6 Aug

Now that summer is almost over I’m willing to bet that at least a few of you have been perusing Pinterest for cute lunch ideas and maybe even scoping out reusable lunch containers online.

If you like the idea of sending your kids to school with trash-free lunches but weren’t sure which lunch box would be right for your kids and your budget, then you’ve come to the right place.

Today I’m sharing which of our lunch boxes are my favorites. All of them made the cut because they’re easy to pack, easy to clean, and easy to love.

Lock & Lock

microwavable-airtight-5-piece-bento-lunch-box-bpa-free-dishwasher-safe

This box holds the perfect amount of food for smaller appetites. There are two removable dividers that section the box off into four quadrants so the food stays separated. It fits into pretty much any lunchbox and the side latches make it easy for little hands to open and close.

It makes a great lunch box for younger kids but it could also be used as a snack container for older kids.

The box itself is pretty plain once you peel the labels off but because it’s so inexpensive at only $6.75, you could always dress up lunch with some colorful silicone cups (standard sized baking cups fit nicely in each section) or fun food picks without breaking the bank. If you have a craft store near you, you can check there for the silicone baking cups and food picks too. Don’t forget to look for a coupon before you go!

The Lock & Lock is dishwasher safe and BPA free.

Recommended for: Toddlers – 1st or 2nd grade.

Here are a few lunches that I’ve packed in our Lock & Lock:

Lock & Lock 4 Square

The Good Lunch Box by Sugarbooger

The Good Lunch Box by Sugarbooger

I just can’t say enough good things about this lunch box. I adore it. We used ours on a regular basis last year and it has held up like a champ. We did have an issue with one of the latches coming loose but I really think it may have been the way that it was loaded into the dishwasher. So that’s my bad.

This box has three sections, one of which is larger than the other two so it’s great if you usually pack a sandwich and two sides. Unfortunately, to fit a whole sandwich in the larger compartment, you will need to cut it in some way. Honestly, that’s not a deal breaker for me.

The Good Lunch Box is free of lead, BPA, PVC, and phthalates.

The many adorable design options on the lid and the easy open/close latches on the side make this container a winner for kids. The fact that it’s dishwasher safe, super affordable, and fits into most lunch boxes makes it a winner for me.

You can order yours as well as the matching insulated lunch tote here, here, and on amazon.com.

Recommended for: Toddlers – 5th grade

Here are a few lunches that I’ve packed in The Good Lunchbox:

Good Lunch Box

The Goodbyn Bynto

Bynto

The Bynto is divided into three sections (as pictured above) and comes in five colors (red, green, blue, pink, purple). A juice box or pouch fits in the middle compartment but if you’d rather go the waste-free route, Goodbyn also makes a spill-proof drink bottle that fits perfectly in the middle compartment while still leaving plenty of room for lunch.

The Bynto is made from FDA approved materials, is free of BPA and phthalates, and is 100% recyclable. And all you have to do to clean it is just toss it into the dishwasher.

You can leave your Bynto plain or purchase inexpensive dishwasher-safe stickers so that your child can spruce up and personalize their Bynto. You actually get quite a few stickers in each pack so your kids can change up the look of their Byntos whenever the mood strikes.

The Bynto is just a little longer than most lunch containers so you’ll need to look for an insulated lunch bag that is a little more than 10.75 inches long. Cam usually carried hers in her lunch bag from Garnet Hill but it will also fit in a lunch bag from L.L. Bean. Click here to see.

The Bynto can be tricky to close at first until you figure it out. Press the middle section first until it clicks, and then you can press the other sections closed.

Price for the Bynto, drink bottle, and a sticker set is $18.47 (before tax and shipping) but keep an eye out for a coupon code closer to the end of Summer.

Goodbyn products are also available on amazon.com but the Byntos are often priced quite a bit higher on that site and the drink bottles can be hard to find there so it may be easier to just order directly from Goodbyn.

Recommended for: Pre K – 5th grade

Here are a few lunches that I’ve packed in the Bynto:

Bynto

Easy Lunchboxes

Easylunchboxes Brights

We our Easy Lunchboxes. This is the container that my son took to school every day last school year. He flung it around inside his lunch box and backpack, dropped it on the floor several times, threw it into the sink when he got home from school every day, and ran it through countless cycles in the dishwasher, and it isn’t showing any signs of wear yet! Not even a scratch. These babies look as good now as they did the day the UPS man dropped them off at my door well over two years ago!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Easy Lunchboxes are just like those other divided containers in the store with the blue lid. There is no comparison. Those other containers will crack after just a few cycles in the dishwasher or if your child drops them (I speak from experience here). Sure you could save a couple bucks and hand wash them every time they’re used but at only $13.95 for a set of four Easy Lunchboxes that will last you indefinitely, why would you?

