There are many trends that are pushing folks to take lunch to school and to work. Toting your lunch saves money, saves extra pounds, and saves Mother Earth. Luckily it’s not just the old tin lunchbox anymore- there are many more lunch boxes/totes/bags/etc. to choose from. Below are twenty you’ll want to consider for your tot to teen and in between, or even for yourself.
This soft lunch bag consists of two sides, which can be used in a variety of ways. You can pack lunch in one and snacks in the other; drinks in one and food in the other; or cold in one and hot in the other. It’s machine washable. Buy the specialized containers separately.
Choose from three buddies. These bags are designed to fit a sandwich, a snack, and a juice box in addition to an optional ice pack. The material is PVC and BPA free and the interior of the insulated bag wipes clean. Each buddy includes a write-on name tag on the back so your child can write his or her name as well as a handle which unbuckles to attach to your child’s backpack.
This is definitely not a box—it’s a purse! The long handles set it apart from the rest of the lunch crowd. This colorful and vibrant accessory is sure to please even the pickiest teen girl! It’s made of neoprene which means it’s insulated and stretches for any size/shape container you try to pack. The additional pocket inside hides special treats or extra cash. Once your little lady’s done with lunch, she can store this purse flat. It’s also stain resistant and hand washable!
This backpack is sized specifically for your preschooler. With adjustable straps, it grows with your child. It has an outside pocket and inside mesh pockets. This machine washable bag is made from a neoprene-like fabric which aside from cushioning also insulates, so it’s great for keeping lunch cool or warm!
Dabawalla manufactures this lunch bag and the slightly smaller lunch sack for tots with colorful designs which match their backpacks. They are made from a material known as ecosponge which is free of over 100 substances which might be harmful to your child. The material is also stain resistant and machine washable. The bag and sack are insulated and have an additional pocket for an icepack. This lightweight bag will surely make your little guy or gal giggle.
You can order the original size or the bynto size for smaller appetites in many colors. You can also order some pieces with ears and others that are earless. Each kit has five compartments inside to keep lunch from spilling and mixing. Goodbyn kits are dishwasher safe and 100% recyclable for extra points with Mother Earth. Each kit comes with hundreds of dishwasher-safe stickers so your child can decorate their own. Each kit brings its own specially designed 8 oz. bottle. These non-spill containers may actually be more convenient than conventional lunch boxes since they are sized to fit right in junior’s backpack.
This one is classy enough for your young adult, who will surely not mind bringing her lunch to school. It’s insulated to keep food and drinks warm or cold. It has a drawstring closure for privacy and added insulation. For clean-up, wipe it on the inside and outside. For added savings, use the included plastic reusable fork and spoon and water bottle holder.
If you long for the lunch boxes of yore, take a look at these reproduced pieces. There are tons of designs to choose from. These lead-free metal boxes with embossed graphics will surely give you a trip down memory lane.
This insulated and water-repellent bag comes in a variety of colors. The zip pocket on the back stores utensils or small surprises. The inside is easy wipe and the outside has a bottle holder and ID window for personalization. Once lunch is done, it folds flat for storage in a backpack.
Choose from 3 adorable animal designs with this purse. It’s made of neoprene which is a great insulator. It’s also stain resistant and machine washable. Your little guy or gal will want to carry all sorts of supplies with this one.
This modern and ultra-European lunch box is a modular twist on the old fave. The boxes can be purchased with or without the perfectly sized plastic containers which are designed to keep food from moving around too much. The see-through lid and elastic handle are designed to hold a drink bottle. This modular lunch box is great for transporting leftovers and for dividing food into healthy portions. Minus: The plastic containers aren’t leak proof. Plus: The pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe.
The front pocket of this backpack is an insulated lunch cooler. Kids no longer have to take a separate lunch box. The main compartment is all backpack– it is large enough to fit standard school supplies and has an organizer that holds supplies. There’s also a side drink pocket.
