If you work somewhere located close to a lot of lunch joints, it can be really easy to just run and grab something unhealthy for lunch. I used to work downtown, and when I was running late in the morning, I knew I’d have no trouble popping out for something and be able to be back at my desk quickly. But that ended up costing a lot of money and resulting in some less-than-stellar nutritional choices.
Now that I work in Tualatin in an industrial area, it’s easier to make time in the morning (or night before) to pack a healthy lunch. This year, I made a conscious decision to eat better, so I’ve perfected my lunch salad. I had a Sistema container that I got at Target that worked okay, but it was all one piece and hard to dump from one compartment to another. So I tried out two Bento boxes with the goal of making my healthy habit easier to continue. This is the first of two reviews to let you know about some great lunchbox options.
The first one was the Healthy Packers Premium Bento Lunch Box, which is is a leakproof lunch container that comes with a custom-fit freezer pack. My picture at the left does not show the yellow trays that fit in the lower tray, because I didn’t need them for my salad, but I wanted to show how the same salad fits in each container.
I should note that my salad is based in part on Seinfeld’s “Big Salad.” As in, it’s a meal. We’ve got lettuce, avocado, cottage cheese, a little ranch dressing, shredded cheddar, bacon, and cranberries. All of those ingredients add up to a pretty good lunch, and with the Healthy Packers Bento box, you can dump all the toppings right into the bottom tray and have room to mix.
The freezer pack nests underneath the top tray, and if you don’t have access to a refrigerator, it will keep your food at a safe temperature for at least five hours. I did not use the freezer pack with my salads because I found that it made the lettuce too cold, but it works great with cold chicken salad.
Speaking of, aside from salads, my other favorite fillings for the Bento box were sandwich toppings and non-lettuce salads. I would fill the bottom tray with chicken or tuna salad, and put fresh cucumber slices and grape tomatoes in one half of the top tray, and berries in the other half. (I’d put the bread in a separate bag.) Bonus: if you’re the type of person that can’t handle when your food touches it’s non-related neighbor food, this is an excellent option for you.
The box includes a large bottom tray with two yellow trays that nest inside it, a top tray with a divider in the middle and a freezer pack that fits underneath it, and a lid. The Healthy Packers Bento Box fits together quite snugly and the small white stopper on the top creates an airtight seal that, once released, makes the box much easier to open! The latches on each of the four sides are sturdy and I think I’d have to work pretty hard to break them. The entire box is quite sturdy and I anticipate it will last a very long time.
The Healthy Packers Bento Box is currently on sale for $15.54 on their website; regular price is $22.79.