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Can we talk about laptop lunches?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have these? How are they as far as size/durability. I'm really wanting to get some for my kids, but all the reviews that are postive are for the 3-6 age range, and i'm looking for my big-eater 10 and 8 y/o's.

I the concept of re-using containers, and having it so convenient and right there when you open it, rather than having to open a bunch of small packages/containers.

But I can't get past the price. This would be a major investment, and if they don't last...i'm out, yk?

I've looked at all the photo displays of them...again, I really like the idea. But are they worth the $$ or is there something better?
post #2 of 35
Have you visited The Vegan Lunchbox blog? She uses the laptop lunches kits and loves them. Here's a post she did about them. There's also more info in the comments section.
post #3 of 35
For a that age range, I would get To-Go ware instead. In fact, my now 9 yo dd used a laptop lunchbox for 2 years before it started to not meet our needs. The to-go ware fits a lot and is stainless steel. I got an insulated bag from R.E.I. that fits in perfectly with a small sigg.

What I liked about the LTLB: Cute, fairly compact, multiple containers that fit together.

What I didn't like: Plastic, some crevices in the bag were hard to clean, 1 top cracked almost immediately (and one after 2 years,) dd thought it looked babyish at about 8 yo (but still likes riding in a booster.)

I got a couple stainless steel spice containers that fit in well. I also have silicon cupcake cups to put small things in like cheddar bunnies and nuts, if I want to send a little more than the spice container holds.

http://www.to-goware.com/store/cart....ct_detail&p=13

http://www.amazon.com/Lipper-Stainle.../dp/B000F1QDWI

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H86FGI

http://www.reusablebags.com/store/bu...ote-p-524.html

The To-Go ware frame can be a little difficult for dd to use b/c of space issues at the lunch table so I just wrap it in ribbon. DD loves that it looks so cute. In fact, if you don't need both containers, just put a rubber band around one and throw in the bag. Oh, it also has a built in plate.

HTH
post #4 of 35
I was looking at these too and was wondering about the size. It just didn't look like it would hold enough food for my older kids lunches -- at all!

I love the look of the to-go ware. Off to read more.

Thanks for bringing this up!
post #5 of 35
DH took his lunch in the laptop lunch box for most of a year and it fit plenty of food for him. If he wanted an additional snack, we would package that separately (I sent his lunch in a large insulated bag and could easily fit the laptop lunch box, a separate snack and a cold pack. I've packed my lunch in one once or twice and it was also plenty for me.

DS is only 5 and I find it holds waaaaay more food than he'll eat. I generally don't fill any of the containers all the way, except when I send pasta and then I do fill the container with a lid with pasta for him.

BTW, if you want to send a full-size sandwich, instead of cutting it up to fit in the containers, you can take out the two bigger containers and use a wrap 'n mat to wrap the sandwich and put it in the spot. You can also leave the two big containers out and fill that space with a salad. Also small juice boxes fit in the small container spot and big juice boxes fit one of the big container spots.

I made the mistake of putting the outside box in the dishwasher and that did warp it slightly so it doesn't close as easily any more. It is still quite useable. That's the one we've had the longest. It got steady use for a year and has been used occasionally since then. I don't put them in the dishwasher any more.

I have heard that some schools prohibit metal lunch boxes so you might want to check into that before buying.

Catherine
post #6 of 35
My friend uses tiffin-boxes like these http://www.citychef.ca/xcart/custome...roductid=18192

I'm not sure where she got them (her FIL my have brought them back from India), but her's are bigger/deeper, in a stack of 4. She has one set for her lunch, one for her dh, and one for her 2yo (all day day care so her tiffin box is split into two snacks and a lunch). Usually she adds a thermos for hot soup, but apparently some of the containers are insulated since she packs a hot/cold lunch most days. It's big enough for them...
post #7 of 35
Here is what I posted about our experience with Laptop Lunch boxes in another thread:

We don't like ours.

We got one for our 8 yo dd and dh is the lunch packer. We've abandoned it. He finds it too small and can never fit everything in the plastic container or in the zip up briefcase thingie.

The bottle it came with also broke within a week.

We've always packed zero waste lunches and initially got it because we were tired of having to buy a new cheapo insulated lunch box every year.

Inside the lunch box, we use a reusable container like this one (it's one of those supposedly disposable ones you get at the grocery store, we've been reusing it for years) for her actual lunch and a KK bottle and some other containers for snacks.

The laptop lunch doesn't even give you room for a whole apple or banana. It may be fine for a small kid but my 8yo needs to take a full lunch and two snacks, she always ended up with stuff that didn't fit inside.
post #8 of 35
We love them. My DH and I (along with our 4 year old DD) all use them for our lunches. We didn't buy the water bottle or the bag to go with them so we usually put them in a different canvas bag which gives us room for a piece of fruit or a small additional snack for DH. I like the versatility of them - you can take out 2 of the containers if you need room for something larger or you can take them all out for a salad or whatever. Also, we've had ours for a year or more and they've held up great. Plus, they really challenge me to make something other than just a quick soynut butter sandwich or something - all those little boxes standing there staring at me going "put something different and healthy in me!"



