elements/ tycoon101


Do you find it difficult to gauge how much food to pack for your child? With bento-style lunch boxes, you no longer have to worry about this. The fact that one compartment equals one serving makes it simple to check that you've given them the proper quantity of food and aren't overdoing it on the snacks.


Do Bento Boxes Keep Food Warm? Are Bento Boxes Insulated?

 A silver Bento with some healthy food inside

Credit: Envato Elements/ merc67


Most bento boxes are made of hard plastic which makes them ineffective in keeping food hot. However, there are insulated options that are made of metal. If keeping meals warm till lunchtime is your sole priority, investing in one of these boxes makes more sense. If you decide to purchase an insulated bento lunch box, make sure it's made of stainless steel and not aluminum. Compared to aluminum, stainless steel typically lasts longer and retains heat far better.


How Long Can Food Be Kept Warm in a Bento Box?

 Some healthy fruit and veg in a wooden bento box

Credit: Envato Elements/ tatiana_bralnina


If you're using a classic bento box made of hard plastic, the food will stay hot for no more than 2 hours. On the other hand, if food is packed in an insulated lunch box, it will stay hot for at least 4-5 hours. Keep in mind that cold food has a 6-hour window during which it is safe to eat. By using insulated lunch boxes, you can ensure that your child not only enjoys warm food but also does not fall sick.


How Do You Keep Food Warm in a Bento Box?


If you have a bento box and want to ensure that your little one always enjoys a hot lunch, here are some tips that you can follow:


1)  Preheat the Bento Box

 Some water being poured out of a kettle

Credit: Envato Elements/ oaravoicu


If you're using a plastic bento box, you can skip this step. However, if you're using a metal bento box, preheating it is a great way to ensure that the food inside remains hot till lunch. To do this, boil water in an electric kettle or over the stove and fill the bento box at full capacity. You can cover it and leave it standing while you get the dishes ready to go inside.


2) Make Sure the Dish Is Piping Hot

 A person wearing a red shirt heating up water on a stove top

Credit: Envato Elements/ cavanimages


This won't be an issue if you prepared the food that morning. However, if you're packing food from the fridge, make sure to warm it in a pan or saucepan for about 5-7 minutes.


3)  Wrap the Food in Aluminum Foil

 Some aluminium foil on a yellow background

Credit: Envato Elements/ ndanko


After the food has been heated to the right temperature, wrap it in aluminum foil. To maintain the warm temperature longer, you can also try wrapping the foil in a towel or piece of plastic saran wrap.


4)  Transfer the Hot Food to the Preheated Bento Box

 A parent adding some fruit to a bentos tin with the child looking on

Credit: Envato Elements/ davidpereiras


If you filled your bento box with hot water, empty it and place the hot food inside. To avoid food becoming soggy, be sure to wipe the box dry before putting any food inside.


5)  Separate Hot and Cold Food Items

 2 silver bentos tins with a healthy lunch and some fruit on the side

Credit: Envato Elements/ merc67


We understand that keeping food hot is your main priority. However, if you do decide to pack cold items, make sure they are in a separate container. This will guarantee that the temperatures of both of the foods remain as stable as possible.

For longer-lasting cooling, you can additionally pack the cold item with an ice pack. Do this only if you are not packing any hot food.


6) Place Everything in an Insulated Lunch Bag

 A parent adding lunch to a lunch bag

Credit: Envato Elements/ Joshuaresnick


Carefully close everything and pack it in an insulated lunch bag. Your kids will enjoy a warm lunch, especially on chilly, windy, and foggy days.




Due to their attractive designs and inventive lunch options, bento boxes are becoming more and more common for lunches all around the world. 

At Plato Kids, we are dedicated to providing the happiest lunchtimes for children. To ensure this, we designed lunch notes that will make your child feel special and content. Discover our extensive selection of lunch notes for kids by shopping with us today.


Alex Wittle
Alex Wittle

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