Some of the items in this post were gifted. All of the opinions are my own. All links are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Okayest Moms!
I realize how naive writing a post on lunch box essentials is, considering I haven’t ever been a full time lunch packer. I have no doubt that packing lunches everyday will be the first thing to make me pull my hair out, which is exactly why I wanted to invest in some things that would make packing lunches easier.
One thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to swim in a sea of plastic bags all year long. Or have an avalanche of plastic containers fall on me every time I opened the cabinet. Before kids, I really made a conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint, because you know, I had time to think about things like that that were important to me. Convenience is king during the chaotic days of little kids, but as my kids get older and I have a few more minutes to breathe and think, I’m finding there are little ways we as a family can be greener. Lunches seemed like a great place to start, since they can produce so much waste. Of course, mornings running out the door are chaotic, so do what works best for your family!
I went with the Pottery Barn Kids lunch box in the “cold” style because I was so impressed with how well the backpack washed. I have no illusions that this lunchbox is going to remain pristine, so I wanted something that could withstand a pretty regular washing. After washing the backpack, I’m pretty sure this lunch box is up for the task. Plus it matches the backpack she already has 💁🏼♀️
Since I wanted to eliminate waste, I knew I wanted to go with some kind of divided container. I went back and forth about plastic or metal. Plastic was lighter, but probably not as durable as metal. Metal was also the “greener” choice. The winner was the Lunchbots Cinco container. I was generously gifted the container from Lunchbots. I know this is an investment, but because of the stainless steel construction, I expect to get a few years use out of it. Probably a naive statement, but I have high hopes! **Goes to write “Isla” on every square inch of it**
Even with the Lunchbot container, there will probably be the occasional odd item that doesn’t fit. Sami, the sweet owner of EZ Baby Online, saw my plea on Instagram about lunches and she sent us a few reusable snack bags to try. We’ve been using them all summer and I’m so impressed with the quality. They are handmade and generously sized. These will be perfect for a snack on the walk home from school or in the lunch box to hold an extra snack for recess. Use code OKAYESTMOMS10 to get 10% off your entire order!
One of the down sides to starting so early in August is that it’s still super hot. We’ve had Hydroflask water bottles for the kids for several months now. I was worried they’d be too heavy, turned into a weapon or lost. Luckily, none of those things have happened, and they’re drinking more water because it’s always ice cold.
Brittany’s Lunch Box Essentials
Brittany is the more experienced lunch packer. Here are a few of her tried and true lunch box essentials that have withstood the test of time.
These lunch containers have lasted a whole year in Harrison’s lunch.
She packs homemade Lunchables in these snack containers.
I definitely don’t plan to have fancy lunches every day. That is a level of Pinterest Worthiness I don’t care to achieve. My goal is to just pack things that will be eaten, so everything comes back empty at the end of the day. That goal is lofty enough all in itself, right?
What are your lunchbox essentials?