Best Lunch Box for Preschoolers?

Updated on May 30, 2013
M.3. asks from Eglin AFB, FL
12 answers

Hi all ! My daughter will starting VPK in August and since the school year is just ending I thought it would be fresh on everyone's mind of what kind of Lunch box/bag worked best for your preschooler and what features you enjoyed or hated? Also, do you feel it kept the food cool enough until they had lunch? Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated :) btw: I did search similar questions on here before I asked but they were not current & I thought something new might have come out or just tried with new thoughts...

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answers from Indianapolis on

I found this cute article . She took pics very cute. I found similar containers at Target, TJ Max, Marshall's. The even have ones with ice packs that you could put in the fridge. I bought the variety pack for 15. Most will fit in a regular lunchbox. Most kids don't like their food to touch. I also like that she had a ton of ideas for lunches.

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answers from Washington DC on


We use a lunch box that has a second zipper compartment on the bottom, and we put a freezer pack in the bottom. The freezer pack is still cold when he gets home in the afternoon. Also, we used a lunch box last year that had a difficult try out the zipper before you buy it (maybe even have your daughter try it out at the store)!


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answers from Miami on

Let her pick out her lunch box. There are tons out there and if you wait until July/August they go on sale at Toys R Us.

We've been "packing" for two years now and love the Rubbermaid LunchBlox sets. They come in all kinds of sizes and configurations so you can mix-and-match to fit into the lunch box itself. They are easy to open and come with a freezer pack that "fits and locks" into the pieces so that it keeps things cold.

Invest in a Frogoo thermos. LOVE it! If I put ice in it in the morning, it's still in there in the afternoon. We also use peel-and-stick labels from Name Super cheap and they never come off of the containers- dishwasher safe!!

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answers from Grand Forks on

The best is the most inexpensive you can find. Even in Kindergarten and grade one they will get lost or something will spill in it that completely ruins it (every so often my kids would put an open pudding/yogurt/milk back into their lunch bag and it would be a huge, smelly mess), and it will need to be replaced. I know Dollarama sells some Thermos brand lunch bags for $2. If a $2 lunch bag gets lost or ruined nobody will be terribly upset.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think the two most important features are that it's easy for your child to use and easy to clean.
I would just start with the basic insulated bag that folds over and closes with velcro (shaped like a paper bag.)
The "cute" ones for kids often have zippers and containers that are hard for little ones to open and close so you end up with lots of spills and stinky messes.
And a partially frozen water bottle makes for a cold drink and ice pack all in one!



answers from Tampa on

We have to pack lunch for our kids for daycare. Our almost 4yr old loves her Skiphop lunchbag. We include an ice pack as needed. For hot foods we use a Foogo thermos. For things like yogurt, we get the tube kind and freeze. It thaws by lunchtime and still stays cold.



answers from New York on

Any kind of insulated bag. You can always put an ice pack in if you want to.



answers from Dallas on

We use the Go Green Lunchbox and it is awesome! It's a bit $$ to start off but this lunchbox really lasts. We had our last one for 4yrs before a bully this year destroyed it. (UGH!) The great part is that everything has it's own area and nothing spills. You name it, I have packed it and nothing has ever spilled out of it's individual spot. Plus no more plastic baggies! Check for discounts.



answers from Washington DC on

Ask if they have a fridge.

I bought a yubo lunchbox for DD and it will be her lunchbox next year. The cooler pack did keep the lunch cool without taking a lot of space, but I'm not entirely convinced it was worth the cost (I got it on a Mamapedia deal discount). We hardly use the containers that came with it.

Most of the kids at preschool have insulated bags of some sort. Several times DD took my spare lunch sized igloo lunchbox (soft sided) and that worked fine, too. Whatever you get, make sure that your child knows how to open all the containers and the lunchbox itself.

That said, the funtainer drink container was a favorite, hand's down. Easy for kids to use, keeps things cool, and easy to take apart for cleaning. I will buy more. If you are not going to use drink boxes, I highly recommend the funtainer.

(And I label everything via Mabel's Labels.)



answers from Detroit on

our lands end lunch box is great.. but it was $20++ and the spiderman one for $8 at target is fine too.

I wouldn't spend a ton of in a year or two the lunch box will be yucky and be put in the trash.



answers from Tallahassee on

My daughter is in kindergarten and uses an Igloo lunch bag. It has held up really well all year and still looks almost brand new and the zipper closure still works great. I pack her lunch with a Rubbermaid Blue Ice pack (the kind in the bag that is flexible when not frozen) on the side and a Blue Ice block (encased in harder/stiff plastic) on the bottom. Both ice packs are still partially frozen when I unpack her lunch bag in the evening so I know it's keeping her food nice and cold through lunchtime.

FYI - we tried a PackIt lunch bag before (has a freezer gel in some of the sides of the actual lunch bag which makes it pretty heavy - you fold up the lunch bag and put the whole thing in the freezer) and although it is a neat concept, the bag just didn't hold up well and it didn't stay cold enough for very long. I bought the one that we had about 1 1/2 - 2 years ago, so it's possible that they may have changed the design since then. Our PackIt had a Velcro closure and it stopped sticking together after a few months of only using it about 2 times per week. I expected far more from a $20 lunch bag.

Also, I would forego being tempted by any special character lunch bags. My daughter had a princess one at the beginning of the school year that came with her backpack and it didn't last 2 weeks before it had holes in it and the zipper broke (her backpack didn't last much longer either, but that's another story).



answers from Honolulu on

Just make SURE it is insulated.
And, buy some "blue ice" ice packs to keep the contents cold.
And, make sure that the lunch bag is lead-free. Some of them have designs/print on them in which the ink has lead in it.

Just get a lunch bag... that your Preschooler CAN open and CLOSE, on their own. That is one of the most important things.
I work at my kids' school, and SO often, the kids CANNOT even open or close their own lunch bags. With their tiny hands.
So think of that too.

A lunch bag, HAS TO HAVE, a blue-ice ice pack in it.
I see so many kids at my kids' school, that have NO ice packs in it. Then their food at lunch is all warm and not good anymore. Parents put in perishable food in their lunch bags, and with no ice-packs. Totally thoughtless. And there have been times, that we had to tell the kids that their food is spoiled now. Because their parent put no ice-pack in their lunch bag. One kid even had dairy and left over fish, in his lunch bag. And NO ice-pack. Ugh. We had to throw it away.

EVEN if a lunch bag is insulated... you NEED to also put a blue-ice ice pack in the lunch bag. To keep the contents cold. Then it will last until lunch time.

And, make SURE you label your kids' lunch bag... with a Sharpie Pen.
Because, other kids may have the same lunch bag.
And also, young kids or any kid for that matter, often "forget" their lunch bag or even where they put it. Everyday, kids lose their lunch bags.
I see it myself.

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