Can we talk about laptop lunches? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 35 Old 07-08-2008, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 35 Old 07-08-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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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.

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#3 of 35 Old 07-09-2008, 04:27 AM
 
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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
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#4 of 35 Old 07-10-2008, 07:50 AM
 
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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!

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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#5 of 35 Old 07-10-2008, 06:44 PM
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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
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#6 of 35 Old 07-10-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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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...

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#7 of 35 Old 07-17-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 35 Old 07-17-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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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!

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#9 of 35 Old 07-18-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 35 Old 07-18-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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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

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#11 of 35 Old 07-18-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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I got a bento box thingie from tupperware and handmade a bag to fit it in...works great!
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#12 of 35 Old 07-24-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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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.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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#13 of 35 Old 07-24-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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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.

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#14 of 35 Old 07-24-2008, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#15 of 35 Old 07-25-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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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.
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#16 of 35 Old 07-26-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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Just FYI I found the fresh and fit ones at my local target... HTH
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#17 of 35 Old 07-29-2008, 12:10 PM
 
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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.

Jennifer
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#18 of 35 Old 07-29-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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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!

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#19 of 35 Old 07-29-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 35 Old 07-29-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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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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#21 of 35 Old 07-29-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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Has anyone tried this? http://www.reusablebags.com/store/bu...e-p-1194.html# It looks like it would be good and hold a pretty good amount of stuff.

I need to find a new drink bottle too. We have 12 ounce Klean Kanteen's if we need to use one of those, but I'd like to get one dedicated for lunch. Has anyone tried the Thermos Foogo? If so, what do you think? It would be used for chocolate soymilk, if that matters with cleaning. Siggs look good too, but reusable bags is out of the small ones.
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#22 of 35 Old 07-29-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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We have the Fit N Fresh ones too and while I like the round ones, I can barely open the purple sandwich one myself. I'm at the point where I'm about to toss it or only use it for DH because I Just can't get it open anymore!

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#23 of 35 Old 07-30-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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I have bought these Sterilite containers:

http://www.sterilite.com/Category.ht...tCategory=163#
numbers 0321 and 0332 and a smaller one for ds's snack.

I can put a sandwich, a container of applesauce or small yogurt, a fruit, incl. banana, pile of carrots or whatever, and my dd can open it. She has very weak hands, and she is getting stronger, but can't open almost any of the containers I have. I bought cupcake papers of all different sizes to help divide the foods from each other, and I put a cloth napkin in the top and small fork/spoon in there too. The cloth napkin helps dry stuff not fall out.

These containers both fit inside a standard lunch bag with a velcro flap and I can put a drink container in there as well (disp. like juice box or non disp. like a small bottle). Occasionally I need to put a fruit separately in the bag, but we totally cut down on our bag usage the last 2 months of school with this system.

I got a Fit and Fresh but my kids can't open the containers. We also started sending snacks in plastic containers instead of bags.

This line would also be very good for someone with arthritis.

Oh,my kids are 8 and 9. 9 year old is a big eater.
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#24 of 35 Old 07-30-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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I've found that with the Fit/Fresh smaller containers it helps to sort of squeeze the base while lifting the lid. But I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has had problems!

The bright side is we haven't had any leaks, even when dh put the soy sauce filled container in upside down.

In terms of volume, the fit/fresh lunch set (big box, 2 small boxes, ice pack) holds a lot.

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#25 of 35 Old 07-30-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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i wish Built NY would make a lunch tote that would fit a laptop lunch AND a FUNtainer or Foogo. I emailed reusablebags.com and they wrote back, asking for measurements of the FUNtainer. I haven't heard back.

This is the next to last thing i need before school starts.

If i can't find anything, I'll just buy the laptop lunch with the black sleeve, and just have the drink separately.

Does anyone have a bag that works?

Jennifer- wife and mom, dreaming of country living
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#26 of 35 Old 07-30-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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So here's what I've decided to do. My son really likes his LTLB. I'm also going to order the six pack lunch box from reusablebags.com. If he's taking hot food in his thermos, he'll take that one, otherwise the laptop lunch. He smartly told me that if I just cut the sandwich in half, I could stack it. I tried it and he was right.
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#27 of 35 Old 07-30-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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I had no idea Built NY stuff was so $$$....I saw several different bags at TJ Maxx for $5!!! You guys should look there...
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#28 of 35 Old 07-30-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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Can you use a cloth shopping bag or other canvas tote?

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#29 of 35 Old 07-31-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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The gourmet getaway by built ny fits a laptop lunch and water bottle. My dd used this bag last year. I could fit a laptop lunch, thermos and a water bottle! It has a really easy to clean inner. Its not uber eco friendly but it was hard finding a bag that fit. This year I cut all but the bottom and top liner(insulation) out of my dds ll bean lunch bag and the laptop now fits! We didnt use it last year because the laptop didnt fit because of the insulation. So now her backpack matches her lunchbox and she can easily fit her laptop in there. She takes that alone with a klean kanteen in a built ny water tote with handle. She can keep her water on her desk and then hook her water on the fence at the playground.
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#30 of 35 Old 08-01-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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My 6 yo uses the laptop and I just bought my 5 yo one too...it should be delivered in a few days. I really really like them and haven't had a problem with cracking or anything else. We did lose one of the large inner containers though. I plan on ordering another one since you can now buy lose pieces separately.

: Robyn : Increasingly crunchy Mama to Kya (8) , Makena (7) , and Keegan (4) :
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