The best lunchboxes for kids

lunchboxes for kids

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

Whether you're off on a day out to the zoo or the park, or your little one is about to start school, a good lunchbox is important. To many children, a lunchbox is the centre of the universe - snacks live in there! Sandwiches live in there! We know how important it is to find a lunchbox that your child will be proud to carry around. We have searched the internet for the very best lunchboxes for kids.

If your little one isn't keen on eating lunch, then a brightly coloured and cheerful lunchbox can help encourage self-feeding.

Choose a lunchbox for your child that tells of the excitement inside - we know that part of the enjoyment of eating comes from the visual, so set them up for success with a funky place to keep their food.

Stasher food storage bags
Stasher Storage bags ©Stasher

Best lunchboxes for kids 2023

From monkey to Disney characters, star designs, and unicorns, we've chosen our favourite children's lunchboxes you can buy today.

Best kids' bento box

With stainless steel utensils that click into the lid, this bento box is great for keeping everything in your child's lunch separate (something my lunchbox was missing when I was seven, and went on a school trip only to open it up and find my sandwiches covered in chocolate Swiss roll crumbs).

Review: "Great lunchbox for my 2.5 year old, expect it to last a good few years and enough room to feed an older child. Very sturdy and completely leak proof (even the separate compartments). I was hesitant spending so much money on 'a lunch box' but 100 per cent worth it! Definitely recommend!"

Best Disney lunchbox

With a water bottle and snack box included, Minnie is the perfect lunchtime companion with this bag. We love the handy zipped closure, which means your little one’s lunch will stay safe, no matter how many times it’s dropped!

Review: "I bought this for my daughter who loves Minnie. Brilliant quality, have washed the lunch bag in the washing machine and still looks brand new - colour hasn't faded and even water bottle and snack box is great quality too. Would highly recommend."

Top pick

Available in eight cute designs, this lunch bag will be adored by parents and kids alike. Children will love the fun and friendly designs whereas parents will like that it is insulated to keep food hot and cold on long journeys. A brilliant option to take on family holidays!

Review: "More than I would normally pay for a lunch bag, but totally worth it's! Design is great, really nice to wipe clean (doesn't seem to have those horrid seems where food gets caught inside...hate that!)... Over all I'm just really pleased with it, so is my little girl. Would definitely buy again, and highly recommend."

Best dino-themed lunch bag

If you’ve got a dino-fan on your hands, this is the lunchtime bundle you need! The lunch bag comes complete with a drinking bottle and is insulated to keep their lunch fresh all the way through to break time.

Review: "I bought 2 weeks ago , it's perfect for all type of lunch box and study product. Comfortable to carry and reasonable price."

Best monkey lunchbox

The lunchbox we all wish we had at primary school, this Skip Hop bag is perfect for your little monkey! We particularly love the 3D ears and banana toggle.

Review: "This is such a cute lunch box. My little girl wanted a unicorn lunch box for when she started nursery, and all the ones on the high street just didn’t really do much for me, and were too widely available, so a lot of people have them. After searching online for different ones, I settled on this it was just so cute and different helps that I also love the brand :) 5 stars from me for sure."

Recommended
Smash Owl Insulated Lunch Bag and 350ml Bottle
Price: $25.24

This cute, easy-to-wipe owl lunch bag is bound to make your little one look forward to lunchtime. Designed in Australia, we love the 3D ears and the insulated bottle holder that will help keep your tot's water cold 'til lunchtime.

Review: "My 2-year-old daughter loves this bag so much so that she will not let anyone else carry it to nursery for her. On her first day, she would not even let her teachers have it hehe. Very well made. The extra front compartment is very handy to keep things separate from the food area. The bottle is easy to drink from as well for our daughter. Could do with dual bottles as she drinks like a horse."

Best for Frozen fans

Is your kiddo in their Frozen stage? Whether they spend their weekend dressed up as Elsa or sing their heart out to Let It Go every chance they get, they’ll love being surprised with this Frozen Print-motif lunch box. Made from plastic, there are three separate compartments for snacks and sandwiches as well as a snap-on lid.

