Kristina was given a SmartPlanet Pure Glass Bento Container in exchange for the opportunity to review it honestly. All opinions are her own. And they're giving one to you, too! Scroll down for details on how to enter to win.
It's no secret that I love saving money, avoiding food waste, and feeding my family healthy meals. One super simple way to do that is to send leftovers to work with my husband for his lunch.
But therein lies a problem - one you may have encountered, too. Not everything reheats well, tastes good the next day, or transports easily. Through the years I've learned a thing or two about what's worth sending off to work with him, and what's better left in the fridge or freezer to be repurposed another way.
If you're hoping that your husband (or, let's be honest, yourself!) will be more open to transporting leftovers to work, I've got some tips.
Choose visually appealing meals.
Things don't look quite as delicious the next day, no matter what you do. We eat with our eyes first, so if you pack colorful, visually appealing meals you - or your husband - will be more likely to eat it instead of running to the local sandwich shop.
Choose meals that he enjoys.
If your husband is all "meh" about dinner on the night you serve it, it's going to be double "meh" by the next afternoon. Don't badger him to take a meal that he doesn't really like.
Invest in a good container.
You need a good container that fits your lifestyle. I love bento containers that have multiple sections for food, but many of them are either plastic (not the healthiest option if you're reheating due to chemical leeching) or stainless steel (can't microwave these). I prefer glass containers, but found myself packing several of them for one meal.
I was given the opportunity to check out this glass bento from SmartPlanet and I jumped at the opportunity! It's got two separate wells (perfect for most of our meals), holds enough food to satisfy my husband's appetite, and is microwavable.
Plus, it didn't leak. That's always a plus. (Note, the central divider does not come all the way to the top so if you transport this container carelessly it's possible that the foods will slosh over into each other. But they won't leak out the top, which is the most important part in my opinion.)
Since receiving it, I've been using this container exclusively to pack my husband's lunch. No more armful of mismatched containers to wash at the end of the day, no need to warn him to "be careful so it doesn't dump out in your bag," and no words of caution about transferring the food to a plate prior to reheating. It's really been the one-size-fits-all lunch container that we've been looking for!
Pack foods that have similar reheat times.
If you pack a grilled chicken breast and mashed potatoes, by the time the potatoes are finally heated through the chicken is going to be way overdone, dry, and tough. Packing foods that reheat similarly will mean they all come out tasty by the time the buzzer on the microwave goes off.
Pack higher-fat foods.
I think most of us know by now that fat isn't the enemy, right? When reheating foods, they have a tendency to dry out. Packing foods that have a higher fat content decrease the likeliness that they'll be tasteless and rubbery by the time they're heated. Foods like casseroles, meatballs, soups, and chilis are usually great the next day.