Lunch Can Look Good!
Come on mom, you remember -- your lunch box is not just a lunch box. Your lunch box is an extension of your style and must be just as cool as you are! Our top 10 lunch boxes are functional enough for you -- and awesome enough for them.
LunchBots (Lunchbots.com, $20) are cute, stylish and pretty much indestructible. These stainless steel boxes come with one, two, three or four compartments and the lids are available in a variety of colors. They're easy to fill, easy to carry and even easier to clean — the lid needs to be hand-washed but the base is dishwasher-safe. The steel is food-grade, so you don't have to worry about your food coming onto contact with toxins.
Lock & Lock Containers
Stop trying to cram too-big containers into your lunch box! The Lock & Lock (Walmart, $25) containers are stylish soft lunch boxes that come with their own leak-free, BPA-free, air-tight containers. Each container fits perfectly in the lunch box, and they're surprisingly large, so you can fit your lunch as well as a few snacks inside. Each container is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, so you can use them for anything you want.
Stay-Fit Lunch 2 Go EZ Freeze
Forget about finding a place to fit an ice pack in your lunch box! The Stay-Fit Lunch 2 Go EZ Freeze (Amazon, $10) container puts the gel ice pack right in the lid. Store the lid in the freezer, and pull it out when you're ready to go. Your lunch will stay cold all day, and the compartments make it easy to pack an orderly lunch. As an added bonus, the compartment in the lid comes with a plastic spork and knife, with plenty of room leftover for a napkin.
Fit and Fresh Kid's Hot Lunch Container
Serve last night's leftovers and know they'll still be great at lunch when you use the Fit and Fresh Kid's Hot Lunch Container (Amazon, $7). This fun bowl comes in bright colors kids love. There's a handle to make carrying easy and a compartment on the bottom for dry extras like crackers or a napkin. The lid has a built-in spoon, so you don't have to worry about packing one.
The PlanetBox (PlantBox.com, $60) is part lunch box, part bento box and part TV dinner tray. The single stainless steel tray opens on a hinge and has several small compartments, designed for serving healthy meals. The entire tray comes out of the carry case for easy cleaning, and the set also comes with utensils, magnets and little dipper snack bowls.
Personalized lunch box
These lunch boxes will be fun for your kids to carry now, and they'll be keepsakes when they get older. Baby Box's personalized lunch boxes (BabyBox.com, $35) are made of tin and will remind you of the lunch boxes you carried when you went to school! They come in over 100 designs, and each one comes personalized with your child's name for no extra charge. The inside of the lid is a chalkboard — perfect for leaving notes for your little one to find when they sit down to lunch!
Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie
The Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie (Babies R' Us, $13) is a cute, backpack-shaped, insulated lunchbox. The bright colors and animal characters make them appealing for the kiddos, but you'll love them too! The large main compartment makes them easy to pack, and the hook on the top means you can hook it to a backpack. There's a mesh interior pocket perfect for utensils, so no one will have to dig for a fork ever again.
Fluf lunch bag
If you're looking for a lunch bag that's more of a bag than a box, check out lunch bags from FLUF (fluf.ca, $20). They're 100 percent organic bags with a waterproof lining. They can be rolled up and thrown in a backpack or locker after lunch, and they're completely machine washable for when they get gross (as all lunch boxes do). They come in lots of different designs, so there's one for every taste and every age group.
Say good bye to annoying ice packs that take up room in your lunch box and don't keep things cold for long! The entire PackIt (Packit.com, $20) lunch bag is a gel-filled ice pack that goes in the freezer, so it keeps your lunch cool for up to 10 hours. Plus, lunch boxes take up a lot of storage space when they're not in use, but the PackIt lunch bag folds up flat for easy storage.
The Lunchbox, made by OOTS, is basically your standard hard-sided lunchbox, revamped. It's a hard-sided container with a snap-on lid, both in bright colors. There's an elastic strap across the top to hold your water bottle and a fabric strap for carrying. The inside of The Lunchbox (madebyOOTS.com, $25) is very roomy, and if you pay an extra $10 for the deluxe version you'll get four plastic containers that fit perfectly inside. The sleek lines and modern design make this box perfect for both kids and adults.
No insulated lunch box on hand? Double up paper bags for extra insulation.
Tips for packing lunch