23 Best Lunch Boxes for Toddlers and Big Kids
Stocking up on back-to-school essentials? Whether your little one is headed to preschool, day care or camp, a lunch box is a staple. A healthy lunch will keep your tyke fueled throughout the day, so finding a container to keep snacks fresh, tasty and intact is key. The best toddler lunch boxes are durable, leak-proof and cute, of course! Luckily, there are plenty of options that fill the bill, from insulated lunch bags to bento boxes and other clever containers. Ready to toss out those brown paper bags and go eco-friendly with a reusable toddler lunch box? Keep browsing to discover our top cafeteria-ready picks.
Bixbee Octopus Water Resistant Lunchbox
Bixbee’s lunch containers come in a range of fun prints, sparkly finishes and animal-themed designs. They’re heavy-duty and water-resistant, and have an outer pocket that’s perfect for packing reusable utensils. There’s even an ID window so your kid is less likely to lose it—which means one less lunch box relegated to the mysterious lost-and-found closet!.
Buy it: $20, Nordstrom.com
Munchkin Bento Box Toddler Lunch Box
Bento-style kids’ lunch boxes are all the rage these days, and with good reason: They’re a practical choice for picky eaters and children who like variety at mealtime. This colorful version, made by Munchkin, is hard to beat. It has five perfectly sized compartments, with space for a sandwich, juicebox and mix of healthy snacks. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe, making it super-easy to clean. Better yet, it comes with its own set of stainless steel toddler utensils that snap right onto the lid.
Buy it: $20, Target.com
Skip Hop Zoo Insulated Kids Lunch Bag
No big surprise that another one of our favorite toddler lunch box options comes from Skip Hop. The brand brings the cuteness factor with their Zoo-inspired lunch carriers. Little ones will love choosing a matching backpack-lunch box combination from a bunch of animal designs (like pugs, dinosaurs and unicorns, to name a few). The roomy main compartment is ideal for holding sandwiches, snacks and more, while the interior pocket can accommodate an ice pack and/or utensils, and the clip-on handle easily attaches to any backpack or bag. Another winning feature? The included write-on name tag.
Buy it: $10, SkipHop.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. They’re insulated to keep hot food warm and cold food chilled, and the Velcro closure makes it easy for toddlers to open independently. 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: $22, Amazon.com
STATE Bags Mini Rodgers Snack Pack
This petite toddler lunch box is a great choice for kids going to half-day programs or for use on smaller trips when they only need a few essentials (a small water bottle, a piece of fruit and some snacks). 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. Looking for a bigger kid’s lunch box? Try the regular size 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: $35, STATEBags.com
TWELVELittle Adventure Lunch Bag
TWELVELittle is known for its hardy (not to mention stylish!) diaper bags. But did you know that the brand makes kids’ lunch boxes too? The new Adventure style comes with a long detachable strap, so it can be carried by hand or worn as a crossbody bag. Plus, the fully insulated interior is large enough to accommodate a kid-size bento box and has two mesh pockets, for snacks, utensils or ice packs.
Buy it: $19, Maisonette.com
PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag
If you like to keep things streamlined, this might be your top pick for the best lunch box for kids. Most options call for separate ice packs to keep lunches cool. Not this kids’ lunch box though; it features a built-in cooling gel. The PackIt Freezable 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 solid colors and prints.
Buy it: $22, Amazon.com
PlanetBox ROVER Stainless Steel Lunchbox
The PlanetBox ROVER 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. Bonus: This pick is dishwasher-safe, non-toxic and carries a five-year guarantee.
Buy it: $60, PlanetBox.com
Yumbox Leakproof Bento Box for Kids
For a smaller, lightweight option that’s ideal for toddlers on the go, opt for the Yumbox leakproof bento box. It holds just the right amount of food for your little one’s tummy; plus, this toddler lunch box is designed to keep even applesauce and yogurt from spilling out. It comes in several styles, including the Panino, which has one large compartment and three smaller ones, or the traditional style with six compartments. The removable food tray is also dishwasher-safe.
Buy it: $29, Yumbox.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 box and keeps food cold until lunchtime, 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
Wildkin Kids Insulated Lunch Box Bag for Boys and Girls
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 for your little.
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com
Stephen Joseph Embroidered Owl Lunch Bag
What makes this Stephen Joseph kids’ lunch bag so awesome? Its versatility. Thanks to the extendable, adjustable strap, it can be carried by hand, clipped onto a backpack or worn as a shoulder bag. The main compartment is super-roomy and insulated, keeping food fresher for longer. Plus, the zip-open pocket at the bottom is perfect for heavier snacks and utensils. One thing to note is that at 9.5” tall, this lunch box is a better choice for older kids.
