14 September 2011

Divided food container inside a lunchbox keeps sandwiches un-smooshed

Divided food container inside a lunchbox keeps sandwiches un-smooshed

What's the bane of many kids' school lunch experience? Opening the lunch box to find a smooshed sandwich. Or bruised banana. Or crushed chips.

I'm not a lunch box perfectionist, but I do want my kids' lunches to be palatable. Perfectly-sized individual containers are too fussy and hard to maintain (some crucial piece always seems to be lost or in the dishwasher). And, as much as I covet them, I don't want to spring for (nor do I want to wash) one of those bento-style lunch kits.

My solution: stick a divided plastic food container into the lunchbox to create flexible compartments. No cover necessary. I happen to use Snapware, but I'm sure you've got your favorite brand. Doing so gives the lunchbox just enough structure to keep food protected and separate.

I wrap my son's sandwich in wax paper, and it fits nicely in the larger space pictured here. The smaller space gets whatever else goes into his lunch, including cutlery and a napkin. Nothing needs to fit perfectly because the container is just there to keep everything from moving around. Easy cleanup, too.

Do you have a hack for keeping food relatively uncrushed in your kid's lunchbox?

Related: How do I get my kid to eat more of her school lunch?

Your comments

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I use the ZipLoc Divided containers.

They can be found in grocery stores or Target (usually), and they cost about $2.50 for a two-pack. They fit in the top rack of my dishwasher, and since there are just two big pieces, my girls (ages 2 and 4)can't lose the pieces.

They (are a tight) fit in my girls' Skip Hop Lunchie lunchboxes. (http://www.amazon.com/Skip-Hop-Lunchie-Insulated-Lunch/dp/B003HS5JLW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316025735&sr=8-1)

They are plastic #5, which has always been a non-BPA plastic. And at that price, if something grows in them over the weekend, or they get damaged, I don't feel bad relegating them to the recycling bin.

I have a few divided boxes for bento from Target. Bento-style lunches are actually really easy. And it looks like you are cleaning the same style box as I am.

Interesting recommendations across the PH-osphere (here, Twitter, Facebook). I'll do a follow-up post on the container brands people especially like, and will link up here.

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