The best kids' lunch boxes you can buy
- A lunch box is an undervalued but extremely important school supply. For some students, it's the most important supply, and it's certainly one that gets a lot of use.
- Our picks give you the best options from preschool to college and everything in between.
- With a built-in ice pack, the PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag will keep your elementary-schooler's lunch cold and fresh.
- Your high-schooler will appreciate the Rubbermaid LunchBlox's stackable containers that keep food separated for snacking throughout the day.
- You can also check out our guide on how to pack a school lunch in a few steps.
Since they don't land a spot on the back-to-school shopping lists provided by schools, lunch boxes are sometimes an afterthought, but they are one of the most important school supplies. A good lunch box that allows you to pack a variety of foods will keep your kids full and give them the brainpower to do their best in school every day.
Buying a quality lunch box can make your life a lot easier too. Choose the right lunch box for your kid, and they'll be more excited about eating lunch. They might even help you pack it. You'll also make fewer trips to school for forgotten lunches if your child loves their lunch box. If you can swing it, you can save time on packing lunches by buying a few lunch boxes and batch prepping them at the beginning of the week.
Choosing the best lunch box can be difficult, and the features you need vary based on your situation. Here are some of the major factors we considered when choosing our top picks:
- Durability: As a former high school teacher, I've seen how students treat their school supplies, and it isn't pretty. A lunch box should be able to stand up to getting tossed in lockers, stuffed in backpacks, and dropped in the hallway.
- Capacity: You may be surprised how much variation there is in the amount of food lunch boxes can hold. When determining our picks, we considered the average amount of food each age group eats, so our recommendations aren't too big for little ones or too small for older kids.
- Appearance: This can make all the difference. Younger kids might be more likely to eat their lunch if it's in a cool container with their favorite character, and older kids wouldn't be caught dead with a juvenile lunch box.
- Temperature control: Keeping food at the proper temperature is important for your kid's lunch to taste good and for it to remain at a safe temperature. Some of our picks have built-in ice packs or insulated containers. For picks that don't include these, be sure to include them if the lunch needs to stay hot or cold.
The cost of school supplies can add up quickly, so we checked out lunch boxes in a variety of price ranges, and our cheapest pick starts at just $6.60. To bring you the best lunch box recommendations, I combined my years of experience as a teacher with thorough research of products on review sites, brand websites, and customer reviews.
Here are the best kids' lunch boxes you can buy:
- Best kids' lunch box for preschool: Bentgo Kids Lunch Box
- Best kids' lunch box for elementary school: PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag
- Best kids' lunch box for middle school: OmieBox Bento Box
- Best lunch box for high school: Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit
- Best lunch box for college: LunchBots Large Trio
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