I hate packing lunches, so I was happy to discover the website http://www.laptoplunches.com/, which gives many ideas (with photos) for packing nutritious lunches. They even have a monthly newsletter. Of course, the main point of the website is to sell their lunchboxes, which is a bento-box style lunchbox. Being a sucker for nice containers, I bought two.
I have been committed to packing waste-free lunches for years. Everything goes in a reusable container, which I have in many shapes and sizes. I manage to squeeze a lot of those little containers in my kids’ lunchboxes. So I really had no need for a new lunchbox. However, the laptop lunchbox makes packing lunches so much more fun. The lunchbox is a hard plastic outer container with with inner containers of a few sizes what fit within. The plastic is phthalate, BPA, and lead free. The company was founded by two mothers from Santa Cruz, for goodness sake!
There are many things I like about the lunchboxes. They are attractive. My daughter’s comes in whimsical colors (yes, that’s how the colors are described on the website), and mine is black with red inner containers. (My other daughter, being very practical, refused to get one, calling them Craptop Lunches. I hate to say, but the moniker has stuck.) Since the containers fit together like a bento box, there is no wasted space. They come with silverware, so that’s one fewer thing to remember. (Yes, my daughters have been unable to eat something in their lunch for lack of a utensil!) The best part is that I don’t have to search for multiple containers in varying sizes for three different lunchboxes. They are also easy to clean.
The downside is that the containers are not large, so while it’s good for portion control, you might not get as much food as you could put in a ziploc bag. Another negative is that the boxes don’t fit into all lunchboxes. Although they are self contained, it’s good to put the laptop lunchbox into a soft lunchbox to keep it insulated, for ease of carrying, and to allow you to throw in other items such as a napkin or water bottle. Luckily, the boxes fit into my daughter’s L.L. Bean lunchbox and into my Gap lunchbox. However, it didn’t fit into my other daughter’s L.L. Bean lunchbox. Good thing she didn’t want one!
Verdict? Probably an unnecessary expense if you already have reusable containers, but makes packing lunch easier and more fun, and actually got me to pack my own lunch a few times a week, which I never used to do.