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Here’s a carefully chosen selection of lunchboxes that toddlers and kids will love, tailored for moms navigating daycare, preschool, grade school, road trips, and outings. They’re easy to clean and built to last, making lunch packing more enjoyable and reliable.

Six top lunch boxes for toddlers and kids.
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Packing lunchboxes for toddlers and kids can be a daily struggle for busy moms. From finding nutritious options that kids will actually eat to managing spills and keeping food fresh, it can be quite the task.

But don’t worry, as a Pediatric Dietitian Mom, I’m here to help! In this guide, I’ll introduce you to the top lunchboxes that have been tried and loved by myself and countless other moms who pack lunches.

How to choose the best lunch box

With SO many options out there, selecting the lunch box that best suits your child and their needs can be quite the challenge. Let’s narrow down your selections by considering these important factors:

  • Age and appetite: Toddlers need lunch boxes that are easy to open, compact, and that they can carry by themselves. Your child may or may not have much of an appetite during lunch time so select the appropriate size.
  • Child’s food preferences: Does your child prefer sandwiches, wraps, etc., or do they like a snacky lunch with a variety of options? Do they prefer fruit cut up into small pieces or like it whole?
  • Materials: Plastic or stainless steel? While stainless steel lunch boxes are durable, plastic ones are lighter and cheaper, making them a better option if your child tends to misplace things.
  • Leak-proof? Most definitely check for this before packing say yogurt and having it spill all over the other foods. If the lunch box isn’t leak proof but you like everything else about it, you can consider adding silicone muffin cups or other small containers.
  • Cost: Stainless steel products last a very long time but are also more expensive. Perhaps having multiple lunch boxes is more important to you than durability and cost.

Bento Lunch Box

I recommend grabbing this style of lunch box as it is fun to pack and fun to eat from!

With built-in compartments, bento boxes can help parents or caregivers get creative with what to pack as well as encourage kids to try more variety.

These are great for all kinds of finger foods and snacky lunches.

It may not seem like a big deal, but simply seeing all the different compartments can help packing lunches become less of a drudgery and more of a loving and creative outlet. Your child will notice it too!

Listed below are my top recommendations for lunch boxes that will hold everything your child needs to stay nourished and happy while they are away from you.

Related: Easy Bento Box Lunch Ideas

Best Leak Proof Bento Box for Toddlers

Spinach pancake sandwich with hard boiled egg, raspberries, butternut squash, hummus, and fun shaped zucchini and carrot pieces in a green lunchbox.

Yumbox is a super fun lunch box! Not only does it have lots of compartments for sampling a variety of foods, it has a fun printed illustration at the bottom of each compartment that your child may enjoy seeing. My son certainly does!

It comes with a removable inner tray, which you can purchase separately if you need to replace or want multiple. Your child may enjoy eating their meals from the tray at home as well.

For toddlers, the Yumbox Original is wonderful. It has 5 main compartments and one small compartment that’s perfect for dips and sauces, eliminating the need to pack a separate container.

If your child has a pretty small appetite, then consider getting the Yumbox Snack. And if you want to pack a whole sandwich, grab the Panino.

They now have a stainless steel option, if interested. I haven’t tried it out yet so I’m unable to provide a honest review at this time.

Pros:

  • Fun illustrations
  • Lightweight
  • The insert can be removed from the box itself for easy cleaning
  • Easy to open and remove

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit a full sandwich, which may not necessarily be a bad thing for toddlers.
  • Not microwave-safe
  • Made of plastic (BPA-Free)

Best Stainless Steel Lunch Box for Toddlers

Sustainable, non-toxic, convenient, long-lasting, and easy to clean, you can’t go wrong with these eco-friendly options. These are the top two brands.

LunchBots

waffles, carrots, and tofu cut into bite-sized pieces in a stainless steel bento box.

For this age group, I recommend the medium trio, or medium quad.

Pros:

  • All-stainless steel, feels solid and durable yet lightweight
  • Tight-fitting lids with fun colors for personalization
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes in variety of sizes and configurations
  • Really great for traveling

Cons:

  • While they do an awesome job of keeping foods separate, they are not leakproof. Therefore, not ideal for juicy or runny foods (e.g. yogurt, applesauce, sauce, etc.). They do have leak-proof containers that you can add to the lunch boxes but that means more parts to clean.
  • Not microwave-safe.
  • Lids are not attached so may be challenging for toddlers to open and close for 2 year olds. My son’s teacher had no problem opening it for him, but it’s something to consider. Do keep practicing at home.

