A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win three Lunchbots stainless steel lunch containers through a giveaway sponsored by Whole9 and Lunchbots. The timing couldn’t have been better for me as my kids had just started the new school year and I really wanted to try out some of the amazing looking stainless steel lunch containers that I saw online. I am a firm believer that a good lunch can make the difference between doing great at school or just getting by, so I always pack a nutritious meal for my children to take to school (I have written about Healthy School Lunches here before.)
Previously I was using a plastic container with a locking lid which worked great, but I am trying to transition away from plastic for all of our food applications. I have concerns about food safe plastics degrading over time and by repeated washings and then leaching chemicals onto any foods that might touch it. Since I had used the same plastic containers for two years, I was beginning to worry that they may have become compromised by heavy usage and washing.
Stainless steel is an eco friendly alternative to plastics for many reasons; stainless steel has a virtually infinite useful lifespan as it does not wear out, it is widely considered one of the safest materials for food storage and it is BPA free. The startup cost for stainless steel lunch containers is considerably higher than plastic, but when you factor in the long estimated length of service, the price does even out in the long run.
I received three different containers; the Uno has just one compartment, the Duo has two compartments and the Trio has three compartments.
When I received the three Lunchbots containers, the Uno, Duo and Trio, I was concerned that they seemed too small to hold the amount of food that I normally pack for my elementary age children. After packing lunch in them for eight school days, I am happy to say that they hold a surprising amount of food. I was able to pack everything I would normally include except for over sized items like re-usable yogurt tubes or large bananas. Those items went loose in the lunch bag along with an ice pack and a 12oz stainless steel thermos.
Here are some of the lunches that I packed in the Lunchbots.
Of course the opinion that matters the most comes from the two boys who are actually using these containers everyday at lunch. When I asked them what they thought of the boxes, they said that they liked how cool they look and they also like that these boxes are smaller than the previous container but still hold the same amount of food. I was curious about that so I asked why smaller was better but the only answer I got was “because it is”.
Although initially skeptical about how much could be packed in a Lunchbot, I found that the average school lunch easily fits in any of the three configurations that I tried. I like that the food is in stainless steel rather than plastic, although I still have to put juicy items in a silicone cupcake liner to prevent juices from mingling with other foods. The dividers in the Lunchbots are not fully sealed, so liquid from one compartment can and will travel to another compartment.
My children like the Lunchbots better than the previous containers and have asked me to only use these new ones from now on. Additionally, because of the compartments in the containers, the food always looks attractive. This may seem like a throwaway but when you are feeding children, “cool” presentation can be your ally in getting your children to eat the healthy stuff.
The Lunchbots Uno, Duo and Trio have become our new standard in lunch packing and I definitely recommend them for just about any lunch packing need.
In the interest of full disclosure, please be aware that I did not purchase these Lunchbots but rather won them in a giveaway sponsored in part by the Lunchbots company. Having said that, I was not under any obligation to provide a positive review in consideration of being awarded these products. Any opinions expressed in this review are my own and reflect my experiences and thoughts on the products being reviewed.