Best Lunch Boxes, Bentos, and Insulated Bags Android Central 2019

My kids, like many others, hate school lunch. Even my high schoolers prefer to bring their mid-day meal rather than face the lunch lady. Here are some of the boxes, bags, and containers I've found that help keep food hot, cold and appetizing in between catching the bus and lunchtime.

Ultimate lunch system: Zuzuro Lunch Cooler

Staff pick

This insulated lunch bag has three compartments with enough room in one to hold three food containers, which are included. Another compartment is designed to hold drink bottles, boxes or cans and keep them chilled. The Zuzuro Lunch Cooler includes two reusable ice packs and extra pockets inside and out to hold a lot of extra food.

$30 at Amazon

Freezable Lunchbox: PackIt Lunchbox

The PackIt Lunchbox walls are insulated with a freezable gel. Place it in the freezer overnight and the entire lunchbox will be cold enough to keep foods chilled for several hours. This is a great solution for keeping fruits, veggies, cheese, yogurt and other fresh food good and cold for lunch. Choose from 14 different colors and styles that are perfect for kids from preschool to college.

$24 at Amazon

Insulated Lunch Bag: MIER Lunch Tote

The MIER is a double-decker lunch bag with two insulated compartments that keeps both hot and cold foods, at the same time, without interfering with the temperatures of each other. Additional pockets on the outside of the tote gives you more space to send more food with your child. It has a sturdy handle and an adjustable, removable strap for easy carrying.

$18 at Amazon

Bento Boxes: Enther Meal Prep Containers

These bento-style meal containers come in a bundle of 12 to make it easy to prepare lunches for the whole week ahead of time. The Enther Meal Prep Containers have three sections to keep foods from touching each other. The lids are easy to get on and off and keep foods from spilling.

$14 at Amazon

Bento-style Lunchbox: Bentgo Kids Lunchbox

The Bentgo Kids Lunchbox is specifically designed for kids up to 7 years old. It is made with five different food sections and a lid that stays attached to the container when opened. It's spill-proof and drop-proof, which is a great solution for young, active students.

$28 at Amazon

Stainless Steel Container: LunchBots

This bento-style lunch container is BPA free and dishwasher safe. The three-compartment design keeps foods from touching each other as it bumps along in your child's backpack. The lid seals food tightly to avoid spills and is easy for little hands to get off and put back on.

$27 at Amazon

Bento cover: Bentology Box Sleeve

This insulated bag is designed specifically for bento-style containers, which are not included. Slip the container in and the food will stay hot, or cold, until lunchtime. The handle makes it easier for little hands to carry, plus you can choose from 25 fun designs. If you don't have a meal container, this box easily works as a classic lunchbox, too.

$10 at Amazon

Food jar: Thermos Funtainer

This 10-ounce, insulated food jar keeps foods either hot or cold for at least five hours. It's large enough to hold a couple helpings of mac-n-cheese, a dozen cooked Pizza Rolls, hot soup or chili for an extra special hot meal. It will keep milk and other drinks cold and double as a drinking container.

$15 at Amazon

Ice Packs: Bentgo Lunch Chillers

If you're using a traditional lunchbox, a frozen ice pack will help keep fresh foods, like cheese and fruits, from getting too warm and gross before lunchtime. Bentgo Lunch Chillers freeze quickly overnight and stay cold until lunchtime. Simply toss them back into the freezer after school and they can be reused the next morning.

$9 at Amazon

A Quick Recap

Packing a child's lunch is an art and balancing healthy foods, tapping into your child's favorite menu items and including a good variety isn't easy. The Zuzuro Lunch Cooler comes with everything you need to pack a lot of food for your hungry student and keep it fresh and in place while they wait for the lunch bell. Its three meal containers let you send good-sized portions of fresh fruits and veggies or even leftovers. There is a designated drink pouch that holds at least two bottles of water, juice or other fun drinks and the insulated walls will keep them chilled enough to enjoy a few hours later. This insulated lunchbox has a few extra pockets to slip in napkins, plasticware or more treats to ensure your child has everything they need to enjoy a healthy, fun and fulfilling meal.

There are a few extra tools of the lunch trade we feel are important to mention. The Thermos Funtainer is a great way to break from traditional lunches and send hot foods with your child. We've tested how well this food jar keeps food both hot and cold and it keeps it well for about five hours before you can tell there has been a big temperature change. Though 10-ounces doesn't look like much, there is plenty of room inside to send soups, taco meat, mini corndogs and lots of other fun foods for lunch. Plus it fits nicely into most traditional lunchboxes.

Another great invention is bento boxes. These separate foods in one container to make it easier to see and find the entire meal while keeping food from spilling into each other. The Enther bento boxes have three sections with lids that are easy to get on and off while still keeping foods from spilling. You can get a bundle of twelve containers for under $15 which makes it easy to prepare lunches for the whole week at one time. The containers stack nicely, too. To make it easier to carry bento boxes to and from school, we recommend an insulated bento bag, like the Bentology Box Sleeve.

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