7 best leak-proof bento boxes to make lunch packing a breeze

Picky eaters and lunch-stressed parents rejoice!

stainless-steel-bento-box
PlanetBox

From pleasing picky eaters to cutting back on single-use plastics and eliminating cabinets full of mismatched containers, bento boxes are a lunch-packing parents' BFF. These all-in-one lunchboxes are a genius way to offer up a nutritious and perfectly portioned lunch for kids of all ages all while keeping foods separate and safe from leaking. (And as a bonus, can even help kids visualize what a healthy lunch should look like!)

The best kids' bento boxes should offer a leak-proof design that's easy to clean and easy for little ones to operate. (Seriously, who has time for a backpack full of yogurt?) Because there are tons on the market today, we've done the research so you don't have to. We've rounded up the best BPA-free, durable and kid-friendly bento boxes that are guaranteed to last at least a couple of school years. (And certainly longer than whatever "favorite food" they'll soon blacklist for reasons undetermined.)

Most are compatible with our favorite lunchboxes but they can also do the work solo. And to be clear, you're not obligated to go all SuperMom and cut fruit and sandwiches into flowers or sculpt rice and fish into scenes from their favorite Disney movie. (Unless you want to, of course.) No one ever needed therapy for being sent to school with bread-shaped sandwiches and pre-packaged yogurt. Promise.

If you're sending your littles off to camp, school or daycare, these are the best bento boxes for kids you can buy! (Throw in a stainless steel water bottle and you're all set.)


Bentgo Kids Bento Box

bentgo-kids-bento-box

Bentgo bento boxes check all the boxes. (It's Amazon's top-selling Bento box for a reason.) They're perfectly sized for kid lunches, easy-to-clean (the insert is top-rack dishwasher safe), blessedly leak-proof and manage to keep all food from touching even when banged around in their backpack. This style is best suited for the younger set since the latches are easy to open and it doesn't hold as much food as some competitors. As a bonus, it comes in a variety of bright, fun colors and prints.

Reviewers say: "I recommend this box to everyone. The portion sizes are just right, and it allows you to send your kids with a variety to their lunch with no bag waste. The Bentgo brights colors are cute too—exact same size and dimension as the original purple box we bought. We have never had a problem with leaks in the 1+ years my kindergartner/first grader has used this. Fits well (a bit of a squeeze, but works fine) in her pottery barn kids lunch bag. What is more, we had an issue with wear on one of the latches (it was cracking) and I called the company. Not only did they replace the box for free, but they sent me some free inserts with covers (intended for making multiple lunches at a time). I will continue to buy Bentgo kids and recommend their product."—Janjumps

$24.99

PlanetBox Rover Stainless Steel Lunchbox

Planetbox-rover-stainless-steel-lunchbox

This durable stainless steel beauty has multiple compartments for those kiddos who love variety. It also comes with two leak-proof containers for any liquid or wet food (ketchup! yogurt!) you may want to include. It is the priciest on our list, but unless your kiddo loses it, chances are it will last through elementary school and beyond. (Note: The dimensions make it tricky to fit in standard carry bags, so it's recommended to snag one from Planetbox.) The best part is that the design is fully customizable with magnets you put right on the box. Makes it so easy to swap when your kid is done with dinosaurs and wants to move onto emojis. 😝

Reviewers say: "This is the third Rover we've purchased. Each one of our children love them. It makes lunch packing easy, less waste, easy cleanup. Kids have had no trouble managing them on their own at school. A great lunchbox and very durable, our eldest child has been using his since kindergarten and is now finishing fourth-grade, and the lunchbox is as good as it was on day 1!"–Evan B.

$55.95

Miniware GrowBento

miniware-growbento

For tiny tots who are headed to daycare or preschool, we love the mix-and-match option of Miniware's GrowBento. The 3-piece set includes two leak-proof silicone silipods which are perfect for baby + toddler portions of applesauce or berries and a stainless steel box to nest them in alongside a half sandwich. And since the pieces are all separate, you can easily use it for things like salad and salad dressing or pita and hummus for your own lunches! The only downside is that little ones may need a bit of assistance getting the lid off.

