Having the perfect lunch bag or lunch box for kids can make all the difference to whether it comes home empty or full. Here is our 2018 Guide to Choosing the Best School Lunchbox for Kids!
What options are available?
From smart and stylish classic steel lunch boxes to insulated lunch bags, from gorgeous tempered glass good containers to snack bowls, and finally the ever-popular colourful bento box lunch box systems, there are so many varieties available so that every child will be able to find a lunch box that they will love.
It is completely up to personal preference, however below we have listed the pros and cons of each of these different lunch box designs.
Bento Lunch Boxes
These lunch systems deliver so many benefits.
Firstly, bento boxes are a great way to create a waste-free lunch for the kids. The sections organise and keep different food items secure so you can say bye-bye to snap lock bags.
Secondly, they allow you to pack endless combinations of healthy food that will look appetising through the use of different textures and colour combinations.
Finally, kids find packing bento boxes lots of fun with the designs' puzzle-like quality! Research shows that kids that pack their own lunch are more likely to finish their meal.
What to watch out for? Some brands' designs are not leak-proof therefore not appropriate for yoghurt or watery fruits. Further, if the brand is not dishwasher proof washing by hand can be a pain!
Here are 4 fantastic designs that tick all of the boxes to ensure packing, eating and cleaning is kept fuss-free:
Insulated Lunch Bags
An old favourite, insulated lunch bags are a trialled and tested design which is loved for its durability and versatility.
They can be easily washed in the washing machine, keep the food cold and fresh
Want to minimise waste? Use containers such as these Mini Snack boxes to compartmentalise the different foods!
Many parents also choose to get a lunch bag as well as a lunch box. This is to make sure the food in the lunchbox is kept fresh while staying waste-free.
Just beware of bulky bag designs - although these can sometimes be very cute they aren't the best when it comes to fitting these styles inside the school backpack.
Some of our favourite designs include:
Steel Lunch Boxes
Super durable, steel lunch boxes with proper car can last a lifetime! Further, steel lunch boxes are very eco-friendly. They offer you a non-toxic, chemical-free way of keeping your food nice and fresh.
On the market, there is the classic design but also some bento box stainless steel lunch box options available. Mini stainless steel container sets are also handy to store little snacks to keep in the swim or sports bag so that your child won't go hungry during school activities.
Some brands advise against putting their stainless steel lunch boxes in the dishwasher - so be sure to keep an eye out for those designs labelled as not dishwasher proof!
LunchBots guarantee that you can safely clean ALL of their stainless steel contains right in the dishwasher- even the lids! Shop their award-winning range online:
Containers & Snack Bowls
Handy for when you are on the go, whether it is a sport match or on the way to an after-school music lesson, small containers are perfect for keeping healthy snacks fresh.
These nesting snack boxes are also great to fit inside your lunch bags so that you can stay waste-free!
In particular, we love these super cute box sets which are 100% BPA free, dishwasher safe and suitable for use in the freezer:
How Big Should A Lunch Box Be?
This is a personal preference depending on how much your little one eats. It is always better to go larger than smaller to ensure it is a good investment as your child grows older.
Think of what you would typically pack - a sandwich, fruit, yoghurt, biscuits? From there you can estimate what size is right for your needs.
How Many Lunch Boxes Do You Need?
One lunch box should do the trick! You won't need to wash it every day - a quick rinse almost always does the job.
However, having small containers or boxes are super handy for after/before school activity snacks or some primary school children are required to have a different lunchbox for recess and lunch to make sure they eat the right food (i.e. not get full after eating all of the biscuits first!)
What Should You Pack?
We have some handy blog posts which are filled with a variety of recipes that are both healthy and fussy-eater proof!
One of our favourites is "8 ingredients, 24 different options". Trialled and tested by mum of five, Kelly McDonough, these lunch box ideas have been organised by age appropriateness to cater to different tastes, appetites and needs. Read now
Before purchasing a lunch box, here are some important points to consider:
- Is it BPA free? Make sure it is safe to store food inside.
- Is it easy to clean? Dishwasher safe lunch boxes are very practical, but if not just make sure it doesn't have too many complicated lids to navigate around when hand washing.
- Is it easy to store? Bulky lunch bags and boxes are not great for the cupboard or the school bag!
- What is the seal like? Choose one which will seal and kept an unwrapped item fresh - keep an eye out for good lids or durable zips.
- The banana test! Think of what food your child will eat the most. Does it fit within the dimensions? If not, you can always get a handy banana holder at the supermarket! No one likes a squished banana.
Ready to shop?
If you New Year's Resolution is to get organised, we have made this goal super easy to tick off with a great range of lunch boxes available to buy online!