Whether your little one is headed to school or daycare, lunch boxes are a packing list staple. These days there are lots of options, from insulated lunch bags to bento lunch boxes and beyond. Toss out those brown paper bags and go Earth-friendly with one of our picks for the best kids’ lunch boxes around.
PlanetBox Rover Stainless Steel Lunch Box
Bento-style kids’ lunch boxes are all the rage these days, and for good reason: They’re a practical choice if you have a child who likes to have options for lunch. The PlanetBox Rover bento lunch box is a stainless steel lunch box with five compartments of varying sizes. The set includes the lunch box, two separate stainless steel containers for holding sauces or extra snacks, and a set of magnets for the front of the box. A corresponding insulated lunch bag can be added for an additional price. The PlanetBox lunch box is dishwasher safe, non-toxic and carries a five year guarantee.
Buy it: $56, PlanetBox.com
YUMBOX Leakproof Bento Lunch Box
For a smaller, lighter-weight bento lunch box option that’s ideal for toddlers on the go, opt for the YUMBOX Leakproof Bento Lunch Box. The YUMBOX holds just the right amount of food for toddler tummies, and the toddler lunch box is designed to keep even applesauce and yogurt from spilling out. It comes in two styles: the Panino, which has one larger compartment and three smaller ones, or the traditional style with six compartments. The removable food tray is dishwasher safe, as is the lunch box itself.
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com
Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies
The cuteness factor of Skip Hop’s Zoo Lunchies—another favorite toddler lunch box of ours—is definitely a 10. Little ones will love choosing a matching backpack-lunch box combination from more than a dozen animal designs (like pandas, bumble bees and unicorns, to name a few). The roomy main compartment is ideal for holding sandwiches, snacks and more, and the BPA- and phthalate-free lining will put your mind at ease. The interior mesh pocket can hold an ice pack and/or utensils, and the top handle easily attaches to any backpack or bag. Another winning feature? The included write-on name tag.
Buy it: $14, Amazon.com
Wildkin Insulated Lunch Bag
These cute lunch bags for kids come in a huge selection of designs, so you’re sure to find something your kiddo will love. The insulated lunch bag keeps hot food hot and cold food cold, and the velcro closure makes it easy for even toddlers to open. Parents love that it collapses completely flat for easy storage and cleans easily with soap and water. Plus, it’s PVC-, BPA- and phthalate-free.
Buy it: $13, Amazon.com
OmieBox Insulated Hot and Cold Bento Box
If you’ve been struggling to find kids’ lunch boxes you can use to pack a hot lunch for your grade schooler, look no further than the OmieBox Bento Lunch Box. What sets this bento lunch box apart is the removable insulated stainless steel thermos food jar designed to keep foods hot. The versatile, three-compartment bento lunch box is BPA-free, top-rack dishwasher safe and has a built-in carrying handle so there’s no need for an outer bag. This one is best for bigger kids, since the Omiebox can be difficult for little hands to open and close.
Buy it: $39, Amazon.com
PackIt Freezable Mini Lunch Bag
If you like to keep things streamlined, this could be the best lunch box for your little one. Most kids’ lunch boxes call for separate ice packs to keep lunches cool. Not this one, which features built-in cooling. The PackIt Freezable Mini Lunch Bag folds can be folded flat and stashed in the freezer overnight—by morning, it’s ready to keep your kid’s lunch cold for up to 10 hours. This mini lunch bag was designed with kids in mind and easily fits into backpacks and diaper bags. It’s made from PVC-, BPA-, phthalate-, formaldehyde- and lead-free materials and has a food-safe, water-resistant lining. It even comes in a range of super-cute patterns.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
LL Bean Lunch Box
If you’re looking for a workhorse lunch box that can withstand the wear and tear of busy kids, the classic LL Bean Insulated Lunch Box is a great choice. One of the best kids’ lunch boxes for school, this option is much lighter than a bento lunch box and keeps food cold until lunch time, thanks to its insulated layers. Plus, with its compact dimensions, it can easily fit into a backpack. The internal mesh pocket holds a flat ice pack, and the lining is BPA and PVC-free. Add a monogram to ensure easy retrieval from the lost and found.
Buy it: $19, LLBean.com
LEGO Lunch Box
When it comes to cool lunch boxes, it doesn’t get much better than this. Kids’ lunch boxes in the classic LEGO brick design? Yes, please! The hard plastic outside guarantees that your kid won’t end up with a squished lunch. Even the way the LEGO lunch box opens is cool: There’s a small clip attached to the bottom that pops open the brick. An attached soft silicone handle makes the LEGO easy to carry for little ones.
