Choosing A Lunch Box & Drink Bottle For School

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With a new school year comes the chance to fill your child’s lunch box with some delicious and nutritious bites to see them through their busy day. When it comes to choosing a good lunch box and drink bottle, there are several things to consider.

Choosing a lunch box and drink bottle that works for your child can be a bit trial and error. So to avoid the hassle, here are our tried-and-tested helpful tips on what to look out for, plus some of our favourite shopping picks from The Warehouse.

lunch box

Living & Co Lunch Bag & Bottle Set Shark Story

For big appetites and tasty “bites” you can’t beat this shark lunch bag and bottle set.


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lunch box

Paw Patrol Visto Fresh Lunch Box Blue 2.3L

Your Paw Patrol fan will love this durable lunch box with all the favourite characters.


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Choosing the right lunch box

Choosing a lunch box that works for your child’s particular tastes and preferences can begin to feel like a harder decision than choosing their name! Lunch boxes come in a huge variety of sizes and styles. Here are the most popular ways for kids to transport their lunch to school (and, let’s face it, sometimes home again too!).

Standard lunch box with clip-shut lid

The standard lunch box suits a lot of kids. It’s no fuss, big enough for plenty of yummy sandwiches and easily opened, closed, and washed ready for the next day. The contents will need to be wrapped to keep it from all mixing together in a big mess. We love this Spider-Man lunch box for its big size and colourful graphic.

Lunch bag

If your child changes lunch preferences as often as they change their socks (is that often?), then a lunch bag is a great option. These zip-up lunch options can accommodate a range of little containers and wrapped items. A variety of tubs will give you plenty of options for different snacks and sandwiches. This 4 piece lunch set from The Warehouse has everything you need to get started. Cleaning the bag is not as easy as a standard lunch box but you can wipe out the inside and tubs can be washed easily.


Bento-style lunch boxes are great for kids who like a range of foods without the need for plastic wrap or tubs to keep things from getting jumbled up together. They’re a popular option for schools that promote a litterless lunch. There’s a huge variety of bento boxes to choose from so consider how big your child’s appetite is and the type of foods they like to find one that suits. For instance, leak-proof styles will enable you to include yoghurt. Adjustable compartments are great for fitting in different size rolls or wraps. Our favourite is the Sistema Bento Box which is big enough for a teenage appetite, has removable compartments and is dishwasher safe.

Keeping it cool

If your child’s lunch bag or box can accommodate their drink bottle then freeze that the night before to keep everything cool and fresh. If not, one of these cute polar bear freezer blocks are so simple to pop in with the lunch.

lunch box

Living & Co Double Decker Lunch Bag Monster Story

Stash all those lunch time bites in this wacky lunch bag – monsters rule!


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drink bottle

Star Wars The Child Tritan Chug Drink Bottle

May the force be with you! The big 739ml size of this drink bottle will suit kids with a big thirst.


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Picking a drink bottle

Drink bottles are one of those items that kids tend to use a lot during the school year, for the school day as well as sports and travel.

When choosing a drink bottle for your child, consider how much water they tend to consume. Keeping hydrated is important but all kids are different and the amount of water they will drink varies. Choose the size of drink bottle that will provide enough hydration without the need to refill continuously but also isn’t so huge that it weighs their bag down! If you have a particularly thirsty child, check how easy it is to refill water bottles from the school’s drinking fountains.

Aluminium bottles are a durable option, while double-walled aluminium bottles will keep their drink cool for longer. Plastic bottles are lighter and tend to be less expensive. When choosing a plastic bottle, opt for ones that are phthalate and BPA Free to avoid any nasties. A freezer-safe bottle, like these Sistema drink bottles, gives you the option to freeze a bottle of water the night before for cool refreshment the next day. Avoid glass bottles for school use.

It’s also important to choose a drink bottle that has a good seal to avoid a backpack of soaked books! Look at the way that the bottle opens and closes. Does it close with a waterproof seal? Could it be easily knocked open? For young kids, also consider whether it is easy for them to open and close the bottle without assistance. We love this Star Wars The Child Tritan Chug drink bottle from The Warehouse with a flip-top sipper that’s hidden away when not in use to keep it clean and sealed.

drink bottle

Living & Co Chug Drink Bottle Gold & Multi-Coloured 600ml

Simple and stylish! This drink bottle has a flip-up clip to stop the bottle accidentally coming open.


