More ideas for novel school lunch containers

The Washington PostAugust 8, 2012 

KIDSPOST BACKTOSCHOOL34

Popular school supplies for 2012 include, clockwise from top left: the North Ridge backpack from L.L. Bean, a locker mirror, rug and chandelier, a big pencil pouch from American Studio's Tech Gear line, Aladdin's expandable snack containers and PB Teen's homework holder.

HANDOUT — The Washington Post

We don’t want to burst your bubble. It’s summer. There’s still time for a beach trip or art camp. But your parents are probably looking ahead and asking a few questions: Is your old lunchbox in good shape? Is your backpack big enough for middle school? Where’s that list of supplies your school sent out in June?

It’s almost back-to-school time, and there are lots of decisions to be made. We did some early shopping to see what’s new. With the help of kids from Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, we’ll show you our picks for lunch. They’re colorful, fun and even practical (something Mom and Dad appreciate), and they may get you geared up for the new school year.

Part of the fun of bringing your lunch to school is the packaging. One company decided that kids knew a lot about what made a good lunchbox. Lands’ End’s new kid-designed lunchbox, called the MadBox ($35), was dreamed up by five Wisconsin kids. Their design keeps food cold with a bendable cold pack that attaches to the side of the box. It comes in six patterns, including one with wolves and one with large squares of blue, white, pink and brown. It has an outside pocket for your spoon and napkin and includes a clip to attach to your backpack.

Two other good options are Lands’ End’s ClassMate EZ-Wipe Lunch Box ($25) and Pottery Barn Kids’ Mackenzie Lunch Bag ($22.50). They come in lots of patterns and feature a molded inside. Why should you care? Nothing in it will get smushed. Why will your parents care? It’s super easy to clean.

If you’re all about colors and patterns, other options include PB Teen’s Lunch Tote ($19.50), which looks more like a sleek purse than a lunchbox. It comes in equally fashionable animal patterns, peace signs and polka dots. Vera Bradley’s new Va Va Bloom and Indigo Pop patterns are fun choices for a square Lunch Break or rounded Lunch Bunch bags ($34).

What you put inside that bag is worth thinking about, too. Skip the throwaway plastic sandwich baggie and paper napkin; go for reusable items. The Container Store’s Klip-It food containers ($3.99) are colorful and easy to open, and they don’t drip. There’s one for your sandwich and two sizes for snacks ($7.99 for three). If you don’t want to break your pretzel sticks or carrots to fit in a container, try Aladdin’s Expandable Snack Containers ($5.99-$6.99). You can stretch them to fit bigger snacks and squish them when you’re done. (Note to parents: All of these containers can go in the dishwasher.) Klean Kanteen stainless-steel water bottles ($19-$25) are colorful and have an easy-to-use spout. What they don’t have are chemicals that some plastic bottles carry.

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