Buy it: $19, Amazon.com
Thermos FOOGO Food Jar
When colder temperatures hit, it’s nice for kids to have the option to bring a hot lunch to school. This Thermos lunch box keeps food warm for up to five hours. Designed with kids in mind, the stainless steel interior and exterior are super-durable, and the grippy lid is easy for kids to open. Parents will appreciate the wide opening, which makes it easy to fill, and the fact that it’s top-rack dishwasher safe.
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com
oFloral Insulated Lunch Bag
What makes these cute lunch bags for kids so awesome? Their versatility: These kids’ lunch boxes can transform into an adorable backpack lunch box (or even a crossbody tote). The waterproof neoprene material is lightweight and keeps food hot or cold for about four hours. This is the best lunch box for easy cleaning, since it’s one of the only options that’s machine washable.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
Mackenzie Classic Lunch Bag
When it comes to classic kids’ lunch boxes, you can’t beat the Mackenzie Lunch Bag from Pottery Barn Kids. Aside from the tons of patterns to choose from, the best feature of this lunch bag for kids is the side pocket for carrying a water bottle. The insulated inner compartment has a mesh zipper pocket as well a name tag. Thanks to the straps on the back of the lunch bag, you can attach it to one of the PB Kids coordinating backpacks. And for a special touch, you can personalize it with a monogram.
Buy it: starting at $10, PotteryBarnKids.com
LunchBots Thermal 16 oz. Bowl
If soup is on the lunch menu this winter, your best lunch box pick is the LunchBots Wide Thermal 16 oz. Bowl. The bowl shape of this kids’ lunch box makes it easy to eat from and convenient to fill. The stainless steel interior holds two cups, and the leak-proof design means you don’t have to worry about ending up with a backpack full of soup. Bonus points for being 100 percent dishwasher safe.
Buy it: $35, Amazon.com
iSuperb Lovely Lunch Bag
For waterproof kids lunch bags, nothing beats the iSuperb Lovely Lunch Bag. With this cute pick, inevitable spills aren’t a headache. Even better: The insulated lunch bag keeps food cool or warm for six to eight hours. The main compartment is big enough to hold plenty of lunch and snacks for growing appetites, and the zip closure prevents anything from falling out. The exterior pocket and easy-carry handles make the iSuperb a good choice for kids on the go.
Buy it: $11, Amazon.com
Batman Insulated Lunch Box
Comic book fans will flip over these superhero-themed boys lunch boxes. This Batman lunch box even comes with its own cape! The insulated lunch box has two separate storage compartments as well as a comfortable carrying handle. At 9.5 inches tall, it’s a good choice for older boys.
Buy it: $15, Lunchbox.com
Under One Sky Unicorn Lunch Box
If you’re on the hunt for girls lunch boxes, why not make lunchtime extra magical with this unicorn-themed pick? It’s got a roomy main compartment for tasty lunchtime treats, plus a zippered interior mesh pocket, two outer mesh side pockets and a convenient carrying handle. But the real selling point here is the adorable lunch box face in the shape of a unicorn, complete with ears and a horn. Talk about cute lunch bags!
Buy it: $30, Nordstrom.com
Insulated Wildkin Lunch Box
Another option from Wildkin, these kids’ lunch boxes feature a zipper closure instead of Velcro so there’s no chance of items falling out. With its too-cute patterns and lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean design, it makes for a perfect toddler lunch box. It may be compact, but there’s plenty of room for lunch: The spacious interior even includes elastic tabs to hold a water bottle in place, and the inner mesh pouch is perfect for utensils. Slip a sweet note in the zippered front pocket to make mealtime all the more fun. Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
Bentgo Kids Bento Style Lunchbox
Another bento lunch box option for little kids is the Bentgo Kids Bento Style Lunch Box. Billed as leakproof, the Bentgo has five compartments portioned perfectly for a smaller child’s appetite. The Bentgo has rubber coated edges and a more durable design than the YUMBOX, so if you have an accident-prone kid, this is a great option. It’s BPA-free and has a removable food tray that’s dishwasher safe. Bonus: With your purchase, you get a free eBook with 30 recipes and lunch ideas.
Buy it: $28, Amazon.com
Justice Flip Sequin Initial Lunch Tote
Kids’ lunch boxes serve an important function, for sure, but the best ones don’t ignore style. Keep your grade schooler on trend with Justice’s Flip Sequin Initial Lunch Tote. A standout among cool lunch boxes, this one changes from pink to silver just by running your hand over the sequins. Kids will love the coordinating pink zipper and the can’t-miss-it initial. The inside features an interior mesh pocket and a roomy lunch compartment. There’s even a matching backpack!
Buy it: $13, ShopJustice.com
Updated September 2018
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