11 Sep, 2008
Best Kids’ Lunchboxes – The GoodHousekeeping List
Posted by: Meg In: Lunchbox Products
Good Housekeeping tested 26 lunchboxes and presented their six favorite based on these criteria: lunchbox maintains temperature of 40 degrees or lower for two hours or longer, has good usability (easy to open and close, pack, carry, and clean) and has a kid-friendly style. I also looked into whether or not the lunchbox is made of safe materials. Their top 6 picks includes:
Wall-E Lunch Bag by Zak
Cute for boys or girls, the new Wall-E lunchbox is a fun choice. This particular style has a bottom zippered compartment to protect a sandwich, and makes for a cute “mouth” on Wall-E. Amazon lists that this product is:
- 100% PVC Free Liners do not absorb odors or moisture
- 100% lead safe
In my opinion, this is a great choice! It is cute for kids, and safe. Probably my only complaint with this bag is that soft sided lunch boxes tend to be hard to fully clean–the creases inevitably get pretty gross!
The L.L.Bean Flip-Top Lunch Box has a storage lid that can hold drinks or snacks and comes in 16 patterns and solid colors. LL Bean is known to stand behind their products which have a reputation for being durable. I have called LLBean concerning the materials used and will update material safety information once I have it in hand. Price: $19.50, order online at llbean.com or call (800)441-5713
Tinkerbell Lunch Bag
Cute, inexpensive ($10) lunch tote, but may contain unsafe products. Amazon states this tote is made of: 10% PVC, 37% nylon, 53% polyester
PVC contains polyvinyl chloride, which is under great debate as a safe substance to have around food. Personally, I would not buy a lunchbox with PVC when there are other, safe options. (For an overview of lunchbox safety read Lunchbox 101)
Fleurville Lunch Pak ($32) has backpack straps and many compartments. Seems a bit large to me for younger kid use, but may be a great option for older kids or adults. The Fleurville Company is a well established Green business in the San Francisco Bay Area and all of their products are PVC-free.
Built Lunch Tote
The Built Tortuga Lunch Tote ($20 to $22) is made of neoprene, the same material that wetsuits are made out of. Neoprene has been around awhile and has a good safety record, and Green Living Q & A states that neoprene is considered chemically inert with no known health hazards. I would consider these totes a good choice in terms of safety, but I imagine a sandwich would get pretty squished up in one of these things. This could work well as an insulated carrier for a plastic Bento box inside, and would seem to be a stylish choice for a working professional.
Thermos Camo Chick Novelty Kit ($8) is cute purse style for older girls. I could not find what the tote is made of on the Thermos site. I have emailed them for a materials list, which I will update once I receive it.
Overall, there are tons of choices out there. I found a nice assortment of additional PVC-free and/or lead-free lunchboxes at Molly’s Mom and GreenDaily websites. If you are interested in an easier to clean lunchbox option, consider the Laptop Lunches or Aladdin Lunch and Go lunch box.