They’re certainly the lunch box of the moment, but what are the actual benefits of a bento box? Here are just a few of them.

Traditional to Japan, bento-style lunch boxes are beloved by parents far and wide for their convenience, variety and durability.

While Western bento lunch boxes look a little different to their Japanese namesakes – which are traditionally wooden, most commonly in a shokado (rectangular) or hangetsu (half moon) shape – they share at least one thing in common: they can safely get food from A to B, with minimal mess.

No wonder parents love them so much! Here are a few other reasons bento boxes are so popular.

They’re good for the environment

Of all the benefits of a bento box, saving the planet is one of the most important. Their built-in compartments mean different foods don’t have to touch one another, avoiding the need for single-use plastic bags or wrap. Certain bento boxes, like the Yumbox, are also super durable – we often hear from customers who have had their Yumbox for over five years! – reducing the need to buy a new lunch box year after year.

They’re great for fussy eating and food aversions

Parents of picky eaters or children with food aversions will agree that serving foods that are touching is always a hurdle – but with a bento box, there’s no need to worry! Not only do the different compartments keep everything separate, but the variety of different foods can help picky eaters feel more empowered about what they’re eating. Yes, the choice is their’s to make, but when they’re choosing from a selection of pre-prepared, healthy options, you’re both winners!

They’re easy to clean

Packing an assortment of individual containers into your child’s insulated lunch box or cooler bag isn’t just a logistical, Tetris-like nightmare – it’s also a hassle to clean at the end of the school day! Opting for one bento-style lunch box tray is so much easier, as some (like the Yumbox!) can be popped on the top rack of your dishwasher. The Yumbox’s silicone seal – which keeps things fresh and leak-proof – is also designed with a gap around the edge, preventing mould from developing underneath the silicone. Learn more about that right here.

They’re leak-proof

Did you know that, with the Yumbox, you can pack yoghurt in one compartment and crackers in the next, without having to worry about leaks or spills? Yumbox’s leak-proof seal prevents liquids (think tomato sauce and thicker, not watery) from spoiling the food in the rest of your tray, ensuring that your children’s Yumbox will look – and more importantly, taste! – just as good as it did when you first packed it, even after being in a school bag.

They help kids eat a balanced diet

Just as traditional Japanese bento boxes do, bento-style lunch boxes encourage a balanced, well-portioned diet. In an interview with SBS, senior Nutrition Australia nutritionist Aloysa Hourigan says bento boxes “help you regulate your portion sizes because each compartment is not large. You might have a small amout of, say, pasta or rice salad in one section… then in another compartment some protein… fruit in another compartment and possible a snack item like a muffin or vegetable stick and hummus.” When it comes to Yumbox, each size and configuration is designed with optimum nutrition in mind. Find out more right here.