$38

Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunchbox

yumbox-original-leakproof-bento-lunchbox

If you're in the market for something designed specifically for kids (and their lunch-stressed parents), Yumbox is an ideal solution. It's sized for younger kiddos with easy-to-operate latches and features six perfectly portioned sections labeled with food groups to easily craft a nutritious meal. Made from BPA-free materials, it's equipped with a leak-proof silicone seal to keep food separate and safely inside. Like the Bentgo, the insert is top-rack dishwasher safe. It's also a bit bigger than your standard lunchbox carriers, so be sure to check measurements! (It is too big for the ever-popular Pottery Barn lunchbox.)

Reviewers say: "This is working out great. I clean it out right after school. Leave it open to let it completely dry out and have had no problems or complaints with it. I put it in an insulated lunchbox and place two freezer packs flat underneath it and zip it up. My daughter's lunch is still fresh by noon. I put random fruit and cute tiny sandwiches. I use the small circle part for hummus. She LOVES her YUMBOX. I would definitely buy it again.

Tips: Take it apart and wash it. Let it dry completely (best if over night.) Never close it up wet or it will get gross. This is a great lunch box. For me much better than looking for a thousand separate containers every morning.

Update: I bought this lunch box September 3, 2018 and it is still going strong on January 13, 2020. We are still very happy with it. It was an excellent purchase choice. It has some natural wear and tear (from being used every day) on the insert, but nothing major, the outside is as good as new. This lunchbox is still keeping everything as fresh for my daughter's lunch now, as the day I bought it. I'll eventually get a new insert, but purely for aesthetic reasons. I might even look for a second one in another color, to change it up for fun. If you are considering buying, I highly recommend this Yumbox."–Holly

$30.99

Yumbox Panino Leakproof Bento Lunchbox

Yumbox Panino Leakproof Bento Lunchbox

Like its younger sibling, the Yumbox Original, the Yumbox Panino is a leak-proof design made from BPA-free materials. It's great for older kiddos with bigger appetites but still lightweight and compact for easy transport.

Reviewers say: "This is my third box for two kids. The ONLY reason I had to buy another is because my husband somehow set my son's other one of TWO YEARS on a hot stove burner and MELTED it. My six-year-old son also melted soon after. I followed with a super heavy sigh and clicked buy now without hesitation.
THESE ARE THE BEST lunch boxes. We home school. We go everywhere. ALL. THE. TIME. I've been using these boxes for two years and never had a single leak. Kids can easily operate them, from ages 2 and 5, I can pack lunches the night before and grab and go. I tend to hand wash the cover, which takes all of 1 minute with a brush, but I do put the insert in the dishwasher.
My ONLY wish is that they had covers for the tops so I could meal prep for the week in advance, but I just do it in pryex for now and grab and fill. I would buy more inserts for that." –A Troia

$30.99

OmieBox Bento Box for Kids

omie-box

If your little one is anti-sandwich, preferring hot lunches like soup or pasta, look no further than the Omiebox. The super cool design integrates a removable cold/hot thermos right into the tray and keeps lunch at just the right temp through lunchtime and beyond. (When left out, the thermos section can easily accommodate a sandwich or larger snacks.) It's one of the most versatile bentos on the market, BPA-free and made from high-quality impact-resistant materials that can withstand the inevitable drops and bumps. And because they thought of everything, the long compartment is designed to fit any brand of box drinks. (Be advised, this one is best for daycare through kindergarten as the portions are quite small.)

Reviewers say: "Since we all struggle with lunches for school and how to send hot food, Let me tell you, this is a perfect lunch box. Well, today I used the Omie box I bought my son for the 1st time and sent him to school with a hot lunch of fusili with tomato sauce, a tomato salad, cookies and fruit. Turns out this lunch box is a Godsend. Somehow, this thing keeps the hot food hot, it doesn't leak, and the cold food doesn't get hot. When he came home, the pasta leftovers were still hot. I'm now in love with this thing! Lol! By the way, I wasn't paid to do this. 🤣I'm just literally in awe of it and wanted to share. I put the hot pasta in at 7:20 (after having hot water in the thermos for a few minutes) and at 2:30 it was still hot. I'm utterly shocked it worked so well!"—Izzy

