This roundup is just one in Fatherly’s exhaustive Back To School Product Guide. Click here for everything from your kid needs, from winning math to standing at a bus stop on the rain (which is what you used to do, only uphill both ways).
Gone are the days of brown bagging it — at least with an actual brown bag loaded with plastic wrap, baggies, and aluminum foil, all of which wound up in the garbage can. They’d better be gone, anyway. Thanks to these super easy containers, lunch bags, and coolers, your family has no excuse to remain a part of that problem. As for getting your kid to eat those carrot sticks, you’ve still got to solve that one on your own.
Little Kids (<5)
Lands End Print ClassMate Soft Sided Lunch Box
Newsflash: just because your kid’s a kid doesn’t mean they need to have a Disney or Sesame Street print on their lunch box. This soft-sided lunch bag will keep their grub insulated for up to 5 hours, is leak resistant, and comes in multiple vibrant prints to help them stand out from the big-eyed cartoon masses.
ZOO Stainless Steel Kid Straw Bottle
Keep junior’s milk ice cold with Skip Hop’s animal-themed stainless steel thermos. Along with its no-slip silicone surface, the bottle has a “grab me” strap that attaches to anything and a pop-up lid for the straw — 3 layers of protection for when it inevitably gets dropped on the ground.
Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container
If you have one of those squirrelly kids who just can’t have their foods touch, this bento-style lunch box from Yumbox has a dividing trey complete with illustrated labels detailing the ideal food group for each section. Although you might want to address their OCD tendencies before you find them counting grains in the sandbox.
Big Kids (>5)
Milkdot Stöh Lunch Tote
All you need to know is this bag-style cooler has a magnetic handle, water-repellent finish, and a closed-cell, foam-lined interior that’s good for up to six hours of cold food and drink. All your kid needs to know is that it has adorable smiling ice cream cones and cupcakes on it.
Your kid will blow minds in the cafeteria with the OmieBox lunch box, which has an insulated, sealable bowl that keeps food hot or cold without spilling — or removes completely to make way for a tasty sandwich. It’s leakproof, has removable dividers to fit different sizes and types of foods, and possibly could have changed the whole trajectory of your childhood had it been available in your lunchroom days.
Alexander Cozy Can
While all the unhealthy rascals pull cans of soda from their lunch bags, yours will pull out a can of juice or milk or water disguised as a can of soda disguised as rocket fuel. In addition to being good for your kid (it’s lead-free, BPA-free, and phthalate-free) it’s reusable and thus good for the environment.
Monbento MB Original V Bento Box
This bento box from Monbento is unequivocally the most un-lunchbox-like lunch box you’re going to find. It’s actually 2 airtight containers stacked on top of each other and secured with an elastic band. So your turkey sandwich might not be any more interesting, but it will definitely have the sleekest packaging in the office fridge.
Goodbyn Roll Top Insulated Lunch Bag
Sure, it’s possible for a lunch bag to look cool while keeping your food cool. Case in point, this insulated beaut from Goodbyn, which looks more like a scaled-down messenger bag. If you wanted, you could even fit the MB Orginal inside and truly class up that leftover pizza.
Artifact Bag Co. No. 215 Lunch Tote
Of course, you might prefer a more refined, heritage-style lunch bag like this waxed canvas number with leather strap and copper rivets. This is the choice for you if you put as much craftsmanship into your sandwich as the guy who hammered those rivets by hand at a workshop somewhere in Omaha.
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