When schools suddenly closed in the beginning of March, little did we realize that it would be almost six months later that the kids will go back. With time we (kinda) made peace with the e-learning and stuff, but what I didn’t see coming was how much I missed putting together his lunch and snack boxes. So much that I actually offered snacks to him in those boxes a few days and called it a home picnic and a few days I packed things in these boxes just to make the e-learning feel more like the real deal.
I know, based on DMs that I’ve received that a lot of people find putting together a lunch/snack box a daunting task. More so if the kids are younger and are picky eaters. I think what has truly helped me enjoy this process is choosing to Baby Led Wean (BLW) both my children. I’ve written about this earlier and you can find that here.
I read somewhere that children choose to be picky only because its their way of testing how they can exert control over things. I think I agree with it. I also think it’s important to know and believe that they won’t starve themselves. When you make peace with what they choose to eat and how much they choose to eat, most of the problem is solved. Our job as a parent or caretaker is to provide them with nutritious choices and not dictate how much they should or shouldn’t eat.
Before I move on to actually sharing how I go about packing a lunch or snack box and the prep I do, I though I’d talk a little bit about the lunchboxes we used/have used and do a comparison to help you guys choose one, in case you’re looking to invest in a good lunchbox.
So far, in the last 4+ years of nursery and school, we’ve used lunchboxes from three well-known brands in addition to some good ol’ steel dabbas that we find at every paathra kadai (kitchen utensil store) back home and Tupperware of course.
After my last trip to India, we initially switched to the steel dabbas that most of us used as kids. However, it did not work well since the air-tight, leak-proof ones turned out to be difficult for the child to open/close and resulted in a messy bag and uniform amongst other things. The layered ones weren’t small enough to be carried in the bag either.
Anyway, let’s jump right in and learn more about these boxes, shall we?
This is our most used brand of lunchbox. I’ve used boxes of various sizes from them – from their basic 3 compartment one to the large 6 compartment one. Their portion size is absolutely on point and the boxes are leak-proof (as long as you don’t pack liquids in them) and the food between compartments doesn’t get mixed up either.
This brand makes lunchbox that are steel and fairly light-weight. The downside however is that these aren’t leak-proof unless you buy the extra leak-proof containers that they sell or something that you may already have which also fits the compartments in these boxes. But it pretty much is perfect for dry food/snacks.
Vaya is a great box if you have older kids and don’t need to pack a lot of variety/finger foods. It’s much heavier than the other two boxes we have. From an insulation point of view, the food stays hot for 5-6 hours ONLY if you pack it right off the stove and seal it immediately. Otherwise the maximum it keeps food warm is for 2-3 hours.
Since it was a gift to us, it didn’t matter to us and also because my child is too young to complain about food not being hot/warm. But if you are going to be putting your money into it, I’d say research more to find more VFM options.
Now, moving on to a side-by-side comparison of these to help you make a decision in case you’re considering these brands or looking to invest in a good lunchbox for your kid(s)
I really hope this comparison was helpful. In the next post (coming very soon), I’ll share how I go about planning for and packing a lunchbox and snackbox.
Before I end this, I’d like to mention that this post is in no way sponsored by any of the brands mentioned. All views and opinions are my own. Did you find it helpful? Do let me know your thoughts and as always please do share this with your friends and family who may find it helpful.