$39.50

Kinsho Bento Lunchbox Containers

Kinsho-bento-lunchbox

When it comes to bang for your buck, Kinsho delivers. At less than half the price of most leak-proof bento boxes on our list, the six-compartment design hits all the required marks. (And since it's designed by a mom and award-winning mindful cooking author, are we surprised?) Super-tight seals keep foods where they should be, portions are just right for kids and it even comes with utensils that nest right inside. It is recommended that you hand wash to maintain the integrity of the seals, but it's a small price to pay to keep applesauce out of their backpack, right?

Reviewers say: "I bought 2 of these: lilac and navy. My kids both pack lunch every day, and with the rare occasion that they take soup or other warm food, they use these containers exclusively. No leaks, EVER. Yes, they're tough to close, but both kids (6 and 11) bring home their containers closed, so obviously they're able to handle it themselves. I wash the containers by hand - fill with hot soapy water, close the lid, shake for 15-20 seconds, open and rinse. Good to go!

Pros - no leaks, good compartment sizes (except for large sandwiches). The height inside the compartments is enough that I can pack small condiment-size containers if needed. The utensil compartment is great for sending little notes to your kids (it's a great size for mini candy bars too!). Also, customer service is awesome - the first time my daughter used this, she lost the fork. I contacted the company, and for minimal cost, I replaced the fork, and ordered an additional set. The representative, Heather, replied promptly, and I had the new utensils within days.

Cons - almost none, except that sandwiches on full-size/thickness bread can be hard to fit. I make all our bread, so I just slice it thinly. But sturdier, thicker slices might be an issue. If your kid only takes half a sandwich (like my 6-year-old), it's not an issue. I also can't fit a water bottle in the lunchbox with this container - I have to pack it in the outside mesh pocket (the kids have LL Bean soft-sided lunch boxes)."–CookinginOH

$16.99

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The HATCH Mama collection is everything your pregnant body needs right now

Their oil is the only thing that stopped my belly from itching as it grew bigger.

Conz Preti

Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of moisturizing. I hate being wet and sticky and after applying product to my body, I have to stand around awkwardly until I'm fully air-dried—a practice that is not compatible with having three kids under the age of 3. However, as someone who has carried three children in her body, I also know how much your belly needs hydration as the baby grows.

This was especially true with my second pregnancy. My belly popped way sooner (a thing that happens with subsequent pregnancies) and on top of that, I was carrying twins, which meant I became super pregnant super fast. My belly was itching constantly from the skin stretching (I checked with my doctor to make sure I didn't have Cholestasis) and there was no scratching in the world that could ease my discomfort. My doula recommended the HATCH Mama belly oil and changed my life. The oil is nourishing—but more important to me, quick-drying—so I could apply it all over my planet-sized twin belly and get dressed immediately after without having my clothes ruined nor stuck to my body. Because of how much I loved the oil, I tested other products, and let me tell you, they're all equally amazing.

Curious about the HATCH Mama collection? All of their products are non-toxic and mama-safe, designed to help pregnant people overcome the challenges unique to pregnancy. As their website claims, "from stretch marks to thinning hair, to sleepless nights, we're helping you tackle every prenatal and postnatal beauty issue head-on so you can continue to feel like the best version of you." I'm here for all of this. For the entire Hatch Beauty collection click here.


Here are my favorite products from HATCH Mama:


Belly oil

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Oil

Intensely hydrating + fantastic at reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, this will be your favorite through pregnancy + beyond.

$58

Belly mask

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Mask Set

Not only does it help to minimize the appearance of stretch masks + scars during pregnancy + postpartum, but there is a little non-toxic wink (and that's to you, mama.)

$42

Nipple + lip ointment 

HATCH COLLECTION  Nipple + Lip

Calming + soothing, this magic sauce is lanolin-free & made of tropical butters and super fruits. I'm not lying when I say you will not want to stop using this, even way after birth.

$28

Belly tattoos

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Tattoos

A very rock and roll way to honor your bump. And non-toxic + plant-based at that!

