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While a healthy school lunch is probably your primary goal, how the food is transported is also an important factor. Gone are the days of packing your kids' food in a brown paper bag. As parents have gotten smarter about how to pack kids' lunches, so have the options for what to pack them in. We love that we've entered an age where you have options for choosing the best kids lunch box.
Popular bento-style lunch boxes with compartments have made lunch prep more organized, not to mention more enjoyable for kids. These containers will also care for what's inside, so contents won't get crushed or get mixed together. Rreusable lunch boxes are also environmentally-friendly, unlike single-use plastic.
No matter your kids' ages, their tastes, or your budget, we've got picks that tick all the boxes. Our list includes options in bright colors and fun prints, as well boxes with different features to help keep food at its best. You'll find innovative lunch-carrying options, from stainless steel to insulated, with compartmentalized storage, removable containers for after-school snacks, and more.
The best kids lunch boxes to buy in 2023:
For more of the best back-to-school ideas, check out our guides:
What to look for when shopping for a kids' lunch box
✔️ Insulation: If you want to pack both hot and cold lunches, you'll need a lunch box that has a thermos compartment for hot foods, as well as insulation features or ice packs to keep food cool.
✔️ Microwave-, freezer, or dishwasher-safe: Consider options with these factors for easy heating, meal prep and storage, and cleaning.
✔️ Leak-proof: You'll likely want to pick a lunch box that won't spill and lead to a mess inside your kid's school bag.
✔️ Multiple compartments: If you're looking to include variety for your little one, or if you plan to pack a main dish (like a sandwich or rice) along with snacks or sides, you'll need a lunch box with multiple compartments.
✔️ Size: If the lunch box needs to fit inside a lunch bag or backpack, be sure to check the measurements before you choose.
✔️ Colors and characters: Because, let's be real, sometimes kids can be fickle. They may be more excited to eat what's inside the lunch box if it is adorned in a theme or color scheme they love.
Alesandra is a digital travel and lifestyle journalist based in Los Angeles whose work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Prevention, Insider, Glamour, Shondaland, AFAR, Parents, TODAY and countless other online and print outlets. Alesandra has a masters degree in journalism with an emphasis on cultural reporting and criticism from NYU, and a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. An avid traveler, she trots the globe with her husband and their twins.
Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle writer and editor with 15+ years of experience working in digital media. She has created share-worthy content for publishers Shape, What To Expect, Cafe Mom, TODAY, CBS News, HuffPo, The Bump, Health, Ask Men, and Best Gifts. A working mom of two, her editorial expertise in parenting, shopping, and home are rooted in her everyday life.
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