The Life Cycle of a (Packed) School Lunch

Almost every day on Facebook I share the school lunches that I pack for my daughters and almost every day there are a lot of questions about these lunches. Everything from “Where did you get that container?” to “Can I get that recipe?” to “Where’s the protein?” But lately I’ve been noticing quite a few questions asking what these carefully prepared lunches actually look like come lunchtime – especially after they’ve been tossed all around while in their backpacks and since “liquidy” foods like yogurt or applesauce are involved. Let’s face it, no child keeps their lunch bag or box in one perfect position all day, and that is certainly something I would never expect of my own children. So when I was having lunch with my daughter at school yesterday I (risked looking like a lunatic and) took a bunch of pictures for you! :)

How the lunch looked like right after I packed it.
How my kindergartner’s lunch looked like right after I packed it.

carrying lunchbox
The lunch bag sits upright when it’s clipped to her backpack and when she carries it to the lunchroom.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Time to dig in – as you can see I pack these lunches with 4 small ice packs in an insulated lunch bag.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
How the lunch looks once it’s opened. I have to say – this is closer to the original picture than even I was expecting! The lid is leak-proof so each food stays securely in its own compartment (if the lid is shut properly). The jumbo (yellow) muffin cup is tall enough to touch the lid so dry items stay in that spot.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Mixing her granola into her yogurt and starting to chow down. :) One thing I love about this lunch box is that it doesn’t take her long to open only one lid during an already short lunch period.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Full disclosure – apparently this is what happens to the lid when there is yogurt on it! LOL
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
All Done! I am pretty sure she only ate all of the veggies because I was there encouraging her. I told her the cucumbers’ and carrots’ feelings were hurt because she wasn’t picking them, and it worked. :)
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Time to pack up! I’ve told my girls numerous times to put that lid back on securely in case a little bit of yogurt is left in there. When my older daughter recently forgot and came home with a mess I had her clean the lunch bag herself so I am pretty sure it won’t happen again (at least anytime soon).
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Putting the lunch box, ice packs, and water thermos back in the bag is easy enough for a 5-year-old.

So that’s all there is to it! And since I know some will be wondering :) ….

  • Those are Ziploc brand divided lunch containers – super cheap, lightweight, BPA-free, and available online. I have no relationship with Ziploc whatsoever. We just really like these lunch boxes.
  • I got the muffin cups here. Here are the Thermos cup, the flexible ice blanket, and the fun character ice pack.
  • I bought the fun toothpicks at Party City, although I’ve found cute ones at several different places including Martha Stewart Crafts, and cute Meri Meri Toot Sweet Cupcake Picks.
  • The lunch bag is by Lands End and we have the matching backpack that goes with it. This is the brand my older daughter has been using for almost 3 years now and it is still holding up great.

For more school lunch ideas check out my most recent School Lunch Roundup post.

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150 thoughts on “The Life Cycle of a (Packed) School Lunch”

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  1. Think this post is great but needs an update as these awesome ziploc containers are no longer available (sadly). I even wrote the company to beg them to bring them back, but there are no plans to do so. They were inexpensive and lasted forever and, like you said, were leak proof.

  2. What an awesome idea to have her clean her own lunch box when she doesn’t put the lid back on! I have to wash my daughter’s a few times a week. Why have I been doing it???

  3. Went over to the Land’s End website to see about purchasing the lunch boxes you use. It seems like every commenter says that within 6-8 weeks the lining in these bags starts to come apart at the seams. I was just wondering if you had every experienced this happening with the ones you’ve purchases? I’ve bought many of the other products you’ve recommended, all of which were fabulous, so I trust your opinion, but just wanted to double check since so many people seem to be having such a big issue with these lunch boxes.

    1. Hey Joanna – We are on our second set of these lunch boxes in about 3 years, and that’s because Lisa washed the first set in the washing machine. The label states not to do that, and the liners did come apart at the seams as a result. If you follow the cleaning instructions I’d assume much longer life (years). Perhaps the other commenters used them differently then we do (stretching to accommodate larger items maybe?), but regardless I wouldn’t totally discount their opinions. Hope that helps! – Jason

  4. I know this is late, but I am, finally, giving Primal Pit Paste a shot. Just got it today and am crossing my fingers that it works for me. Is your husband still using the product and does it still work well?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Alicia. While I do not keep track of their grooming habits :), I’m fairly certain that the Pit Paste is being used and loved. ~Amy

  5. I think overall these are one of the best choices for lunches, because they are lightweight, easy to store (stack) and easy to wash. Plus, when they start to get dinged up, you can recycle them. :) Just got myself a fresh 2-pack from amazon yesterday!