(We reviewed it more extensively on our blog if you want to search for it, the link is below.)

HTH!

ZMom
post #9 of 35
A less expensive option are the Lock & Lock boxes or Fit & Fresh. I have this one from Fit & Fresh and I don't always fill it for myself. I love the added ice pack with it. Many of their lunch containers come with an ice pack. My only complaint is that I'm afraid the lid will come off. I usually use a rubber band to make sure it stays secure.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdabbler View Post
A less expensive option are the Lock & Lock boxes or Fit & Fresh. I have this one from Fit & Fresh and I don't always fill it for myself. I love the added ice pack with it. Many of their lunch containers come with an ice pack. My only complaint is that I'm afraid the lid will come off. I usually use a rubber band to make sure it stays secure.
oooooooooooo! I like the Fit & Fresh one!

BTW- DH has a Mr. Bento that we LOVE!
the Ms. Bento would be better for a child, though. IMHO
post #11 of 35
I got a bento box thingie from tupperware and handmade a bag to fit it in...works great!
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdabbler View Post
A less expensive option are the Lock & Lock boxes or Fit & Fresh. I have this one from Fit & Fresh and I don't always fill it for myself. I love the added ice pack with it. Many of their lunch containers come with an ice pack. My only complaint is that I'm afraid the lid will come off. I usually use a rubber band to make sure it stays secure.
This looks great.
I think I will get one for my ds for school in the fall.
Thanks for sharing.
post #13 of 35
I agree with everything CaliforniaJen wrote. They're adorable and I just loved them in theory. But, they're hard to open, hard to clean, and the lids are prone to cracking. They're also not water-tight, so if you put in saucy things, you might be in trouble. (Memory coming back to me of having to sit through a workshop while smelling the vinegar from my cucumber salad seep all over my backpack...) They also can't fit a whole sandwich without some major finagling.

We use To-Go ware, or various plastic containers in a lunch bag.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Those Fit N Fresh ones do look good...and that much cheaper is a definite bonus! I might order one or two to see how we like them. Thanks!
post #15 of 35
Ross has the fit and fresh line right now and they are about 50% less. My dh uses a laptop lunch box but i think i may get him a fit and fresh too.
post #16 of 35
Just FYI I found the fresh and fit ones at my local target... HTH
post #17 of 35
I think laptop lunches are waaay overpriced. What if your kidlet tosses a lid? You are sunk. We also bought some of the Tupperware Bento boxes and they won't fit in a thermal bag - which is weird. They are long. I have never used them at all.

I love love love the fit-n-fresh. It is not cost prohibitive to replace psrts and they are local vs. the bento/laptop deal for us.
post #18 of 35
You can buy the Tiffin boxes at many Asian and Indian grocery stores. That's where I got my 3 level one. I ordered the two-level one from the link in the vegan lunchbox blog and my dd loves it!
post #19 of 35
My 8yo uses the Laptop Lunch Box and it holds plenty of food for him.

There seems to be an assumption here that you have to get the carrying case as well, but we didn't. Ds already carries a backpack, and I couldn't see any reason to put the box in something else inside the backpack. (Plus, that case was just going to be one more thing to clean.) I just slip a rubber band around the LTLB for extra security.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdabbler View Post
A less expensive option are the Lock & Lock boxes or Fit & Fresh. I have this one from Fit & Fresh and I don't always fill it for myself. I love the added ice pack with it. Many of their lunch containers come with an ice pack. My only complaint is that I'm afraid the lid will come off. I usually use a rubber band to make sure it stays secure.
What would you put the F&F in for a kid? We have a Laptop Lunch Box and like it pretty well, but I like to have variety in there for him and if I do, then I can't fit a whole sandwich. If we did the F&F, we'd need something to put all of that in so a drink could go in there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
My 8yo uses the Laptop Lunch Box and it holds plenty of food for him.

There seems to be an assumption here that you have to get the carrying case as well, but we didn't. Ds already carries a backpack, and I couldn't see any reason to put the box in something else inside the backpack. (Plus, that case was just going to be one more thing to clean.) I just slip a rubber band around the LTLB for extra security.
We have the case, and need it for the ice pack, plus drink bottle storage.

One thing I really like about the LTLB is that it's all right there. No containers to unstack or anything, it's just all in it's own little place. I'll have to check out the Tupperware one's you guys have mentioned here.

Also, does Lock & Lock sell a divided lunch container? I LOVE L&L stuff!!
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