Easy Lunchboxes are divided into three sections. The largest section easily fits a whole sandwich, no cutting required.

One thing to keep in mind is that the lids are not spill proof. You can remedy that issue by purchasing a set of mini-dippers, these containers, using this handy trick, or purchasing a cooler bag so that your kids can carry their Easy Lunchbox upright.

A set of 4 Easy Lunchboxes, 8 Mini-Dippers, and a cooler bag will cost you just under $30 before taxes and shipping. Remember, shipping is free on amazon.com when you spend $35 or with amazon prime.

Easy Lunchboxes are free of PVC,BPA, phthalates, lead, and vinyl.

Recommended for: Everyone.

Here are a few lunches that I’ve packed in our Easy Lunchboxes:

ELB

Laptop Lunches Bento Lunchbox

laptop lunchbox

If you’re looking for something with a few more compartments, this lunch box may be just right for you.

Camryn loves how bright and colorful her Laptop Lunches Bento Lunch box is. I love how durable it is and how the separate compartments with spill-proof lids make it easy to pack up things like yogurt or guacamole without worrying that they’ll be sloshed all over the rest of her lunch.

The inner containers are microwave safe and the whole thing is dishwasher safe (best to wash it on the top rack though). There is also room on the side for utensils and a napkin.

These lunch boxes hold enough food for larger appetites so they’re great for older kids and adults. Cam eats like a bird so I like to use this lunch box whenever I need to pack up both lunch and snack for her.

Laptop Lunches food containers are made in the USA and contain no BPA, PVC, phthalates, or lead.

A Bento Kit which contains the complete Bento Lunchbox, an insulated bag, and an all-stainless fork and spoon, will cost you just under $40 before taxes and shipping.

You can purchase just the Bento Lunchbox for $19.99 but at 9 x 7 x 2.25 inches, keep in mind that you’ll need to find an insulated lunch bag that will accommodate it’s slightly larger size.

Laptop Lunches’ products can also be found on amazon.com and in some Whole Foods and The Container Store locations.

This lunch carrying system is definitely a pricier option, but it’s a great investment as it will last your child for years.

This lunch box can certainly be used by little ones but since it holds quite a bit of food and both the latch on the front and the lids on the container can be tricky to open, I’m recommending this one for the older kids.

Recommended for: 2nd grade and up.

*Laptop Lunches is now Bentology

Here are a few lunches I’ve packed in our Laptop Lunches Bento Lunchbox:

Laptop Lunches

Yumbox

Yumbox

The Yumbox is one of the neatest lunch boxes that I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot of lunch boxes.

The removable tray insert contains five separate 1/2 cup compartments for each food group as well as a smaller unlabeled compartment which is the perfect size for a little treat.

The latch on the front is easy for little hands to operate so it’s great for toddlers but it also holds plenty of food for older kids as well.

The whole thing is dishwasher safe and fits in most standard sized lunch bags. It’s made from only food-safe materials and contains no BPA or Phthalates. It’s also leak proof so you can pack things like yogurt, ketchup, hummus, and salsa with wild abandon!

The only downside to this box is that it can be a bit of a challenge to pack. You can’t fit a sandwich in the Yumbox unless it’s cut up, and some of the compartments are an odd shape. Honestly, this is not that big of an issue for me but I just want you to be aware before you buy. If this is a deal breaker for you, you might be interested to know that Yumbox has recently come out with the Panino which has plenty of room for a whole sandwich, two sides and a little treat. Check it out here.

*Update 8/11/15: Yumbox has increased the size of the compartments in its original 6 compartment box. They’ve also added some fun new colors.

Both are available for purchase from yumbox.com or on amazon.com

Yumbox $28 – Recommended for: Toddlers – 2nd graders

Panino $28 Recommended for: 3rd graders and up

Here are a few lunches I’ve packed in our Yumbox:

Yumbox

I asked Camryn which lunch box was her favorite and she chose the Yumbox based on its coolness factor.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite because I love them all for different reasons. However, for the sake of this lengthy post and because I know you guys are just dying to know… For me, it’s a tie between Easy Lunchboxes and The Good Lunch Box by Sugarbooger. These were the two boxes that I reach for more often than any others when it comes time to pack lunch.

Hopefully that helped some of you that were on the fence about which container to buy. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

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