2020 Guide to Choosing the Best School Lunch Box For Kids and Teens

The ultimate guide to picking the perfect school lunch box, lunch bag, and drink bottle for your child in 2020 – plus they’re all available from the one online shop!

Choosing a lunch box can be confusing to say the least! There are many different varieties, styles and sizes of lunch boxes to choose from, not to mention different materials. We all want to pick a non-toxic lunch box that won’t harm our children, whilst also ensuring it’s easy to clean, then comes the challenge of finding an insulated bag to fit the lunch box and accessories in. With so many different lunch boxes on the market to consider, I hope my guide below will help you pick one that ticks all your boxes… plus I’m super excited to say I’m now stocking all of these little ladies in my online shop!

2020 Guide to choosing the best lunchbox

I noticed last year that the few lunch boxes we stocked in our online shop were incredibly popular! So in a bid to make your back-to-school planning even easier this year, I have literally turned The Organised Housewife Shop into a one-stop-shop for all your school lunch needs! Now you can choose from all my favourite lunch boxes, lunch bags, water bottles, and lunch accessories (as featured in this blog) and pay only one postage fee – plus there’s the option of AfterPay if needed. As always thank you for your support, and happy shopping…

What to look for in a lunch box:

  • BPA-Free – The lunch box should be safe to store food inside
  • Stay Fresh – A box that will seal and keep an unwrapped item fresh
  • Easy to Clean – I prefer one lid for the lunch box, easy to clean and store when drying
  • Size – It’s not too big to fit into the kid’s school bag, and doesn’t take up most of the space
  • Sections – Separate spaces to place different foods
  • Perfect Portions – Sections that are big enough for the amount of food your child will eat
  • Reusable – Save the environment and your pocket by not using plastic cling wrap
  • Dishwasher safe – For those days you don’t have time to hand wash
  • Easy to store – not too bulky to store when not in use
  • Machine washable – lunch bags that can easily be washed in the washing machine

I personally prefer lunch boxes that seal tight and keep an unwrapped sandwich fresh. They are more eco-friendly as they eliminate unnecessary waste, plastic wrap that isn’t environmentally friendly, and the extra dollars that are associated with using these plastic one-use products.

A few kids – especially those that are a little fussy – might like to graze on a variety of foods. For these children, the bento style boxes and accessories are very clever at making the food fun and exciting.

How Big A Lunch Box Do I Buy?

This really depends on how much your child eats. I would suggest getting a lunch box larger than you think you need, because as your child grows they will be wanting to eat more. I typically make sure the lunch box is big enough to fit a sandwich, fruit and snacks in.

I have taken photos of all our lunchboxes below with food inside to show you how much they can store.  There are a great range of lunchboxes for younger children and teens.

Is One Lunch Box Enough?

This depends on a few factors. Consider:

  • Will the lunchbox fit both lunch and morning tea in the one box? If not, you may need some snack boxes along with the lunch box.
  • How much does your child like to eat? I know my son eats more than my girls so I generally pack him an extra snack box with his lunch. If you need to do this, consider the lunch bag you choose to ensure it can fit two lunchboxes.
  • Do you want to prepare a few days worth of lunches in advance? If you want to pack lunches and freeze them, there are some lunch boxes that are freezer friendly.

Waste free school lunchboxes for 2020

Do I Need An Insulated Lunch Bag?

Simple answer is YES, even on the coolest of days I still get my kids to pack an ice brick alongside their lunch boxes inside a lunch bag to keep their sandwiches and fruit fresh. Throughout the school day their school bags can end up in bag racks and lockers that are in full sun. The insulated bag and ice brick will help to keep all the food in the lunch box as fresh as can be. Even when using an insulated lunch bag the frozen baked goodies I place into the kids lunchboxes are still defrosted by morning tea.

Lunch bag pictured below available here.

Montiico lunchbag for school lunches

What To Pack In The Lunch Box?

You can find some ideas in these posts below.

