Lunch Ideas (for All Ages) with LunchBots!

If you want to eat better in the New Year, packing yourself wholesome lunches from home can be a great place to start. I recently discovered and started using LunchBots stainless steel containers for some of my daughters’ lunches, which is why I am excited they’re sponsoring* this post today. Here are a few different ways to consider using their products:

Lunches for Adults and Teenagers

Readers ask me all the time what they should pack for their big teenage kids (or even for themselves), and I really do think the LunchBots extra big (and non-Disney character themed) thermal containers could be the answer. What’s more filling than a hearty leftover dinner like whole-wheat pasta or a big serving of homemade soup, stew, taco meat, fajitas, crock pot chicken, chili, lasagna, meatballs, or quiche? Serve with a generous side of fruit and/or a salad and you have yourself a filling lunch.

I fit almost 2 servings of noodles in the pictured LunchBots 16 oz. container:

Almost 2 full servings of whole-wheat pasta and an organic apple in LunchBots container - 100 Days of Real Food
Almost 2 full servings of whole-wheat pasta and an organic apple


Lunches for Elementary Aged Kids

I recently started using LunchBots divided containers for my kindergarten and second grade daughters. It’s no secret that I frequently send them soup (in some smaller thermoses that we already own), but since that’s not enough food alone they usually get a couple of “side items” as well. For years I’ve been putting those sides in 2 to 3 different additional smaller containers, but that was before LunchBots sent me one of their divided containers, which is honestly the perfect size for sides. My girls have a very short lunch period, so my theory is the fewer lids they have to open, the better!

Here are two recent lunches I made for my girls using my new LunchBots containers, each paired with a single serving of soup:

Lunch with side items in LunchBots containers - 100 Days of Real Food
Tomato soup, cold grilled cheese, and fruit lunch + Chicken noodle soup, zucchini muffin, and cantaloupe lunch


Lunches for Preschool Children

I actually first learned about LunchBots from our Sales Manager, Kiran. She has used their containers for years in order to serve up the perfect sized portions for her preschool aged children. Here are some examples of what Kiran packed for her almost 2-year-old and 4-year-old this past week:

Whole-wheat pizza, celery, nut mix lunch + Homemade whole-wheat chicken nuggets, broccoli, and nut mix lunch
Whole-wheat pizza, celery, and nut mix lunch + Homemade whole-wheat chicken nuggets, broccoli, and nut mix lunch

So in summary, these containers provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to serving different ages and appetites. Plus if you’ve been wanting to make the switch to stainless steel, LunchBots is a way to do so without breaking the bank. As we all know, reusable containers of any type can save money in the long run and are of course less wasteful (and therefore better for our environment)! If you’ve tried LunchBots before we’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

For more lunch ideas check out my “School Lunch Roundup” post.

*Note: LunchBots is sponsoring today’s post, but the opinions it contains are my own.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

75 thoughts on “Lunch Ideas (for All Ages) with LunchBots!”

  1. I LOVE our lunchbots containers and have used them for years. Their dips containers are great for sending hummus or other dips to go with the veggies you send in their lunches (this always gets my kids to eat more .) This year I am going to try some of their new leak-proof containers for my lunches!

  2. Let me say 3 words MADE IN CHINA!!! It doesn’t matter how “environmental” they are because you cant monitor or regulate what they do over there… product fail.

  3. Hi.
    I was wondering if anyone has a problem with getting the lunchbots open once they are filled.
    My girls both struggle to open them and have to ask teachers to do it.
    Seems odd as my daughter is 13 and capable but she says its impossible .
    Am I using them incorrectly ? Any advice would be great.
    Thanks in advance .
    Angie

  4. We purchased all 4 sizes of the lunchbots a few months ago, as well as one of the thermos containers and so far we are loving them. The different sizes are great for holding a multitude of snacks for my toddler and I. I have even found that they are great for adults. I pack my husbands lunches in them all the time, though sometimes his meals require two containers instead of one. We especially love how the thermos is wide enough that he can easily eat warmed leftovers in it, which saves him time from having to find the microwave at work. So I definitely recommend these for adults as well as children.

  5. Would the DIPS work well for sending yogurt to school? We typically buy the larger yogurt tubs and then he eats it from a small bowl with fresh fruit. Trying to figure out the best way to send it to school for snack time. Also, his school does not refrigerate foods–they ask that we send “non-perishable foods”…but I can send it all in an insulated bag with an icepack and it will be fine, right? Sorry…first time mom sending her now big boy to school for the first time **insert tears here**!

