21 Best Lunch Boxes for Toddlers and Big Kids
August 23, 2019
Whether your little one is headed to school or daycare, lunch boxes are a packing list staple. These days there are lots of reusable options, from insulated lunch bags to bento lunch boxes and beyond. Toss out those brown paper bags and go eco-friendly with one of our picks for the best kids’ lunch boxes around.
PlanetBox ROVER Stainless Steel Lunchbox
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 and kids’ water bottle can be added for an additional price. The PlanetBox lunch box is dishwasher-safe, non-toxic and carries a five year guarantee.
Buy it: Starting from $56, PlanetBox.com
Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container
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. It holds just the right amount of food for toddler tummies; plus, this 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 also dishwasher-safe.
Buy it: $30, Amazon.com
Skip Hop Zoo Kids’ Insulated Lunch Box
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 a bunch of animal designs (like foxes, dragons 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: $15, Amazon.com
Wildkin Insulated Lunch Bag
These cute lunch bags for kids ages 3 and up come in a huge selection of designs, so you’re sure to find something your child 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: $17, Amazon.com
OmieBox Bento Box for Kids
If you’ve been struggling to find a kids’ lunch box you can use to pack a hot lunch for your grade schooler, look no further than the OmieBox Bento Box for Kids. 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 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. The trade off is it’s super-sturdy. It’s also super-stylish.
Buy it: $40, Amazon.com
PackIt Freezable Mini Lunch Bag
If you like to keep things streamlined, this could be the best lunch box for kids. Most options call for separate ice packs to keep lunches cool. Not this kids’ lunch box, which features built-in cooling. The PackIt Freezable Mini Lunch Bag can be folded flat and stashed in the freezer overnight—by morning, it’s ready to keep your little one’s lunch cold for up to 10 hours. This mini lunch bag was designed with toddlers 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 comes in both solids and prints.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
L.L.Bean Lunch Box
If you’re looking for a workhorse lunch box that can withstand the wear and tear of busy kids, the classic L.L.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: $20, LLBean.com
LEGO Lunch Box
When it comes to cool lunch boxes, it doesn’t get much better than this. A kids’ lunch box 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: $20, Amazon.com
Thermos FOOGO Stainless Steel Food Jar
When colder temperatures hit, it’s nice to have the option to bring a hot lunch to school. This Thermos lunch box for kids keeps food warm for up to five hours. Designed with munchkins in mind, the vacuum-insulated 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: Starting from $16, Amazon.com
oFloral Insulated Neoprene Lunch Bag
What makes these cute lunch bags for kids so awesome? Their versatility: These 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 kids’ lunch box for easy cleaning, since it’s one of the only options that’s machine-washable.
Buy it: $15, Amazon.com
Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Retro Lunch Bag
When it comes to classic kids’ lunch boxes, you can’t beat the Mackenzie Lunch Bag from Pottery Barn Kids. Children love the tons of patterns to choose from (including glow-in-the-dark prints that look magical in dark school cubbies), and you can buy a coordinating hot/cold food mini container too. 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 from $27, PotteryBarnKids.com
LunchBots Thermal Stainless Steel Container
If lots of soup is on the lunch menu this season, your best kids’ lunch box pick is the LunchBots thermal container. The bowl shape of this insulated lunch box for kids 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
Bixbee Water Resistant Lunchbox
Bixbee’s kids’ lunch containers come in a range of solid colors, sparkly finishes and animal-themed designs. They’re heavy-duty, water-resistant (for rainy days and whatever else) and have an outer pocket that’s perfect for packing reusable utensils. There’s even and ID window so your kid is less likely to lose theirs. (Because we all know kids leave behind lunch boxes a lot.)
Buy it: $18, Nordstrom.com
Lunchbox.com Batman Insulated Lunch Box
Comic book fans will flip over these superhero-themed girls’ and 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 kids.
Buy it: $15, Lunchbox.com
Iscream Lunch Tote
If you’re on the hunt for trendy boys’ and girls’ lunch boxes, try Iscream’s playfully colorful assortment. This zip-around kids’ lunch box has both an exterior zip pocket and a mesh side pocket for all your storage needs. The handles are easy for youngsters to carry, and the bright, metallic pattern is so fun. Talk about a cute lunch bag!
Buy it: $28, Nordstrom.com
Wildkin Lunch Box
Another option from Wildkin, these insulated 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 can hold sandwiches and snacks with ease. Slip a sweet note in the zippered front pocket to make mealtime all the more fun.
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com
Bentgo Bento-Style Kids Lunch Box
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 toddler’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, made with food-grade materials and has a removable food tray that’s dishwasher safe. Bonus: Buy it and you’ll be supporting a charitable brand. Bentgo has donated thousands of dollars to the nonprofit Feed the Children.
Buy it: $28, Amazon.com
Parkland Rodeo Lunch Bag
The best kids’ lunch boxes are kids’ lunch boxes that appeal to, well, kids. Parkland’s kids’ lunch bag designs certainly do that. The brand sells everything from fresh floral prints to stellar space patterns. They suit toddlers and children ages 3 and up, have exterior ID labels, have easy-wipe interiors and are made from recycled materials—score.
Buy it: $25, Nordstrom.com
Under Armour Thermos Lunch Box
You know a partnership between Under Armour and Thermos has to be good—both brands are known for their heavy-duty gear. This kids’ lunch box boasts some serious technology, including premium IsoTec insulation and a Flex-a-Guard liner that’s totally crush-resistant. The ultra-durable little kids’ lunch box comes in lots of cute prints and the side clip allows it to attach to your child’s backpack.
Buy it: $28, Amazon.com
Sophie Allport Dinosaur Lunch Box
This preschool and kindergarten kids’ lunch box has all the basics, from a spacious storage compartment and interior mesh pocket to a convenient top handle. But what really sets it apart is its too-cute, eye-catching design: A dinosaur head and tail pop out from the sides! Your little paleontologist will never want to put theirs down, let alone misplace it.
Buy it: $30, Anthropologie.com
STATE Ryder Snack Pack
This petite toddler lunch box is a great choice for kids going to half-day programs or on smaller trips where they only need a few essentials (think: a kids’ water bottle, a piece of fruit, and some crackers). The main zippered compartment comes insulated and you can get the exterior personalized with your child’s initials. We’re also big fans of the see-through pocket meant for “notes or pictures to your little munchkins.” Looking for a bigger kids’ lunch box? Try the Rodgers Lunch Box instead. Either way, your purchase will help STATE support a range of causes, including giving fully-stocked backpacks to children in need.
Buy it: Starting from $25, STATEBags.com
Updated August 2019
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