Depending on how lucky you were (okay, and your age) you might remember toting round a blocky tin or plastic lunchbox featuring your favourite TV characters or a nondescript tupperware. Either way, while you might still have a soft spot for the old Disney Thermos, you have to admit that kids’ lunch boxes are a darn sight cooler these days. As such, it’s no mean feat shortlisting the best lunch boxes for school, but we’ve got you covered with a list of cool – and cooling – boxes and bags that’ll send them back with a bang.
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As with so many kids’ products, it can be as simple as finding a lunchbox based on something they really like and building off that. Our first choice, the LEGO Block Lunch Box, works off that principle with its realistic 2x4 brick design and cheerful red shade, and it’s easy for little hands to operate too. If you’re nervous about plastics, or are looking for something that can survive several games of hopscotch inside a jiggling backpack, there are plenty more options below.
1. LEGO Block Lunch Box
Let the icon of playtime take care of their lunchtime
Best for: LEGO enthusiasts | Material: Plastic | Size: H16.1cm x W21.4cm x L31.1cm | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
For the kid who loves all things Lego, what could be better than a lunchbox made from an actual Lego brick? The classic 2x4 is the oldest Lego brick around: strong, dependable, and a thoroughly good home for your kiddo’s lunch. For littler ones or kids with mobility issues who might struggle to undo clips or push a tupperware lid back on securely, this superbly simple lift-off lid is a much easier alternative. That relative lack of lid security does mean it’s best not jiggled around too much, but in a smaller bag it should be fine.
2. The Little Picture Company Personalised Insulated Lunch Bag
Personalised, petite, and padded for protection
Best for: Personalised | Material: Canvas | Size: H28 x W24cm | Dishwasher safe?: No
This insulated rucksack is a lovely light alternative for packed lunches if you anticipate plastic boxes being a problem. Even if you don’t, the cute design is sure to appeal, with its fox motif, personalisable design that gives kids a real sense of ownership and helps them identify their stuff, and teeny tiny size that’s easy for tots to handle themselves. The padded handles and small profile make it easy to carry, and the range of internal and external pockets help keep things separate and offers added storage, while the insulated body keeps food cool. If your little one’s more of an avian enthusiast, there’s a sweet owl version too.
3. Bentgo Kids Children's Lunch Box
Don’t risk sogginess and other unpleasantness: go for this kids’ bento box instead
Best for: Keeping everything separate | Material: Plastic | Size: H16.5 x L21.6 x D5.1cm | Dishwasher safe?: Yes
The accidental intermingling of wet and dry, or ripe banana flavour inexplicably being transferred to your sandwich, is nothing short of a disaster in lunch terms. To ensure everything’s kept in its right place, this Bentgo lunch box offers a series of perfectly sized little cubbies in its removable tray, ideal for taking the guesswork out of portions. The easy-to-operate clips are just right for little hands, but are still certified leak-proof by impressed reviewers, and the drop-proof rubber edges have been tested within an inch of their life too.
4. SUCK UK Robot Lunch Box
Over plastic? Give retro tin a try in the form of this snazzy spaceman.
Best for: Retro | Material: Tin | Size: H23.9 x w16.2 x D8.5cm | Dishwasher safe?: No
It’s pretty hard to beat a retro tin lunchbox for cute factor, and this one from Suck UK is about as cute as they come. The robot lunchbox (or Lunchbot, if you want to be proper) has a distinctive vintage look about him that’s sure to appeal to kids and adults alike, and his tin construction makes a great alternative if you’re taking a stand against plastics. The interior space is a little small, but for younger kids with little appetites, it should be enough to pack in a sandwich and a few snacks without everything moving around and getting squished. There’s an awesome guitar case option, too.
5. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure
For chilling without sogginess, leave it to this freezable lunch bag
Best for: Keeping lunch cold | Material: Fabric | Size: H25.4 x W21.6 x D12.7cm | Dishwasher safe?: No
Following the example of our second pick, this insulated lunch bag keeps food at the optimum temperature throughout morning lessons and breaktime thanks to its patented cooling technology. Forget separate ice packs that can make sandwiches soggy with condensation: the whole bag can be folded down and put in the freezer overnight ready for packing in the morning, thanks to the built-in freezable gel. This bag also comes in a huge range of designs both colourful and pared-back, to suit kids of all ages.
6. Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie
With a host of friendly wildlife designs, this is the one time you can feed the animals
Best for: Adorable design | Material: Polyester, PVC | Size: H22.86 x W8.26 x D19.05cm | Dishwasher safe?: No
Animal-loving kids are sure to squeal with delight at the prospect of these downright adorable lunch bags, or lunchies, in the official parlance. With chameleons, raccoons, bees, butterflies, dinosaurs and even unicorns, there are tons of animal designs to choose from, both real and mystical, each with their own cute 3D fabric details like wings, ears and horns for extra tactile appeal. The insulated interior keeps food and drinks cold, while a mesh interior pocket is just right for holding ice packs or utensils, and the whole thing is wipe-clean for fuss-free mop-ups.
7. Minions I Don't Give A Blumock Lunch Bag
Never mind the Blumocks, here’s the Minions
Best for: Full set | Material: Polyester PVC, plastic | Size: H24 x W8 x L20cm | Dishwasher safe?: No
Just like Stuart, Bob and Kevin, this lunch set is a formidable threesome. With a hard shell plastic lunchbox, complete with sturdy clip to keep everything in place; non-leak sports top drinks bottle for easy sipping; and wipe clean lunch bag, it’s a budget-friendly set that has everything your kids needs for a well-rounded lunch. Reviewers said that while they understandably couldn’t see this set lasting forever, it was a fun and functional set for everyday, and they especially commended the see-through back on the lunch bag for quick and easy inventory-taking.
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