Planet Box

pasta tossed in pesto with cubed chicken and raspberries in stainless steel lunchbox.

My son used the PlanetBox Shuttle for lunch until he was 3.5 years old for lunch, but we still use this to pack snacks for day trips and road trips.

Pros:

  • Easy to open and close
  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with an insulated lunch bag

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not leak proof (can use included food containers)
  • Not microwave-safe
  • Heavier compared to the other suggested options

Best Plastic Bento Lunch Box for Kids

muffins, plums, cucumber, and hard boiled egg in plastic lunch box.

Out of all the plastic boxes I’ve tried, my favorite is Easy LunchBoxes. They truly are the sturdiest I’ve found and will last you a while! 

If you like to meal prep several days worth of lunches, these are great for filling, assembly-line style. The 4-Compartment Snack Containers come as a set of 4 and are perfect for little hands.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly. It’s the most affordable option
  • Lightweight
  • Comes as a set of 4
  • Easy to open
  • Nestling containers save space
  • Great for traveling

Cons:

  • Not leak proof
  • Made of plastic (BPA-Free)
  • Less durable compared to the other options (but you will still get years of usage)

Best Kids Lunch Boxes (5 Year olds and Up)

I’ve included the same brands but larger sizes to accommodate your child’s growing appetite. Of course, you can continue using any of the above options if it suits your child’s needs.

Best Leak Proof Bento Lunch Box

A pink three compartment bento box.

The Yumbox Panino has four different sized compartments, including a small compartment for dip or small snacks. It can fit a whole sandwich or wrap.

If your child has an especially hearty appetite, the Yumbox Tapas will be worth considering.

Best Stainless Steel Kids Bento Box

A five compartment stainless steel lunch box.

LunchBots Large Cinco

Sturdy construction, simple design, all around an excellent product! Be sure to use their leakproof containers or silicone liners for runny/wet foods. This is also a wonderful lunch box option for the adults.

A five compartment stainless steel large lunch box.

PlanetBox Rover

Another wonderful option that is sure to last through elementary school and beyond. You will want to get their lunch bags as it doesn’t fit in most standard bags.

Note that this one is bigger and heavier than LunchBots.

Best Kids Insulated Bento Box

3 compartment bento box with removable insulated thermos.

OmieBox is great for kids who enjoy hot meals for lunch. It comes with a removable thermos compartment that can keep foods warm for up to 6 hours. For cold foods, simply remove the thermos bowl and pack whatever you’d like in that compartment.

Pros:

  • Stores both hot and cold food
  • Leaf-proof
  • Durable
  • Stainless steel insulated bowl
  • The long compartment can fit any brand of box drinks
  • Comes in five different color options

Cons:

  • Heavy and harder to open for toddlers
  • Hand washing recommended
  • Food stays warm but requires the extra step of preheating the insulated bowl and filling with hot food

Plastic Bento Lunch Box

3 compartments plastic lunch box.

Easy LunchBoxes 3 Compartment Containers

The main compartment is large enough for sandwiches and other main items. Or you can add small containers or silicone muffin liners to hold different foods.

By far the longest lasting plastic lunch boxes you will find on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many lunch boxes do I need?

Really you just need one per child. But if you’d like to prep several lunches at once or your child tends to misplace things, you may consider getting several, like Easy LunchBoxes.

What age are bento lunch boxes for?

They are suitable for ages 2 and beyond. You will quickly find that they are such a fun and easy way to incorporate a variety of foods to lunches (or dinners) for toddlers, preschoolers, kids and adults!

How do you keep kids lunch boxes cold?

Be sure to include a couple of ice packs and an insulated bag to keep food fresh and safe until lunch time. These are my personal favorite ice packs as they are easy to clean and thin, leaving more room for food and drinks. I’ve had the same set for 3 years now.

What to Pack in Kids Lunch Boxes

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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2 Comments

  1. Do you have a recommendation for a lunchbox that has a feature to suction to a table? I’m afraid I’m gonna spend all this time packing and she’s going to throw the lunchbox off the table at Mother’s Day out.

    1. I’m afraid I haven’t seen any lunchboxes with a built-in suction, but Miniware does have a product called silifold. It’s small but has a suction on both top and bottom so when you open it will stick to the table pretty well