During the school year, my morning routine includes packing lunch boxes for my three kids. It’s important to me that they head off to school with a hearty and nutritious lunch that they actually want to eat. Too many times, one of them has returned home with a lunch box that is nearly full! I’ve learned that having the right lunch box and lunch accessories is an essential piece to my packing regime, one I take pride in. When food stays the right temperature and doesn’t slide around and become a blended up mess, they are likely to dig in and enjoy, and that makes me happy.
I’ve tried many different lunch boxes, and here’s just a few of my newest favorites.
Bento style boxes have worked out well for my older kids. Their school day is long, and they need a few snacks in addition to food for lunch time. I like to pack a variety to keep them interested like sushi, fruit and cut up veggies so the individual bento boxes give me lots of options. They also love opening up this “laptop” style case because it’s colorful and fun.
PlanetBox is another eco-friendly option that is, as the company refers to it, part bento box part TV tray. If your kids are anything like mine, they love when everything is in its own container (not to mention, it eliminates the need for baggies). With three size options and cool magnet designs to personalize your box, you can find the right fit for your child. Because it’s made with stainless steel, it’s definitely heftier than a lunch bag, but you won’t have to worry about smashed sandwiches in this box. Another key point, my five-year-old could handle the latch by himself.
I find having extra containers very helpful for packing the main course like a grilled cheese or something I want to keep completely separate from the rest of the lunch. They also come in handy for packing snacks for the park. These SIGG boxes are practical and versatile, made from their signature aluminum with a liner that is BPA- and phthalate-free. They come in a regular and a mini size.
My preschooler doesn’t need as many frills when it comes to her lunch. She loves holding her own lunch bag when we head off to school, and being able to hang it on her designated hook in her classroom is an absolute must. She has been loving her Dabbawalla lunch bag because, well, its just so darn cute. And the fact that I can toss it in the washer and it comes out looking virtually brand new is a total bonus!
We featured this mealtime set earlier in the week, and it’s another option for smaller lunches that even includes plastic ware that snaps conveniently into the lid.
Now what should you do with your liquids? While the PlanetBox has optional dipper containers, which are great for dips and cold wet food, you’ll need something else for your drink and if you want to pack any hot food.
The great thing about these stainless steel bottles from Thermos is that they have great insulation. This bottle boasts it can keep liquids cool for 12 hours. The button opening is easy for even little fingers to pop open, and it helps keep the straw clean. It is available in pretty colors and plenty of licensed character options.
Another great go-to during lunch time is this vacuum insulated food jar, Dine, from ZoLi. I use it to pack soups, pasta or any meal that I need to stay warm for hours. The modern designs and bold color options are nice because I like to designate each child with a color to keep organized.
What are your go-to lunch containers? Check out our Back-to-School Backpack Roundup for more great ideas.
To ensure these products fit our readers’ needs,
Project Junior received a sample for review.