Have you heard about bento boxes? Wikipedia tells us that:
“Bentō (弁当 or べんとう ?) is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables as a side dish. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento is readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 ,bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend considerable time and energy producing an appealing boxed lunch.”
Along with a very cool Asian history that dates back to 1185, Bento boxes also have the benefit of creating a no-waste, creative lunch packing system that people all over the world are getting hooked on. You can get bento boxes from many retailers including Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware, owned by Tammy Pelstring and Amy Hemmert who met in a new mothers group in 1995, bonded over a shared interest in nutrition, fitness and the environment and created laptoplunches.com to allow parents to pack wholesome, low-waste lunches in a convenient system that was both economical AND appealing to kids.
The Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware System sells everything you need to get your waste-free lunches organized. These boxes work perfectly for anyone who packs meals – whether for their children’s school lunches, work lunches and more. As a constantly hungry pregnant mother with a constantly hungry almost three year old – I love being able to use my bento box to pack healthy snacks while we’re on the go – whether we’re at church, playdates or running errands. The waste reducing packaging eases my eco-friendly conscience and my son loves having his different foods in their own container – perfect for a picky eater and to separate his snacks from mine or be able to hand him one snack at a time – and it stores so neatly in one convenient box!
You can buy a complete bento box (box with containers and utensils) for $22.99 or a complete bento box system for $37.99 which includes a bento box, containers and utensils AND a water bottle and an insulated carrying case.You can also order the miscellaneous parts and accessories you want separately if you don’t need the whole system or if you just need to order spare or replacement parts. Both packages come with a Laptop Lunch User’s Guide. This guide offers nutritious lunch ideas that utilize the bento system perfectly as well as strategies for improving nutrition, tips for reducing waste, quick-reference shopping lists, tips for picky eaters, creative menus and quick, easy kid-friendly recipes. You can get more lunch ideas on their website, too.
The bento boxes are phthalate free, bisphenol-A (BPA) free, lead free and PVC free – making them very eco-friendly options. A bento box basic kit will include removable inner containers that accommodate a variety of food sizes – you can use all the containers or mix and match to suit your day’s meal. Some of the containers include lids so that you can seal wet foods and prevent them from leaking into your other foods. There are dip containers (probably my son’s favorite feature – he loves dipping his foods!) for sauces, salad dressings or dips that of course come with a sealable lid. There is a stainless steel fork and spoon that fit perfectly in the box and have stylish plastic handles that your kids will love. And the box is the perfect size to slip into your backpack and most lunchboxes (you can buy bags and carrying cases made just for the Laptop Lunches Bento-Ware on the website, too). The plastic containers (not the lids) are microwave safe and the containers and lids are dishwasher safe (in the top rack only).
They also come in a variety of colors so you can tailor the boxes to yours and your children’s personal style. Color options include:
- Primary: Blue outer container with inner containers in dark green, red, yellow, purple, and teal
- Whimsical: Purple outer container with inner containers in bright lime green, orange, periwinkle, magenta, and teal
- Periwinkle: Blue outer container with inner containers in periwinkle blue
- Pink: Light pink outer container with inner containers in magenta
- Black and Red: Black outer container with inner containers in red
Want to order a Bento Box of your own? To get 10% off your order enter the following code at checkout on the laptoplunches.com website: mommas