  6. I love your suggestions but am a bit confused. Do your girls eat the leftover pizza and chicken cold? I have tried heating the chicken and then sending it to school with my son in a thermos but it gets soggy by lunch time. I really want to make changes but my boys are so picky (they’d rather go hungry than eat what I send sometimes) and the whole cold vs. hot dilemma gets me.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Laura. Yes, they eat it cold. Mine will even eat cold grilled cheese (or at least more room temperature). Jill

  7. Lunch is always such a big challenge. I find I have to consciously take time the night before or get up early enough to prepare or it’s off to the snack machines!

  8. I saw your write up on how to use a Thermos the other day and I just saw your write up about the Lunchbots container. But is that the one you use for your kids? I have the Thermos brand and my kids have always complained that it was cold. So was thinking about trying the Lunchbots, but wanted to know if you have tested that brand?
    Thanks
    Meg

    1. The Lunchbots thermos is a little big for my small children so we have not tested it or tried it in their lunches. Sorry I don’t have a better answer!

  9. My daughter is in 3rd grade and I bought her a Planet Box lunchbox several years ago now. It solved several problems — first, it is ONE container for her to open, which helps ensure that my slow eater has as much time as possible to eat during her short lunchtime, second, she grazes ALL the items that I send, rather than just opening one container and eating all of one item then not touching anything else, and Third, it is EASY for little hands to open, yet it stays shut and the food stays separated all day long. The upside is that it is stainless steal made in the USA, so it is not leaching chemicals into her food (plastics leach into food — especially acidic and/or warm foods, and eventually contribute to cancer). The downside is that it is relatively expensive and heavy. That said, it has lasted a normal little kid several years now, gets washed every night (dishwasher safe, but husband hand washes it), and shows no wear and tear — I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten my $$$ worth AND I sleep well at night. HIGHLY recommend!!!

  10. I ordered these lunchbot products the other day and they came! I was so excited. Unfortunately after trying them them out (specifically the thermoses) for the last couple of the days, they do NOT keep food warm at all. Food ends up at room temperature. I definitely do not recommend them. The leakproof containers seem OK though. Just my two cents!

    1. We use Kid Konserve thermoses (same one for last 3 years) and they stay hot for at least 4 1/2 hours (i pack at 7:30 and they eat at 12-12:15pm) I do have to preheat the thermoses with boiling water but I heat their hot item in the toaster oven while the boiled water is in the thermos and then put the hot food right in the thermos (after dumping out the water obviously). Somtimes my middle one says it is too hot so she knows to open her thermos right when she gets to lunch and let it cool down while she eats the other items…

  11. where do you find your 100% whole wheat pasta or what brand do you use? Everything I’ve tried is so dark and dense it’s almost un-edible. Your’s look much lighter than what I’ve seen before. Thanks!

    1. My daughter has a Planet Box and we love it! On days she uses a thermos or a smoothie cup, we use little round SS containers from Pottery Barn, but I like the Lunch Bot option for those days . . .

  12. Ok, this is actually not about the post, but I need to ask a question. I know you are in the Charlotte area and I noticed that the pictures of your fridge contain milk from a dairy. Yep, sounds weird I know but I used to live in CO where I bought all my dairy products (and a few others) from a dairy that was delivered to my house weekly. I also live in the Charlotte area and can’t find a dairy who delivers. Which one do you use?

    1. She mentions in another post that she gets her milk from lakeviewfarmshomedelivery.com. I plan to check that out as well. =)

      1. Thanks for letting me know. I just found that exact Earth Fare this week! I didn’t however look at their dairy. So glad to know I can get it there! Love their coupons!

  13. My daughter started school this year and it was your Lunch Box Round Up post that really got me thinking about different ways to pack lunches! I found the Lunch Bots online after deciding to go with stainless steel. She’s only half-days, so I use the quad box for snacks (three different foods, plus a section for a damp rolled-up cloth). I use silicon muffin liners to keep juices from spreading. We now have one box for each of our three kids and although only one gets used daily for school, the others are great for packing lunches for outings. I wish they’d make a slightly bigger box with 4-6 sections for adults!

    1. The stainless steel containers that my husband and I use are from To Go Ware. We use the double decker and put smaller TGW or Lunchbot containers in them. Like bottom is a salad and a smaller container in the same salad dept for dressing or veggies and meat and the littel containers for a mix of sour cream and avocado and the top for the corn shells. Sometimes my kids even use them. I absolutely love To Go Ware and Lunchbots containers!

