My oldest starts kindergarten in a few days which has a few significant changes from preschool last year.
1) He’ll be going to school every day.
2) The school day is 2 hours longer than preschool.
3) He’ll need to bring a lunch.
It’s this last one I’ve been thinking about recently. Though we have a few random lunch bags that we use for park picnics and lunch playdates, my son doesn’t have a good lunch box. I especially was interested in one that wouldn’t require 5+ plastic bags every day to wrap up the assortment of snacks and nibbles inside. I wanted it to be compact, be able to hold a variety of types of foods and be good for the Earth.† And turns out, there are a number of good options. I’d like to introduce you to a few of them (plus give you some discounts!): Easy Lunch Box, Lunchopolis, and Goodbyn.
The name really says it all for the Easy Lunch Box. Each set comes with a four BPA-free plastic storage containers that each have three compartments – one large, one medium and one small. I love the simplicity of not having to worry about separate containers for packing, washing or storing. Just load the different compartments up, press on the lid and throw it in the included cooler bag. You can even fit up to three containers in one bag making it ideal for bringing lunch for multiple children. If you’re just using it for one child, a single container leaves plenty of room in the cooler for a drink, ice pack, silverware and a piece of fruit. The lids are not leakproof (though they do have a handy trick for carrying foods like yogurt), but they are easy for small fingers to open – important when choosing what containers you send with your child to school. The set is also pretty darn affordable.
Love: Simplicity of packing, clean-up, storage; cooler bag has room to allow for other things beyond containers; vivid color selection; also love their slideshow of great lunch ideas
Lunchopolis by New Wave Enviro
Lunchopolis keeps it simple – one lead-free cooler, 4 color-tinted BPA-free modular containers (p.s. they nest inside themselves for storage), and one color-tinted drink bottle. I really like how compact Lunchopolis is. It fits well into my son’s backpack and is easy for his little hands to hold.
Knowing how much running and playing my son tends to do during the day, I like that the drink container holds 15 oz (compared to Goodbyn’s 8 oz). The insulated interior of the bag keeps the food cool with the help of an ice pack (not included) slipped into the inner pocket and even with the 4 containers and drink container, there is still room to hold an apple or kiwi.
Love: compact; larger included drink container; color-coded containers keep lunches for multiple kids separate;
Price: $29.99 for the whole set; get 10% off Lunchopolis at www.healthylifewater.com with the code “MWS10” (also currently offering free shipping!)
Goodbyn‘s lunch containers are like an eco-friendly, compartmentalized, sturdy Tupperware and lunch bag in one. The molded plastic unit comes in two sizes (Bynto and Original) and each has multiple compartments, a drink container and a built-in handle so you don’t need an additional bag to carry the lunch box. One less thing to get dirty or lose! Goodbyns come in 6 colors and each includes a collection of dishwasher-safe stickers to turn your Goodbyn into an animal, alien or just a personalized design.
My 5-year-old had no problem opening the lid (though on the larger Original Goodbyn, it took some practice to get him to effectively reseal the lid all the way around when he was finished). He was thrilled with discovering what surprises filled each compartment and loved being able to decorate the outside as he saw fit. And these aren’t just for kids – Goodbyn are a great option for bringing your lunch to work too.
Love: all-in-oneness; included stickers to decorate and personalize; one-piece lid effectively separates food; durable plastic; internal space to hold drink container
Price: Original $25.95; Bynto $16.95 but special for MWS readers get 15% off your order when you use the code “MWS2011” at checkout. Good through September 30, 2011.
I’ve got the lunch box. Now to figure what to pack in it everyday….
What’s your favorite lunch box?
Disclaimer: Companies provided product samples to facilitate this review.