Last week I had the opportunity to test drive the new Lunchbots, stainless steel containers with lids for packing lunch or snacks. Jacqueline Linder, the founder of Lunchbots, responded to my request right away and sent over a Lunchbot Duo for my evaluation.
On their site, Jacqueline explains that she started the company after learning more about the harmful effects of plastics and the desire to remove plastics from her household. Everything about the Lunchbots is manufactured from food-safe stainless steel, even the lids and dividers.
Using my test subjects (my two kids!), I packed lunches in the Lunchbot several days last week. My first thought was that the Lunchbot is too small. When I was packing lunches, I had trouble fitting food in, and especially for my son, ensuring that there was enough food. My daughter loved the compact size, and her lunch fit in very nicely.
The pictures above show my daughter’s usual bento-box, compared to the Lunchbot, which is almost the same size. The other picture is the box I use for my son’s lunch, which is quite a bit larger. On the day I packed my son’s lunch in the Lunchbot, I only packed 1/2 of what I normally do. However, with the use of silicon muffin cups, I was able to stack food and squeeze in a little more.
My friend Deborah writes a great blog, Lunch In a Box, and this bento-style Lunchbot would be perfect for her method of lunch packing. Bento packing is a special art, involving filler foods and creative shapes, which the Lunchbot is great for. And bento-boxes come in specific sizes, based on the age of the child and caloric needs.
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
- Lid is easy to remove, but fits snug
- Reasonably priced ($14.99 retail)
- Fun colors
- Not water tight
- No insulated bag, and stainless steel will get hot in the summer
- Divider in Duo model is fixed, limiting packing possibilities
- Small, most suitable for young kids
If you are concerned about plastics, this could be the box for you. The size is nice for most grade school children, and would be the perfect snack box for anyone. The stainless steel is attractive, durable and easy to clean, and the price is reasonable. For summer use, I would recommend an insulated bag to keep the lunch cool.
Update: I just exchanged email with Jacqueline and she explains that she uses two boxes for her son’s lunch – one Lunchbot Uno with a sandwich, wrap, or sushi, and then a Lunchbot Duo with fruit and snacks. Both of these go into his lunchbag along with a reusable water bottle. Great plan and gets around my concern about not having enough space for my son’s lunch!