Three days into the school year and so far Monkey has not had to do a whole day at school so he is yet to actually have his lunch at school. However, that hasn’t stopped us packing his snacks in his lunchbox everyday for him to proudly carry as he struts down the corridor to his class (there is less strutting once we reach the door, we are still working on that!) It has also not stopped us building up quite a collection of lunchboxes and packed lunch paraphernalia. Below is a taster of some of our lovely lunchboxes and bags.
1. Yubo Lunchbox and accessories
This is Monkey’s current favourite and I have to admit it is my favourite too. I’d first spotted the bright and fun Yubo lunchboxes at The Change Initiative and been tempted to buy one there. I ended up getting ours at Galleries La Fayette when I went to the La Fayette Gourmet lunchbox seminar as they were doing a special discount on Yubo products for the event.
“At last, a lunchbox that’s simple, clean, functional, eco-friendly and fun!”
Designed and created by parents frustrated with the shortcomings of the lunchboxes they had previously been using, the Yubo Lunchbox System is as cool as it is practical.
The faceplate designs can be interchanged easily to keep up with your child’s changing fancies, you can even order personalised faceplates or create your own by uploading a photo. It would also be great to upload a picture of your child’s artwork to create a truly unique lunchbox. There are a number of designers creating faceplates for Yubo, we love the Cathy B. Designs and Monkey is chuffed to bits with his pirate one, I may even have to order him the personalised pirate plates. There are also less cartooney, more stylish designs such as those by Dyer Necessities which may be better suited to older children.
While Monkey is loving how it looks, I am loving how flexible the system is with three different sizes of containers that can be mixed and matched depending on what I am serving him that day. The lunchbox came with one large square container and two small round containers as well as the freezable ice block. I separately bought a pack of two medium sized containers and the water bottle holder attachment which fits our camelbak water bottles and means we don’t have to carry that separately.
Both the lunchbox lid and the container lids are easy to remove so I don’t have to worry about how Monkey will handle them in his classroom on his own. There are no zips to deal with and the lunchbox lid can also double up as a handy tray if eating out and about. The lunchbox and containers are a breeze to clean and also ecofriendly since you don’t need any plastic baggies, sandwich wraps or other packaging, the food can go directly into the containers which are BPA free, recyclable, dishwasher and microwave safe.
2. Sistema To Go
We’ve had the sistema cutlery to go set for a while now and found it pretty useful for meals out and about. So I was very interested to see a few more sistema offerings during a grocery shop at Spinneys and just couldn’t resist picking up a couple more items. I got the sistema to go Lunch Plus box which has a handy knife and fork clipped into the lid, perfect for lunches like salads, pasta, noodle or rice dishes. I also got the sistema Lunch Slimline Quaddie. With its multi-compartment structure and additional drinks bottle I think this might be a good one for me to send to nursery with Missy once she starts as I can put her lunch in the main compartment and various snack items in the upper compartments, with maybe some milk or a smoothie in the bottle. I had originally planned to use it for Monkey to take to school but his school requires snack and lunch to be in separate containers so they can be stored in separate baskets and, in any event, I don’t think there is any way I can part him from his yubo now!
The sistema products are designed and made in New Zealand and are BPA free, dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe making them very practical and durable. They feel like quality products that can equally be used by kids going to school/nursery or for packed lunches for the office, I may have to borrow them myself when I go back to work!
3. Igloo Creatures Lunch Cooler
This was another Spinneys find that I just couldn’t resist. I mean, look at him, how cute is he!! I loved the bright, fun design and the mesh waterbottle pocket in particular. It is a good size and would hold either one of the sistema boxes above. The cooler has a comfortable handle that also has a buckle making it easy to clip onto back packs. This will make it perfect for Missy’s nursery gear as she will also need a backpack with her change of clothes and nappy changing gear etc. With thick insulation to keep food cool and an antimicrobial, easy-to-clean liner, this igloo lunch cooler is designed to be functional as well as fun. It comes in four different designs and, while I love this purple Phizzt creature, I did have a hard time choosing which one of the gang to bring home!
4. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bags
I originally got one of these PackIt freezable bags to pack up food for the two munchkins for a 13 hour flight to Australia. The bags can be folded up and placed directly in the freezer to freeze up overnight which will then keep food cool for up to 10 hours. No ice packs needed. They come in a variety of sizes and designs and feature a buckle handle and zip closure. The bags are made from food-safe, nontoxic poly canvas and waterproof EVA as well as being PVC, BPA, phthalate and lead-free. I ummed and ahhed about whether or not I needed another one of these for Monkey and in the end grabbed one anyway as I couldn’t resist the cool monster design. Even if we don’t end up using this for school, it will still be a useful additional item to have for days out and trips away.
5. Beatrix NY
As well as the above new lunch boxes and coolers I have bought for this school year, we also have our trusty Beatrix NY lunchbox which we got as a gift around 3 years ago and still looks as good as the day it first arrived. I love this lunchbox and I have to admit that until now I haven’t wanted to send it to nursery for fear of it getting ruined or lost!! With so many cute characters to choose from you might have a hard time picking just one. I love this Lucas whale design that is Monkey’s and also the Alexander robot design which I bought as a gift for a friend. I plan to get Missy a set but am still undecided which character to go for, I’m leaning towards Penelope Octopus but also love the Dolce and Panna ice creams!
The Beatrix NY lunch boxes are not only a stylish, celebrity favourite but they are also made for kid-proof durability and easy cleaning. They are made with heavy-duty nylon and can be washed in the machine or even dishwasher. They are also PVC Free, phthalate free, lead free & BPA free. There is even a little zipped pocket for little lunch love notes and a name tag to ensure it comes back home with its proud owner.
We also have a set of Goodbyns containers which have served us well over the last 2 years. I haven’t pictured them here as the design has slightly changed since we got ours, although I am quite tempted to pop into Spinneys for a set of the latest bynto and Hero style boxes!
While I think the above selection of products in our collection will see us through almost all of our family packed-lunch needs, there is still one item missing – a flask to keep food warm. There are a few I am looking at and I will let you know which one I decide to go for!
*Selected Dubai Stockists
Yubo – Galleries La Fayette, The Change Initiative, DBBabies.com
Igloo – Spinneys
Goodbyns – Spinneys, DBBabies. com
sistema – Spinneys
PackIt – Spinneys, Tavola
Beatrix NY – Babysouk.com, DB Babies, The Change Initiative
How do you pack lunch for nursery, school or the office and what are your favourite products? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!