  6. Thank you so much for this post it was exactly what I was looking for! my son just started kindergarten and this answered a lot of questions and anxieties i had about sending him to school with a packed lunch. Thanks again!

  7. This seems to work great for little girls, but I have to wonder about it being able to hold enough food for a 14 year old boy. His typical lunch might include a full sandwich, half a cucumber, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks, a yogurt, a string cheese, an apple or an applesauce, and a bottle of 100% juice plus his 32 ounce water bottle. Would this container be even close to big enough? With two PE classes plus sports he never comes home with any food, so cutting down his portions isn’t really an option.

    1. Sounds like my husband when he’s training for a marathon!

      I would have him put cut up items in the container, buy a sandwich sized container for those, and pack everything in an insulated bag.

  8. We use these same Ziploc containers and found ours at Kroger–they put them on sale regularly AND there are coupons. I got each pack of two for $1.50… making them $0.75/each!! And, after two years of steady use, they’re holding up great. Even if I’d had to replace them after a year, for that price, I can afford it. (i.e. if someone left it at school or whatever)

  9. Thanks for a great blog! Are the muffin cups the standard size or the jumbo size? The above link takes me to the jumbo size. Just want to make sure the jumbo size fits the ziploc container.

    1. I have both sizes, but usually use the jumbo b/c it’s tall enough to reach the lid and therefore keep food in it’s place :)

  10. I have some of those ziplock containers and I love them. I have these other containers that I love from the Dollar Tree. They are cute and little(.29 cups) and are perfect for snacks like nuts and homemade fruit snacks. I like to put salad dressing in them to pack with a lunch salad to keep it from getting soggy. They come in packs of 10 in squares or circles. I often find cute picks and those little drink umbrellas. Love the Dollar Tree!

  11. I use those same containers and always wonder what their lunches look like when they open them. Now I know. Thanks!

  12. Hey Lisa, Love your blog, we have just recently gone to no-processed food. What meat was that in the lunch box?

      1. Has anyone tried the “Laptop” lunch boxes? They look good, but do the compartments keep the food separate?

      2. My DD uses one and it works beautifully. We opted not to use one for DS as he prefers a hot entree in a thermos so the design wouldn’t work for him.

  13. A great water bottle that doesn’t leak is a Camelbak. All the lids fit all the bottles, so no more searching around for lids. I teach PE and it’s far and away the best water bottle for ease of handling and durability.

    For people needing bigger lunchboxes: try the camping section of Target or WalMart. Get the “mini cooler” size . It’s about big enough to hold a “6 pack” ,which is sometimes how it is advertised. (I am not advocating sending beer to school!! LOL;) These are great for after school athletes, too. (Usually will still fit in a locker and you can fit lunch and a snack in the mini cooler)

    Idea: have people send you shots of all the different ways they pack their real food lunch- containers, etc. then share so people who feel stuck about the ziplock boxes will have some other ideas. :)
    We personally use the little ziplock cups with screw on lids.

  14. I’ve really found a gem in your site! Love it! I have used your meal ideas for my kids (ages 11 & 12), and it has taken all the “whaaaat’s for ???” out of my daily stresses. Thank you!! I have one quick question that I just can’t seem to get cleared up, and I hope you will be able to narrow down the research. When you put iron (spinach) and calcium (yogurt) together, is this ok? I thought they were supposed to be kept separate. I really want to know because making a spinach smoothie in these great popsicle makers would be a lifesaver for me! Just popping them in the lunches would be great. Thanks again for all you do!

    1. Calcium impedes the absorption of iron in the body. So you can put the 2 together and get all the other health benefits of spinach, but not so much the iron from the spinach. Sorry for answering for the blog owner, just figured I’d give my 2 cents.

