Any mum will tell you that lunchboxes are a godsend in the world of toddler meal prep. In fact, before brilliant lunchboxes were invented, mums turned to unappealing aluminium foil and cling wrap. Today, cool food containers boast nifty compartments, high-end locking and no-leak features, and are available in a dazzling variety of prints and colours to entice even the most food-averse tyke.
Great for packing food to school or on-the-go snacks, these kits also encourage independent eating, while junior enjoys a balanced meal, thanks to the portion-controlled sections.
Says mum Rebecca Stevens, 35, “The compartments encourage me to pack a variety of wholesome foods for my 2-year-old boy on the days he attends playgroup or when we are out during the weekend. And since he can be picky at times, offering a few choices at every meal means there’s always something in there for him to enjoy.”
Take a look at these charming cartons:
PRICE From $51
WHAT These sectioned trays feature colourful illustrations on the bottom, so you know just the right amount of veggies, fruits, carbs, protein and dairy to serve your sweetie. It also boasts a leak-proof lid, so you can pack yoghurt, dips and applesauce right next to the dry foods. Available in six and four compartments, there’s also a panino version with more space for sandwiches, salads and wraps.
PARENTS SAY Kirthi Suresh, mum to a 2-year-old girl, says, “It comes in a variety of attractive colours and is easy to take apart and wash. It’s also lightweight and child-friendly, so my girl can carry it out of her bag by herself and unlock the easy-to-open latch. The different slots encourage me to serve her food creatively as well.”
PRICE From $10.90
FROM Major local supermarkets, including Redmart
WHAT This fuss-free box has tiers of trays to keep food separate. You can even remove these trays to make room for a bigger serving of a one-course meal. The sturdy microwave-safe containers come in various designs, including for salads, soup, even noodles. Certain models include a fork and a knife.
PARENTS SAY Says mum of three boys, Tan Shu Fen, “I like the variety of sizes and colours, and the kids choose those that appeal to them. I’ve also not encountered any leaks either ― definitely value for money.”
Skip Hop Zoo Lunch Kits
PRICE From $17.91
FROM Major local retail stores, including Pupsik Studio
WHAT Junior will go ga-ga over these zoo-themed lunch kits ― owl, bee, giraffe, ladybug, monkey…you name it they have it. BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free, it even comes with a snack container that fits snugly inside the box. The snap clips are easy to use, while the rubber seal locks the lid in place to prevent any spills.
PARENTS SAY “Cute and cool, my boys absolutely love carrying them in their matching Skip Hop bag with the matching water bottle,” says dad Shane De Cruz, dad to four boys.
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Yookidoo Bamboo Fiber Lunch Box
WHAT Made of bamboo fibre and corn flour, this eco-friendly biodegradable box has passed all the necessary tests (Germany’s LFGB and the US’s FDA regulation) to ensure the highest level of food safety. Rounded edges make it easier to scoop food out and it comes with a detachable snack container. Instead of snap locks, a tight strap keeps food secure. Comes in adorable designs including astronaut, fairy and superman.
PARENTS SAY “I love that it’s made from bamboo, which is safer than plastic,” enthuses Liza Anwar, mum to a 4-year-old. “I wasn’t too convinced about the strap first, but my son has had no accidents so far ― he says the strap makes it easier for him to open the box.”
WHAT Perfect for peewees aged 3 to 7, this bento-style tray is divided into five portion-controlled compartments, so junior can enjoy a variety of tastes in one sitting. Made from food-grade safe, FDA-approved, and BPA-free materials, it’s microwavable and dishwasher safe. Boasting leak-proof features, the safety locks are easy for tiny fingers to operate.
PARENTS SAY “The latches are heavy duty and the rubber trim on the top and bottom can withstand ‘bangs and bruises’ that come with having kids around,” notes dad David Tan.
Munchkin Click Lock Bento Set
WHAT Ideal for a three course meal, this kit features one large compartment and two smaller ones that can be removed if you need more room. Each compartment comes with its own lid to ensure food stays in place, even when the box is overturned. There’s also a special place on the bottom of the box to write your kiddo’s name.
PARENTS SAY Mother of one Suzanne Teh says, “This is my favourite lunch box so far for my 4-year-old. There’s plenty of room for sandwiches and snacks, plus the fork and spoon snaps directly onto the lid.”
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Main photo: iStock
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