Monday, September 5, 2011

Lunch Box Reviews

A couple of years ago, I decided to make our lunches a little less wasteful and more environmentally friendly.  We had lunch boxes, but we usually bagged everything into plastic baggies that were thrown away.  They also brought individual juice boxes.

I wish I could say that this was all because I am so environmentally conscious, but I think I was motivated as much by saving money.  Nice Ziploc baggies and individual 100% juice boxes are pricey.

Of course, I was also inspired by lunches like this (courtesy of

Part of me hoped that "if I bought the container, the cool lunches would come."  Sadly, it doesn't work like that :).  However, I figured that at least I can be more thrifty and environmentally conscious, right?

I set my parameters--my ideal lunch box system would be: inexpensive, versatile, sturdy and flexible.

Since I have four kids who needed lunchboxes and and I wasn't sure what I would end up liking, I bought the following systems:

1.  For Sophie, I bought the Fit and Fresh lunch box (similar to the one below).  The one I bought came with an insulated bag (we kind of bought it for the bag, since it had peace signs--Sophie's favorite--all over it). It cost approximately $8 at Marshalls.
Fit & Fresh Lunch on the Go (Colors May Vary)
2.  I bought The Easy Lunchbox containers and two Easy Lunchbox black insulated bags for Brendan and Damon.  They were approximately $13 for four containers and lids, and about $8 more for each insulated bag.
EasyLunchboxes 3-compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers (Set of 4)
EasyLunchboxes Insulated Lunch Box Cooler Bag, Black
3.  I splurged and bought the Go Green Lunch Box for Lukas.  It was the most pricey of all the lunch boxes at $33 plus shipping, but it did include a nice stainless water bottle, and some other cool features, like leak-proof, silicone sealed compartments and a whiteboard message board inside the bag.

Shockingly, all of the lunch boxes survived the whole year.  Either my kids are becoming more responsible, or they actually took all my steely-eyed warnings to not lose their lunch boxes seriously for a change :).

The most important question is, which lunch system did I like best?

I think the short answer is: the Easy Lunchboxes.  They were cheap, surprisingly durable and their shape allowed me to pack either a sandwich or a main course/leftover meal with equal ease.  The other compartments were reserved for veggies/fruit and a treat.  I also bought Rubbermaid's reusable juice boxes from The Container Store so the kids could have drinks from home.
Litterless Juice Boxes

However, there are some things to add.

I loved the Go Green lunch box's design that allowed for a leak-proof seal.  Unfortunately, it was hard for Lukas to seal it properly on his own.  There are four flaps around the sides that have to be closed, and then a center knob that has to be turned for the thing to be leak-proof.  Lukas almost never managed to close all four flaps on his own, so this negated the whole leak-proof advantage.  The message board was really cool, though.  Also, there is more space than any school-age kid really needs in the Go Green lunch box.  I think this would be great for an adult's lunch box, though--since they would be eating more and be capable of closing the lunch box properly.

Sophie liked her "Fit and Fresh" container.  We augmented it with a sandwich container from the Dollar Spot at Target, or a Lock & Lock or other plastic food storage container for a salad or main dish.  It worked well, but it was kind of fiddly to have to look for so many pieces every day.

Anyway, I hope my trial and error can help someone else who is trying to find the "perfect" lunchbox system.  Happy lunching!


  1. The line about "steely glares" reminded me of the commercials when GladWare first came out; there was a scene with a mom chaining her Tupperware to her kid's wrist or something, and the voice over said "Now you don't have to worry about whether the plasticware makes it home or not." Or something. haha

  2. I have lunch box shame now!! I just use plain old tupperware boxes for my childrern' lunches!!! I just got fed up of the other ones breaking and snapping. Grrrrr.

    These sound great though! Thank you so much for some fab ideas!


  3. I bought Pack It Freeze & Go lunchboxes in the spring for my boys, as I knew we'd need to pack their lunch every day in the summer. But I too was using the ziploc baggies and really hated throwing them out every evening. Thanks for the suggestion of the Easy Lunchbox containers -- my oldest has asked to pack his lunch more often, and those look like they'll work great with his lunchbox.

  4. We really love the easy lunchboxes. The bags they make can fit three containers, which is great for family picnics and road trips.


Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!