Monday, 7 June 2010

Making Lunch...

With two small kids, lunchboxes have become a big part of our daily routine. Filling them, putting them in school bags, making sure they get removed from school bags. Cleaning them & putting them away, only to start all over again.

Unfortunately we are still on the hunt for the perfect lunchbox & I thought I would post about it in case anyone had already found it. I do have a few requirements that must be met, which rules out the trusty old Decor lunchbox that served me though out my school career & I believe is still in mum's tupperware drawer!

They must:
Be BPA free.
Have the ability to hold a sandwich/roll + snacks/fruit
Not require the food to have any other wrapping, plastic wrap etc...

I don't think that's asking too much!

The first lunchboxes I got for my kids were the laptop lunchboxes. In a lots of ways they were great, nice & sturdy with four little containers for food. They were great for snacks, but just not enough room for a big lunch, in my opinion. I also wished all the containers came with lids, not just one (& the tiny dressing container) & given the cost of the lunch boxes I was disappointed overall.


Laptop Lunchbox

Next we found the Smash (Nude Food Movers) Lunchboxes & I fell in love. The price was right, there was room for two (!) sandwiches or a roll/bagel, plus separate compartments for snacks & room for a small apple or mandarin, thus protecting the fruit from getting squished in the bottom of the school bag. The added bonus was the two removable containers that were perfect for yoghurt or dip. The big problem with these lunchboxes was that they just weren't built to last. We didn't even get a year out of these which is beyond disappointing, especially given that in every other way they ticked all the boxes.

Nudie Container

We are presently trying out a couple of Sistema lunch box styles. The first was nice & solid, but was lacking in compartment, the second was nice & compact & whilst it did have some compartments it wasn't quite big enough. So today I purchased two Sistema Quaddies & I shall report back on their performance. They feel nice & sturdy, they have some compartments for snacks & enough room inside for a roll/sandwich & fruit. I think I will need to make a reusable sandwich wrap to go in them though & the nudie containers will be used for yoghurt!

Sistema Quaddie

So my question is, have you found the perfect lunch box & if so what is it? If not, what are you looking for in a lunchbox?

23 comments:

carlyhead said...

Go the tupperware sandwich keeper plus... the best plastic, little compartments, lifetime guarantee, enough room for a good size amount of food and... beautiful colours!!

h&b said...

I know it's a bit "suburban" but if the Tupperware ones could handle fruit, i'd be very happy ( they are too thin ).

I guess you also have a Nude Food Policy at your school ?

Let me know when you get lucky ( or design and sell your own for me to buy ;)

xx

One Flew Over said...

I'm with Carly...although I am not sure they are BPA free BUT I just acquired some Tupperware lunch keepers.

They fit 2 sandwhiches as well as 3 other compartments for snacks and fruits.

Check them out next time you pop round but I am a fan.

ange_moore said...

My kids haven't started school yet but we have a great tupperware set that includes a cooler bag, sandwich keeper, small cup for yoghurt/sultanas and a drink cup. The only trouble is that my daughter can't open these herself yet - hopefully she'll be able to by the time she starts school.

Your quest for the perfect lunchbox sounds like my quest for the perfect nappy bag!

Andi said...

We use the systema quaddies too.
Play lunch in the compartments in the top. (The larger section perfectly fits one of those small rectangular containers with blue side snaps you get at the supermarket).
Then lunch in the main section underneath.
Next year, I'll be buying a pink one too!!!
Andi :-)

Victoria said...

Ella has a Smash lunchbox with the wetsuit style cover for school. Her first didn't last long before the kind of snap on the side snapped off, but I emailed them and they sent out another without any request made and it's been great. I do have friends wtih Tupperware systems which are good, but at around $50, too much for my pocket.

Mary said...

at the moment we are using a mixture of tupperware, rice and 'fridge to go' cool bags to put it all in.

Nanette said...

I have oodles of plastic containers without lids and plastic lids without containers and nearly spontaneously combust with the frustration of it every morning so I'm not much use to you.

PS Kirst told me a bit about you and it's lovely to check out your clever blog!

PottyMouthMama said...

I am a fan of the Tupperware lunchbox. I can fit so much in there, in the all the separate compartments. I think it's the best. Though I am with Lea, to fit a full size piece of fruit in there would be handy. The Sandwich keeper is BPA free - http://zrecs.blogspot.com/2008/02/z-report-bpa-tupperware.html

Mel said...

Yep I do the tupperware sandwich keeper and cooler bag too. Not only has it been great for lunches (and morning teas) but Sienna has bonded with two of her best friends due to having the same lunch box. And you know, when your 4/5, that matters! ;) I love the look of the ones you currently have too.

martha said...