Buy it: $28, buybuyBABY.com
Bentgo Kids Children’s Lunch Box
Here’s yet another great bento-style toddler lunch box: Billed as leakproof, the Bentgo lunch box has five compartments portioned perfectly for a tot’s appetite. It has rubber-coated edges and a durable design, so if you have an accident-prone kid, this one’s a winner. Plus, 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: $25, Amazon.com
Nickelodeon PAW Patrol Puptastic Insulated Lunch Box in Blue
Your little pup will love this personalized PAW Patrol toddler lunch box. The insulated bag has one large compartment with an inner net pocket as well as a comfortable carrying handle. Add your kid’s name or initials to the front, and they’ll feel like an honorary member of the PAW Patrol gang.
Buy it: $28, buybuyBABY.com
Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Lunch Box
When it comes to classic kids’ lunch boxes, you can’t beat the Mackenzie lunch box range from Pottery Barn Kids. There are 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-and-cold food mini container too. You can attach the lunch boxes to one of the PB Kids coordinating backpacks, using the attached straps. For an extra-special touch, personalize your child’s lunch box with their name or monogram.
Buy it: Starting from $27, PotteryBarnKids.com
HydroFlask Kids Insulated Lunch Box
Next up is a parent-approved option with over 100 five-star reviews. Available in eight bright colors, the Hydro Flask kids’ lunch box is super-durable, with a flexible carry handle made for little hands. But the real standout features: The double layer of insulation and the interior band designed to hold an ice-pack, which keeps food cold for hours. Plus, it’s BPA-free and easily wipes clean.
Buy it: $45, HydroFlask.com
LunchBots Small Protein Packer
Searching for a compact toddler lunch box? Check out this stainless steel bento box from LunchBots. Ideal for snacks on the go, the interior has two small compartments that hold 2 oz. each, and two tiny 1 oz. sections. Plus, it’s 100 percent dishwasher-safe. One possible downside is that this lunch box isn’t leak-proof, making it best suited for dry finger food like crackers or veggies.
Buy it: $20, LunchBots.com
Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag
The best kids’ lunch boxes appeal to parents and kids alike. And Fluf designs certainly do that. The brand sells simple lunch bags with cute animal prints and food-inspired motifs that kids will love. Meanwhile, parents will appreciate the easy-wipe, water-resistant lining, cotton carry-handles and the fact that the brand uses sustainable materials. Plus, all of the bags in this collection are machine-washable—score.
Buy it: $29, Maisonette.com
Arctic Zone Reusable Lunch Box with Accessories
This preschool and kindergarten kids’ lunch box has tons of five-star reviews—and we can see why. The sweet owl-print set includes an ice-pack, BPA-free bottle and food container, which all fit neatly into the insulated lunch box. Better yet, the leak-proof Microban lining is easy to clean and protects against bacteria, odors and stains. All that for $10? We’ll take two.
Buy it: $20, Amazon.com
Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz Lunch Box Peacoat Monster Truck
How about an effortlessly cool toddler lunch box by Herschel? The durable lunch box features a woven name label and a large insulated snack compartment that wipes clean, making it the perfect cafeteria companion. It comes in 16 prints and patterns, including this cute monster truck design that mini motorheads will adore.
Buy it: $30, Herschel.com
Austin Baby Collection Silicone Bento Box Bundle in Camper Sage Green
If you’re on the hunt for a trendy toddler lunch box, try this playfully colorful bundle. Made from food-grade silicone, this set includes a bib, placemat and bento box. Get a load of that whimsical, camp-inspired print!
Buy it: $50, Maisonette.com
Green Sprouts Baby Reusable Insulated Sandwich Bags
Many toddler backpacks have built-in cooler sections—so you may not need a bulky lunchbox too. If that’s the case, check out these nifty reusable lunch bags from Green Sprouts Baby. The waterproof outer-layer prevents leakage, while a food-safe, stain-resistant inner-lining keeps snacks fresh and cool. Curved corners prevent crumbs from getting trapped, and a zip-closure keeps food securely in place. We also love the fact that these snack packs are machine-washable and dishwasher-safe.
Buy it: $15 for a pack of 2, GreenSproutsBaby.com
THERMOS FUNTAINER Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Kids Food Jar
When colder temperatures hit, it’s nice to have the option to bring a hot lunch to school. This Thermos lunch container for kids keeps food warm for up to five hours (or cold for up to seven hours). Designed with munchkins in mind, the vacuum-insulated stainless steel interior and exterior are super-durable, and the push-button 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. Bonus: It comes with a foldable spoon that can be stored inside the thermos.
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com
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