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18 Best Lunch Boxes & Insulated Lunch Bags for a Waste Free School Lunch

It’s almost that time of year again; the start of the school lunch box packing routine!

Whether you enjoy packing a school lunch or not, it is an inevitable part of the daily routine. And with the right gear and a simple lunchbox routine, the task becomes quite easy!

Here’s a round-up of the best eco-friendly options for lunch boxes and insulated bags. With many schools adopting a ‘nude food policy’, investing in a good quality lunch box means that you can take waste-free lunches and save money on single-use wrapping.

When choosing, I suggest considering the amount of food your child will need, whether they are better off taking one bigger container or a selection of smaller items (especially if they will take a thermos). 

Also, check the ease with which your child will transport their lunch (will the box fit into their bag?) and whether your child can easily open any lunch boxes, drink bottles, zippers and screw tops. It’s the bane of every teacher’s existence having to open students’ lunchboxes for them!

Best School Lunchboxes

1. Planetbox

Planetbox makes seriously durable bento-style, food-safe stainless steel lunch boxes. You can buy it as a kit with either the Shuttle, Rover or Launch lunch box (which also include 1 or 2 leakproof containers) plus decorative magnets, then add a carry bag also if you wish. You can also purchase items individually.

2. Yumbox

The popular Yumbox bento boxes come in four sizes, and there is an insulated food jar; the Yumbox Zuppa. Yumbox comes in a range of bright colours with pictures at the base of each compartment. The seal is so effective that one of the compartments can hold sauces, dips or yoghurt without leaks.

The bento boxes are the Yumbox Mini Snack, with 3 compartments, the Yumbox Panino, with 4 compartments, the Yumbox Original, with 6 compartments, and the Yumbox Tapas, with 5 compartments.

Note the Tapas can be trickier to fit into some insulated lunch bags, so it's best to check dimensions first.

3. LunchBots

LunchBots make simple multi-compartment stainless steel lunch boxes that are dishwasher safe.

They're not leakproof but are perfect for packing lots of fruit, vegetables, protein or sandwiches and snacks.

They are also a more compact size compared to some other lunchboxes on sale, so you can easily pack one with a smaller container and a whole piece of fruit.

4. U Konserve

U Konserve makes a range of different shapes and sizes of stainless steel containers with recyclable plastic lids that seal tight, making them leakproof.

There are a number of shapes and sizes of U Konserve, and some even have removable dividers, so you can customise them to suit the food you're packing each day.

5. Black + Blum

For a high-quality and eco-friendly bento lunchbox, you can't go wrong with Black + Blum's Large Stainless Steel Lunch Box.

The lunchbox is large enough to hold a big lunch and comes with a free stainless steel fork, security strap and an adjustable divider so you can make sure the lunch box perfectly fits your child's needs throughout the day. The lunchbox also features a vacuum seal closure so you don't have to worry about the food accidentally spilling into their lunch bag.

6. EcoCocoon

EcoCocoon creates their bento lunch boxes out of 18/8 stainless steel and food-grade silicone to not only make sure that it will last you a lifetime but also for an easy to use leak-proof lunchtime experience.

Packing a big lunch healthy for your growing child? Check out their 5-compartment EcoCocoon Bento Lunch Box that has enough space for a sandwich, veggie sticks, dips, fruit, nuts, and leftovers!

7. Ever Eco

The compact design of the Ever Eco Stainless Steel Round Nesting Containers allows space-efficient storage and mixed meal options so you can make sure that your little one is bringing with them a well balanced healthy meal to energize them throughout an exciting school day.

8. Glasslock

Glasslock is a shatter-resistant duo type glass container with an inner divider so you can separate two meals quickly. Additionally, the Glasslock container is great for storing ingredients and freezing or microwaving food, making it a handy tool for quick meal prep in the morning. 

9. Go Green

Looking for a lunch box that's not too big but with lots of compartments? Then the Go Green 5 compartment lunchbox just might be what you're looking for. This conveniently sized bento box is completely leak-proof and comes with an easy-to-use lock mechanism so that you can store wet foods like fruit, yoghurt and dips without worrying about spillage.

