Lunch Box Containers, Accessories & Tools To Take Your Kids’ School Lunch From Boring To Blast-Off! | Back-To-School Guide 2016
We’re back with the latest installment of our 2016 Back-to-School Guide which highlights the coolest bento boxes, snack containers, water bottles, and other rad accessories and tools you can use to make school lunches exciting. Yep, that’s right, we said it: exciting.
While we don’t claim to have magical powers, we hope these items will inject some fun into the packing process, and at the very least, make your kids’ lunch so exciting, you’ll get nothing back but an empty bag.
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bento box containers
LunchBots is one of our go-to brands for high-quality stainless steel bento-style containers. They’ve got them in all sizes with up to 5 compartments, but this Large Trio is our favorite for lunch time. The main section is big enough for a full sandwich, and the 2 smaller compartments are perfect for a side of fruit and veggies. The lid is also made of stainless steel, and is easy for kids to open and close (though please note it is not leak proof, so leave the yogurt outta this one).
This sleek stainless steel lunchbox is the mac daddy of them all, and the one we use for our own kids (and they’re still going strong after 3 years of heavy wear ’n’ tear). It may seem pricey, but when you consider that you get the bento-style main box, 2 containers with leak-proof lids (great for dips & dressings), an insulated carry bag and a cool set of magnets your kids can use to decorate their box, it’s actually a fantastic value. We love that you can fit a whole sandwich in the main compartment, plus have room for plenty of “sides” to fill those hungry bellies come lunchtime.
If your child isn’t a big fan of sandwiches and prefers a selection of “snacks” for lunch, meet your new bestie, the YUMBOX. It’s 5 smaller compartments (each a ½ cup) are perfect for packing a variety of foods, and the cute illustrations on the tray remind your pre-coffee self to pack a balanced meal containing all food groups: Fruit, Vegetable, Grains, Protein, & Dairy. Go ahead and pack applesauce, yogurt or juicy watermelon too as the lid creates a leak-proof seal.
The 2-pot design and watertight seals of this super cool lunch container allows you to pack some awesome lunch combos. Think yogurt and granola, soup ‘n’ salad or even cereal with milk! It comes with a fun spork and the smaller pot will fit into the larger one for compact storage when the lunch bell rings.
Kids love the ECOlunchbox’s cool nesting design and nifty side latches. When they unstack their lunch, they’ll find that the bottom of this non-toxic stainless steel container fits a full-sized sandwich, while the top layer is great for salads, fruit and other fun sides. It also comes with a smaller pod that can make it a dual compartment.
How cute is this Matryoshka doll 2-tier container?! But it’s not just all cutesy, it comes with an ice pack, an elastic fastening band, and both compartments have their own inner lid to keep food from escaping.
If your growing kids need an extra snack before or after lunch, this neat vessel is the perfect size for any snack and dip combo. We’re talking carrots and ranch, apples and peanut butter or cheese and crackers. It’s BPA Free and includes a darling little spreader on top of the lid.
These silicone containers with attached leak-proof lids are a unique way to pack wet snacks like smoothies, homemade applesauce or yogurt, or dry snacks like veggie sticks, small crackers or trail mix. Kids love the bright colors and smooshy sides!
Say goodbye to fabric snack baggies that get stinky and are impossible to wipe clean. These silicone snack pouches can be easily flipped inside out and quickly rinsed. Or throw them in the dishwasher for a full sanitize.
thermos + drink containers/bottles
Sick of packing sandwiches? How ‘bout a tasty hot lunch packed in this stainless steel, leak-proof thermos instead. Your kids will be psyched to get some still-hot pasta, soup or nuggets thanks to the double-walled, insulated design.
To keep your kid’s lunch extra toasty in their thermos for longer, fill it up with hot water (boiling even!) and let it sit for a few minutes. Then pour it out and place their lunch inside. ‘Cause no one likes to dig into lukewarm soup.
If you’ve got a juice-drinker who likes the novelty of a juice box, but you’d prefer to save some money by buying the big carton (and be a little more eco-friendly too), check out the Asobu Juicy Drink Box. Fill it up with their favorite drink and they’ve got that cool juice box feel, with a silicone straw and neat sliding cover. Refillable, eco-conscious and cost efficient. Win-win-win!
We are totally infatuated with Beatrix NY’s stainless steel water bottle “cans”, and your kids will be too. They’ll feel super grown-up drinking from them, while their beverage will stay cold for up to 8 hours! Cool indeed.
lunch box accessories, utensils + tools
These silicone baking cups are perfect for creating your own additional compartments in any lunch box – particularly if your child doesn’t like their foods touching. The bright colors will boost the fun-factor of any lunch, and they can also double as muffin liners.
If your child likes to dip everything into ketchup like ours, you’ll need some of these 1.5oz never-leak containers. Pop them into any lunchbox filled with extra dips, condiments or even a special treat.
Or, up the cute-factor with these sweet little animal food cups that are sure to brighten your child’s day. Great for holding dips, condiments or a side of fruit.
Bring some grown-up-ness to the caf with these handmade cloth napkins. We doubt your child will actually place it on their lap, but it will hopefully keep their sticky peanut butter fingers from being wiped on their pants.
We love these sandwich cutters because not only do they turn our boring PB&Js into inspiring creations, but they don’t waste half the sandwich in the process. And this set comes with 7 designs that are great for boys and girls, and can even be used as cookie or pancake cutters!
OK, if this cutter doesn’t get a smile outta your kids, I don’t know what will. It creates the happiest little sandwiches with animal faces pressed into them. Your kids will jump at the chance to gobble them up.
Speaking of adorable, how can any child resistant sinking their teeth into a bunny or bear shaped boiled egg? Simply place a still-warm shelled egg into the mold, close and put into cold water. Totally magical.
Up your lunch game by popping one of these darling Woodland bag clips in your child’s lunchbox so they can seal-up any leftovers, and you won’t be left cleaning up the crushed popcorn out of their lunchbox.
Seriously the best ice pack we’ve ever used. Not only does it keep lunches cold, but it doesn’t sweat thanks to the cool cover made from recycled plastic bottles. So lunches stay chilled and dry all day long.
This fun set of kid-sized bamboo utensils is perfect for slipping inside your kids’ lunchbox. The storage pouch fits the spoon, fork and knife inside, and it has a neat carabiner on the back (and carabiners are just cool).
Stick some of these animal food picks into your child’s not-so-favorite foods and you’ll be shocked at how it disappears. They’re great for adding a bit of pizzazz into the same ol’ lunch favorites too, and they make a great “fastener” for wraps and burritos.
Your kids will go crazy over these colorful “monsters” which sit atop of stainless steel mini forks. Fit them inside any bento box for a fun (and non-toxic) utensil.
Is it a fork? Is it a spoon? Yes and yes. It’s an awesome stainless steel spork that can be used to both scoop and stab, all while taking up very little lunchbox space.
Lunch box notes have come a long way since our day when our moms wrote sweet words and reminders on our brown paper bags. While you still can’t beat a handwritten note, these well-designed easy-to-print lunch box notes will still let your child know you’re thinking of them…and have plenty of room for a little extra love on the back.
Tinyme - Lunch Notes Free Printable
Fresh Picked Whimsy - Lunch Box Notes Free Printable
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