Update April 2017 – The Ziploc lunch containers are back! Grab them here – Ziploc Divided Lunch Containers
I’m sad to report that what you’ve heard is true …the divided Ziploc lunch containers have been discontinued! :( These are our favorite lunch boxes because they’re super easy to use (with only one lid to open), lightweight, inexpensive, hold the right amount of food, and most importantly, are leakproof. And these are even the containers we used for all the school lunch pictures in my new cookbook!
But enough about the containers you can no longer buy (so sorry!). Let’s instead talk about the two most comparable alternatives I’ve found. I did some testing this week that felt pretty darn risky. But the results ended up being better than I expected, so let’s get down to it!
Option 1: EasyLunchboxes
Pros: Same size as Ziploc, lightweight, inexpensive, and come with colorful easy-to-open single lids.
Cons: NOT Leakproof! And a special carrying case is recommended to keep the lunch box level throughout the day (something that is just not gonna happen at our house).
Okay, so let’s tackle this non-leakproof issue – my biggest qualm with the EasyLunchboxes. I’d read that you can put a piece of plastic wrap over the compartment(s) you’d like to keep leakproof to prevent any issues. But I also read you’d still need to keep the lunch box horizontal in the special carrying case. I personally feel this is an unrealistic expectation for my active elementary-aged children – with big consequences in the form of liquid spilling out of their lunch bags. Not to mention we already have (embroidered) lunch bags we love that so nicely clip (vertically) to their matching backpacks.
So, I went out on a limb this week and tested the plastic wrap suggestion in an EasyLunchbox that was definitely not kept horizontal! I decided to have lunch with my daughter at school because I was so nervous this trick would not work and there’d be yogurt all over the place. But what do you know …it worked just fine! It was most certainly an extra step (well, 2 steps actually) to put the plastic wrap over the yogurt and the juicy watermelon compartments AND to put a rubberband around the whole thing just to be extra sure we didn’t have any issues. But with limited lunch box options this is what works!
The biggest issue I found was that the plastic wrap was fairly messy and not easy to put back on. It had also ripped a little from where the lid pushed down onto it. So if your child doesn’t eat all their yogurt or other liquidy food you’ll want to instruct them to somehow put the plastic wrap back on to transport it home mess-free (or provide an extra clean piece of wrap). Also, I did test the plastic wrap trick with water in the box (at home) and that did not work, so I wouldn’t recommend putting anything too watery in there. Also I am not saying this tactic will always work 100% of the time, but it worked just fine for us this week.
Option 2: Yumbox Panino
Pros: Leakproof! One easy-to-open single lid plus it’s relatively the same size with a similar configuration as Ziploc. There are also colorful and fun little labels in the food compartments, which make them pretty kid-friendly.
Cons: Slightly heavier and more expensive.
Let me start by saying my daughters love using both our Yumboxes (we have the Original and the Panino versions). And they’re a sure thing when it comes to the leakproof concern. So if you can spring the extra money and don’t want to mess with plastic wrap and rubberbands this is the route I’d personally recommend going. I should also mention we have a standing coupon code with them if you’re interested in giving it a go: use “SWEET15” for 15% off.
So those are the most comparable alternatives I could come up with friends – I hope that helps! Ziploc is not telling us why they discontinued our favorite boxes or if any similar replacements are to come so unfortunately that’s all I can share for now.
What’s your favorite lunch box and why? Please share with us in the comments!