Review: "This works well for snacks/lunches for school. The sections divide off three areas which is great for packing a variety. Slightly higher price than wanted to pay but my daughter is happy with it so it’s a win."

Best with shoulder strap

We love that this lunch bag not only has a carry handle but a long strap too so they can sling it over their shoulder on their way out onto the playground. With a fun dino-pattern, it's waterproof, leakproof, and insulated with handy pockets on the outside.

Best for Peppa Pig fans

Mini Peppa Pig fans will be excited for meal times thanks to this lunch bag and bottle set. This is a brilliant option for children starting school or for days out with the family.

Review: “Lovely pack lunch box set. My 3-year-old was delighted with it. A good size, so perfect for nursery and school use.”

Best for little princesses

Make your little one's fairytale come true by choosing this Disney Princess lunch bag. Featuring Belle, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, the lunch bag has insulated lining which will keep their lunch fresh and cool. Pure magic!

Tried and tested
Stasher Sandwich Bag

Rrp: $12.99

Price: $11.48
Alternative retailers
Walmart$12.90View offer
Kohl's$12.99View offer
Macy's$12.99View offer
Bloomingdale's$12.99View offer

If you are looking for a plastic-free lunch box then this eco-friendly sandwich bag is perfect for you. Available in multiple colours, this sandwich bag is great for the whole family. Stasher is easy to use, clean and is reusable. Most importantly it is non-toxic. This lightweight sandwich bag can take heat, cold and is dishwasher safe.

Mother&Baby writer Hannah James, mother of three said: " I am very impressed by this sandwich bag. It comes in different sizes depending on whether you need to just bring a few snacks or a full packed lunch. Stasher makes me feel confident as it keeps food fresh because of it's airtight seal. I love that it can be used for the whole family, which is essential when you have multiple children."

The best lunchbox fillers

Now you've got the lunchbox, it's time to decide what delicious goodies to fill it with! There are plenty of healthy snacks and drinks to choose from.

Best for drink cartons

Made from pressed juice, these cartons contain plenty of fruit which has been shaken up with water to create a delicious juice drink. They are perfect for younger children as no concentrates, sweeteners or added sugars are in the recipe.

Our commercial content writer Arabella tried out Cawston Press Fruit Water and said: "Having tried several flavours, my favourite has to be Apple & Summer Berries. Packed full of goodness, the lack of added sugar certainly hasn't compromised the flavour and in fact, it only enhances the fruitiness of the ingredients."

Best for cereal bars

Suitable for children 12 months and above, we recommend these oat bars for snacks on the go or nursery lunchboxes. You get 6 in a pack and they are made with ingredients which are considered as vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Our commercial content writer Arabella tried out Organix Rasberry and Apple Soft Oaty Bars and said: "With easy to open packaging, these bars are the perfect size for little hands to hold. The texture is soft but slightly chewy and the sweetness of the fruit pieces makes them a nice treat."

What should you put in your child's lunchbox?

When you are packing your child's lunchbox it can be difficult to know what to put in. Your child's lunch needs to be healthy, keep them full and most importantly be something they will want to eat. Here are our top tips:

• Base the main element of their lunch around carbs. Food like bread, rice and pasta will keep your little one fuller for much longer. It is a good idea to try to use wholemeal if your child will eat it.

• Pick a healthy low-fat filling. Lean meats, fish and spreads are all great options to pop into a sandwich or wrap.

• Always add vegetables and fruit. Children need to eat five items of fruit and veg a day to maintain a healthy diet.

• Try not to put too many unhealthy snacks like crisps, sweets and chocolate. Try to pick a healthier alternative like rice cakes, vegetable crisps or plain popcorn.

• You can make their lunch look more exciting cutting fruit into interesting shapes or using different cutters.

• Variety is key. Like you, your child won't want to eat the same thing every day. Try to mix up their lunchbox contents to keep them excited and looking forward to lunch.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.