LUNCH BOX RECIPES COOKBOOK – Lunches made easy, healthy and affordable with my Lunch Box Recipes Cookbook. Now the whole family – not just the school kids – can quickly grab a tasty sandwich alternative (sweet or savoury) straight from the freezer each morning. The cookbook includes over 50 freezer-friendly recipes that make for perfect no-fridge, no-heat lunches ideal for school, work, or even picnics! View cookbook here.

CREATE A WEEKLY LUNCH BOX PLAN – Take the stress out of lunch packing with my easy-to-use Lunch Box Planner Pad that comes delivered direct to your door, ready for hassle free lunch box prep. Lunch Box Planner Pad pictured below available here.

Lunch box planner pad to organise school lunches


My Recommended Lunch Boxes For Kids

If you want your child’s school lunchbox to last all year, then it pays to get a good quality lunch box that can withstand the wear and tear of a school day. Remember you also want a lunch box, lunch bag, and water bottle that are easy for you to wash and pack each day. Here is a selection of some great lunch boxes that I recommend, as well as compatible lunch bags and accessories that you could team them with. All of these are available online!

  FULL RANGE: View our full range of Lunch Boxes here.


Little Lunchbox Co Lunchboxes – Bento Five

This bento box lunchbox allows you to pack endless combinations of nutritious food that will look appetising by using different textures and colour combinations. Pack balanced meals with ease when using the Bento Five which has one compartment for each of the five food groups. Pack a wrap next to wet foods such as yoghurt, dips or fruit without the risk of spoiling.

As you can see in the photo below it stores a lot of food, great for a child that likes to snack on a variety of foods, rather than eat a sandwich.

  • Sections: 5
  • Dimensions: 17.5cm x 17.5cm x 5.6cm
  • Capacity: 980ml
  • Colours: A great range for both boys and girls
  • Leakproof: Yes
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: dishwasher safe (top rack – low temperature).
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi, Project Ten

Little Lunch Box Co lunch box for school

Little Lunchbox Co Lunchboxes – Bento Three

This is a great lunchbox to pack not only for kids but adults too, I use this for work.  Adding into the top two smaller section some fruit and snacks and then I make a salad placing it in the bigger section.  It’s leakproof too so you don’t have to worry about spilling your fruit into other sections.  The Bento Three lunchbox which will fit a sandwich comfortably.

  • Sections: 3
  • Dimensions: 17.5cm x 17.5cm x 5.6cm
  • Capacity: 980ml
  • Colours: A great range for both boys and girls
  • Leakproof: Yes
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: dishwasher safe (top rack – low temperature).
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi, Project Ten

Pink lunchbox bento style by little lunchbox co

Little Lunchbox Co Lunchboxes – Bento Two

The Bento Two is the great little size for either snacks, children who don’t have big appetites or perfect for school kids that Munch and Crunch / after school care snacks.  Its compact size makes it easy to pack when you are on the move.

  • Sections: 3
  • Dimensions:12.3cm x 12.9cm x 5.6cm
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Colours: A great range for both boys and girls
  • Leakproof: No
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi + PackIt

Bento Little Lunchbox Co bento box for school

Love Mae Lunch Box

These Love Mae lunchboxes can fit so much food in them! They are very similar to the Tupperware Sandwich Keeper Plus Lunch Boxes, the added difference with Love Mae lunch box is they have super cute designs and that it comes with two mini containers that fit inside the lunchbox, despite the lunchbox being leakproof you have the added peace of mind that adding juicy fruits or yoghurt to the containers they won’t spill onto the other food in the lunchbox. The image below gives you a good indication of how big food fits into this container.

  • Sections: 4
  • Dimensions: 30cm x 14.5cm x 5.5cm
  • Colours: Pink, Green, Yellow and Blue
  • Leakproof: Yes
  • BPA Free: Free from BPA and phthalates
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag: Love Mae has created a cooler bag that fits the lunchbox in perfectly, however you won’t be able to add any other containers into this lunch bag, view them here. The MontiiCo Lunch Bags fit this lunch box with room left over.

