Exactly one year ago, I wrote a post with all my 8 survival strategies for back to school. One of those tips was to wear sunglasses (aka to hide the tears). And I’m kicking myself for not taking my own advice this morning when I sent my two older daughters to school today.
Yes, tears were shed.
And yes, I needed those sunglasses! Even though there wasn’t a smidge of sun in the sky.
My eldest Sienna started Grade 1 today. You would think that she would be my ‘been there, done that‘ girl and walk through those school doors excited and confident, yet she was the emotional one. Sienna was in tears when she saw her teachers (whom she loved) from last year. So of course I cried too!
P.S. They chose their outfits (picked my battles today – haha!)
In fairness, I was SUPER emotional as a child and sobbed on the first day for many years in elementary school. I guess it’s pay back time with a daughter who does the same. I’ll be sending my mother an apology now knowing what I put her through (sorry mom!).
Then there’s my 4 year old Naomi who went to school for the first time ever, yet she skipped into school with a smile.
In fact, Naomi’s kindie teacher mailed all the kids in her class a cute package last week. It had this Jitter Glitter poem accompanied with a little baggie of glitter for her to put under her pillow the night before school. We had no need to use it for Naomi because she fell asleep as soon as she hit the pillow.
However, in hindsight, Sienna and I could have used that jitter glitter! And Mackenzie was super sad when she realized she was alone without her sisters for the first time. More tears!!
Now that the jitters are gone, and the kids are in school, I have some shopping to do. I’ve been holding out on buying the girls their lunch boxes because I’m committed to keeping them for YEARS. None of this, ‘get a new lunch box every year or two’ business.
That was my intention with our Bentgo which we’ve had for 2.5 years (which I loved). But the clasps recently broke. Hence currently using a rubber band to keep their lunch box together. I felt terrible for sending them to school with a mangled lunch box, but I wanted to find the best replacement.
I wanted a lunch box that:
- is strong enough to withstand the beatings it will take from my kids.
- is planet-friendly and toxin-free
- is mess-proof (my kids eat a lot of messy foods so there can’t be any leaking)
- is reasonably priced and not going to break the bank
A lot to ask for, I know!
So I’ve been online the past week or two investigating, reviewing, and narrowing down my choices of lunch box. I wanted to share my top contenders here. While not all meet all of my criteria, they meet enough of them.
My Top 6 School Lunch Boxes!
Planet box is 100% one of our favourites. If you check out their website, you’ll see why right away. Their stainless steel containers have a space theme to them, making them super fun for kids to eat from. The compartments also ensure we don’t forget to pack those veggie sticks! And how cute are the lunchbox names: Rover, Launch and Shuttle?
The Downside: watery items also leak within the container. And it’s pricey. But parents seem to love it!
Yumbox is a fun and simple lunch box that offers great portion control size compartments and is dishwasher friendly! Our top reasons for choosing Yumbox is that it is a leak proof lunch box (great for salad dressings and saucy snacks) and you can add additional stickers within each compartment which adds an educational piece on nutrition!
The Downside: it’s plastic, but if you keep it for years then I consider that planet-friendly-ish.
Bentgo offers up great lunch boxes for kids and also for adults (nudge, nudge)! It’s actually the one we’ve been using for a few years and have loved. The size is ideal meaning you can pack a full lunch in one hard-to-lose container. The inner compartment is removable which makes it easy to wash, and that was a huge plus for us. There is ZERO leakage both inside in between sections and outside as well.
The Downside: my kids are rough on their lunch boxes and broke part of the clasp. If I could just replace the outer casing I would do that. And it’s plastic.
Baransu is a stainless steel lunch box which we love because it is so planet-friendly and easy to wash! We also love this product because it has individual compartments which are great sizes to fit various foods and to keep their food separate. Consider it the more cost-effective “Planet Box” (see below).
The Downside: watery items will leak and some complain about sharp edges but I didn’t see this as an issue.
- USD: not sure! Sold out online.
- CDN: $30 at Costco
One of my best friends is a huge fan of these and I can see why. The LunchBots Large Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container has 5 sections so it can hold a variety of foods without losing much space (as you find with the plastic varieties). It’s 100% stainless steel (yay for planet-friendly), and easy to wash. Being made from the best quality stainless steel, they are also virtually indestructible.
Downsides: it’s one of the pricey bento boxes out there and it’s recommended for leaky foods like sauces.
Omie is great if you love to send your kids off with hot meals. It has separate temperature zones in order to keep some food hot and others cold. Cool right? The lunch box comes in a really great compact size and we love that you can mix and match the colors. The best part, is that they created a labeling section where your kids can write their names and know which lunch box is theirs in the morning. Lastly the handle makes it super easy to grab and go!
The Downside: Super pricey, on the heavy side, and some say there’s not enough space for snacks and sides when you using the thermos portion. Oh and it’s also plastic.
So now I’m dying to know…
Which lunch box did you choose?