When your little one starts daycare or is moving into their first year of big school it’s time to start looking at lunch boxes and lunch bags. What is best to keep the food fresh and edible as the day goes along. Here on the Gold Coast there are some very hot days and there is nothing worse than wanting your kids to eat all their morning tea and lunch only to find that the sandwiches are a bit yuck and the heat has made the apple go brown.
With so many different brands and types on the market it can be hard to make the right choice for your child. And trust me you’ll go through a few of them as the years go along. One saving grace is many of the newer brands now have spare parts which means you can replace damaged parts without the need to have to buy a complete new lunchbox. Below you will find some important things which I considered when choosing the perfect lunch box for my boys.
Kid-friendly: One of the first things to think about is how easy it is for your child to open. For little kids, look for zips with sturdy tags, and containers that seal well but are easy to open and close. Avoid latches that might catch small fingers. Take the kids with you when shopping for these items so they can test them out themselves.
Easy to clean: Embellishments might be cute but they can be hard to keep clean, the same for hinges. For lunch boxes, choose lids that can be popped on and off, where possible, as they are much easier to keep clean (but easier to lose, too)
BPA free: BPA has been proved to alter hormones and therefore is no longer used in children’s drink bottles and food containers, however, it’s important to check that the lunch box says BPA free.
Dishwasher safe: Because you are busy enough!
Lunch Bags that are Machine washable: As above – it’s great to be able to throw lunch bags in the washing machine for a good, hygienic clean.
Size: There are several factors to weigh up. Do you need to put both morning tea/fruit break and lunch in one container? Will it fit into your child’s bag? Can they manage a lunch bag as well as as day/school bag?
Sections: If you child enjoys a simple lunch of a sandwich, fruit and a yoghurt, you don’t need multiple sections, however bento-style boxes provide lots of sections for numerous portions of your little one’s favourite foods.
Our favourite lunchbox and lunch bags.
For the large eater – a large b.box lunchbox or a Bento 3+ from Little Lunchbox Co. both hold around 2 litres of food!
For your kindy kids or kids that don’t like as much food we recommend the b.box mini lunchbox or a Bento Three from Little Lunchbox Co. Both of these hold approximately 1 litre of food. We often use this size on tuckshop days too when we need to send that little extra food.
For fruit break or even morning tea if you need a separate container a mini b.box or a Bento Two from Little Lunchbox Co are the perfect size. These little containers are also great for extra snacks or car snacks etc. the containers will fit into your bag.
For your fussy eater who likes to try lots of different food and isn’t fussed on a sandwich for lunch a Bento Five is what you need. Five separate compartments holding approximately 1 litre of food.
We stock 3 brands of insulated lunchbags and there is something to suit every budget.
Montiico Lunchbags are the biggest and most versatile bags that we stock. Not only do they have an icepack that will last you ALL day (min 8-10yrs for the large size), they are also machine washable. They can fit a large bbox or Bento plus the bbox snack box!
Montiico lunchbags also come in 2 other sizes so if you only wanted a smaller lunchbox there is a smaller bag that will fit.
Little Renegade Company also have a great lunchbag. Similar sizing to the large Montiico bag they also fit a large bbox and the snack box. The bag also comes with its own icepack which will last 4-6hrs. This bag is not machine washable but can be hand washed. It’s easy to open and close and has pads on the bottom of the bag to stop any scuffing.
Our last brand that we stock is Sachi. These are bright and colourful and kids love them! They are mostly fun kid prints. They are a lot lighter than the other bags as they do not have an icepack however they will still fit the largest of our lunchboxes.