Whether you have a toddler heading to daycare or preschool or a big kid needing a lunchbox for school, stocking up on snacks to get through the day is essential. (I mean, that’s my personal philosophy, at least.)
My kids love to pick out their own lunchboxes that represent their style or what character and colors they’re into at the moment, but as a parent, you want a lunchbox for your preschool or toddler that’s also functional. We’re talking water bottle holders, bento box features, insulated compartments and most important: easy clean-up.
We know how important it is to get your snack on, so here are some of our favorite suggestions for lunchboxes for kids.
In this article:
- How we rated our kids’ lunchboxes
- Best all-in-one bentgo box and bag set: Bentology Lunch Bag and Box Set for Girls
- Best overall lunchbag: Bentgo Kids Prints Lunch Bag
- Best bento box: Bentgo Kids Prints Lunchbox
- Best bag option: Dino Scandinavian Style Lunch Bag for Boys
- Best stainless steel option: PlanetBox LAUNCH Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box
- Best compact lunchbag: mibasies Kids Insulated Lunch Box for Girls Rainbow Bag
- Best theme lunchbox: Harry Potter Thermos Soft Lunch Kit
- Best lunchbox for daycare: VASCHY Insulated Lightweight Lunch Tote
How We Rated Our Kid Lunchboxes
We rated our best kid lunchboxes based on 5 different key pieces of criteria from a parent’s perspective:
- Function—how much food can they hold? Do they offer storage?
- Quality—no ripping handles for us, thank you very much
- Easiness to clean
Of course, some families may only need a few of these features, so even lunchboxes without a 5-star rating are worth looking into if you only need a budget lunchbox or insulation isn’t necessary for your child. That’s why we give you a wide range of options.
Best All-in-One Lunchbox Set
The Bentology Lunch Bag and Box Set is available in five different bright and girly prints. If you’ve got a little guy headed to school, too, an identical lunch box set is available for boys. Shark camo, emojis, and fish are a few of the prints you can choose from for a lunch box that matches your student’s personality.
Leakproof + Kid-Friendly
This set has a 4.6-star rating and 1,360 reviews on Amazon. Reviewers love that the containers are all leak proof but their young kids don’t struggle to snap lids on and off. According to reviews, this is a really functional set and the ice pack keeps everything at a safe temperature all day at school.
What the Reviews Say
“This is much cuter in person- so if you like the picture, you will love this! It is easy to clean and has extra pockets. The interior is sleek, easy to clean, and has a pocket. I love how the box itself has a spot for forks. It comes with everything you need!” — Amazon Review
Best Overall Lunchbag
Durable for Lunch Duty
Bentgo Kids designed their Kids Prints Lunch Bag to be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily trips to school. These bags are easy to spot clean with a mix of soap and water.
This lunch bag has 1,878 ratings and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, with one parent calling it the “best lunch bag on the market.” Parents love that it is easy to clean and stylish. One noted drawback is that the water bottle pocket is pretty small.
“We are really enjoying this lunchbox! I bought it for my toddler for preschool and it’s working out nicely. It keeps everything cool (with an ice pack) for long periods of time and is easy to clean. The only drawback is that I wish it was a tad bigger to fit something additional in the lunch box (like next to the bentgo box that goes inside of it), because that’s about all that fits in there. And one more drawback is that the sippy cup holder on the outside – is too small/narrow for any of my toddler’s cups to fit into, so that’s been useless for us. But other than that, it’s a good lunchbox and it works.”—Amazon Review
Best Bento Box
No Leaks with This Lunchbox
With 18,848 ratings and a 4.7-star rating, the Bentgo Kids Prints Lunchbox is by far one of the most popular bento-style lunch boxes out there. Reviewers gush about how tightly it seals, preventing leaks between compartments, without being too hard for their little ones to open. It’s easy to clean at the end of the day and kids and parents both love how easy it is to fill with a variety of foods to encourage healthy eating.
