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Best lunch box for kids

Which lunch box for kids is best?

The days of your kids carrying their lunches in brown paper bags are long gone. In their place are boxes and bags made of durable materials that preserve the freshness and temperature of the food inside. Lunch boxes keep individual food items separated and safe from drops and bumps. A good lunch box for kids is lightweight, durable and easy to open.

If you are looking for a brightly colored, soft sided kids’ lunch box that comes in your choice of 28 different colors and patterns, take a look at the Amersun Kids Thermal Lunch Box.

What to know before you buy a lunch box for kids

The best place to start is to choose which style of lunch box is good for you and your kids. Basic lunch bags and lunch boxes are designed to hold a single lunch in one compartment. They are typically made of waterproof material, usually nylon or plastic.

Bento boxes are Japanese-style lunch boxes that were traditionally made of bamboo. Kids’ Bento box lunch boxes are made of a material that is lightweight but has rigid sides. Either way, they have separate compartments like the ones on some TV dinners. Bento boxes are a good choice for people who like to eat smaller portions of several different foods.

Meal prep lunch boxes are for parents who want to track their child’s nutritional intake. They are larger than other types of lunch boxes because they are designed to carry lunches, snacks and supplements for kids to eat throughout the day. 

Kid-friendly lunch boxes are not only durable and easy to use, but have colors, shapes and designs that appeal to children. To learn even more about lunch boxes for kids, take a look at the full lunch boxes for kids buying guide from Best Reviews.

What to look for in a quality lunch box for kids

Lunch box features

Compartments, dividers and containers keep foods separate, a big plus for picky eaters. Insulation is important because it keeps things well insulated to keep the cold in so foods don’t perish. Some lunch boxes have compartments or jugs that keep hot things hot. Handles make your kids’ lunch box easy to carry. Look for soft, comfortable handles with buckles that allow lunch boxes to be attached to kids’ backpacks. 

Exterior pockets and pouches are good places to hold water bottles, so look for lunch boxes that have an exterior pocket that expands to accommodate different sized water bottles and keep them handy for hydration all day long.

How much you can expect to spend on a lunch box for kids

Inexpensive lunch boxes with one or two compartments cost less than $20. Hard shell lunch boxes can be found between $25-$35. Meal prep bags and lunch boxes with lots of features and customizability run from $40-$100.

Lunch boxes for kids FAQ

How do I keep my kids’ lunch box clean?

A. You can avoid some of the inevitable messes inside by lining the lunch box beforehand with paper towels to absorb the spills. You can clean the inside of most kids’ lunch boxes with warm tap water and a soft towel. For tougher interior problems, you should stick with baking soda or vinegar but avoid cleaning products that will contaminate your child’s food. The same holds true for the outside of your kids’ lunch box. When you’re done, rinse everything, pat it dry and let it air.

How many compartments do I need?

A. This depends upon what you send your kid off with. A wrapped sandwich, an apple and a small pack of cookies won’t contaminate each other but may be tossed around in a lunch box with an interior that’s too big. Compartments that cushion fruits will keep your kid’s bananas, apples and other soft fruits from bruising. 

What ARE the best lunch boxES for kids to buy?

Top lunch boxes for kids 

Amersun Kids Thermal Lunch Box

What you need to know: A soft sided lunch box that comes in your choice of 28 different colors and patterns. 

What you’ll love: The triple layer insulation has an inner layer of aluminum foil, a thermal sponge in the middle and a water resistant and dirt-proof Oxford fabric outer layer. The nylon handle is durable and rip-proof, and the zippers are nickel-plated. The design has dual zippers on the main compartment, so this lunch box can open completely and lie flat.

What you should consider: Some users wish the pockets were larger.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top lunch boxes for kids for the money

MAZFORCE Insulated Lunch Bag

What you need to know: The vertical layout of this soft sided lunch box has storage that expands when needed.

What you’ll love: The ultra-thick foam core keeps hot things hot and cool things cool. The tough Oxford fabric is water resistant and has no harmful lead, PVCs or BPAs. This lunch box has mesh pockets inside, a slim back pocket and a bottle holder on the side. The detachable buckle on the handle clips easily to a backpack.

What you should consider: Some users report this lunch box is not as durable as they’d like and some others say their lunchbox leaks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Omie Bento Box for Kids

What you need to know: A Japanese-style Bento box that has three different compartments to organize lunches and snacks.

What you’ll love: The hard plastic exterior shell of this lunch box protects the food from damage. This lunch box has three compartments that parents and guardians can add or remove to customize the interior. The built-in handle makes it easy to carry this lunch box and the thermos that comes with it keeps drinks cold and soups warm. 

What you should consider: The thermos lid can be hard to open, so smaller kids will benefit from your coaching.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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