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8 Best Lunch Boxes for Kids of 2023 – GooPdf News

8 Best Lunch Boxes for Kids of 2023 – GooPdf News

Kids’ lunch boxes are a necessity in every parent’s life. Packing lunch day-in and day-out for at least 180 school days is no small feat. Add in summer camps and sports clinics, and you’ve got year-round lunch-packing duties that never seem to take a break.

While getting your kid to eat the lunch you pack may never be smooth sailing, we can help you find the right vessel to pack it in and make lunch prep easier. That’s one less worry on your plate.

We tested an array of kids lunch boxes and insulated lunch carriers over the course of a school year, so we’ve got the ins and outs of what works for everyone—from the littlest preschoolers to more independent, older elementary kids.

The Munchkin Lunch Bento
(available at Amazon for $17.84)

is a great overall lunch box. If your kiddo needs a box that’s easy to open, or one with lots of compartments for variety, the Munchkin Lunch Bento is exceptional. You can fit a full sandwich in the center compartment, and it’s as close to truly leak-proof as we saw in all of our testing.

For kids who want their cheese sticks to say cold until lunchtime, we like the Bentgo Kids Chill Lunch Box (available at Amazon). It won’t keep all the contents at fridge temperature indefinitely, but it’ll stay cool enough to make it to the cafeteria.

The yellow, green, and blue Munchkin kids lunchbox sits open on a marble counter with a sandwich, carrots, apple slices, and M&Ms in its compartments.

Reviewed / Timothy Renzi

The Munchkin Lunch Bento Box for Kids is easy to pack, easy to open, and easy for little ones to carry.

The Bentgo Chill lunch box sits open on a marble counter and holds turkey, carrots, apples and cheddar bunnies. The LL Bean lunch box sits behind it.

Reviewed / Timothy Renzi

The Bentgo Chill has a built-in ice pack and holds up to rigorous use.

The OmiBox sits open on a marble counter with its Thermos in place and food in two compartments.

Reviewed / Timothy Renzi

The OmiBox is sturdy and comes with a removable Thermos for packing hot lunches.

The Bentgo 5-compartment box sits open on a marble counter with half a sandwich, carrots, cheddar bunnies, strawberries and M&Ms inside. The PackIt Freezable lunch box sits in the background.

Reviewed / Timothy Renzi

The Bentgo 5-compartment lunch box comes in stylish prints that kids will love.

The PackIt Freezable classic lunch carrier in dinosaur camo print sits closed on a marble counter.

Reviewed / Timothy Renzi

The PackIt Freezable Classic lunch box makes it easy to keep lunch cold for hours.

The LunchBots Bento keeps lunches fresh and tasty.

Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

The LunchBots Bento keeps lunches fresh and tasty.

Other Lunch Boxes for Kids We Tested

How We Tested Lunch Boxes for Kids

The Tester

Hi, I’m Danielle, the Managing Editor of Home & Appliances, and a mom of two littles. Packing lunch has become an inescapable ritual in my household over the past couple of years so I’ve been on a mission to find the best lunch boxes that suit the needs of both kids and parents. Packing lunches day-in and day-out means we handle these boxes on the daily. If they’re frustrating to use or lack features my kids need, it adds struggle to our morning routine. Nobody needs that! Keeping everyone sane, from the kitchen outward, makes all our lives better.

The Tests

When it comes to lunch boxes for kids, it’s important to us that all the boxes we test be BPA-free, made of quality materials, and are tough enough to pass our real-life kid tests. You won’t find flimsy lunch boxes on this list. Once we selected an array of boxes that fit this criteria, we put them through our testing.

First, we tested each of the lunch boxes in the Reviewed lab to see how long they could maintain hot or cold temperatures. We filled each lunch box with the same material we use to test refrigerators, with a temperature sensor embedded inside. We let them sit for four hours at room temperature and then looked at how long it took for the temperatures to rise above 40 degrees, which is the lower end of the bacteria danger-zone. The warm containers were tested with hot tomato sauce and meatballs, and temperatures were measured to see how long the lunchboxes maintained a safe, above 90-degree temperature.

We checked for leaks by pouring water inside one compartment of each lunch box, then closed it and shook it around to mimic the jostling a lunch box would get in a busy grade schooler’s backpack. We especially wanted to see if compartments maintained separation, or if juicy foods would seep over and turn sandwiches soggy.

Once the lab testing was finished, we tested each of the lunch boxes in the real world, with real kids. We packed a variety of foods into each lunch box, packed them into insulated lunch carriers with an ice pack, and sent them to school. We noted durability, wear and tear, and surveyed the kids about how they liked using each box.

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Kids Lunch Box

It’s not the same as refrigeration, even with ice packs

While parents may not think about the food safety aspect when purchasing a lunch box, it’s vital for lunch containers to have enough insulation to be able to maintain cold temperatures for a few hours, especially when lunch involves some sort of meat, dairy, or other food item that spoils quickly.

Insulated lunch boxes can only do so much to keep food at whatever temperature they started at. An ice pack is needed to keep the ambient temperature from rising too quickly. An insulated bag does not act like refrigeration, nor does it bring the air temperature inside to the food-safe level, even with an ice pack.

The age of your child(ren)

Reusable lunch boxes, especially if they’re metal, can be really heavy for little kids to carry. Preschoolers have smaller appetites and don’t need to be weighed down by a giant, unwieldy lunch box, but older children may need one of the larger options that can hold more food.

Insulated bags let heat escape quickly

An insulated soft bag does not protect the lunch’s heat. If you want your child to be able to enjoy warm foods for lunch, you’ll need to invest in an insulated lunch container that’s better equipped to keep foods hot.

If it fits in a backpack

Kids who commute by bus, or on subway trains or city buses need to be able to have their hands free to scan Metro cards and hold on to rails. Choosing a lunch box or lunch bag that fits inside their backpack will help keep their hands free—and reduce the risk that they’ll leave their lunch sitting on a bus seat or subway turnstile.


Real talk: kids are prone to losing things. If you have a child who consistently misplaces their lunch box and you find yourself buying replacements on a bi-monthly basis, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to spend a lot of money on a lunch box. Opt for a more affordable choice that you’re comfortable (possibly) having to replace a few times.

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