The Lunch Box Rumors Are True…

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!

Favorite Lunch Containers Discontinued on 100 Days of #RealFood

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.

How To Make EasyLunchboxes Leakproof on 100 Days of #RealFood

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.

Note: The jumbo muffin cup I used above would not fit in the Yumbox so the standard size is pictured below.

Leakproof Yumbox on 100 Days of #RealFood

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!

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388 thoughts on “The Lunch Box Rumors Are True…”

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  1. So I know I’m a year late, but what insulated lunch bag do you use with the yumbox? I haven’t been able to find one to fit the Ziploc containers, & I’m worried about the same problem with Yumbox. Wanted to ask before I spend a bunch of money :).

  2. Sistema plastic has a line of lunch containers that are really durable and they’re super easy to open. They have a compartmented one that’s just perfect. The little compartments aren’t completely leak proof on their own but the whole thing is. The size is a lot better, I think. I’ve loved these for so long but I don’t find any other school lunch maven talk about them. I’ve seen them sold at Old Navy and the discount stores like TJMaxx. They’re really affordable. http://sistemaplastics.com/products/lunch

  3. Thank you! I ordered one for my daughter going into Kindergarten. We got it and it is so fabulous, I ordered on for my 4k-er too!! Thanks!

  4. Oh no! I just did a search for the Ziploc containers because the ones I’d stockpiled in past years finally bit the dust. :( School starts here in 8/10 and I thought I could just order more of the same. Sigh. There are some collapsible silicone divided containers at Walmart that work okay for us, although my kindergartener had a little bit of trouble getting the lid to latch back in place after he finished. My 3rd grader liked them, and they did not leak. They are Smart Planet brand. I saw some others that looked promising at At Home, but could not find a price on them. They were fit fresh brand.

  5. Do you have any thoughts on the Pottery Barn Kids bento boxes? I ordered the classic one (in solid colors) & I hope it holds up and is leakproof?! I also got the hot/cold container. Thoughts?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. We’ve not tried their products. I do remember readers commenting that some of the past products were not leak-proof.

    2. Definitely NOT leak proof. I’ve never been a fan of pbk lunch containers. Maybe you’ll like them! I only use Yumbox.

      1. We also love our Planet Boxes. I have my oldest’s going for 3 years so far and still in amazing condition! Best $$$ I’ve spent. And the extra containers were leak proof even after losing the seals!

  6. We have been using the EasyLunchBoxes for years and we have the vertical Lands End lunch bags too. Press N Seal works best to lock in the wet areas. We have never had a mess and I do not use a rubber and either. EasyLunchBoxes also makes some small square containers that have leakproof lids and fit in the medium or large section. They are meant for dips and dressing but work well for small portions of applesauce and yogurt too.

    1. We’ve been using EasyLunchBoxes this summer after our Ziploc ones finally got recycled, and we love them! No leaks, very sturdy!

  7. We have used the Easy Lunchboxes for a few years now, but I’m done. We’ve had to buy new bags each year and I have to throw away more and more containers each year too. The bags rip easily and are not easy to clean. Also, the plastic containers are not very durable, many cracks and chips.

    1. Charisma, the yumbox will definitely work for someone with fine motor skill issues – the clasp is easy to open and close (my dd has motor skill issues that make a lot of the smaller containers difficult) and once it’s open, that’s it.

  8. Ditto what Lorna wrote! I will now stop obsessively searching for my favorite ziplock containers. Just ordered some Easy Lunchboxes beacuse my kids usually bring “dry” stuff and my second grader has already lost one lunch bag this year. I’d rather lose a cheaper insert.

  9. Thank you so much for your research. I am SO disappointed that ziploc has continued these. I have not found a good alternative. Easylunchboxes are out, because of the leak issue. I cannot imagine sending my kindergartener to school with messy plastic wrap and a rubber band. The yumboxes look great but the cost for four kids (to have 2 alternating sets) is too prohibitive. And I absolutely hate having a zillion small separate containers to wash, dry, stack, and keep track of. I keep checking online and in stores and cannot find anything that works. I hope someone else will fill this need– hopefully before next school year! PLEASE!!! Lisa, please keep us posted if you discover something else. Thanks!

    1. Sarah, I have had fits trying to find something that works as well as the Ziploc divided containers and have tried just about everything out there except the expensive ones like Planetbox and Yumbox. I found these on Amazon and they work just like the Ziploc ones and have so far been leakproof even when stood on their sides. The are more square though so check the dimensions of your lunchboxes. I DO NOT put mine in the dishwasher even though they say it’s safe because everything melts in my washer. Good luck!

