Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Kid-related issues: picky eaters, peer pressure, etc.

Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby bayview » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:23 am

At preschool, DS5 was using a two-tier bento box that I found at Daiso. When I bought it (for $5), I wasn't sure if DS5 would even like having a bento, and I didn't want to spend a lot for something he would then refuse to use. One problem with the box is that the tiers must be perfectly aligned for the flaps to snap into place -- not exactly kid-friendly. But it was made in Korea, and it was one of the few boxes there that wasn't pink or decorated with bunnies, so I bought it.

As it turned out, he loved the box.

Box No. 1 lasted a miraculous eight months, before one of the flaps snapped off. So I bought two more, just in case...

Box No. 2 lasted about a week after that. Again, one of the flaps snapped off.

Box No. 3 lasted a day. My son says that an older boy at summer camp accidentally stepped on the lid yesterday and broke one of the flaps. (What it was doing on the floor, I have no idea....)

This morning, I brought out a beautiful Pokemon bento box I'd been saving for when DS started kindergarten in the fall. When DS saw it, he told me he no longer wanted a bento...and I ended up repacking his lunch in a collapsible sandwich case.

So, my question to the group is, do you use the pricier bento boxes with a young child? Do you rotate boxes to minimize the risk of breakage? Or, do you buy the cheap(er) boxes and just accept the fact that they'll get broken (again and again)? I'm also wondering how much sturdier the pricier boxes are. I think with the number of cheap boxes I've gone through, I could have easily purchased a nice(r) box by now.

--bayview
Making bento lunches for DS5, who is allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts, and fish.
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Re: Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby Tina » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:40 pm

Right now we use the cutest animal head shaped box(pig,cat lady bug) that came with a plastic fork and spoon like the one's on this blog http://momma2bugs.livejournal.com/ . Of course they came from the dollar store. If the sides fail on a side latching box a unlatching box might be what you need. My chococat one (not a knock off) looks like the sides might brake after a while.
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Re: Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby PikaMama » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:00 pm

I really haven't had breakage as a problem yet. I've been making bento for my 8 year old son for 2 years now and we haven't had any broken boxes. I use a mix of the $1 bento and some slightly more pricey ones. He doesn't use the same one everyday and that might be the key. We have amassed quite a collection and so rotating them may be what has kept them alive for so long.
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Re: Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby Pangolin » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:48 pm

I have an Asvel box that I bought online. It's side snaps seem to be pretty sturdy, and the box has made it through several plane trips getting banged around by airport security and the crazy stewardesses who insist I must stow my backpack in the overhead compartment... (then they give me nasty looks after takeoff when I ask them to get it down for me because I'm too short to reach it!)

The box itself has easy to snap sides, and it's pretty basic- white base and clear top (no designs anywhere). It's been dropped and banged around like I said, and it has held up. I think a slightly pricier box does translate into sturdier in most cases. :D

As for bayview's new dilemma: I'm guessing from the series of events laid out, that the reason kiddo no longer wants a bento is because the "older boy" stepped on it after he made fun of it and knocked it on the floor. "Older", "bigger" kids have a tendency to do that. :x Pack the lunch the way DS5 wants for summer camp, and when school starts in the fall, pull out that ultra cool Pokemon box and give it another try!
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Re: Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby Biggie » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:11 am

The pricier boxes are generally of much higher quality (Asvel, Hakoya, Skater) and worth the extra cash if your child only has a problem with dropping the box, not losing it. If they're prone to losing things, then just think of the dollar-store boxes as semi-disposable. Also, you might want to avoid dollar-store bento boxes with the flap-wing lids -- the hinges on them in general are of poor quality, and break REALLY easily.

I use a mix for Bug's lunches, although he adores all of the Disney Cars boxes (the higher-quality ones from Skater, not the low-quality Disney Store ones with flimsy lids). But at his preschool, the sensei's keep a close eye on lunch proceedings and I've never had anything lost. I suspect it'll all be a different story once kindergarten begins.
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Re: Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby CatAnne » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:24 am

Tina wrote:Right now we use the cutest animal head shaped box(pig,cat lady bug) that came with a plastic fork and spoon like the one's on this blog http://momma2bugs.livejournal.com/ . Of course they came from the dollar store. If the sides fail on a side latching box a unlatching box might be what you need. My chococat one (not a knock off) looks like the sides might brake after a while.


Those are cute!!

I don't have kids, yet but I have a brother and a mother.
My brother. would take containers to school in high school for special events... and I would make them. ( I made a cake decorated to look like an animal cell once.) One time I made something and he took it in one of my expensive giant containers and it was stolen. The case that the animal cell was in he took to school, and that was a great success he won high marks for it, but I never did see my cake container again... he claims he doesn't know what happened to it

My mother, yeah she leaves hers at work, and they vanished. She works in the ER in management. I'm not really sure what happens to hers, so I get her the cheap ugly ones. Not that she cares... (When I worked in the DMV, anything left in the fridge at the end of the week was tossed. For all I know if my mom left something in the fridge someone could have tossed it, or taken it home to be cleaned and kept it.)

I plan on being a nurse(different hospital from my mom, in another state), and I've seen one of the areas where you could eat your packed lunch in the hospital I want to work at(long story) they've remodeled since then, but I think it's all the same. I wouldn't be in the ER, but I plan on (hopefully if I can get a nice shift) packing my lunch every day. The cafeteria is ok, but my aunt(20+ years working there) gets tired of it so I imagine I would too. After the cafeteria closes, there's a few vending machines, microwave and vending machines with subs/burritos. It's open til 12, but I don't want their food all the time.

So sometime in the future I will consider bentos and ware and tear with my kids. I had never really put that much thought into it until now. I'm careful, but I can just imagine a bento box flying across the cafeteria/playground and breaking!!

Pangolin wrote:I have an Asvel box that I bought online. It's side snaps seem to be pretty sturdy, and the box has made it through several plane trips getting banged around by airport security and the crazy stewardesses who insist I must stow my backpack in the overhead compartment... (then they give me nasty looks after takeoff when I ask them to get it down for me because I'm too short to reach it!)


Planes...I secretly think it's a scam to pay more once you get past security with food and drinks. How they have a big box for you to put any liquids over 3oz in there. Secretly taking them home/donating them. My last flight, it was 8 dollars for a few crackers, cheese and raisins. I think they charge more now. I flew from TX to AZ, and I didn't have time to get anything, and my mother and I where starving. It was an emergency flight, but we would have gotten something at the Subway.

Once you're past security you spend more... I'm thinking of getting one of those fold up bento boxes for planes. I should have done it sooner. Now they charge more for carry ons if it's heavy, or make you put it under the plane, so it sounds like a good idea for those who travel a lot. Even by car too..

Psst.. if they give you problems, you should just say you're diabetic (I'm actually diabetic, but my mom uses that excuse for her) and you need something important. I know it's not nice to lie, but it's also not nice to give you disrespect. That's why you have a carry on bag. I flew alone once, and I couldn't get everything up and down. A nice gentlemen helped be because the stewardess wouldn't. It was a short flight and I was going to a camp for the summer. I had to take a lot of stuff, I'm sure everyone thought I was annoying.
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Re: Cheap bento boxes, breakage, and kids

Postby MommaSith » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:45 pm

You could always use the generic "Food sensitivities" instead of diabetic. Almost everyone has something they're sensitive to, even if they haven't identified what it is yet :lol:
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