Love Mae lunchbox for kids school lunches

PackIt Bento Lunch Box

These are my new favourite Lunchbox! My girls have actually said they would like to use this style along with the smaller snack box version for their lunches.  It comes with 3 dividers, each which are leak-resistant and you can even remove a divider to suit the food that you are packing – like I’ve done below.

  • Sections: 4 but are removable and can be customised
  • Dimensions: 13cm x 18cm x 7cm
  • Colours: Clear with grey lid
  • Leakproof: Yes
  • BPA Free: Yes,  plus shatter resistant and crystal clear
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes, top rack
  • Microwave Safe:  Yes, without lid
  • Freezer Safe: Yes
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: PackIt + all listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi

Ever Eco Bento Snack Box – 1, 2 + 3 Compartment (purchased separately)

These Bento Snack Boxes come in an option of 1, 2, or 3 compartments and make healthy snacking and meal prepping super easy, each available to be purchased separately. The 1 compartment design is great for kids school lunch snacks and light meals, whilst the handy dividers in the 2 and 3 compartment boxes allows you to easily separate snacks. They are plastic-free and ultra-durable.

  • Sections: 1, 2, or 3
  • Dimensions: 16cm x 11.5cm x 4cm
  • Colours: Stainless steel
  • Leakproof: No
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi + PackIt

Ever Eco Bento Lunch Box – 2 Compartment

This 2 compartment Bento Lunch Box is customisable with the removable/slide-able divider. It fits a sandwich or wrap cut in half, with plenty of space left over for sides and snacks. The silicone seal in this lunch box is great for keeping the lid secure, however, I would recommend teaming this lunch box with the leakproof mini containers if you’re wanting to send yoghurt or condiments to school.

  • Sections: 2
  • Dimensions: 21 x 16 x 6cm
  • Colours: Stainless steel
  • Leakproof: No
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi + PackIt

Ever Eco Stackable Bento Lunch Box – 2 Tier + Mini Container

This stackable lunch box is great for kids that like variety for their school lunch, but don’t necessarily have a huge bag to take large lunch boxes. These space saving lunch boxes offer two seperate containers for food, plus a mini container perfect for a munch and crunch snack.

  • Sections: 1 section in each of the the 3 containers
  • Dimensions: 14cm x 11cm x 8cm
  • Colours: Stainless steel
  • Leakproof: No
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi + PackIt

Ever Eco XL Stackable Bento Lunch Box – 2 Tier + Mini Container

This is perfect for the child with a growing appetite! The two XL stackable lunch boxes allow for heaps of space, which is ideal for hungry teenagers! This lunch box has non-removable side clips that can be tightened or loosened depending on personal preference, however like all the Ever Eco Bento Boxes I suggest teaming them with the leakproof mini containers if you’re wanting to send liquids to school.

  • Sections: 1 section in each of the 3 containers
  • Dimensions: 18cm x 13cm x 8cm
  • Colours: Stainless steel
  • Leakproof: No
  • BPA Free: Yes
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Microwave Safe: No
  • Freezer Safe: No
  • Suitable Insulated Lunch bag: All listed below = MontiiCo, Fridge-to-go, Love Mae, Sachi


Insulated Lunch Bags

It’s important to get a lunch bag as well as a lunch box. The lunch bag will help to keep the food in the lunchbox cold and fresh.  There so many available, but will your chosen lunchbox fit into the lunch bag? I have included above which lunch boxes will fit into each bag to help you! Most importantly, all the bags suggested below are insulated.

  FULL RANGE: View our full range of Lunch Bags here. 


