Wednesday, August 6, 2014 / ... comments / healthy school lunches , lunch recipes , lunchbox
The Best Kids' Lunchboxes
It's funny, when I started the Yummy Mummy Kitchen blog, I didn't actually have any little eaters. I had one exclusively breastfeeding and really only cooked for my husband and myself, and our friends - especially for mommy happy hour. Now that I have a preschooler and (almost) first grader times have changed and I feel like a bit of a lunchbox expert. I've tried many different options over the past few years since my kids started preschool, so I thought I would share some of my favorites and the pros/cons for each one. I love hearing the tips from friends, so hopefully this helps some of you get ready for a new school year! These are in no particular order, so please read my thoughts below.
Here is what we have tried and what I think about them, in no particular order:
1. Lunchbots Stainless Steel Food Container. $21.99
This is a great little container for preschoolers, but probably too small for most elementary school children. I'm a big fan of stainless containers, even BPA-free plastics may not be safe. Personally I would rather just be on the safe side. After a year of use the top colored coating on ours is wearing off, but it's not a problem.
2. PlanetBox $59.95
Yes, it's a little pricey. However, the stainless container comes with the carrying case, so you won't have to buy a lunch box in addition to a food container. This is my #1 favorite and I've noticed my kids are eating so much better now that we have this. I wish I had bought it sooner instead of spending so much trying various other containers.
3. Bumpkins Reusable Snack Bags $6.95 for a set of 2
Plastic bags are not allowed at our preschool and for that I am thankful. You'll save money and be more earth friendly with reusable bags. I wash mine in the washing machine.
4. Laptop Lunches Bento Ware $14.99
This is a popular choice and BPA-free, but again, personally I'm trying to stay away from plastics.
5. Lunchbots Insulated $29.99
Okay, this is a MUST HAVE. I send quite a lot of hot foods to school with my girls and want them to stay hot. Soups, pasta, fish sticks, etc. Tall narrow thermos type containers are difficult for small children to eat from. I LOVE these short wide containers that keep their hot food hot. When I use this, I also send the small Lunchbots container for side foods like fruits, veggies, cheese, and crackers).
6. ECO Lunchbox 3-in-1 Bento Style Lunchbox $26.00
I really wanted to love this one and bought it because it was cheaper than the PlanetBox. It is a great way to contain a sandwich on the bottom layer, and side snacks on the top layer, but it's difficult and confusing for children to open and close.
7. EasyLunchboxes $13.95 for a set of 4
I used these for much of the last school year and the compartments work very well for a sandwich or salad and snacks. They are the most affordable and easy for kids to open and close. These containers do not fit in many of the smaller lunchboxes - I had to cut a divider in ours out to fit the EasyLunchbox in. These are BPA-free, but as I mentioned, I'm using that BPA-free plastics less and less.
Need help with what to pack? Here are some ideas.
What are your favorite lunch containers? Let us know in the comments!