Laptop Lunchbox

Portable bento

Since I started using this bento-style lunchbox to take meals to work, I’ve become much more particular about what I eat. Never one to spend much time in the kitchen, I tend to eat too much junk food. Now that I present my meals in an appealing way, I’m eating better. The Mr. Bento Lunch Jar has good presentation capabilities, but I found it difficult to fill up in such a way I did not have way too much food or a lot of unused space. The Laptop Lunchbox is the perfect size: I carry a little under 600 calories, just enough to get through a work day (sandwich, nuts, apples, carrots, hummus). Unlike the Mr. Bento, this lunchbox doesn’t keep things hot, but the containers are microwave-safe.

The box is 9″ x 7″ x 2″ and holds four main containers, two that are 4.5″ x 3″ x 1.75″ (volume each: ~1 cup) and two that are 2″ x 3″ x 1.75″ (volume each: ~1/2 cup). There’s also a small dip container that is 1.5″x1″x1.5″, which goes into one of the other containers. Only the dip container and one of the larger containers has a lid, so you have to use mostly non-liquid foods. The lid of the outer box rests nearly flush with the tops of the inner containers, so small items don’t fly around even if you hold the lunchbox sideways. I usually leave out one large container and put a sandwich there instead (cut in thirds, it fits better and looks quite nice on display). It’s somewhat marketed for kids. I’ve seen reviews from users who send one with their 2-year-old’s to daycare — a bit surprising considering how much it holds — but the site sells more adult-appropriate bags and additional containers. They also offer an insulated Bento Sleeve with Ice Pack, which I would consider if I didn’t have a fridge in my office.

Having been pushed into the prepare-my-own-food mindset, I’m actually starting to cook more for other meals. I even bought a rice cooker and immersion blender. It’s been somewhat life-changing. I’m not the only one: There’s a Flickr pool for Laptop Lunches.

-- Maria Blees 02/27/08

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