Lunch Boxes

Updated on July 03, 2013
R.W. asks from San Mateo, CA
14 answers

Do you have a lunch box for your child that you love? Is it easy to clean, easy to open, and keeps the food cold until lunch time? Do you have one that you dislike? I am searching for a good lunch box for my son, and would like to hear from the experts about what is working in your family.
If you have a lunch box that you like, and can tell me where you got it, so much the better. :)
Happy Summer.

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answers from Sacramento on

I got my daughter an aluminum personalized lunchbox from last year and it is awesome.

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answers from Washington DC on

I don't have one yet, but I have been eyeing one for my kids. It's called a planet box. They are stainless steel and have little compartments for the food. No plastic is used and they come with an insulated carying case. I think they are around $60, but you can just wash them and use them again. They won't get stinky or moldy either. I really want one for my kids, but they are expensive. We currently have just a target lunch box that is padded. After a while they start to stink even though I try to wash them out. Here is the link for the planet box:

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answers from Washington DC on

My daughter took leftovers almost every day. I heated them in the morning and put them in a wide mouth thermos. She took everything from spaghetti to chicken and stuffing.
Keeping things cold was not an issue.
She had various lunch boxes, but I'll list the most recent.
She had the Lands End lunchbox in middle school. It was ok. Someone stole it.
She had the LLBean lunch box in middle school and part of high school. It was better. My husband uses it now and finds it very good.
She had a neoprene zip top lunch bag from Walmart. (She kept forgetting her lunchbox at school, so I bought these for $3.) My son liked them, and switched from his old black LLBean. It was terrific. It would stretch to accommodate her lunch when needed. She ran winter track. She needed more food, so I'd stuff that thing full!


answers from Santa Fe on

We love GoGreen lunch boxes. They have a nice design and are sturdy.



answers from New York on

We have a neoprene bag and it works well. I put a small frozen block in and it.keeps her lunch nice and cold. It is fast to wash. It can be turned inside out., and getting it wet is not a problem. After neoprene is what wet suits are made from. It is also light weight and stores flat when not in use.

We used to used one that was a nylon (?) shell over a hard plastic box but the plastic cracked at the corners.

Good luck!

ETA: the bag has a zipper closure that is very easy for my then 4 now 5 year old to open and close.



answers from Chicago on

A NeopreneBagWwith A Frozen Water bottle



answers from Sacramento on

I've tried a lot over the years. My favorite has been the Thermos eS (or is it e5...hard to tell). It has a little front pocket (for a love note), a hard inner liner that is so easy to scrub out, and a top 'hatch' for dropping in a quick small item (like the fork for the fruit salad you almost forgot to pack). Best of all, the ice block from this one always stays frozen the longest.

Also, I freeze anything I can in addition to the ice block in the warm weather. Things like the cheese stick and the little tupperware of almonds I put in the freezer the night before right next to the ice block. This helps on those extra hot days or when we have errands to run straight from school.



answers from Orlando on

Great for keeping things cold. No need to freeze things to go inside...if you do, they won't thaw. My 4 yr old doesn't like the velcro on it though. Easy to wipe out inside but I think the life will be 2ish years and the outside will look dingy.

I use regular insulated bags for hot lunches and put a wide mouth thermos in.

Also considering a planet box since I'd like to go plastic free.


answers from Milwaukee on

Our Pottery Barn Kids one is our nicest.



answers from Dallas on

My sons have LL Bean insulated boxes and the do quite well - but I think my daughter's Pottery Barn Kids one is even better.



answers from Kansas City on

My mom got her a Darth Vader lunch box, it's insulated and we've never had a problem with it.



answers from Columbus on

We bought a couple of the soft-sided insulated ones from Walmart; they've held up pretty well for a couple years now and they're very easy to clean. We've had zipper and velcro closures - both types held up equally well. Being soft-sided, they're also easy to squish into their backpacks.

They very seldom pack anything that needs to stay really cold till lunchtime but if they do, we have one of those miniature ice packs and also one of those frozen sticks - when my kids were really little, I just had to be sure and tell them not to throw them away with the trash because they're re-usable!!

Good luck!!


answers from Detroit on

Goodbyn. The coming school year will be our 4th with the same box. They also sell the insulators but never did get that we just freeze milk boxes and those keep thinks cold for us.


answers from San Francisco on

The most important features are that it be easy to use and easy to clean, so when you're shopping for it take your son with you. Make sure he can open and close everything easily. There's nothing grosser than cleaning oozing yogurt out of the bottom of a backpack from a leaking lunch box.

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