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

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  1. I was so relieved to find this post as I am devastated that I cannot find replacements for my ziploc 3 compartment containers anymore. It’s nice to know I wasn’t alone in coveting that container. Its been quite a few years and many new things are on the market… do you have any updates on your current favorite multi-compartment lunch container?

  2. Hi, I ws googling the ziplock lunch containers and have noticed you said they were back. You posted a link to amazon, i’m from Canada but travel to the US on occassion. Do you know if they are back at target?

  3. Ziploc divided containers (3 compartments, sold in 2 packs under $4 in Wisconsin) now back on the shelves at Target as of December 2016. Also saw some on Amazon. I bought a few, as my old ones from 2013 were almost ready to bite the dust! Cheapest, best, very leakproof bento-style lunch boxes. Wish they were about 1/4 inch taller, and they would fit small (pre-sealed) fruit cups.

  4. This is gonna sound like a silly question but do you put the yum box in a lunchbox or by itself? If by itself, how does the food stay cold?

  5. I purchased a wonderesque lunch box and I’m really pleased with it. It is similar to the yum box but slightly cheaper on Amazon.

    1. Jennifer, I’ve used these and like them a lot. They’re pretty much leak proof and seem to hold up well.

  6. Ugh, now I’m bummed but still good to finally know that the ziploc lunchbox is discontinued. Also my absolute favorite, but mine are done and gone and I also ended up buying the easy lunch box, happy when I found them but didn’t read reviews. it never occurred to me they would be made with a lid that essentially doesn’t close. Will now give your second recommendation a try. Thank you for your fantastic blog and book, love it!

  7. I have Easy Lunch boxes, I have used press and seal around the smaller sections with yogurt and applesauce, and it’s worked!
    I also have used the flat babyfood containers that have lids on them ( the round ones) They fit in the bigger of the small sections.
    I’ll also use them, or applesauce containers, without a lid in the biggest section to keep things separate that are dry or wet

  8. So I noticed that the small peas in the middle of the lunch box were frozen? Do they even taste good thawed? Are they in there just to retain a colder temp for the other food? Please straighten out my head around this one, lolol!!!!!

  9. I love the easy lunch boxes so much! I have used them for myself and for my 6 and 9 year old for years. Some of them I have even had since my 9yo was about 3. They hold up wonderfully and are also great to take for lunch at the pool or beach. I don’t usually pack ‘liquidy’ foods so that’s not a problem for me. I also use the Land’s End soft lunch boxes and they clean up well in the washing machine on delicate + sun dry. Thanks for sharing, I enjoy your blog and recipies :)

  10. I am now going on year 5 with our Planet boxes. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! I don’t use them for “hot” foods, we use a bigger lunchbox for the thermos, etc, but these have been really awesome. I love these so much, I bought the snack versions as well for things like summer camps where you need a “heavy” snack, but not quite a lunch…OR when we are going to be out running errands or whatever and don’t want to feed garbage on the run. I saw someone post that she was upset about the fruit leaking. I have found that since all fruit has a water content to expect a bit of ooze. I do try to leave as much of the fruit whole as possible (less cutting) – or if necessary, I use the containers that are leak proof. It has worked for us.

  11. I bought two yum boxes at the beginning of the school year and was very excited. At first, I absolutely loved them. They were definitely leak proof and the perfect sizes for my 1st and 4th grader. Unfortunately, I managed to melt one in the dishwasher (I should have washed it by hand but got in a hurry) and the latch just broke on the second, so I can no longer use that one either. I’m so sad….I had hoped that they would hold up at least for the school year….oh well…I think I’ll go back to the original Ziploc containers that are still going strong after two years of use….not sure what I’ll use after that….

  12. I tried to use the standing coupon today at Yumbox. It says it has expired now. :( Too bad, they would have worked perfectly. I have to find 4 boxes for my girls, and I cannot use plastic wrap to save my life, so I will keep looking. Thanks for your information. You have great ideas.

    1. I found them on Amazon for cheaper than they were on the website even with the discount code – I do have prime so I got free shipping which is what really made the difference.

  13. Your article says you have a “standing” coupon code to get 15% off. I just tried to use it and it did not take — it says “coupon expired.”

  14. I actually wrote to ziploc at the beginning of the summer and BEGGED them to bring ️these back! They sent me coupons for products I don’t even use…boo. No mention of the boxes, just a generic letter about my inquiry with the coupons. Maybe if enough of us write the company they will realize the importance of bringing them back!! There is strength in numbers!!

  15. I have been using ECO Meal Kit, which is like the Ziploc, but the nice thing is that it folds flat when done and makes nice storage space. And because my kids are in middle school and high school, they preferred a box that didn’t make them seem like little kids and they didn’t want a lunch bag either- they needed to have the “cool” factor (rolling eyes). I found this on amazon for like $8, and comes in different colors. My kids used it last year and it worked real nice. My boy especially liked it because he could fold it flat when he was done with lunch and shove in his backpack.

  16. I use Biokips. They have a few different configurations. There is a 4 square that is perfect for my toddlers lunch and I use a two compartment rectangular for my lunch. I found them both on sale the first at Home Goods and the second through Amazon. I didn’t realize the Ziploc ones had been discontinued. I was looking for those before I found the Biokips.

  17. We just bought a bentgo. So far on picnics it is leak proof. Just needed to have my first grader practice opening it. Snap in ice packs too. We are happy with this. So sad about ziploc. Got ours on zulily after researching.

    1. Bentgo’s a great for younger kids! My daughter is in 4th grade and it’s a little too juvenile for her, But for toddlers or younger kids it’s perfect!

    1. The thing with Bentology is unlike the Yumbox where it’s one piece, there are separate containers and the lids can be hard to open and/or can get lost. With the Yumbox this doesn’t happen. Plus the plastic in Yumbox is much sturdier. For only $10 additional dollars it’s worth the price if you ask me!