“I absolutely LOVE packing my daughter’s lunch in these lunch boxes. The different compartments are the perfect size for her little fingers & big appetite. Once you close the lid everything is air tight. I’ve packed oatmeal, noodle soup and yogurt without a problem. I have a bunch of these lunch boxes so I can meal prep some of the compartments at the beginning of the week.” —Amazon Review
Best Stainless Steel Option
The PlanetBox Launch Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box is certainly the highest priced item on our list, but it’s also the most durable. The stainless steel bento box is covered under a 5-year warranty and with proper care, it might even last longer than that.
Customize Your Lunch
While the Planetbox is out-of-this-world cool on its own (see what we did there?), it’s also completely customizable for your child.
One set of colorful magnets are included with each lunch box and more can be ordered at any time from the website.
“VERY durable and leakproof! Love the little carry bag that houses the bento box- it does a great job at insulating and keeping food cold. We’ve had several bento boxes, but this one is original with the addition of magnets.”—Amazon Review
Best Tote Option
A Lunchbag to Hold it All
Blue, grey, and yellow dinos cover this fun and spacious lunch bag. It’s available in a variety of prints, including jungle animals and koalas. Parents who have used this bag report that they love how much it can hold. One reviewer said she used it for formula bottles for daycare and another said they send breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a water bottle in this single lunch bag. The Dino Scandinavian Lunch Bag has a 4.9-star rating on Amazon.
“I needed something to bring in formula and other items (extra clothes, bibs, etc.) for my son’s daycare. I didn’t want to carry in too many bags each day. The lunch bag is perfect – big enough for me to throw in some additional items and his food. As a plus, it’s super cute and a number of parents have asked me where I got it. A few weeks of use and it still looks good. Great price and, thus far, great bag!”—Amazon Review
Best Compact Lunchbag
Roomy, Hold the Bulk
The mibasies Kids Insulated Lunch Box for Girls Rainbow Bag is well loved for its adorable design and durability. On Amazon, reviewers have given it a 4.8-star rating. One mom says that it is roomy, with space for silverware or a juice box next to a bento box. It doesn’t include an ice pack, so you will need to purchase a thin one that won’t add extra bulk.
What Parents Are Saying
“I got this for my 3.5-year-old daughter for her school lunches and was surprised how sturdy and good quality this lunch bag came out to be. The material is nice and thick. The size is just perfect. It fits any standard bentgo box or yumbox and still has room for a juicebox and a thin ice pack inside. The design also came out beautifully, all pretty and pink just how my girl likes it. Very pleased.”—Amazon Review
Best Theme Lunchbox
More Characters to Munch On
Whether your student is into Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Frozen, this affordable lunchbox by Thermos is also available in 21 different designs.
My favorite just might be the Chewbacca lunch bag with faux fur! (Although fur might be a questionable choice in the lunch room, it’s still pretty fun.)
“This lunch tote by Thermos is well made, and durable enough to be tossed around by my kid each day. My son is 8 and he LOVES it. He has plenty of room for 1 lunchable, 2 drink pouches, a pack of gummies, a 4-6 oz. water bottle, maybe some chips or cheese itz, and a sweet little note from me, mom. The lunchbox was such a reasonable price as compared to the comparable style but lower quality options at the closest Target store.” —Amazon Review
Best Option for Daycare
A Lunchbox to Love
These cute lunch boxes for boys or girls are available in six different prints, including dinosaurs on a black background, ocean animals, and unicorns. This lunch bag has a large capacity, so you’ll be able to pack a meal, snacks, and drinks with room to spare.
“Needed a new snack bag for outings for a toddler & a baby. It’s big enough to put containers in and water bottles. It comes with a strap and has a zipper pocket in front. No pockets inside. We have the skip hop lunch bag which got dirty easily and was the perfect size just for our toddler. Haven’t needed to clean it yet, but with the dark color/design I don’t notice any dirt.” —Amazon Review
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