      1. Thank you so much! I never thought about it that way! I am always so sidelined by nutrition for this very reason, so many rules! Don’t take this with that, wait two hours before eating this with whatever, I get sooo confused that I end up sitting under the table sucking my thumb trying to make sense of it all. I also worry about my kids drinking milk usually with most of their meals. Smoothies are such a simple way to get them to eat “everything,” so I just HAD to know — Google-ing gives me anxiety about everything else I am doing wrong, it can take you on a journey! I will keep it simple and take the benefits that are there … and continue to pirate off of Lisa! :o) Thanks again for responding!

      2. Critical Reader

        It is actually a myth that spinach contains a lot of iron. Spinach doesn’t contain much iron (about 3 mg in 100 g fresh weight) and most of it is anyway bound with oxalic acid, so your body won’t be able to utilize it. The myth about the high iron content in spinach dates back to the late 19th century. Gustav von Bunge measured iron in spinach and somehow a mistake happened with his data. Either someone accidentally shifted the decimal point or it was overlooked that Bunge did the analysis on dried material and not on fresh material (spinach is more than 90% water). However the mistake happened, an iron content of 35 mg/100g fresh weight was published and up until today a lot people still believe in it. Thousands of kids were forced to eat spinach, Popeye was created… it is hard to get rid of myths.

  15. Love this! Was that a cloth napkin? Did you make that? It was so cute! Gave me ideas for my 8 children, to make cloth napkins out of cute prints! I HATE buying napkins. It seems like such a waste of money when I can just clean them up with a cloth.

  16. Thank you for showing your ‘real’ kid eating a real lunch! My kindergarten son eats his real food packed lunch nearly every day at school, but as one of only a few ‘lunchbox kids’ in his class, he sometimes does get asked or teased about the foods in his box. We looked at this post together, and he was excited to see another child eating a similar-looking lunch. (And licking the lid, which he does, too.)

  17. I send my 6th and 3rd graders lunches in the Rubbermaid Lunchblox containers. They are BPA free and incorporate the ice right into the box design. The individual container style appeals to my son who doesn’t like his food to touch and for my daughter, who likes a salad for her lunch every day they make a salad kit Lunchblox which I love! There are even matching insulated lunchboxes that the Lunchblox fit right into (upright) that also hold a water bottle. We love them! You can get them at Target and Amazon and even at some grocery stores.

  18. I have taught school for 25 years and have seen every kind of lunch. I am so proud of what you are doing with your website and blogs. Your children eat so healthy and a lot of children do not. I am positive that the way they eat is helping with their ability to learn. I hope you start a big movement for change!

  19. i think it’s awesome that when you place the ziploc containers into your cart on amazon, the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section then shows all your other lunchbox items (silicone muffin cups, norpro ice pop maker set, ice packs). clearly you are impacting kid’s lunches all over the place! kudos!

    also, we just got the lands end lunchboxes and they are marked down to $14-15!

  20. I was interested to see that you use Ziplock lunch containers. At first I thought it was Easy Lunchboxes, which I use. I may have to check out the Ziplock ones since you say they don’t leak. That’s one of my peeves about the Easy Lunchoboxes. While I appreciate the inexpensive price, I don’t like that I have to find containers to fit inside for the wet stuff.

  21. Hi Lisa! Just wanted to say I love all of your healthy lunch ideas. We’ve started incorporating a number of them into our own routine. So thanks!

    I was wondering if you had any ideas for a more natural version of the PediaSure products?? My 7 year old daughter gets low blood sugar in the mornings, so we have give her a Chocolate PediaSure at night and it seems to help. I am sure they are loaded with plenty of unhealthy ingredients, but no one has been able to offer me a healthy aternative. Would love your take on it!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kelly. My apologies. I obviously read this too quickly and responded with a pedialyte recipe.:( Sorry. Always check with your doctor first but have you considered making your own chocolate milk with whole organic milk or even with almond or coconut milk? You might have more comfort in knowing exactly what ingredients she is consuming. ~Amy

  22. My son loves his Laptop Lunchbox. I sent lunches in it for many years until last year when we “upgraded” to the slightly larger size. He eats more now. So easy to pack a lunch if you have a lot of good leftovers in the fridge. Just make it half fruits and vegetables…