  14. I purchased a Lunchbots package back in July for my 3 year old who was starting preschool for the first time last fall. The package had one UNO container and two DUO containers, one slightly smaller than the other. I also purchased a set of the DIPS. Yes, they were more expensive than the Ziploc divided lunch boxes, but I liked that they were not plastic and know they will hold up longer than plastic containers. The Lunchbots wash easily in the top rack of the dishwasher, and I even wash the stainless lids in the dishwasher, although they say that you shouldn’t because the finish will wear off (colors, I suppose). Anyway, my 3 year old has no problem opening and closing by herself, which is requirement at preschool. They haven’t shown any wear yet, not even when I have dropped them on our hard stone kitchen floor. They fit perfectly in my daughters lunchbox, even 2 deep when necessary, with a fat icepack underneath or between, and her drink Thermos; the Ziploc, Rubbermaid and Sterilite containers don’t fit her lunchbox with a thermos also. We haven’t had any leaks.

  15. I’d love to see more grown up ideas. I stick to a no-processed diet because I found a few years ago that it helps with migraines. Thankfully now there are a lot more resources like your site to get better ideas for recipes, etc. to make eating non-processed easier! I pack my husbands lunch for work since I am a sahm and his job offers some seriously garbagy food – I think the school lunch my brother gets is better and that’s saying something! And, I think he is getting bored with soup/salad combo. We aren’t big on leftovers because it is just the 2 of us eating right now so there is just enough at dinner time.

  16. The Uno, Duo, Trio, Quad, and Dips are manufactured in China. The Thermals are made in Taiwan and the LunchBots Clicks are made in Korea. – from lunchbots.com – Hhmmm…. I know there’s no perfect food container; these would be so much better if they were Made in the USA! The price of these containers is rather harsh on the wallet. I have seen similar items (also made overseas…) in discount stores (TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, etc) which are priced less.

  17. Wow! Thank you for this post! I have been looking for something like these for my daughter and I am totally going to check these out!
    Thanks!!

  18. I bring my lunch to work, and I can’t go the typical sandwich route since I don’t eat bread. I always regular food lunches – rice, curry, eggs, noodles… whatever we have in the fridge. :)

    I have a nice metal lunchbox that has 3 nesting containers and I love it. You just have to think outside the sandwich. :)

  19. Love this post. I just read how LunchBots was started and love their story. I have to be better about sending my teenagers with hot leftovers. Especially now that it’s so cold out. (BRRR!) Thanks for the reminder!

  20. I would love to purchase the lovebots but wondering once you put them in the lunch box and the kids run with their knapsacks to class, etc., will the different sections spill into each other? My kids have been asking me for soup in a thermos for lunch, I am just worried they will spill hot soup on themselves but don’t want them to have luke warm soup either. ..any suggestions? They are 6 and 9 years old. Love your blog and ideas and recipes by the way!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Lisa. Everyone who uses them has said that the food does not shift. I would put any soup in a separate thermos though. They do sell small thermoses as well. You can click on the link in the post to be taken to their website. Good luck. Jill

    1. I’ll second that! :-)

      I’ve been eyeing the Duo and Trio online for quite a while, but can’t bring myself to spend that much money on them. Though my 6 yo breaks plastic containers all the time.

    2. I completely agree! I would experiment with wrapping in aluminum foil first.

      Rubbermaid makes a bunch of lunch containers that all snap together in different shapes and sizes. They are less expensive than the lunchbots, but still a little pricey. I am enjoying them, but really the good old plastic Ziplok trays with 3 divisions are so much easier to pop in the dishwasher.

    3. I absolutely agree with you. Admittedly, those things look really stylish, but $25 and up is just too much. Especially as my kids tend to loose and forget everything (and me too)!

    4. We’ve used ours for 2+ years now and they are still in fabulous shape plus NO plastic which is so much healthier. I’m sure I’ve saved money over using disposable or even plastic containers which tend to break and/or wear out more easily.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Cheri. You can click on the link right in the post and it will take you to their website. They are not offering a discount, but, they are doing free shipping right now. Jill

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Michelle. I know Lisa has the Lands End bags and they fit in there. You may want to take a look at the dimensions if you have something different just to be sure. Jill

  21. HI,

    I am adult that takes my lunch to work everyday. I usually take leftovers. I am the only one that will take my lunch but working on it. I boil some eggs at beginning of week, have yogurt, home made biscuits/bread/muffins, string cheese, and fruit. It saves money and I eat healthier. I just have to plan my meals for the week and be organized.

    Jan

  22. Where did she get those heart shaped containers in the lunch bot. They don’t look like they are paper cupcake holders.

    Thanks!

    1. Tracy,
      Not sure about those exact ones, but do a search for silicone cupcake liners or silicone bento cups! LOTS of options out there!