This exclusive lunch box can be personalized with your child’s name (up to 10 characters) and a font that suits junior’s personality. This soft lunch box is insulated with an outside pocket for utensils, a snack, or anything you’d like to hide there. Also, look out for other personalized lunch boxes on the web site. They have lunch boxes to personalize with Marvel heroes, Sesame Street friends, and Nickelodeon characters to choose from. Also, look for matching backpacks and pencil cases.
This colorful bag is made of up-cycled rice sacks. It’s insulated and has a zipper closure under the handle. Guess what! The graphics are original to the rice sacks.
Of course there are many Hello Kitty lunch accessories out there! If your little one loves the cute kitty, she or he will have plenty to choose from! This one is shaped like a brown paper bag but so much cooler. It’s insulated and PVC free. The appliquéd kitty face seals the bag for security and added insulation. Complement this with one of the many Hello Kitty plastic container sets.
With almost a dozen different zoo babies to choose from, there’s bound to be an insulated lunchie your tot (and maybe your teen and tween) will love. The roomy main compartment will fit plenty of food for your tot’s big appetite. The interior wipes clean so no mess is too big. There’s a pocket inside for an ice pack or special snack. The handle hooks onto the matching or “unmatching” backpack. Keep your lunchie connected to your tot with the name tag inside.
So this reusable sandwich sack isn’t exactly a lunch box but your junior minimalist will appreciate this for transporting his or her turkey sandwich or bagel. This taxi was invented by a mom of three in Massachusetts looking to minimize her footprint on the earth. The popular cloth envelopes are still handmade in a home-based factory. They make a huge number of designs and even have a design-your-own set.
This insulated lunch accessory for your mini geek includes light and sound effects. For you, it’s 100% PVC free and it’s easy-clean. The super cute shape recalls the famous R2-D2 from Star Wars but it’s tricky for packing. Still, it holds a sandwich, snack, and a drink. If this one doesn’t float your boat, shop around for other licensed character kits shaped like purses, character faces, flowers, basket/foot/baseballs, trucks, etc.
This insulated bag folds flat for storage and can be used as a place mat during the meal. It wipes clean afterwards. Check out the other character lunch sacks on the web site.
These lunch boxes look like the old lunch boxes but that’s where the likeness ends. Take off the front to expose the lunch inside. These BPA free and recyclable pieces can be purchased with or without the customized containers. You can change the face plates by purchasing more. You can even order personalized face plates with your name or your own pictures. You can also buy a custom icepack and an attachable water bottle for this efficient little piece. To top it off, it’s dishwasher safe.
Save even more
Since it is back to school time, many stores and web sites have special sales. Look out for free shipping offers. If there is a minimum order, try ordering all of your supplies from one seller. Also, check out special BOGO deals like the one offered at Toys R’Us, where you get a free lunch kit (up to a $9.99 value) when you a purchase a backpack which costs $12.99 or more.
If your child isn’t happy with the choices available for lunch transport, get creative! For even more licensed character choices, check out collectible tins. They come in many sizes and with many characters. See what’s out there here.
For your minimalist, try strong plastic or tin food containers. Make sure they’re leak-proof!
If you want to go vintage, shop yard sales, garage sales, thrift stores, and online auction sites.
For your artist, get a plain tote bag or even a plain tin lunch box and make a project of decorating it! For the adventurous crafties, take a lesson from the up-cyclers and patch together two layers of old food wrappers (washed, of course), with an attached handle, for your own earth-friendly bag. If you don’t craft but love handmade, shop the internet for handmade options.
If you need to save money, reuse last year’s lunch bag decorated with bling, decorative pins, or even graffiti. Another money-saver is the reusable shopping bag. They come in many sizes and designs.
More points for Mother Earth
Make lunch even more earth friendly or just cooler by including reusable cloth napkins, cloth place mats, and silverware. Make sure junior knows they are reusable so he won’t chuck them. Also make sure silverware is safe so no one gets hurt!