  23. I love your lunch ideas! I was copying the link to find where you purchased your napkins, & then I snickered. I have an 8 year old boy; he thinks that’s what your sleeves are for. I’m not so sure a napkin would ever get used.=D

  24. I work in the toddler room of a church preschool. At the beginning of each school year we hand one of these lunchboxes to our parents at meet the teacher. We tell them where they can get them from and we label lid and base. It is so much easier to give each child exactly the same lunchbox. As a teacher it cuts down the serving time, we all know how toddlers love to wait haha. Also the children are less inquisitive of someone else’s lunch. They all look the same :-). We also encourage the parents to pack fruit and veggies :-)

  25. LOVE this post… so cute! I use the same combos of things… question, though, what size muffin liners are those? I have the mini which is way too small and the jumbo that seems to be too big? are they just the standard size?

  26. Thanks for posting so much about your kids’ lunches! I love the photos and ever-present links on my FB newsfeed.

  27. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom)

    Love this! Now that I know that the Ziploc containers are somewhat leakproof…I’m buying a bunch!

  28. Great pictures:) I use these same containers for my preschooler’s lunch and her yogurt never spills. These are great! Everything stays in its little place. I have put them in the dishwasher and they are fine. I highly recommend.

  29. I have to look for the lunch boxes. Next year, my son starts first grade and it will be full day. These will come in handy. I have purchased the Lands End backpacks and lunch bags for my older two. They hold up incrediby well. My second daughter has lost two soup thermoses on me. I think I will look into the ones you use.
    Thanks again for the info!!

  30. I’ve tried really hard to avoid allowing my kids food to touch either plastic or aluminum to avoid any kind of food contamination. Planetbox.com has some awesome lunch boxes that all four of my kids LOVE. They are a little pricey but last forever.

    1. I love the toothpicks too! My son is in 1st grade and I pack his lunch almost everyday. His school switched over last yeart to whole grains and veggies and fruits as sides – but he doesn’t like most of what they serve and he prefers my food. He never gets teased for healthy choices and I would say many of his friends bring lunch and have healthy choices. However, as much as I LOVE the toothpicks they would become instant sword weapons for the boys at lunch!!!!!

  31. What do the other kids think of your girls’ lunches? I feel like a lot of adults in my life think it is strange that my daughter eats healthy food and always comment about it. I was curious if the other kids ever say anything negative since the lunches you pack are probably pretty different from what all the other kids are eating.

    1. Hi Courtney,

      I, too, pack healthy foods for my kids. My 7 year old tells me that sometimes the kids make fun of her for some of the foods in her lunch. The kids say that her food is gross. She told them ‘why do you care? You aren’t the one who eats it! I like it”. It was a proud mama moment for me. I’m so thankful that both of my kids are good eaters.

  32. I am wondering What you do about snack time? This is the lunch so do you pack a seoerate snack container and/or juice?

    1. I would love to hear this answer as well. I use the Ziploc containers after reading about them here. My preschooler needs breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack each day. I’m at a total loss for lunch box ideas to contain all of that and have been tossing it into a cloth grocery bag but it’s cumbersome.

    1. If you are referring to the ziplock containers, I read somewhere that washing plastic in a dishwasher degrades the plastic faster (because of the extremely hot water. Even though my kitchen plastic (ziplock containers and kids dishes)is BPA free, I stopped washing it in the dishwasher, just to be safe.

      1. I’ve had the same two of these containers for at least 10 years. They only get used a couple times per month, but they’ve been washed and washed in the DW and have held up fabulously. Still really pliable and still fit really well.

      2. Actually, I was not referring to visible physical degradation, but rather the fact that after repeated exposure to high temperatures, plastic can start leaching out toxic chemicals, yes, even BPA free plastic.

        I originally read about not putting plastic in the dishwasher in a 7th Generation post, http://www.seventhgeneration.com/learn/blog/safer-kitchens-bag but this quote sums it up.