      1. Thanks, Trish! I’ll give those a try. I appreciate the tip! FYI, when my ziploc containers finally wore out, I ended up trying “easy lunchboxes.” I like them better than I thought. I just make sure to put liquidy things (watermelon, yogurt etc.) in a separate small container (which fits on the side of the easy lunchbox container in the lands end lunch boxes).

  10. Thank you! I have been searching everywhere for our favorite ziplocks but now now this is fruitless. We love the ease of what we’ve had w ziplock but are open to a leakproof option.

  11. Lunchblox by Rubbermaid are awesome. BPA free, totally leakproof, the sandwich bento type ones are flat, so they fit in the lands end vertical lunchbags, and they have different kinds so I got myself a salad kit one!

  12. PlanetBox. We have two of them. My oldest son is in third grade and he used this box for all of elementary school and two years of preschool. We have bought a couple of new carry bags and some magnet sets, but the box itself is rock solid after all these years. The boys still get comments about how great their lunchboxes are on a regular basis.

    1. What size do you recommend for toddlers? The small planet box looks tiny but the medium looks so big. Thanks!

      1. The middle size (Rover, I think) is what we got. I’m not going to shell out that much money more than once, so I started big :-)

      1. There is separate container with a gasket you can buy which fits inside. It’s ok but not for Soup or something like that.

  13. Rubbermaid disposables have one that just have 2 sections but you can use a silicone muffin cup to make a third compartment. I like them!

  14. Rubbermaid disposables have one that just have w sections but you can use a silicone muffin cup to make a third compartment. I like them!

  15. Noooo! I was wondering why I couldn’t find them!
    I also emailed the company asking them to bring it back!

  16. I also use them everyday and went to buy more and couldn’t find them. I sent SC Johnson an email to let them know that we want them back! If anyone knows someplace we can find them, please let me know.

  17. I just popped over to the website for Ziploc and sent an email about how we miss the 3-compartment containers and asked them to reconsider. You never know… if enough people express interest, they could end up bringing them back!

  18. Say it isn’t so! We LOVE the Ziploc divided “bento style” lunch containers. I thought I stocked up at the beginning of the school year, but it’s not enough! We pack lunch every day and these are a necessary item! Maybe if we all contact Ziploc and beg, they will produce them again. Maybe for the start of the next school year? Thanks, though, I do really appreciate the update and comparable products noted.

  19. Both of my boys have a Yumbox and we love them, but unfortunately they have not been leakproof for us. We have had issues with juicier items leaking onto other stuff in the lunchbox, so we just don’t put anything liquidy in there anymore. :) They save on plastic baggies though, which is very nice.

  20. Easy lunch boxes and 12 year old boys are not a good combination. He has cracked 4 this year dispite the padded insulated lunch box. The 14 year old girl has no problem. they are handy and I just ordered more, somehow have to keep the boy from throwing the lunch box around.

  21. I use the happy Lunchboxes off of Amazon.com. They come in a four pack with four different colored lids and they are leak proof. The only thing I don’t like about them is the lids get a little harder to put on after being in the dishwasher, other than that they are great!

  22. lisa you should create your own version of the ziplock containers. I would buy them. I loved them probably just as much as you did and I liked the fact that they were leakproof… You should really work on teaming up with Ziploc to come out with them again or like I said make your own. I am a big supporter of you and your website and I appreciate all your posts.

  23. Shannon Valenzuela

    Checkout easy lunch boxes. They sell them on Amazon or you can buy them directly from their website. They have 3 compartments

  24. We love Planetbox! Well worth the $ for the long haul and customer service out of sight! Only one piece to throw in DW, unless you also use the leakproof containers.

  25. Just wondering why you would use plastic at all. New studies are showing BPA free plastics aren’t much safer. Along with trying to get my family to eat real food, we are trying to go plastic free. My kindergartener and 2nd grader currently use planetbox, and they like it.

  26. I have been searching all over for the ziploc lunch boxes. I have 4 boxes and 1 lid remaining. It is so disappointing to hear they’ve been discontinued. They are so perfect for school lunches. Huge disappointment. Thanks for posting alternatives.

      1. Yes Nicole the little containers have lids to make them leakproof, and they do fit in Lands end lunchbag. Con, I found the lids to be hard to close sometimes and difficult for younger kids to open.

      2. I have one of these two. Leak proof yes. Lands end bag yes. Con-lots of little containers inside the big container to wash instead of just one big container.

  27. I keep checking this just to see if you have updated to let us know they are available again… I keep hoping. Thanks for letting us know good options instead.