Fridge-To-Go + Ice Brick

The Fridge-To-Gp Lunch Bag lets you pack ANY food for the day such as dairy, meat, etc and because it’s cool and fresh it is more likely to be eaten and not come home! Perfect size to use with different shaped containers and fits easily inside a backpack.  Just pop the cooing panel into the freezer (spare panels available separately ) and you will always have a fridge to go.  Give surround cooling for 8 hours.

My twins are each using this lunch bag this year.

Dimensions: 20cm x 23cm x 8cm
Icebrick: Included

Love Mae Cooler Bag + Ice Brick

This cooler bag fits the Love Mae lunch box perfectly and includes an ice brick that fits to the lunch bag, so is guaranteed to keep the contents cold and fresh. The only downside is that you won’t be able to fit a banana or any additional containers in this lunch bag.

Dimensions: 32.5cm x 18.5cm x 7.5cm
Icebrick: Included

Please note: we no longer have this coloured bag in stock, but we do have other designs available. 

MontiiCo Lunch Bag + Ice Pack

There are a large range of very cool patterns available for this MontiiCo insulated lunch bag, which fits many popular lunch boxes. The included ice pack conveniently slips into its own separate pocket, so there is no condensation in the bag, and it can be easily cleaned with a quick wipe down or by popping it in the washing machine.

Dimensions: 23.5cm x 28cm x 7.5cm
Icebrick: Included

Project Ten Insulated Lunch Bags

There are two sizes available for the Project Ten Lunch Bags.
Mini Lunch Bag – These mini insulated lunch bags are the perfect sized lunch bag for children. They can fit most available Bento Boxes or lunch containers on the market with 2 on top of each other, and also allow small to medium sized drink bottles to stand upright inside them. Like all the Project Ten lunch bags, this one comes in heaps of fun prints!
Dimensions: 19cm x 19cm x 15cm
Lunch Bag – These are the lunch bags my girls have used the past 2 years. They are a great size, and are big enough to fit a banana on top or the side. It’s not a bulky bag (it is flimsy, but still gets 5 stars from me) so if you only have a few items in it, it won’t take up too much room in school bags. I love all the fun prints that these lunch bags come in!
Dimensions: 10cm x 30cm x 18cm

Sachi Lunch Bag

Sachi Insulated Lunch Totes expand into a roomy bag and comes with two zipped compartments. The fun prints and easy practical handle makes it great for fashion-conscious teens who want to carry their lunch bags, and can be teamed with the Sachi Cool Gem reusable ice pack to keep food extra cold.

My youngest is using this lunch bag this year.

Dimensions: 25cm x 22cm x 18cm
Icebrick: Not included


Insulated Drink Bottles

A good quality water bottle should last you the whole year – if not much longer – and an insulated water bottle is a great ideas as it will help keep your child’s water cool throughout the day.

  FULL RANGE: View our full range of Drink Bottles here. 


MontiiCo Drink Bottle – Original – 600ml

This is a good staple water bottle that is incredibly durable. This one comes with a bamboo screw lid, but the Sports Lid can be purchased separately if your child prefers. The Sports Lid is great for younger children.

Dimensions: 25 x 7cm


MontiiCo Drink Bottle – Glitter – 600ml

This funky double-wall stainless steel water bottle with stylish bamboo screw lid has a double-walled insulation body and a water tight seal to keep your child’s water cool all day.

Dimensions: 25 x 7cm


Colourful Montiico water bottle for kids

MontiiCo Drink Bottle – Mini – 350ml

These mini drink bottles are great for kid’s school bags! They have a double-walled insulation body to help keep drinks cold, and an easy sip lid. You can fill these little babies with anything from juice to milk or water.


MontiiCo Drink Bottle – Glitter – 350ml

I love the MontiiCo glitter water bottles – they are so fun and the kids seem to love them. I also like that these have a wide top, great for popping a few ice cubes in to keep water colder even longer.


Ever Eco Drink Bottle – 750ml

A gorgeous drink bottle for the more mature child who is wanting something stylish and chic that can keep cold drinks cold, and hot drinks hot. The powder-coated finish is lovely and durable too! Available in a variety of colours.

