Judging by their exploding popularity over the past decade, bento boxes are the best thing to happen to lunch since sliced bread. Well, in America, anyway. Bento boxes are popular because they allow you to pack a variety of different foods in one container, not to mention that the first bento box predates the 1928 Missouri-born invention of pre-sliced bread – by about 1,200 years.
PackIt has taken the traditional bento box (which originated in Japan) and given it a modern twist. By incorporating innovative features such as customizable dividers and size options, they fit perfectly into our freezable bags that keep food cold for hours, making it the perfect solution for busy individuals on the go.
Keep reading to learn about different types of bento food and snack containers and their origins.
Why is a Bento Box Called That? The True Japanese To-Go Boxes
Beyond just Japanese to-go boxes and meals, bento is a distinct culinary culture and art form that defines Japanese cuisine.
What started as an effort to make food more enticing to children has reached a global audience on social media. True to Japanese culinary tradition, these bento boxes are highly designed and intricately detailed.
- Ekiben 'Train Station Bento'. Perfect for travelers to take with them on long train rides, these convenient, on-the-go meals debuted in the 19th century. Over time, ekiben began to contain foods local to the train station and continued to be in high demand by commuters and tourists.
- Hokaben 'Take-Out Bento'. Specialty shops serving hot, made-to-order bento lunch boxes opened for business in the 1970s.
- Konbini 'Convenience Store Bento'. These premade bento boxes in Japan are cheap, available 24/7, and can be microwaved right there in the store.
Move over brown bag — there's a new bento box in town
The PackIt bento box is a type of food container that allows you to take complete meals in one compact container. Our bento container has a leak-resistant lid that locks to prevent spills and leak-resistant dividers that slide and snap between ridges to keep your fruit away from your veggies and your veggies away from your dip!
Different Types of Bento Box Materials
The best material for a bento box depends on your preferences and needs. Some common materials used for bento boxes include:
- Plastic: Plastic bento boxes are lightweight, affordable, and easy to clean, making them a popular choice. However, they may not be as durable as other materials, and some types of plastic may contain harmful chemicals that can leach into food.
- Metal: Metal bento boxes are generally more durable than plastic, and they can be a good choice if you are looking for a long-lasting option. However, they may be heavier and more expensive than plastic bento boxes and may not be microwave-safe.
- Wood: Wood bento boxes can be decorative and elegant, and they can be a good choice if you are looking for a natural, eco-friendly option. However, they may be more expensive and may require more maintenance, as they may need to be hand-washed and treated with oil to prevent drying and cracking.
- Silicone: Silicone bento boxes are flexible, lightweight, and easy to clean, making them a convenient option. They are also generally safe for use in the microwave and dishwasher. However, they may not be as durable as other materials and may not be suitable for packing hot or acidic foods.
What material is the PackIt Bento Box made from?
PackIt bento boxes are made from BPA-free plastic, known as Tritan™ plastic, considered one of the safest plastics in the world.
Ultimately, the best material for a bento box will depend on your personal preferences and needs and the types of food you plan to pack. When choosing a bento box, it is important to consider factors such as durability, ease of cleaning, and safety.
What is the difference between a bento box, bento lunch box, and bento snack box?
There is no difference between a bento box, a bento lunch box, or bento snack box. All terms refer to the same type of container that is traditionally used in Japanese cuisine to pack and transport meals in a container with individual compartments. It's the size of the container that matters.
This type of container is called a "bento snack box" or "bento lunch box." However, the term "bento box" is more commonly used and more widely recognized.
The PackIt bento box is available in different sizes, each with the ability to have customizable spaces making it easy to pack in a backpack or bag or tuck away in one of our freezable lunch bags.
PackIt Bento Container Differences
Bento Lunch Container - includes three removable dividers
- Dimensions: 7.25"H x 5"W x 2.75"D
Bento Snack Container - includes one removable divider
- Dimensions: 5"H x 5"W x 2.75"D
PackIt's Modern Twist on the Bento Lunch Box
Our customizable bento containers are a fresh take on the traditional bento box. With moveable – or removable – dividers, you can use the PackIt bento as a one-compartment bento lunch box or create up to three compartments configured to your meal. They can perfectly contain a PB&J, last night's casserole, or a ball of rice that looks like Hello Kitty.
Bento Box Originality
The PackIt Mod Bento can handle more than lunch. It is a convenient and practical option for packing lunches or snacks, particularly for people who need to keep their food cold for extended periods. It is also a good choice for people looking for an eco-friendly and non-toxic option.
Be a bento box original with these ideas.
Popular uses for PackIt Bento Boxes
- When your kids are ready to pack their lunches, guide them to create healthy and balanced meals. You can set the compartments to show them healthy portion sizes for different food groups.
Other ideas for Using a PackIt Bento Box
- When traveling, organize makeup and toiletries in a sturdy PackIt bento box. Easy to find, easy to clean.
Bonus ideas for using PackIt Bento Containers
- Are you taking drinks to a tailgate or other party? Fill your bento container with drink garnishes like toothpick-skewered fruit slices, olives, or berries, so they stay germ-free and organized.
Browse PackIt's Bento Lunch Boxes & More
Now that you've learned a little about bento box history and the PackIt bento lunch box, are you ready to take the Japanese to-go box into the future?
One microwave and dishwasher-safe, leak-proof container — zero waste. Also available in snack size. Find yours today!Shop PackIt Food Containers