Litterless Lunch Boxes + Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

The first day of school is weeks away and while we are still enjoying every moment of this lovely warm summer, I am starting to think ahead to getting organized for the coming school year. This means figuring out who needs new running shoes, new backpacks and the always important lunch gear.

To help you ease back into the school routine, I have reviewed a terrific collection of litterless lunch gear with the help of JK, grade 3 and grade 6 students and even packed each box with a healthy and seasonal lunch that should inspire you when September 6th rolls around.

6 Litterless Lunch Containers For Back To School

U-Konserve Divided Container (2 compartment)

Apple and gruyere panini with some end of season local cherries, carrots, kohlrabi and snap peas

Description: 33oz rectangular stainless steel water tight container with a moveable plastic divider and plastic lid. It is dishwasher safe and BPA, lead and phthalate free.

Price: $24.50

Ease of Use: My JK tester could not open the lid on his own. The grade 3 and grade 6 testers had no difficulty.

Best For: a sandwich or wrap and some fruit and veggies with the divider in place; pasta or noodles with a sauce with the divider removed.

The Lowdown: This well-made compact container is perfect for a younger child or a child with a smaller appetite. The divider can be positioned anywhere you like or removed entirely. The container as a whole is leak proof, but liquids on one side of the divider will leak over to the other side. This is a great product. My only reservation is that the divider may get lost because it is not attached to the container.

U-Konserve Divided Container (4 compartment)

Cheese, crackers, fresh fruit and vegetables

Description: 32oz square stainless steel water tight container with a plastic divider and plastic lid. It is dishwasher safe and BPA, lead and phthalate free.

Price: $22.50

Ease of Use: My JK tester could not open the lid on his own. The grade 3 and grade 6 testers had no difficulty.

Best For: a lunch of bits and pieces like cheese and crackers, dried fruit or nuts, fruit and vegetables when the divider is inserted. Suitable for wet items without the divider.

The Lowdown: This well made container, similar to the 2 compartment one above, is perfect for a small child or a child with smaller appetite. The divider gives you the option to pack small portions of 4 different foods which is ideal for kids who enjoy variety or one larger item like a salad or pasta.

Skater Food Container Lunch box

Mini waffles with fresh fruit

Description: Plastic and silicone water tight container with a moveable and removable divider. It is microwave safe, dishwasher safe and BPA-free.

Price: $10.49

Ease of Use: All of the kids were able to open and close this container.

Best for: a small sandwich or other dry item and some fruit and veggies with the divider in place; pasta, noodles or other wet item without the divider.

The Lowdown: This container is lightweight and easy for little hands to manage. It is relatively small so best suited to a child with a small appetite or would also be terrific for an after school snack. This is a great inexpensive option, but having had containers with similar lids, I wonder if the hinged handles will detach in time rendering the container unusable.

Eco Lunchbox Three in One

DIY pita sandwich lunch – whole wheat pita with a container of quinoa, carrot and chick pea salad packed with some fresh fruit and some energy balls. The mango flowers take about 60 seconds to make and are a fun lunch time surprise and if my kids are any indication, taste much better than cubes of mango!

Description: A 3-piece stainless steel lunch box composed of two stacking larger containers and one smaller container that fits into the larger containers. There are lids for the small container and for the upper container. 2 side clips hold everything together. This container is not water tight. It is dishwasher safe, lead free and plastic free.

Price: $38.99

Ease of Use: JK student could not open the clips independently. The big kids struggled but did manage to open the clips.

Best for: very versatile – you can pack a traditional sandwich + fruit + veggies or anything else your kid desires that is not particularly wet. This holds a smaller lunch so is best suited to kids in elementary school.

The Lowdown: this is a terrific lunch box for a bigger kid who likes “dry” lunches – sandwiches, wraps, etc – and who has the dexterity and strength to open up the clips. It is compact and would fit into most lunch bags. My only reservation with this lunchbox is that it is not leak-proof and no there easy way to pack wet items (including wet fruit) in a lunch. It is more expensive than the other options, but well made and seems like a great investment for the first few years of school.

Bentology Bento Box Lunch box

Whole wheat pitas filled with spinach, basil, peaches and goat cheese, carrot and quinoa salad, fresh fruit and some energy balls for a treat.

Description: BPA-free plastic lunch box set with 5 containers (one small one for sauces not pictured above), 3 of which come with tightly-fitting leak proof lids. The lid for the entire container is attached and is secured with a clip. Dishwasher and microwave safe.

Price: $29.99 from

Ease of Use: Only the grade 6 tester was able to release the clip in front and open up the box, both the grade 3 and 6 testers were able to open up the lids on the inner containers.

Best for: very versatile and can hold all different combinations of wet and dry food. This is a large lunchbox is best suited to bigger kids and adults or kids with very big appetites!

The Lowdown: This lightweight and competitively priced container is perfect for high school students and adults or younger kids with large appetites. It is made of plastic so could crack and the lids for the individual containers can be lost.

Planet Box Rover and Shuttle Lunch boxes

Planet Box Rover (L) – open face sandwiches, both goat cheese, one with apples and thyme and the other with asparagus and chives, carrot ribbons with mint, strawberries with basil and energy balls. Planet Box Shuttle (R) – nachos loaded up with vegetables (tortilla chips with melted cheese + tomato, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, avocado and chives) and some fresh fruit.

Description: Stainless steel bento boxes with hinged lids. The Rover has 5 shallow compartments and the Shuttle has two deep containers. There are leak—proof lidded containers available that fit inside the box for wet items. Dishwasher safe.

Price: Ranges from $50 to $140 depending upon options selected from The Ninety Ninth Monkey.

Tip: Use your Healthy Moms Toronto Discount Card to save the tax (13% off) when you shop in-store at their Whitby location or receive FREE shipping when you order online from The Ninety Ninth Monkey.

Ease of Use: The boxes were easily opened by all of the kids. The younger kids struggled to open the dippers – the little containers that fit inside the big boxes – but PlanetBox has just released a new version of the dippers with an easy to open silicone lid that they assure me can be used by little kids.

Best For: Without the leakproof dippers, these boxes are best suited for dry lunches like sandwiches, sushi or wraps. The Rover comes with a large leak proof container that fits into the large square section that is well suited for noodles, pasta or other wet items. Both boxes are well-suited to kids of all ages and kids who like variety. The Shuttle has a smaller footprint and holds slightly less food than the Rover but also takes up less table space.

The Lowdown: The Planet Box lunch boxes are extraordinarily well made – the ones pictured above are our 3 year old boxes that my kids have used daily and aside from a couple of superficial scratches, they look virutally brand new. The only downsides – the original little dipper containers are tricky to open so we do not use them very often and the entire box is not leak-proof so you cannot pack anything really wet because it will leak out. The kits are very expensive, but do stand the test of time and the company has terrific customer service.

These are just a few of the many great products out there that make packing a litterless lunch a breeze. Get the kids on board with filling them up, and your work will be done!

To find out more about Ninety Ninth Monkey, visit: Healthy Moms Toronto Cardholders can save the tax (13% off) when you shop in-store at their Whitby location or receive FREE shipping when you order online!