    2. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      Hi Tracy,
      I actually got them at Michael’s! They had tons of options/shapes; I also liked the hearts. Good luck!
      Kiran

  23. @ Crystal: go to the library or buy ” The Cleaner Plate Club” by Bader and Benjamin. I have kids who gladly eat veggies now! My tip is to get the kids involved and use the ideas in the book.

  24. I think these are a great idea, but how do you warm anything up? Like if I take leftovers to work. Do you just have to take a separate plate?

  25. I love when you share your lunch ideas. As flu season hits it is so important to send the kids off with a healthy lunch. The strong the immune system the better chance at not gettin the germ y worm y!

  26. Hey, just thought I’d chime in a say how much I’m loving all your lunch ideas for kids! I have 7 kids and we homeschool here, but I still run out of lunch ideas just like the rest of you and these ideas are great for quick easy meals at home as well! I also have appreciated your reviews of lunch containers. While I don’t end up using them every day, we travel a lot of times and take meals with us in the car, so knowing which containers work well is great for vacations, picnics, field trips, or just long doctor appointments. I grew up thinking things had to be way more complicated than necessary- like snazzy sandwiches, ambrosia, and toasted, spiced, trail mix. Way easier to prepare some fruit, nuts, yogurt, frozen muffin. Simplicity is beautiful and delicious and I need help staying there sometimes. So thanks!

  27. The Lunchbots divided containers can actually be packed with far more food than is pictured here — I get plenty of food for my hungry 6-year-old’s entire lunch into a Lunchbots container! I pack things tightly so they don’t move around much and I can easily get six homemade chicken fingers, 2 servings of vegetables, and one or two smaller items like a little container of nuts and some dried fruit into a single Lunchbot Uno or Duo. The ones you’re talking about with a plastic lid are, I think, called “clicks;” we have the traditional ones with a stainless steel lid and it fits securely enough that it doesn’t seem to come off when the lunchbox gets banged around, but not so tightly that my son, who has fine motor problems, can’t get it off independently. Also, Lunchbots are relatively shallow and can be stacked, so on odd days when I need to pack more food for one of my kids I can easily fit two Lunchbots, plus their napkin, stainless water bottle, utensils, and a snack in a standard Crocodile Creek lunchbox.

  28. How do you get your kids to eat veggies and fruit? I have a very picky 6 year old and he wont eat them. My one year old loved eating veggies and fruit and now wont eat them unless they are blended into other things.

    Thanks

    1. My children love to eat fruit and veggies now, but one thing that helped when they were younger was letting them pick out just one piece of fruit or a veggie from the store. I also let them weigh them and have fun guessing the weight beforehand. I found this way they had more ownership in the fruit and were at least willing to try it and if they didn’t like it, I didn’t end up with whole lot of fruit they didn’t want to eat. We have tried some very different fruits this way!

  29. Does the LunchBots successfully keep hot food at a safe temperature? I would love to send my 13 year old in with hot left over chicken, taco meat, etc. but I’m afraid it will not be hot enough to be safe? I take him to the bus stop at 7:15 and he does not eat lunch until 1pm so it has to last a long time. Thanks!

    1. Hi Courtney, I think 5 hours and 45 minutes would be pushing it. For that kind of performance you’d probably have to experiment with a traditional (and somewhat expensive) glass lined insulated food jar/bottle. Our children eat their snacks (oatmeal) after about 3 hours and lunch after 5 hours, so for our needs the all stainless vacuum sealed containers work well. You might consider taking up your question with LunchBots directly if you need more info.

  30. I ordered one of these when you first posted them.
    I use mine as a backpacking first aid/survival kit.
    I can even cook in it if necessary. Absolutely superb.

  31. These containers look great, but how tight is the seal? My children’s lunch bags take a lot of abuse and are tipped upside various times between bus rides and being shoved in a locker! The nuts pictured in the cute little hearts would be all over the place. I have yet to find any thermos that is not leaking by the time they get to their one o’clock lunches. I would love to be able to send with some homemade soup.

    1. Tisha – LunchBots has plastic leak-proof lids that literally snap down on all 4 sides…those lids aren’t going anywhere and sound like they might be a good solution for you. What kind of thermos are you using that leaks? I have not had that problem with ours (food container or cups).

    2. I have tried several kinds, including ones that look similar to the Hello Kitty ones I have seen here before. I tried to send milk with my daughter and it leaked all over lunch bag. Of course,that might have been because of my left-handedness! Maybe I did not get it screwed on correctly. I am going to try these because the snap down lids sound good for me! Thank you for your answer. I love your blog!

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