I may have gone a tad overboard when we were preparing to send The K Man to JK last September.
When it came to his lunch accoutrements, I wanted – first and foremost – to buy only reusable containers. Do any kids brown-bag-it anymore?
As I mentioned in a Huffington Post piece I wrote at the time, I solicited advice from friends, colleagues and neighbours about the best lunch boxes, lock-tight containers, drink-holders and so on. Then I bought several options and we started practising with them at home a couple of weeks before school started. Between flip tops, pop-up straws, twist-off caps and zippers, we had a lot of fine-motor skills to work on. Gawd, it was frustrating – but we got through it and The K Man is now a container expert.
As it often happens, we’ve whittled down to our favourites and use those most frequently – saving the others for days when the favourites don’t quite get washed in time. Or, um, say like if someone forgets to take the lunch bag out of The K Man’s backpack and it, um, sort of sits there all night. (It happens.)
But we’re always on the lookout for new lunchtime paraphernalia, and there’s always room for new favourites.
Really funky designs: rock star-worthy guitars, a funky monkey and the most gorgeous little owl perched on a branch. No more narrowing the options to the ones you like first, these are the kinds of designs that you can let your kid choose because you’ll be happy with any of them.
BPA-free, lead-free and phthalate-free; FDA-approved and CPSIA-certified. All good things.
I’m pretty diligent about including all of the food groups in every lunch, but if you’re the kind of person that needs reminding, you’ll really appreciate the Itzy Ritzy Bento Lunch Box design. Room for a sandwich (or similar) on one side and snacks, fruit and veg on the other.
It’s got a wee little handle that’s just right for The K Man’s hand.
It fits well into his lunch bag; slightly better than a similar container from Sistema.
Very strong latch system to keep both sides of the container closed until it’s intentionally opened by hand; don’t worry – it’s not going to spill open by accidentally being knocked off of a desk. But…
The latches always trip me up – just a little. They’re not as intuitive as they could be. They both flap open in the same direction, and it continues to seem odd, but I’m not sure why exactly.
The one from Sistema opens more fully than the Itzy Ritzy one. This means that when I want to get the sandwich side out of the way to fill up the other side, it’s not as easy on the Itzy Ritzy model. Don’t get me wrong: it’s fine. But “fine” could be “fantastic” if the hinge was wider.
I’m a sectional eater. I don’t like things touching on my plate if I can help it. If you can imagine a prisoner’s plate, that’s right up my alley. So I love the designated sections on the one side of the Bento Box! But it would be so amazing if they were moveable – that is, if I could reconfigure them myself based on what I wanted to put in it each day. Maybe some days I want two large sections, while others I want four small sections.
At about $15, this Bento Lunch Box is more expensive than our Sistema version. Granted, there’s no fun design OR handle on the Sistema Klip It container…
This is not a gaffe, but a suggestion to Itzy Ritzy: why not add a compartment with a container for liquids (like milk)? This would essentially render our lunch bag unnecessary!