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drink bottle

Marvel Stainless Steel Bottle 500ml

Keep the refreshment flowing with this Marvel drink bottle that’s built to take the knocks.


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One stop school shop

The Warehouse is the One Stop School Shop for back to school. That includes your lunch essentials too! With drink bottles, insulated lunch boxes, bento boxes, metal drink bottles, the Warehouse has a range to suit any lunch style. As more schools move towards waste-free lunches, they have a great range of reusable lunch products to make any lunch box epic! Did you know you can pick up your bread and milk in store too?

The Warehouse has everything you need to make sure your back to school shopping is as easy and stress-free as possible. Shop from their 92 stores across New Zealand or online with click & collect, or delivery to your door.

Use The Warehouse app to find stock

Make the most of your time by downloading The Warehouse app and make your back to school shopping simpler than ever. Search out exactly what you need and see local store availability for your selected items.

Find out more at

Prices are correct at time of publication.

What type of lunch box is your favourite for the kids’ school lunches?

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her world julieWritten by Julie Scanlon

Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire. 

Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”


  1. SarahBlair 08/03/2020 at 4:17 pm

    Getting the right lunch box can be tricky, especially with schools being rubbish free now. Lots of different compartments are good but can be limiting as to what you can fit into the compartments. We have quite traditional style lunch boxes and we use reusable wraps, bags and containers to keep thing separate.

  2. Alezandra 06/03/2020 at 10:48 pm

    This article came on a good time as we ready for school for my soon to be 5 year old. I have the sistema bento box for when he goes to kindy and I’m hoping this is enough to keep wastage at bay. This gave me a good idea to try the aluminium drink bottle to keep the cold longer especially this summer. I might get that separately for those hot days.

  3. Mands1980 04/03/2020 at 8:33 pm

    In our house we have the sistema bento lunch box’s Which are great as they have 2 separate smaller areas to put things into. You can also put in the little container which comes with the lunch box food items. Plus you can wrap items to add to the lunch box. We have eco- tanker aluminium drink bottles for the kids too so they can put ice in them and have cover to keep them cool.

  4. Jen_Wiig 27/02/2020 at 1:46 pm

    I have a bento yumbox for Mr 5 so he has no litter to worry about and helps us with trying to be abit more waste free… I also like how it makes me thoughtful in what I’m feeding the boys as it has no plastic or paper.
    I went with aluminium drink bottles this year I got from warehouse Stationary and they have been a big hit… Keeping the water cold after being in freezer overnight and decent size without a sippy part thing more like a thermo so can pour into a cup if want to as well.
    My older 2 I just have the basic clear systema box and got them to decorate with stickers to indivualise. Easier for older 2 as they are all about convience so lots of snacks in wrappers they can carry around in pockets as if they take whole lunchbox out they’re stuck with it all lunch break due to classes being locked.

  5. MuddledUpMolly 26/02/2020 at 10:24 pm

    We made the mistake of sending our then five year old to school with a lunch bag and it was pretty gross after awhile and difficult to keep completely clean and hygienic! From then we have started and will continue to use Sistema bento style lunchboxes as they cut back/minimise waste and are easy to keep clean. They are also relatively robust which is a bonus!

  6. Micht 25/02/2020 at 9:46 pm

    Each year my daughters needs seem to change and so does the lunch carrying options… we went for the double decker but it is quite bulky for the backpack… it works though seperating morning tea and lunchbreak…but choosing the right options for packing is difficult at times..

  7. Shorrty4life1 25/02/2020 at 11:22 am

    Awesome different selections of lunch boxes and drink bottles and they are all really reasonable prices. My son loves yoghurts so I prefer to get him the cooler bag sort of thing as his lunch box and my daughter likes sectioned sort of lunch boxes so she can have fruit’s etc chopped up in different sections.

  8. Bevik1971 19/02/2020 at 10:25 am

    My 7 year old used to use a plastic lunchbox with the compartments, but she always seemed to have trouble with getting it opened and closed properly. We have purchased a zip up bag/lunchbox with 2 compartments which can also be used as a cooler bag so great for yoghurt pouches as I pop in a small slicker pad (haha showing my age) to keep cool

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