The bentō box is the Japanese equivalent of the lunchbox, though it tends to be much more aesthetically pleasing, and varies significantly in what it contains.

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For home preparation, lacquered wood is still a common choice for bentō boxes.

Semi-disposable ones made of Styrofoam can be purchased at restaurants and convenience stores, and some people prefer stainless steel types for long-term use.

It comes with the works — a salad dressing vial, stainless steel cutlery, food dividers, and a microwave valve. So, it's totally fine if you cheat a little as you pack that lunch — just take out the tray!

BUY NOWFor a half-day at preschool, your toddler probably needs just one midmorning snack.

It doesn't make a difference if your child would rather stand out with a bright bento box, or slink away in the cafeteria corner with a brown bag — there's a lunch organizer for every kind of kiddo!

Don't forget, your picky eater might be afraid to admit to trashing the lunch you spent time packing.Offer a variety of options with this spacious, five-compartment bento.There's enough room for a sammie and a dessert at lunch, plus extra nibbles if your kid stays after school for sports or other extracurricular activities.Homemakers often pride themselves on filling boxes for their children, or for their families on a picnic that are not just delicious but also aesthetically beautiful.Yet there was a time period in Japan, particularly after WWII, that bringing a bentō box to school was discouraged.A student might take a bentō box to school, but he or she eats bentō for lunch.