        “Sometimes the damage to the plastic isn’t obvious, but at high temperatures chemical reactions can occur, invisible stress can happen, and plastics can degrade. Appliance Magazine studied plastics in the dishwasher, and concluded that polycarbonates stood up the best. However, polycarbonates contain BPA (see previous post), a chemical that is linked to developmental, reproductive and immune effects, especially in children. Heat causes BPA and other chemicals to leach at much higher rates, causing concern over washing plastics in the dishwasher.” http://www.hungrycactus.com/category/archive/health

  33. Love that you took these pics! I always wonder what the lunch containers look like by lunchtime also. Awesome!

    I just wondered if you have ever thought about using the PackIt freezable reusable lunch bags. We do and WE LOVE THEM. What I really like is that the compartmentalized Ziploc containers fit perfectly in them, a well as a Nalgene water bottle. Since the bag is so cold, I don’t have to pack water in an insulated water bottle (although I, too, endorse those Thermos Funtainer drink bottles! They are awesome!) No more ice packs either. FYI, we do still use “regular” lunch boxes, too, since I often send heated leftovers in a Thermos Funtainer food jar and we don’t want those cooled down. That’s when I also used the Funtainer water bottles.

  34. Thanks so much for the tip on the encouraging lunch cards. I ordered a set and my kids (and their friends) just love them. They pass them around and all read them. It makes packing (instead of buying, like some friends) more fun!

  35. I have three of the ziplocs and love them. I usually make a quinoa salad of some sort on Sunday and then aliquot everything out. They stack up nicely in the fridge, so they aren’t taking a ton of room. I have a cheap ice container that I use to organize other items I may want to take–yogurts or granola bars or whatever.

    The other containers I use are the Klip-it system (Container Store) I particularly like the salad one that has a little container for dressing and has built in forks and spoons.

  36. I may’ve missed this somewhere before, but I’m curious about when you prepare all the stuff you send. Looks like you often send in soup that you took down from the freezer, homemade muffins or yogurt. Do you have a day or days every week/month when you specifically cook school lunch items? I think I would have to do this very strategically if I wanted to be prepared during the morning rush at my house!

    1. I honestly don’t have a specific schedule that I follow or anything like that. Usually if I am making a soup I’ll double the recipe so I can save some for lunches – same goes for muffins. I don’t typically go in the kitchen just to do lunch prep stuff. I usually cook something extra while I am already in the kitchen making/cleaning up dinner, etc. I hope that makes sense!

  37. Do you have problems with the drink leaking? I recently was told to stop sending in the water bottle we have because it leaks. So I am looking at trying this one.

  38. I need taller muffin cups- my last two attempts to use mine in the large compartment of the ziploc box were not successful and led to wasted food (daughter didn’t want the salt-n-vinegar almonds OR the carrots after they’d marinated together).

  39. Thanks for posting. I just ordered some of the Ziploc Lunch Containers from Amazon using your link. Do you know why Amazon has it listed as being discontinued by the manufacturer under product details?

  40. Hi! I’ve tried many water bottles and they all seem to leak(badly!)when turned on their side(like in a lunchbag or backpack). I guess you’ve found a good one? I’ve had to resort buying the tiny 8oz bottles of water at Costco and reusing those because they don’t leak w/ the screw tops.

  41. thanks so much for this post i love your site and bought the ziploc containers a few weeks back great deal on amazon my only problem was they are to big for my sons lunch box i went on your link tolands end and purchased two!! one for my soon to be preschooler as well as my son i have been looking for larger lunchbox containers to hold the ziploc ones awesome website i love your recipes

  42. Lisa,
    Great blog!!! Must say you are doing a commendable job!!!!!!! Well, since the topic of deodorant came up, I wanted to know your thoughts on hair color since there is enough out there about the cancer risks. I recently switched to using salon color. I have used henna in the past but it is not very effective in covering grays plus needs frequent application.

  43. I have reverted back to just using the ziploc divided containers & the silicone muffin cups. I have used tons of other divided containers (crazy expensive & cheap) for two years and 2 boys. Overall, the ziploc are just easy to use, find, store a lot of & use for other storage in the fridge. I have some reusable plastic bento toothpicks, but find disposable ones at party supplies stores or on a discount end caps at Target.

    1. oh, and we live in Atlanta “hotlanta” and I freeze the water bottle and/or yogurt sticks & use thermoses and have never had a sick kid.

  44. Thank you for sharing, my little one will be in kindergarten this coming September and you have inspired me to get creative so lunch time can be fun. I love the muffin holders and toothpicks!