Dimensions:


Watermate Drink Bottle – 550ml + 950ml

The Watermate water bottle features double wall stainless steel insulation, is fully durable, condensation-free, and keeps water cold for up to 24 hours.

Dimensions:


Lunchbox Accessories

Check out these practical and fun lunch box accessories that will have you covered for extra yoghurt containers, travel cutlery, and even fun lunch box notes or sandwich cutters.

  FULL RANGE: View our full range of Lunch Box Accessories here. 


Ever Eco – Mini Containers – Set Of 3

These practical mini stainless steel containers with leak-proof silicone lids are the perfect addition for your child’s lunchboxes for dips, dressings, sauces, yoghurt or sultanas.


Ever Eco – Round Containers – Set Of 3

These handy round stainless steel containers with leak-proof silicone lids are ideal to use alone or inside a lunchbox to separate food. With three different sizes, you will always have the perfect container on hand for snacks, left-overs, salad dressings, sauces and more.


MontiiCo – Lunch Box Notes

Add an element of fun to your kid’s lunch bag with these notes that let the kids know you’re thinking about them. They seamlessly pop into the MontiiCo lunch bags, but would be a nice addition to any lunch bag you choose.


Ever Eco – Bamboo Spork

This reusable all-in-one bamboo spork is prefect for the popping in your teenagers lunch box for school.


Retro Kitchen – Carry Your Cutlery

This adorable cutlery case comes in a couple of really pretty and funky designs, and is great for older children who enjoy taking salads or meals to school. They are also very environmentally friendly, which is a huge plus!


Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters

What kid wouldn’t love to open their school lunchbox to see a batman face sandwich (or a unicorn or mermaid for that matter) staring back at them?! These re-usable cutters are especially great for kids that like their crusts removed, and also double-up as PlayDoh and cookie cutters.


What lunch box will you be getting for your school kids this year?

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6 comments

Beck January 10, 2020 - 11:48 AM

Hi Kat! I’m just wondering if the little silicon ‘snack cups’ you have in some of the pics are just the cupcake type ones or if you get them elsewhere? Thanks! Beck!

Reply
Beck January 10, 2020 - 11:51 AM

Don’t worry I just found them on your site – durr! 😉

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 14, 2020 - 3:05 PM

Hehe, glad you managed to find them Beck 🙂 They are so handy to have! Kat x

Reply
Brooke January 21, 2020 - 1:22 PM

Thank you for your helpful list! I bought the Love Mae lunch boxes for Christmas after reading your 2019 list and the are great! I find that the lid measures 31cm long though and I can’t find any insulated bags to suit them that leave room for a banana also. Have you heard of any?Thank you

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 23, 2020 - 9:28 AM

Hi Brooke, the Love Mae lunchboxes fit into the MontiiCo Insulated Lunch Bags with room left over. You could also use the Love Mae Cooler Bags without the ice brick – it won’t give you as much extra room as the MontiiCo, but enough for a banana and muesli bar. I have popped both links below for you to check out. Hope this helps, Kat x

MontiiCo: https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/shop/brands/montiico/
Love Mae: https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/shop/brands/love-mae/

Reply
Claire May 15, 2020 - 8:52 AM

Hi Katrina,
I’ve just read this article in a bid to solve my lunch bag dilemmas. We have the little lunch box co bento boxes which are fabulous but not quite big enough for my boys. I have to put some items in and some items out of the box, in the insulated lunch bag with an ice brick. The problem I am having is that the lunch bags become gross really quickly. It doesn’t seem to matter if I buy good ones or cheap ones. The kids eat into the cavity and it gets mouldy, smelly and generally gross even with regular cleaning (don’t get me started about the time a patty case was left in the zipper pocket though……ew ew ew). Is there a product that does it all – a box that insulates itself and can be completely cleaned? Or an insulated bag that will last longer than a semester? Thanks in advance for any insights you have

Reply

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