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 a drink bottle that works for your child can be a bit of trial and error. So to avoid the hassle, here are our tried-and-tested helpful tips on what to look out for.
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!).
Bento-style lunch boxes are great for kids who like a range of foods without the need for plastic wrap to keep things from getting jumbled up together. They’re a popular option for schools that promote a litterless lunch and are great for those looking to be more eco-friendly. 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 an option that suits them. For instance, leak-proof styles will enable you to include yoghurt. Adjustable compartments are great for fitting in different sized rolls or wraps.
Bento lunch boxes also enable you to buy in bulk, therefore saving money and packaging waste, and you can portion out snacks to suit your child’s appetite.
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 small, reusable containers. A variety of tubs will give you plenty of options for different snacks and sandwiches. To clean the bag you can wipe out the inside and the tubs can be washed easily.
Standard lunch box with clip-shut lid
This standard lunch box is no fuss, big enough for plenty of yummy sandwiches and easily opened, closed, and washed ready for the next day. But the contents will need to be wrapped or put into smaller tubs to keep it from all mixing together in a big mess.
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, a small freezer block is simple to pop in with the lunch.
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, travel and on the go on the weekends.
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 or stainless steel bottles are a durable option, while double-walled 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 made from recycled plastic that are phthalate and BPA Free to avoid any nasties. A freezer-safe bottle 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.
Written 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”