Back to the (Lunch) Box

easy lunchbox packed with food

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Easiest Solution for Packing Lunches

Have you reached the stage where your kids need lunches packed? When our kids went to preschool, their school highly recommended what the teachers called “all in one” lunch boxes. They meant a lunch box with divided containers that did not require a plate. Instead the teachers pop off the top and set the entire box down in front of the kid. While that obviously benefited the teachers, it also benefited us as parents. It meant that instead of throwing leftovers into compost at the end of the meal, the lunch box came home with whatever contents left in it. You might not realize that’s a benefit until you start wondering what your kid eats and how much at school.

I’ve seen tons of lunch box options both in stores and at my kids’ schools. But four years later I still love this solution. We asked our school for recommended brands, but none of the recommendations really sold me. Instead I found these EasyLunchboxes on Amazon and ordered a batch to try.

Easy lunchboxesEasy Lunchboxes Three Compartment Lunch Set

After four years of use, some every day (and now at least two per day), I still love these things. They are super affordable at Amazon at the bargain price of $14 for four. That works out to $3.50 each! They label easily, and the compartments fit sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and other lunch items perfectly. They clean very well in the dishwasher on either the top or bottom rack and have no nooks or crannies where things get stuck. They don’t have hinges to break or get gunk into, and the lids snaps on tight enough to keep things in place but easy enough for little hands to get open. In the time I’ve been using them, we’ve had one corner break off one lid, and other than that, they look as good as the day we started using them.

If you put something runny or juicy (for me, that’s frozen fruit which unfreezes during the day because lunches at the preschool didn’t go in the fridge) in it, it can leak. Most standard yogurt containers are too tall to fit inside. But we have worked around that by buying yogurt tubes or bottles instead, and otherwise I have zero complaints.

We tuck our lunch boxes into an insulated outside lunch box with a zipper. The inner storage keeps any food from getting squished, mixed, or cracked into crumbs. We originally used Skip Hop Zoo Lunch Boxes and the EasyLunchboxes fit in snugly. We attached a Skip Hop water bottle to the outside handle of the insulated lunch box with the Velcro strap on the water bottle and were good to go. I loved the buckling strap on the Skip Hop lunch containers, though my husband never used it at all. (He also never carried an infant during drop off or pick up.)  I could buckle it onto another bag or even another lunch container for easier one-handed carrying. It also makes it super simple to snap onto a stroller handlebar no matter what kind of handle your stroller has. 

Skip Hop Zoo Lunch Box on Amazon

Skip Hop also makes a larger lunch box, but I loved this one for younger kids. It comes in a selection of animals and colors, much like their water bottles.

Just for this recent school year, we’ve upgraded to a bigger insulated lunch box. We still use the EasyLunchboxes, but the outside bag has grown. It has the same footprint, but deeper, so we can toss in a water bottle without a strap or a prepackaged bag of snacks or a yogurt that wouldn’t fit into an EasyLunchbox. If your kid takes both lunch and snack to school with them, a deeper insulated lunch box offers an easy way to separate what’s for snack and what’s for mealtime. If you live in a warmer climate, you could also add an ice pack to keep everything cool, though we’ve never had that kind of issue during the school year.

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