We have a LunchBots lunch box, which is a stainless two-compartment. I do wish they made a four compartment one, or even a three. But I like that it is stainless, and therefore quite sturdy.

http://www.lunchbots.com/product.html

(I do have a plan to make some fabric bags too to supplement)

Kristine said...

I agree with you about the smash lunch boxes. Tom's broke after 8 days. 8 DAYS. I emailed them. they said they will send me a replacement one once their production commences again. Max's one has warped from being put through the dishwasher. These would be perfect if they were more durable. I haven't found anything as compact that fits so much in it. The shape is a great design. they just need to switch to a sturdier plastic.

Michelle said...

Not sure if they are BPA free or not, but I'm a big fan of the Fit n Fresh lunch boxes. I've had mine for about 3 years and it only just started getting a little crack in the lid recently. More than likely, this lunch box will keep me going for another year ...

threadsforevie said...

I've got the tupperware sandwich keeper and I think it is pretty good. I'd agree that they are a bit thin (you'd have to cut an apple in half because otherwise the lid wouldn't close) I like them because you can put them in the dishwasher (my ultimate criteria), they fit a lot of food and the size of the compartments is great. The only critism I have is that they are a little bit tough to open. I recently bought a Smash wetsuit style cover that fits the sandwich keeper perfectly. The cover makes it a bit easier for the little one to carry the lunchbox around - you know, just so NO ONE else can share his lunch :-)

Melanie said...

I *really* like the Tupperware lunchbox. For fruit, I find a banana cut in half fits in the 'drink' section (my son takes a separate water bottle anyway). It also fits a mandarine or kiwifruit or bunch of grapes or several strawberries. For apples/oranges, I cut them up and fit them in there too.
*However*. We don't tend to use this lunchbox during the hotter months, because I couldn't find an insulated bag it would fit in. Instead, I put individual Sistema containers (sandwich size plus one or two snack size) into an insulated bag (which sadly probably isn't BPA free, but at least it isn't in contact with the food).
Sorry... long post. I too am always on the lookout for a perfect 'system'. Interesting to hear the feedback about the Smash containers - I'm glad I didn't buy those now.

Susan said...

I just love using Japanese bento boxes - they are awesome in terms of compartments which means no need for plastic wrap - and you can get all kinds of different sizes. I then pop it in a cooler bag with a small ice pack and any extra bigger things can just slip in the bag. We don't tend to make rolls though and you wouldn't be able to get a roll to fit in most bento boxes.

zoesquid said...

looking forwared to the verdict!

Corrie said...

yep we do the tupperware big ones - sandwich keeper plus I think they are called. No nasty chemicals in them, no need for gladwrap, lifetime guarantee so if it breaks you can return it!

all the playgroup mums have them and when a new friend joined playgroup she actually admitted she thought she had come to a cult because we all had tupperware lunchboxes, no other types just 15+ tupperware ones around the tables!

Corrie:)

Lisa said...

I got a Quaddie for my kid too. Great lunch box but I HATE washing it. I don't have the luxury of a big/wide/deep sink so I find it a bit of a bitch during washing up. Is that a bit fickle? It's the simple things, I feel....

Danielle said...

We use Tupperware too but I'm pretty are their not bpa free (yet) we also have the kids lunch set with the cooler bag, sandwich keeper, small snack container for yoghurt etc and water bottle.

arabia said...

We use a slimline quaddie and that works for separating the fruit, sandwiches etc. At our school the kindy kids are asked to bring a separate container for morning tea and another for morning fruit break - so the slimline is plenty big enough for what it needs to hold. We avoid any wrappings by using a small drink bottle to separate foods in the large section of the big lunchbox.

samantha said...

This has been my frustration for 3 years of school, and we tried all the same ones you did. Finally ihave found what works for me and my daughter. I bought an insulated lunch bag with handles and zip closure, then we use Tupperware sandwich keepers, and other little containers. It is also fits her water bottle. Lucy like it because it is easy to carry, can be squashed, dropped and sat on. She can take everything out to lunch or just one container for fruit snack. I like it because it won't break, she can happily throw everything in after eating (crusts and all) and it all makes it's way home. Hooray!!!

jack_e_mac said...

Did you ever find the perfect lunchbox?I find the tupperware one a bit little for my garbage-guts. I'm currently using a large quaddie with 4 small containers from the $2 shop inside, but they're *just* the wrong size to fit a whole sandwhich in so the crusts end up being after-day-care-snacks. . . .