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The Tiffin Lunch Box

Updated on September 7, 2014

Eco-friendly tiffin lunch boxes are great for packing lunch for school or work!

Forget about brown bagging it! Bring a fantastic meal with you in a tiffin! Why waste paper and plastic to bring a lunch to the office or school? Re-usable food containers such as the tiffin are environmentally friendly, and stylish to boot.

The tiffin lunch box is a stacking stainless steel food container which has been used for years in India to bring healthy and delicious home-cooked meals to millions of businessmen and office workers across the country. The tiffin lunch box is similar to the Japanese bento box which has enjoyed wide-spread popularity throughout the world in recent years.

I love packing lunch in a bento box, but when I'm in the mood for a heartier meal, or one that includes stews or soups, the Indian tiffin lunch box is my top choice. Tiffin lunch boxes are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes suited to pack a lunch for one, or a picnic for the entire family! The tiffin keeps everything organized, cleans up easily in the dishwasher, and won't hold stains or odors like yucky plastic containers.

Thanks to psd on flickr for sharing this photo, CC licensing.

gamene on flickr put together this lovely dim sum tiffin lunch!  Shared with CC licensing.
gamene on flickr put together this lovely dim sum tiffin lunch! Shared with CC licensing.

What Can You Pack In a Tiffin? - Most any food your heart desires...

Tiffins are a stylish options for bringing an eco friendly lunch with you wherever you may be headed. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of yours...

  • The top tier in the tiffin is the least likely to leak. If you are packing soup in your tiffin, you should try to put it on the top.
  • In an insulated tiffin, hot food will stay hot for several hours. If you typically pack a lunch that needs to be kept warm, an insulated tiffin will work the best for your needs.
  • To keep cold food cold in a tiffin, fill the lower tier with ice cubes or reusable ice packs, and your salad will stay crisp and cool until lunch time rolls around.
  • Keep the tiffin upright! I have had very little trouble with liquids leaking, but if you toss it in a backpack on its side, full of soup, well, that could get messy!

Some Great Books for Tiffin Friendly Recipes

These cookbooks are a great source for recipes for your tiifin lunchbox. Sometimes a little inspiration is all I need to get out of a lunchtime rut.

Mountains of Tiffins Displayed in India!

thanks to mckaysavage on flickr for this picture, shared with CC Licensing.
thanks to mckaysavage on flickr for this picture, shared with CC Licensing.

Tiffins Being Demonstrated on YouTube

There is a website that I found that carries some really neat tiffin lunch boxes and tiffin sets called Happy Tiffin

The following videos demonstrate a few of the products that they sell. The big pyramidal tiffin is unlike any others that I have seen for sale. How about bringing one of those on your next picnic?

The large pyramid tiffin in the video holds an enormous amount of food! I think it's really nice how each tier of the tiffin has a lid which can double as a plate.

Insulated Tiffin Lunch Boxes on eBay

Traditionally, tiffins are not insulated, but I have recently stumbled across a variety of new designs that are coming onto the market. I especially love the double walled stainless steel tiffins because they keep hot food hot for several hours...

Dabawallas in India Deliver Tiffin Lunches - Home cooked meals are picked up in the suburbs and delivered to offices throughout the city

The Dabawallas in India deliver over 200,000 tiffin lunches everyday, with an error rate of less than one in a million!

Considering that most of the workers in the cooperative are illiterate, it's absolutely amazing what fantastic service they provide. The cost? About $5 USD per month.

I Love Tiffins - Thanks for stopping by...I'd love to hear what you think!

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    • profile image

      raju 2 years ago

      to know which is the best food in panipat, you are at the right place view more us at

    • profile image

      Edward Morneau 3 years ago

      Where can you fin 4-Tier carriers?

    • APackageAtTheDoor profile image

      APackageAtTheDoor 6 years ago

      Great idea! I've used something similar, but more square-shaped. I like these round ones.

    • vermontmom profile image

      vermontmom 6 years ago

      I'd never heard this term. Great lens and a great idea.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      These stacking lunch boxes are practical and great. These are quite common in Asia to separate rice from the main entrée and it keeps the food hot. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      ShellB 6 years ago

      What a cool different looking lunchbox!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I have seen these in the shops, they look great.

    • profile image

      jgelien 7 years ago

      I have never seen these before but I would love to have one. Great lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Asians have used tiffins very effectively for so many years now. Even in Cambodia, you often see women delivering lunches to their husbands working the farm. India is top, of course, with its own thousands of lunch tiffins delivered to all offices through an exceptional distribution systems.

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 7 years ago

      @LisaDH: I sure do wish we had dabbawallas where I live. It is quite an amazing system! least I have my tiffin collection :)

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      I saw these all over India when I was there, but never knew what they were called - or that you could buy them here!

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 7 years ago

      @julieannbrady: OH! OH! OH! Google Ms. Bento! Personally, we're trying to move away from plastic containers, so I didn't include them in my lens, but Zojirushi makes a product called Ms. Bento that has a stainless steel outer container and microwaveable tiers inside, it's pretty nifty!

      Thank you for stopping by...

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What an excellent product! I had never heard of these, but they are definitely going on my birthday and Christmas lists. I have one son who carries lunch every day (special diet), and mishaps are frequent. I believe he would LOVE to have one of these. I loved the inspirational video of the Dabawallas! Thumbs up.

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Tiffins are great! My kids love them because you can keep everything separated, so things aren't touching. They have actually become quite the hit at the kids feel like "trend-setters" because everyone is copying them! :)

      And the dabawallah's are amazing! I wish we had a system like that here! Maybe the obesity epidemic would be a thing of the past?

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      These look quite marvelous you know. I could think that someone like a Tiffany might have named these? You know, a good marketing slogan would be Tiffins by Tiffany or something? I had not heard of these before. I'd really love a stacking, microwaveable version. Thanks for dropping by today.

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 7 years ago

      @hayleylou lm: Thank you for stopping by :)

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 7 years ago

      @Rachel Field: Thanks! I love tiffins, but beware, once you get one you may become a collector!

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! I want one of these! Thanks for sharing

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 7 years ago

      These are a great idea, thumbs up :)