$18

This article was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated.

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Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

You've got this.

Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

The Motherly Birth Class

pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

$79

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This post is sponsored by BABYBJÖRN. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$19.95

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$79.99

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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The ultimate back-to-school shopping list for busy moms

Use this list to prep for the best first day ever!

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After spending a summer reconnecting with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors and (hopefully!) making time for vacation, it's time for kids to head back to school. They're ready to learn, grow and get out of your hair again! But they'll need some help to get there. Before the exciting first day of school, you'll need to get all the gear together to make school a success.

As a parent, use this basic but essential school supply list to find everything your little ones need for their classes—even on a budget.

Loose Leaf Paper

Even though there won't be any tests or quizzes when school begins, kids take plenty of notes, complete assignments and do in-class exercises. Every student needs at least a few packets of loose-leaf paper for quick notes and doodles. Check with your child's school to find out if they require college ruled or wide ruled before you fill up your shopping cart — odds are they won't, but it's worth being sure.

$4

Personal Planner

Your child will need a personal planner to kick off the school year and keep up with all of their assignments. It's an opportunity to invest in cute school supplies that motivate your kids every time they open their planners. Plus, planners help kids learn time management and responsible scheduling, which they can carry with them throughout their academic lives and into college and adulthood.

$22

#2 Pencils

Most classes require #2 pencils because they show up easily on test bubble sheets that machines scan and grade. Add them to your child's school supply list before they sell out at local stores. A great deal on a large pack will likely last through the year.

$10.29

Black Ink Pens

Teachers grade in red ink pens so their notes stand out as study tools. Your student should use black ink pens that don't bleed on the paper. Their work will stand out and never smudge if you use a tried-and-true brand that knows how to make a quality pen, like BIC.

$4.47

Highlighters in Different Colors

Highlighters help students study if they outline notes in different colors. Get your child a pack so they have all the help they need for their study materials. If they're stressed about the tougher classwork, don't forget to break the tension with jokes that will put them at ease.

$9.99

Big Pink Erasers

The erasers on the top of pencils won't last long in classes like calculus or trigonometry. Give your kids a backup by buying packs of big pink erasers. They last much longer and often do a better job of wiping mistakes away.

$.99

New Headphones

Headphones are one of the school supplies kids can use to express themselves. They'll wear them while studying in the library or riding the bus so they can focus or relieve stress between classes.

$16.99

Lined Notebooks

Notebooks are cute school supplies that students always need. The spiral-bound pages are easy to flip through and lightweight in a backpack. They even help with virtual classes because each subject can have a different notebook and further organize notes that assist with online tests.

$3.19

Three-Ring Binders

Students collect their loose-leaf notes in three-ring binders because they snap everything shut and keep notes safe. Find back-to-school binders that match your child's personality so they can stack everything safely in their locker without bending or crushing papers.

$16.95

Locker Decorations

Most kids love decorating their lockers when they start middle school or junior high. Add locker decorations to your school supply list so they can personalize their storage unit and feel more at home.

$14.99

New Lunch Box

Spoiled food ruins the first day of school. But a dual-compartment lunch box ensures your child's food stays fresh throughout the day by designating a special section for an ice pack. Your purchase could also start a new tradition of getting a different lunch box when the school year begins, easing your kids' nerves about beginning a new grade.

$12.99

Upgraded Backpack

It's always fun to get a new backpack. Let your kids pick one that matches their size and expresses their personality with characters, colors, or other prints.

$31.96

Colorful Markers

Young kids might need help adjusting to virtual school or having fun during in-person classes. Colorful markers are an easy way for them to relax while doodling, and they'll likely be part of daily assignments for elementary school students.

$3.49

Reusable Water Bottle

Drinking out of water fountains helps spread illnesses. Your kids can avoid flu season by carrying a reusable water bottle in their backpack. Let them pick out whichever one they want and they'll look forward to using it instead of drinking from public fountains.

$29.95

Calculator

Every teenager needs a calculator when they go back to school. A TI-89 model assists with graphing functions and lasts throughout their academic careers. You won't have to buy another one if they keep it in its case between classes.

$130.99
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