Is PlanetBox Lunch box Right for your child?
Are you ready for the new school year? Did you buy a lunch box for your child already? Have you heard about PlanetBox Lunch box? Today’s post is all about choosing the right lunch box for your child.
Summer is almost over and the new school year is quickly approaching. Some moms anticipate September eagerly, while others dread this moment with all their might. Last September, my daughter started Junior kindergarten, and I was one of the moms who dreaded September because school lunches were becoming my responsibility.
My kids started daycare at 12 months, with breakfast and lunch provided by the daycare center, which allowed me to be a little ‘lazy’. However, when her entire feeding regimen was up to me I was literally freaking out!! The main reason for my stress was entering the unknown and my unfamiliarity with packing lunches for a child. Essentially, it was a new habit which had to be acquired, and we all “love” new habits, right?
As mothers, we are faced with challenges every single day, and we are always faced with two options, we can either complain non-stop or be proactive and tackle each challenge and responsibility with knowledge and human maturity.
Today’s post is aimed at helping you deal with the new habit of packing healthy lunches for your kids. After packing lunches daily for a full year, I have gained a bit of experience and coupled with my professional training as a nutritionist learned a lot in the process.
One of the most critical aspects of packing healthy school lunches is choosing the right lunch box! Below you’ll find a review of the lunch box I use myself and recommend to all my clients – Planet Box lunch box!
Our bad experience with packing lunch in plastic containers
Before the beginning of 2013 school year, I got a cheap BPA-free set of 4 boxes with a lid at Walmart, which my daughter loved because they were cute, small and pink. However, a couple months into the school year I noticed that the cute little boxes were returned almost daily with most of the food in it, and also my daughter returning home upset and not wanting to go to school the next day. When I asked her why her reply was always the same: she doesn’t like the lunch supervisor because she keeps telling her to hurry up and eat her lunch faster. I decided to ask the teachers about this and was astounded to find out that kindergarten children have only 20 minutes to eat (!!!) and my daughter who is a slow eater, is always last to finish eating.
I could’ve talked with my daughter and urged her to eat quickly and be like the other kids, but instead of smashing her self-esteem along with excitement for school, I decided to try something else. One of the things I’ve noticed was that the returned food was almost always untouched, meaning she never even opened the boxes. The next thought was realizing that closed containers were a bad idea for children because they don’t eat like adults. When we eat our lunch we usually open everything first and eat a little bit of everything. Kids, however, don’t eat the same way. They will open the first thing they want and by the time they are finished with this food item their time is up. This led me to an extensive research of bento style lunch boxes for kids hoping that it would change circumstances a little, and boy it did!
Things I love about PlanetBox Lunch Box
- A truly environmentally friendly solution – packing lunches the traditional way means wasting a lot of plastic or paper bags. In fact, the typical North American school kid generates 67 pounds of discarded lunch waste per school year. Thatʼs more than 18,000 pounds yearly for the average sized elementary school – for one kid! The reusable PlanetBox lunch box style lunch box is a great way to reduce waste and generate a lot less trash.
- Super easy to clean – PlanetBox lunch box is dishwasher safe and very easy to clean. All you have to do is empty it from leftovers (if any) and either pop it into the dishwasher or wash with soap by hand, literally takes 30 seconds.
- Extremely durable – PlanetBox lunch box is made out of high-quality stainless steel and is designed to last for a very long time. In fact, I know a mom who has been using it for over 10 years! All she does is change the decorative magnets every few years and reuses the box.
- Makes lunch packing ridiculously easy – Prior to having PlanetBox lunch box I had separate plastic containers with lids which made lunch packing a little more labor intensive. I love having the entire box in front of me so there is no need to mess with individual containers, this saves me a lot of time.
- Easy to open – although I had to train my daughter a few times how to open and close the box, she got it right away and I never had an issue with this.
- Great for portion control – the compartments of all PlanetBox lunch boxes (they come in different sizes) were designed to hold sensible portions which are appropriate both for kids and adults. I recommend getting the Rover style because it has more compartments which allow for more variety and snacks.
- Saves you money – you will save a lot by using PlanetBox lunch box. First, replacing wasteful, single-use plastic and paper containers, you will save money over the lifetime of the product. Second, PlanetBox allows you to buy food in bulk, which is cheaper and less wasteful than single use containers. For example, a 1 oz pre-packaged bag of cheesy crackers costs 87 cents, but 1 oz of those exact same crackers taken from a 12 oz box costs 43 cents – half as much!
- Customizable – my daughter is obsessed about the color pink and honestly, I was concerned about the stainless-steel in the beginning. When ordering the box online I made sure she was a part of the process and in fact, she customized her own box, which added excitement to the anticipation of the box. She ended up choosing pink decorative magnets and a pink carry bag. When the box arrived we allowed her to write her own name on it with a black marker so she owns it completely – worked like magic!
Although great, there are a few things I don’t like about PlanetBox lunch box
- This lunch box is not cheap – we’ve paid $59.95 for the complete kit (which includes a bento style lunch box, carry bag, spill-proof little dipper and large dipper for messy foods) plus shipping to Canada. Although pricey, after a year of daily use our PlanetBox lunch box is flawless; I have a friend who has it for almost ten years and it still looks like new!
- It doesn’t come with matching stainless steel water bottle – I think for this price they could’ve included a stainless-steel water bottle as well. Right now we are using a stainless steel bottle from Walmart.
- Not Microwave safe – because it’s made out of stainless steel microwaving is not an option. For me, this wasn’t an issue for two reasons. First, my daughter can’t warm up food at school anyway and second, we don’t own a microwave oven.
Comparison of PlanetBox lunch box vs. other bento style lunch boxes
There are hundreds of bento style lunch boxes available online, but there were only two I actually considered buying. Laptop Lunches Bento boxes were my first choice, and PlanetBox Lunch Box were the second. After a diligent comparison, hubby and I decided to go for the Plant Box bento style lunch box. Here’s why:
|Laptop Lunches Bento boxes
|PlanetBox Lunch Box
|The outer container is approximately 9″ x 7″ x 2 1/4 inches. The inner containers are approximately 4 3/4 x 3 1/8 x 2 and 3 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 2 and 2 x 1 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches
|Planet Box lunch box have three different types of sizes:Launch 10.25 × 7.75 × 2Rover 12 × 9 × 2.5Shuttle 7.75 × 5.2 × 2.0
|not specified on website
|insulated bags, cool packs, bottles, cutlery, bento jars, creativity tools, extras and replacements
|cutlery, cold kit, magnets, insulated carry bag, gift cards, additional stainless steel containers for dips and wet ingredients
|Available in stores?
|Easy to scratch?
|easy to damage
|very hard to damage
|Dishwasher safe? Easy to wash
|dishwasher safe but hard to wash due to multiple containers
|dishwasher safe and super easy to wash
|Does this bento style lunch box come in variety of colours and kid-friendly designs?
|lots of colours and kid-friendly variations
|there are kid friendly magnets, but variety is more limited compared to Laptop Lunches Bento Boxes
|Can a child open it easily?
|This is the main disadvantage of this lunch box, there are just way too many little boxes to pack, open and then close.
|one system to open and close, easily manageable by a child
|Ranges between $23.99 – $47.99 US
|Rover system ranges between $39.95 – $59.95 US
Looking for healthy school lunch ideas?
I’ve written a blog post with some ideas for healthy school lunches for kids, you can check them out here