How to choose a school lunchbox

Finding the perfect lunch box for our kids that meets their needs and style can be a challenge. But don’t worry, we’re here to help with this guide to choosing the best school lunch box for kids! 

With so many options out there in terms of size, function, looks and price point, it can feel overwhelming. However, if you break it down by evaluating your child’s preferences.  

From insulated bags to dedicated spots and compartments for snacks and sandwiches, explore the ideas that will help keep your child fueled through their busy school days. 

What to look for in a lunch box or bag:

  • 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

for younger kids

There’s a wide range of lunchboxes and bags available for kids. I always liked a lunch box (with compartments) inside a lunch bag with an ice pack to keep everything cool and fresh all day. Here are some of my top choices.

montiico insulated lunch bagS

Available in three sizes, these lunch bags are made with durable, water-resistant fabric to help resist dirt and grime. They are lightweight, machine washable, come with their own gel ice pack and have a handy clip to attach to backpacks.

lunch boxes

Once you have your lunch bag, you’ll need containers to fit inside it. These divided lunchboxes and divided snack containers are the ideal way to store a sandwich and snacks while minimising the use of cling wrap. They come in a pack of 5 so you’ll always have some on hand ready to pack on busy mornings.

little lunch co bento lunch boxes

Bento Two: Perfect for a child’s first lunch box or a snack box for after-school activities, this bento-two box range is super cute, dishwasher safe and has removable compartments. The removable divider allows you to add extra variety to your lunches, separating dry foods within the leakproof compartments.

View all our Little Lunchbox Co Bento Two designs and colours here

Bento Three: designed to help children who need variety or are fussy eaters. Its built-in compartments seal tight, and its smart design stops foods from transferring, including most wet foods.

View all our Little Lunchbox Co Bento Three designs and colours here

Bento Five: The five fixed compartments allow for endless combinations of snacks for lunch – add fruit, veggies, crackers, yoghurt, sandwich squares… the list goes on

View all our Little Lunchbox Co Bento Five designs and colours here

love mae bento lunch box

This bento-style box by Love Mae can fit several snacks as well as a sandwich/salad/wrap inside it. It comes in a variety of colours and matching cooler bags and ice packs are available.

lunchbox accessories

Packing lunch is one thing – getting them to eat it is another! Here are some great ways to make lunch time fun and interesting for kids and teens.

wrap bands

Wraps are a great alternative to a sandwich but they can get messy! One way to keep them neatly wrapped and easy to eat is with these fun and practical wrap bands.

sandwich cutters

These are so fun!! If they’re not going to eat the crusts anyway, cut them off and make the sandwich fun with a sandwich cutter! Available in space, dinosaur, unicorn and puzzle shapes. You can also use food kebab sticks to make eating fruit and veggies more fun. 

for teens

Once they’ve grown out of ‘kid’ style lunchboxes and they’re open to a wider variety of food options, you can move onto more grown-up styles to store their lunches in and keep them going throughout the day.

packit freezeable hampton bag

For kids with big appetites or who need to pack food for the whole day, this Packit Hampton lunch bag will fit a good sized lunch and possibly even their drink bottle. No heavy ice packs are needed with this lunch bag – the whole bag is freezeable! Simply flatten it and store each night in your freezer for all-day freshness. It has a convenient side pocket for cutlery, student ID cards or wipes.

bentgo all-in-one salad container

If your teen enjoys salads, tacos, DIY wraps or other non-sandwich lunches, these salad containers are fantastic for keeping everything separated until lunch time. 

montiico insulated lunch bag – blossom leopard

Add a little style to lunch times, this Montiico lunch bag comes with a self-contained gel ice pack that sits in a separate pocket to keep everything fresh, and is the perfect size to fit a large number of popular lunchboxes. Easy to wipe clean + they are machine washable!

3 compartment lunchbox

Even though these 3 compartment lunchboxes were mentioned above, they are worthy of another mention. Ideal for teens as it fits a large sandwich, rolls, wraps or salad along with fruit and snacks to feed their hungry bellies at lunchtime. 
They come in a pack of 5 so you’ll always have some on hand ready to pack on busy mornings.
For the busy teen, they can make a week of lunches and freeze. Take one lunchbox out of the freezer the night before, then simply add fresh fruit or crackers

A huge time saver for busy mornings. 

tempa bento lunchbox

With its bamboo lid and contemporary colours, this bento box is ideal for older kids and teens who have grown out of younger styles. It can hold a sandwich and snacks and comes with a set of bamboo cutlery.

montiico large insulated lunch bag – coal

If you’ve got a kid who likes to keep things simple – no patterns or bright colours – this is the lunch box for them! MontiiCo’s lunch bag in Coal is ideal for keeping lunch low key.

snack n dip container

If your child likes to dip veggie sticks or crackers into dip, or fruit into yoghurt, this is the ideal snack n dip container to store dipping snacks.

Hopefully there are some helpful tips here to help you choose a lunchbox and tick that task off your back-to-school list!


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