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When your kids leave for school in the morning, you probably make sure they have a few essentials with them: backpack, homework, etc. No matter how old your children are—preschool or high school—chances are you also send them off most days with a lunch box packed with their favorite foods. In the market for a new lunch box for kids? There are a whole lot of products to choose from, and you should factor in what types of lunches your child typically eats. The best lunch box for your kid will likely depend on their age and style preference, too.
Best Bento Box: Bentgo Kids' Lunch Box
Bento boxes are a popular choice for children, as they allow you to separate food and snacks in various compartments, and one of the best products you’ll find today is the popular Bentgo Kids' Lunch Box. Designed with kids in mind, this lunch box comes in three bright colors, and it features five compartments that are perfectly portioned for kids ages 3 to 7.
This bento box has drop-proof rubber-coated edges in case it takes a tumble, and it opens and closes using two kid-friendly latches. The inner compartments are different shapes to hold a variety of food and snacks—even dipping sauce!—and there are seals to keep the contents from leaking into your child’s backpack. The inner tray can be put in the microwave and dishwasher, and the box is made from BPA-free materials for safety.
Our tester particularly loved its solid build, well-designed compartments, and the fact that it was truly leak-proof when put to the test in her son’s backpack.
Best for Preschool: Wildkin Insulated Lunch Box
Sending your little one off to school for the first time? Make sure they have everything they need to conquer preschool with the help of the Wildkin Lunch Box. This kid-friendly lunch box is designed for ages 3 to 15, and it comes in more than a dozen fun patterns to showcase your child’s personality.
This insulated lunch box is spacious enough to accommodate a bento box or several plastic containers, and it includes a mesh pouch on the interior where you can tuck an ice pack, napkins, or utensils. There’s a zippered front pocket where you can hide an encouraging note for your preschooler, and the insulated interior helps to maintain a hot or cold temperature to ensure their food is always fresh. Plus, at the end of the day, you can simply wipe down the interior with a washcloth, and it will be ready to go again the next morning.
Best for Kindergarten: Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Pink/Gold Foil Hearts Classic Lunch Bag
Send your little one off to kindergarten with the cute and functional Mackenzie Classic Lunch Bag. This particular version of the Pottery Barn lunch bag is light pink with gold foil hearts on it. There are a wide variety of designs available, including ballerinas, ladybugs, dinosaurs, skateboards, and more—perfect for both boys and girls!
This playful lunchbox has a spacious interior where you can pack a generous lunch for your kindergartener. The exterior is made from durable polyester fabric and features a zippered pocket, as well as a mesh pocket where you can stash napkins, utensils, or even love notes. The interior is lined with PEVA—an eco-friendly, food-safe vinyl—that is easy to wipe down when your kids get home. This lunch box can even be customized with your child's name for additional flair.
Best for Elementary School: Rubbermaid LunchBlox Small Lunch Bag
This budget-friendly lunch bag is perfect for children in elementary school. This won't break the bank, but it's also surprisingly spacious and perfect for school lunches.
This lunch bag comes in four colorful designs including blue, purple, and black patterns. The lightweight product is designed to be used with Rubbermaid LunchBlox food containers, but you can also use it with whatever Tupperware you have at home.
Reviewers love that it has a side zip closure, making it easy to pack and unpack. There are also mesh pockets on either side where you can store additional food.
This lunch box is safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer. It's also BPA-free, so you can rest assured it will be safe for your kids and easy to clean.
Best for Warm Foods: Omie OmieBox
If you're looking for a great segmented lunch box to send to school, look into the unique OmieBox Bento Box. Part of the reason bento boxes have become increasingly popular is because of all the different foods they can accomodate. This one features two temperature zones, which allow you to store both hot and cold foods in one box.
The OmieBox Bento Box comes in five bright colors, and it includes a built-in thermos food jar. This keeps entrees like soup warm until lunchtime. The lunch box itself is double-walled and leak-proof, so you don't have to worry about spills, and its contents will stay cool and fresh.
Parents love that this lunch box keeps food warm for their little ones, and many say it's versatile and easy to clean. However, some note that the thermos lid can be a bit hard for younger kids to open, so this may be best for elementary school children.
Best Freezable: PackIt Freezable Classic Lunch Box
Who needs ice packs when you have a freezable lunch box? The unique PackIt Freezable Lunch Box has freezable non-toxic gel built into its walls, so all you have to do is pop it into the freezer the night before, and in the morning, it will be ready to use. The frozen walls help to keep food insulated and fresh for longer, and you don’t have to use any ice packs.
This lunch box comes in a wide range of fun patterns to appeal to children, and it’s large enough to fit a sandwich, snack, and 12-ounce drink. There are a zip pocket and mesh pouch on the exterior of the bag, and the whole thing is made from canvas with a water-resistant lining.
Happy parents say it works perfectly, keeping food cold for hours—several even note that you can use it in conjunction with a bento box with room to spare.
Best for High School: OPUX Insulated Dual Compartment Lunch Bag
Once students reach high school, chances are they’ll start bringing more food to school, which means they’re going to need a larger lunch box. The OPUX Dual Compartment Lunch Bag is a great option for older students, as it has a durable “double deck” design that’s spacious and versatile.
The bottom section of this lunch box is insulated and leak-proof, making it ideal for cold food and drinks, and it’s large enough to fit up to 10 cans. The top section is ideal for snacks and other items kids might need to grab quickly, and both compartments have reinforced zippers for durability. There are also two side mesh pockets for water bottles, as well as two front pockets for utensils or other small items.
This lunch bag can be carried via its handle or with the adjustable shoulder strap. Plus, it's spacious and attractive, without being juvenile. It works well for adults, too!
Best Set: Bentology Lunch Bag and Box Set
The Bentology Lunch Bag and Box set comes with everything you need to pack a delicious meal for your kids. The set includes an insulated lunch bag, a plastic bento box, a five-piece set of containers with leak-proof lids, and a matching ice pack, and you can choose from a dozen bright, colorful patterns to suit your child’s style.
This affordable set is made from BPA-free materials, and the lidded containers can go in both the microwave and dishwasher. You can mix and match the containers inside the bento box for versatility, and it all fits inside the insulated lunch box for easy packing. There’s even a mesh pocket on the side of the bag where you can slip a water bottle for your kids.