10. Good To Go

Check out the airtight and leak-proof Good To Go Stainless Steel Reusable Container that comes with a removable divider and silicone seal to lock in the freshness of your child's meal throughout the day.

11. Green Essentials

Green Essentials‘ bento lunch boxes come in a variety of sizes to better suit your child's appetite or as they continue to grow. Check out the Green Essentials Round Double Layer Bento which is the perfect in-between size to pack and stack perfectly portioned meals.

12. OmieBox

Does your child only want to eat hot meals at school? The OmieBox Hot & Cold Bento Lunch Box is the perfect solution for that! The smart bento was specifically designed by founder Nancy Yen to store hot and cold food at the same time through a combination of air insulation, vacuum insulation plus an airtight seal that minimizes heat transfer keeping food fresh and yummy throughout the day.

13. Packit

The Packit Mod Lunch Bento comes with three leak-resistant dividers that let you change up the Bento's compartments every time you use it so you can completely customise your daily bento lunch box experience. This reusable lunch ware is also leak-resistant, shatter-resistant, easy to use, and both Freezer safe and dishwasher safe.

14. Wrappa Beeswax Organic Cotton Wraps

The Wrappa Beeswax Wraps eliminate the need for single-use plastic cling wrap. The beeswax wraps are suitable for sandwiches and wraps for lunch and they’re the only brand I buy because I’ve found them to be the most ‘sticky’.

Wrappa Beeswax wraps are also useful in the kitchen to cover bowls, cheeses and more – I use it to wrap half-eaten loaves of bread and it keeps the bread from going stale as well as imparting a very slight honey sweetness (which is very pleasant!).

Wrappas are super easy to wash with a bit of water and diluted dish soap if necessary.

15. Small containers

A range of smaller containers can be really useful, especially if the main lunch is in an insulated container, there's a lunch order day, or you need to separate snack and lunch so younger kids don't eat it all at once!

Best Insulated Lunch Bags

16. SoYoung insulated lunch box

SoYoung feature jaunty retro designs on their linen covered lunch boxes with zipper closures.  You can buy matching ice packs too.

The Yumbox original or panino, Good to Go rectangular containers, Sustain-a-Bento or multiple small containers/beeswax wraps will all fit into the So Young insulated lunch box.

17. Fridge to Go Insulated Lunch Bag

The Fridge to Go Insulated Lunch Bag is a unique lunch box that can keep its contents cool for up to 8 hours due to the patented chilling panels that are earth-friendly and easy to carry around. It is the perfect product for parents who are in a rush as all you'll have to do is pop the bag in the freezer for less than two hours and you're good to go the whole day.

The Medium Fridge to Go Insulated Lunch Bag can fit a Yumbox mini or a LunchBots bento box easily with a bit of extra space for a couple of small containers, food in beeswax wrap and fruit. You can also purchase the Fridge to Go Ice Panel separately if you'd like to keep an extra pannel around to switch them out each day or to keep one as a spare.

18. PackIt Freezable lunch bags

The freezable lunch bags from PackIt are really popular, and you can see why. The bags go in the freezer the night before, and then you don't need any extra ice packs (one less thing to label and keep track of!).

PackIts come in a few different sizes and are great for kids, teens, adults and even your picnic hamper.

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag will fit in a U-Konserve rectangle container, LunchBots bento box or lunch box, Yumbox original or panino, Good To Go Container, or a selection of smaller containers/beeswax wraps.

The Packit Freezable Everyday Lunch Box will fit a U-Konserve rectangle container plus U-Konserve nesting trio, LunchBots bento box or lunch box and small containers, Yumbox original or panino plus a piece of fruit, Good To Go container plus a piece of fruit, or a selection of smaller containers/beeswax wraps.

The PackIt Freezable Classic Lunch Box fits a Yumbox original or panino or a LunchBots bento box easily. You could also pack a couple of small containers, food in beeswax wrap and a piece of fruit.

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This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks, Joyce

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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