  45. I love looking at what your kids eat. Its wonderful to see the variety of foods you come up with. I am wondering where you got the napkins for your daughters lunch? Thanks.

  46. I use these Ziploc containers for both my husband’s and my lunch everyday. For me, I put lots of cut up veggies in the largest section, hummus in the middle section and pita cut in triangles in the smallest section. I just add a piece of fruit or two in my lunch bag as well and it’s perfect. This is a good way to practice portion control as the containers are sized to be proper portions anyway.

  47. I understand you have ice packs and use a thermos for hot food. Does that really keep food well chilled or hot for children who don’t have access to refrigeration or microwaves? Is food safety a concern?

  48. I just sigh at all the red trays in the background. :|
    Such a lucky (fortunate) little girl to have a mother that cares in the way that you do! :)

  49. Just had to join the chorus to say that the picture of your daughter licking the lid made my day. My kids are all grown up now, but just the other day, my 26-year-old daughter told me that her happiest memories of elementary school were the lunches I made her (and the little drawings I stuck in there). These posts are precious memories in the making. Thanks so much for sharing them.

  50. THANK YOU! I have been wondering where to get those divided plastic lunch containers and have looked everywhere…except Target!

  51. I have eleven-year old twin boys who can CHOW down, and when I first saw these containers I didn’t think they would hold enough food for them.

    I was wrong! Turns out, they’re just the right size. They don’t have much time to eat lunch, so I try to pack at least one nutrient dense food every day — nuts, cheese, hummus, hard boiled eggs. Sometimes I’ll throw a piece of fruit in the bag if it seems like they’ll need “extra.”

    Real food satisfies them more than the “junk” their friends are often eating. One of their buddies eats a bag of chips, a candy bar, and a bottle of gatoraid every day for lunch. One day, I guess he said, “Dude…what are you EATING?” when my son starting munching on kale chips. I asked him what he said, and he told me, “I said, ‘dude…I’m eating food that makes me feel great and makes me run fast!'”

    Interestingly, the tide is turning at their school and it’s “cool” to eat healthy, real food! My boys feel sorry for the kids with the lunchables because nobody at their house has time to pack a real lunch…

    1. Robyn that is awesome i am a parent that feels like she doesnt have time but what your son said makes sense we eat good at home but i dont know what they eat at school so i am officially going to have time and make food my kids can feel good about and make them run faster! thank you so much

  52. I love your lunch ideas! I don’t have kids, but I make your recipes and pack “adult” portions! Thanks so much for everything :)

    1. I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again, check out your local thrift store (or garage sales) for silverware. You can get exactly what you need(just spoons and forks, no knives, etc.), you are reusing (good for the planet), it will be dirt cheap and many thrift stores, such as St. Vinnie’s and Goodwill, use their profits to help people the community. You can probably find cloth napkins there as well.

  53. I noticed you use ziploc more than your stainless Lunchbots container. I just purchased 2 Lunchbots containers and I’m wondering if you prefer the ziploc or what the big difference is for you?

    1. I really like the size of the Lunchbots to accompany the soup thermos (which we do about once a week) – so I usually just use it on those days.

  54. Is that an allergy bracelet your little one is wearing? My daughter starts kindergarten this fall and she has a food allergy and i’ve been looking for something that I could get her to wear easily.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Judy. FYI: I just saw similar bracelets that are for kids with allergies at Walgreens. Amy

  55. Love that she is licking the lid! In the old days when I ate Yoplait, I always licked the lid. I had a coworker look at me like I was crazy.

  56. This is perfect! Everytime I look at your beautiful lunches I think there’s no way my kids can bring that to school because it will leak all over. Now I know!

  57. I love your posts and just started venturing into packing lunches in this manner. I got the containters and lunchbags that fit them pretty well on Amazon. I think I actually like the lunches more than my kids. I don’t think my containers hold the items as well and they end up getting mashed together. I will keep trying though. Thanks for the inspiration.

