Lunch Box

Are you sick of soggy salads and flattened sandwiches at lunchtime? Are you trying to stay on track with healthy food choices throughout the week? A good lunch box can keep all your favorite foods and snacks fresh and in one piece.

Spend a little money on the perfect food carrier and you can avoid shelling out extra cash for store-bought sushi or a wilted cafeteria salad. Having trouble packing a lunch your young picky eater will like? The right lunch container can make mealtime fun again. Now you just need to find it.

Types of lunch boxes

Before deciding on which lunch box to buy, here are some of the different kinds of lunch boxes you might find.

Basic bag or box: These are simple bags or boxes, typically made of nylon or some other waterproof material, designed to hold a single lunch.

Bento box: Originally from Japan, bento boxes are lunch containers with various compartments. There’s a wide variety of bento-style boxes, and each is great for controlling portions and keeping lunches organized. Bento boxes are ideal for kids, and the compartments make it easy to label each food. A quick web search will reveal many fun ideas for packing a bento lunch box and adding a bit of whimsy to a meal.

Meal prep: Meal prep lunch boxes are perfect for folks who want to keep careful tabs on their nutritional intake. Many of these models are larger than other types of lunch boxes because they’re designed to hold a day’s worth of food, snacks, supplements, and shakes. Some even come with extra containers so you can have all your week’s meals ready to go. If you’re someone who carefully plans and records what you eat, a meal prep bag is an indispensable tool.

Lunch box features

Compartments or containers: Some lunch boxes come with containers or have dividers to keep foods from intermingling. These are useful for keeping foods separate, packing a variety of snacks, and portion control.

Insulation: Insulation is a must for keeping meals hot or cold. For those without access to a microwave or fridge, or people with long commutes, insulation is necessary for food safety. Perishable items can spoil in less than two hours if not refrigerated. If you’re worried about spoilage, look for lunch boxes that come with extra ice packs in addition to insulated walls.

Handle: You’ll need a handle or strap if you intend to carry your lunch box on its own. Most options have one or the other or both. Some lunch boxes (such as bento boxes) are designed to be carried in a purse, bag, or backpack.

Accessories: Many lunch boxes come with a variety of containers to make packing lunch easier. If you already have plenty of good-quality storage containers of various sizes, you don’t need to invest in a lunch box that comes with extras. Other commonly available accessories include water bottles, shaker cups, and utensils.