Lunch box buying tips

As you will know if you follow me on Instastories I have been obsessed with lunch boxes as Ruby starts school this year. I have poor Michelle tormented so I asked her to put together her top tips;

This is a very brief post about lunch boxes. I have used many lunch boxes and bags over the years, some good and some not.  Lunch bags didn’t work for our house once my children started ‘big school’.

My children prefer having the lunch box in their school bag – as it frees up their hands for dragging their coat along the ground as they come out of school and the other hand holds the artwork that needs to be hung on the fridge or the plant that I need to keep alive.

They all have big back packs with a number of pockets so the lunch box fits in easily, we always go for Jansport.  They take water bottles that fit in the side pocket of their bag.  I’d advise you to get a bottle with spout, there might be a chance that this will be closed!

For me, the ideal lunch box needs to be

  • Reusable
  • be able to keep the food fresh
  • no need to use sandwich bags
  • have separate compartments
  • prevent food from being squashed
  • leak proof
  • bpa free
  • easy to clean
  • easy for them to open and close

These are the three that we use the most often –

Sistema Lunch Triple Split with Yoghurt Pot (2 litre)

I bought these a few years ago and it’s my favourite for a few reasons – it’s easy to open, everything is in one place which is important when there is a limited time for lunch.   The two smaller compartments are great for fruit or vegetable sticks and you can include some crackers/bread sticks on the other side.  Either small section can fit a small apple.

This lunch box comes with a small container that can be used for hummus or yogurt, this can fit in the larger area with a sandwich. (or it fits in either small compartment)

The larger area is also suitable for a pasta salad, and it can fit cutlery. There is no need to use sandwich bags, it’s very easy to clean and fits nicely in their school bag.    This lunch box has ‘grown with my children’, it’s used by all 4 from the 6 year old to the 14 year old.

I use these all year round except when I give them hot food.

Thermos stainless King Food Flask (470 ml)

I bought 4 of these two years ago and have I find them great for the colder months.  I fill it with soup, pasta and some homemade sauce/ pasta bologneise/ rice with vegetables.  Once you heat the flask for 10 minutes in the morning with hot water prior to putting the food in, then it stays warm all day.  The spoon can be tricky so I normally include a regular spoon in their bag.   On the days that this is used, I include an apple or a small container with fruit in their bag as well.

Sistema Lunch Slimline Quaddie (1.5L)

This is my younger children’s favourite.  This comes with a drink bottle that fits in the larger top compartment but my children found this too awkward and they kept forgetting to close the bottle.  I put different snack type lunch bits in this one.  A sandwich/wrap will fit in the lower section.  The top will hold a variety of chopped up fruit/crackers etc.  It cleans easily but putting the different pieces back together takes a bit longer…aka…..not my favourite.

So there you go, top tips from one who has plenty of experience. I have of course completely ignored her tips most likely to my detriment in favour of using her lunch box she had last year and the nude food tubes she can open and close. I picked up a soft foldy lunch bag to pop it all into and hope that will do the trick. As she’s starting ensuring she can open and close the boxes was my priority. Plus it’s not another new thing for her to get used to. We use the sistema bottles.

Here’s a post about lunchbox filler ideas we did last year, we’ll be sure to do another in a few weeks for primary school but these are all very valid for both.