  58. I am a college student and bring my own lunch to school. I am probably the only student who does bring my own lunch( dont know why since the food served is gross and expensive). I use these ziplock containers for my lunch and for everyone asking if those containers fit enough food, they definitely do. I am always stuffed after eating put of these containers. I recently found those exact ice packs, that are bendable and can be cut to fit your needs, and they are fantastic! They keep my lunch so much colder. Thanks for giving me so many healthy ideas for lunch to pack myself.

  59. I just wanted to say thank you for reccommending the sylicone tubes for the smoothies! Santa gave some to my daughter for Christmas in her stocking :) We use them about 3 times a school week. They work great and clean up easy! Not to mention I can put protein in the smoothie and feel like she is getting enough to eat vs. just a yougurt. I appreciate your sharing all your wonderful finds! Carrie

  60. thanks for the post!! we use those container too and I just bought the muffin cups. I was afraid to put yogurt in them – not anymore. :)

  61. This is great to see! I use the same container, lunchbox, and water bottle and I often wonder how it looks. I just need to get some of those cupcake liners. I use paper ones and they aren’t strong enough. Hooray for healthy lunches!

  62. Lisa, on the topic of deodorant, what do you use? I have been looking at so many but just unsure of what to pick. Thanks for all you do!

  63. I completely laughed out loud when I saw her licking the lid! So cute. Thanks for the idea on hurting the feelings of the veggies. I think this will work with my very imaginative 3 year old!

  64. My kids came home with messy-yogurt lunch boxes the other day (from not putting their ziploc lids on tightly). You’re right – I should have made them clean it so it wouldn’t happen again. Thanks for sharing – I always wonder what my kids’ lunches look like, too!

  65. This is fantastic, thank you for taking the pics and posting it! Its a great representation of what happens to our children’s lunches each day and shows which products help to keep things separate! The ziploc containers are awesome, we love them in my house.

    Thank you!!

  66. Great post, thank you. My little boy (age 2) takes his lunch to daycare everyday in the Ziploc container. I often wonder as well what it looks like after he tosses it around on the way there.

  67. I just have to say I love the pic of your daughter licking the lid…such a happy kid moment! I love when my daughter (pre-k) comes home with an empty lunchbox.

  68. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been watching your packed kindergarten lunches and wondered how they hold up. This is better than I expected! My 3rd grader eats just like this (we use lots of little containers) but I also have a 13 year old boy (huge appetite) and a junior in high school. Packing those lunches comes with all new challenges. My kids swear they are the ONLY students that bring their lunch in a box (bento style) with wax paper bags or sandwich wrappers etc. Rally looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the years ahead!

  69. Ok, so what is the plan for when she is older and needs more to eat than what you packed for her today? I have teens, and I really want to use these ziplock containers, but probably would need more than one…plus, how to find a lunch box to fit more than one plus ice packs and something to drink?

    1. Kerri, easy lunchboxes makes similar ones containers and have a bag that can fit 3(I think!) containers stacked up inside. We use them almost everyday, the bags are washing machine safe too.

    2. I’m in my 20’s and these containers hold more than enough for a meal for me. They actually can hold a lot more than they seem. And if you’re packing real food they won’t need to eat as much as they usually do.

  70. This actually made me laugh. I’ve been packing my own lunches for the last few weeks (ever since I found you!) and have had similar results. Although mine is placed in my handbag and has to endure the one-hour commute from Queens to NYC, the results are similar (with the exception of the frozen peas that never stay in the foil cupcake holders – I don’t have the silicone cups yet, but these do well for so many other things and the paper liners are used for baking muffins so nothing goes to waste). The best part was seeing her lick the inside lid of the yogurt section….priceless! Oh and yes, nothing shifts when the lids are closed properly. I’ve passed along your site as well as some of your partner sites to a colleague that is trying to introduce better eating behaviors in their two boys (ages 9 and 11). Thank you for this…I’ll be sure to send you my “lick the plate that feeds you” picture. Best, Krys

  71. This is wonderful! Not only for children, but for adult lunch packing as well. I am a new follower and I love what you share with the world. Thank you Lisa!

  72. Thank you SO much for taking the time to take pics and share with us. You are awesome, I look forward to your posts and appreciate all you share!!!
    XOXO

    1. Kim – Just when I thought I’d thought of everything you are right I did not mention that! I just added it to the bullet point list above (thank you). I got them at Party City :)