The Best Toddler + Kid Lunch Boxes

Summer has flown by this year -  I blinked and poof, we're getting ready for school again! Brody will be starting school preschool in just a few weeks (cue tissues) and he needs a backpack and lunch box that can keep up with the wear and tear a three-year-old will put on it! Kids accessories have always been cute, but it seems like this years' selection is over the top adorable - I might have to get one of these for myself!

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Picking the perfect toddler + kid lunch box

When it comes to my kids, I like to make sure what they're wearing isn't just cute, it's functional too. So when you're shopping for your back to school gear, keep these pointers in mind!

  1. Invest in quality | I know it seems counter-intuitive to spend more than $15 on a kids lunch box, but trust me, it makes a difference! Look for lunch and bento boxes that are made from quality materials and will withstand the entire school year. Otherwise, you'll be replacing that lunch box quicker than you'll lose your kid in the toy section at Target.

  2. Keep it clean | Toddlers and kids are messy, especially with food (hello adorable food-on-their-face photos), so you'll want a lunch box that is easy to clean. Bonus points if you can throw it in the washing machine!

  3. Personalize It | In the South, I think the monograms might outnumber the number of people actually living here! I love having the option to personalize school accessories for Brody for two reasons: he knows it belongs to him and his teacher knows it belongs to him too. But, if you're not a fan of adding a name or initials to your kids' lunch box, no sweat! Pick something that will stand out (like a bright color or fun print) so that it doesn't get lost in the lunch time shuffle.

My favorite places to shop for toddler and kid lunch boxes:

  • Anthropologie | Anthropologie has a great kids' section and their patterns and prints are sophisticated, yet fun. This is a great place to start if you're shopping for an older child.

  • J. Crew | Their Crew Cuts line has a great mix of styles and most of their lunch boxes have matching backpacks, which makes it super easy to coordinate everything.

  • Pottery Barn Kids | PB totally has it going on when it comes to size variety. They have smaller lunch boxes that are perfect for toddlers and you can personalize basically everything.

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One Insulated Lunch Sack | Anthropologie | This is definitely the classic lunch bag option, but better because it's insulated so it will keep things hot or cold. It is slim enough to fit inside a backpack.

Two Lunchbox Notes | Anthropologie | Just like mom used to make - but easier! These notes have a blank side and a side with a pre-written message in case you're short on time.

Three Metallic Lunch Box | J. Crew | I am obsessed with this lunch box! It's like the lunch box I wish I had when I was in school. I might snag this now and save it for Isla to use in a couple years.

Four The Emily & Meritt Bed of Roses Classic Lunch Bag | Pottery Barn Teen | The roses on this lunch box are so sweet and the dark background gives it a more mature look. I love the exterior mesh pocket for a water bottle and the zipper in the front is the perfect place for a lunch note!

Five Zoli Pow Pip & Pow Dine Insulated Containers | Nordstrom | Brody has this exact Zoli water bottle and uses it literally every day. I love that it's insulated so his drinks stay cold all day!

Six Calistoga Insulated Lunch Bag | Mark and Graham | I love the clean, simple look of this lunch box. It has a wide, rectangular shape which is perfect if you have multiple containers to pack. The simple, gold foil monogram gives it a timeless look that will take your kid from daycare to preschool and beyond!

Seven Personalized Bento Box | Stuck On You | These bento boxes are so cute and I love that you can personalize the color AND design on them! Plus it's lined and completely leak proof, which makes it perfect for even the messiest eater.

Eight Stainless Steel Food Containers | Amazon | I love these reusable containers because they're compact enough to fit more than one in Brody's lunchbox, but big enough that I can put more than two gold fish in one. I also like the stainless steel option because it's strong like glass without the worry of it breaking if I drop it.

Nine Mackenzie Heather Gray Bears Lunch Bag | Pottery Barn Kids | Similar to the rose lunch box, but with another pattern option. This particular lunch box actually comes in multiple patterns and sizes, so there are options for toddlers and older kids, too!

Ten YUMBOX Original Bento Box | Amazon | So many moms were raving about this bento box in the private Momma Society Facebook Group so I had to share it! This thing is seriously heavy duty and has three main compartments and one smaller spot for sauces.

Eleven Petit Collage Eco-Friendly Lunch Boxes | The Tot | I scream, you scream, we all scream because that's what toddlers do if you don't have their lunch ready when they're hungry. Seriously though, the ice cream pattern on this lunch box is so adorable and I love the long, cross body strap for carrying it!

Twelve Marcus & Marcus Collapsible Sandwich Wedge | The Tot | These sandwich containers are perfect for protecting sandwiches from everything else in the lunch box! Plus it collapses for minimal storage space and it's dishwasher safe. Mom win!

What are you grabbing for your back to school prep? Matching lunch boxes for your toddler and older kids? Doing something totally different? Leave a comment below and tell me about your back to school gear!

Related: The Best Toddler Backpacks for 2018