Frequently Asked Questions

When selecting our lunch gear, we are considering the hungry student or worker - who has only time to make 20 minute lunches. As well, we’ve considered the North American meal size and thus chose lunch gear that suit the North American appetite.

That being said, the lunch gear offered here have sufficient portion sizes for anyone trying to watch their weight.

How should I select the right lunch gear to purchase?

You need to consider who the lunch gear is for. We offer different sizes and colors of lunch gear for the whole family – mom, dad, teen, youth and baby. You need to also consider the type of lunch gear. If you usually make sandwiches for lunch, then a leak-proof lunch box is not of high priority.

Consider if you or the person you are purchasing the lunch gear for prefers hot or cold drinks. If he or she prefers hot or cold foods. If they prefer food compartmentalized. We have a wide range of products to choose from. If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly help you choose the right gear.

What is a bento?

Bento is what the Japanese call a packed meal in a box, usually lunch. Bento boxes have internal dividers, and sometimes several stacked layers, so different kinds of food sit in their own little compartments. Since most of the products offered on our site are made in Japan, generally speaking they are called Bento boxes. For more ideas of what a Bento Lunch is, visit us at our blog.

Are the plastics in your lunch boxes BPA free?

The parts of plastic lunch boxes that touch food from known Japanese manufacturers are generally manufactured using three types of plastic: polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP) which is used for the flexible inner lids or the main lids, or a compound of PET and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) called PET-A which is usually used for the lunch box and outer lid.

Most good quality lunch gear is microwave-safe/dishwasher safe, but always be careful to read the 'Care & Use' section for each product on the website. I highly recommend placing lunch gear on the top-rack of the dishwasher or hand washing.

Are there other alternatives to plastic lunch boxes?

Lunch boxes are also available in stainless steel, aluminum and wood.

If you are worried about using plastic products, then we highly recommend purchasing our stainless steel or aluminum models. However, neither stainless steel nor aluminum are microwavable. Good stainless steel lunch boxes are generally more expensive than plastic, but will last years with proper care.

The stainless steel lunch gear offered here are of high grade 18/8 stainless steel. So if you are weary of plastic lunch gear, this is a great alternative. A little more expensive than your regular plastic gear, but these will last you a lifetime.

Aluminum gear is also a good alternative to plastic. They are light-weight and usually dishwasher safe (check instructions) however, they easily dent compared to stainless steel and may give off a slight taste if packing prepared dishes with strong odors.

Wood lunch boxes offered here from Japan are of the highest quality. You do have to take care of it by washing it separately and drying it well between uses, but it should last forever if handled gently.

Is silicon cookware safe?

Silicone coatings are resistant to extremes in temperatures: from -40°C to +300°C (-40°F to 446°F). This makes silicone cookware suitable for fridge to stovetop/microwave to freezer and can help reduce the need for plastic wrap and foil. Silicone rubber does not react with food, liquids and most chemicals, or offgas hazardous fumes over its life and while in use.

It's stain resistant, very flexible, doesn't hold odors from food, lightweight and recyclable. The silicon cups sold here are for baking and or packing food into lunch boxes. They are handy to keep foods separated and look adorable when eating lunch.

Can I put these products in the microwave?

Some of the plastic lunch gear is microwavable. BUT, you must read the 'Care & Use' instructions for each product carefully. If you are weary of plastic, I highly recommended not putting it in the microwave or dishwasher. It takes a little more time to hand wash, but then you are sure of keeping the plastic scratch free and thus having no chemicals leaching out.

What are the benefits of packing a lunch in one of your products?

The benefits of packing a lunch are plentiful. Mostly though, they are healthy in the sense that you can only eat what is in the lunch box. It greatly restricts the amount of food you eat. Convenient if you are trying to watch your weight.

They are also economical if you are trying to keep the cost of your daily lunches at a minimum. This goes for kids with hot lunches at school as well as dad’s and mom’s at work.

They also have the advantage of being environmentally friendly. Think of all the take-out packages you are saving from being dumped in the garbage!

Do you ship in the US?

Yes, we ship in the Contiguous United States. Unfortunately at the moment we do not ship to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Do you ship internationally?

International shipping will be available through our US online store by the end of fall 2017.

If I am not satisfied with a product, can I return it?

Absolutely! If you are not satisfied, send us an email with your reason and we will refund or replace the products promptly. We do however, have a general refund policy. See below.

What is the warranty?

Please see our warranty section for more information.

What is your return policy?

Please see our free return policy for more information.

Will I pay custom charges because these lunch boxes are from Japan?

If you are ordering from Canada, since the products are shipped from Montreal, there are no customs charges. If indicated, our products also ship from a warehouse in the USA. If that is the case there are no customs charges. However, if you are ordering from the United States or another country, your order may be subject to taxes and custom tariffs.

Since these products are mostly imported from Japan, how can I read the product descriptions and warnings, if any?

Lunch-a-Porter provides detailed English instructions which can be found on the website when you click on each product listed. Each product is also shipped with English instructions on Materials & Care of the product.

Why are your prices so high?

Well, I wish I could offer them for cheaper. Consider though they are being bought in and shipped all the way from Japan. Next, we have to pay duty and taxes as they arrive in Canada. Add the exchange rate, and there you have the price.

Most importantly, the products sold on this site are of very good quality. They are not Dollar store quality. They are also tested by myself, my partner Rika in Japan (who by the way, is very difficult to please since she lives in Japan and gets to try out every new lunch product that is offered to the Japanese market), as well as friends and family. If it doesn't pass the friends and family test, it doesn't get sold on the site!

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Are they BPA Free?

Most containers, when not used in the microwave are theoretically safe. If you need to warm up your meal in the lunch container you purchase, then read the ‘MATERIALS & CARE’ section for each product carefully. When a product is guaranteed BPA free, it will be mentioned. When in doubt, consult the recycling logo on the bottom of the product. If the numbers 1, 2, 3 or 5 appear in the center, there should be no worries. Be aware of #7 plastics that may contain BPA.

How does it help to manage portion control?

Lunch boxes are great because they have built in portion controls, ideal if you are dieting or watching your weight. Most lunch boxes will tell you exactly how much food you can fit in. The number of milliliters (ml) that a box can hold corresponds roughly to the number of calories it holds. I have also approximated the amounts in cups.

What about for kids with small hands?

Some of our products, like our ‘Tattoo Collection’ is difficult for small hands to open. My son absolutely wanted to bring one to school but his little hands can’t get to the clip (and he is 8 years old). I showed him a trick to open it, but you may want to think about the ease of opening for some of the lunch boxes before purchasing for children.

What if you Can't Find What you are Looking for?

For further help with choosing suitable products, please do not hesitate to ask me. You can reach me by email or by telephone. We are located in Montreal, Canada, so will get back to you as soon as the sun rises.

Do not hesitate to contact us.

Tel.: 1.514.344.4338

Do you offer wholesale?

We do offer wholesale pricing on Japanese products. Contact us for more information.

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